Sunday, January 11, 2009

Educational Resources: Who's Reading What and Where Can I Find It?

I’m convinced that publishing educational resources is a lucrative business. Each year we turn to catalogues, conference displays, and word of mouth to select professional readings that relate to our board and school improvement goals. In the 2008-2009 school year, secondary teachers, schools or professional learning communities across Avon Maitland are reading the following books:

Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents by Gay Ivey and Douglas Fisher, contains suggestions for literacy leadership, support, and interventions. If you read only one chapter, read chapter two on Transportable and Transparent Strategies for Content Literacy Instruction. This book is available in your school library.

Taking Action on Adolescent Literacy by Judith L. Ivrin, Julie Meltzer and Melinda Dukes, outlines action steps for schools that want to help students improve their academic achievement through a focus on literacy. Given our board goal, chapter two, Integrating Literacy and Learning Across the Content Areas, is a must read. Each secondary school principal received a copy and department heads at LDSS read this book for heads’ meetings. An online study guide is available by clicking here.

Teaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly Gallagher integrates humour, anecdotes and many practical strategies. It makes an excellent text for English Department PLCs. If I had to recommend one chapter, it would be Beyond the Grecian Urn: The Teacher as a Writing Model. Teaching Adolescent Writers is a PLC reading for Literacy Chairs and will be added to school libraries at the end of the year.

Teaching Writing in the Content Areas by Vicki Urquhart and Monette McIver, dedicates half of its pages to strategies for teaching writing in any subject. I’m a fan of Strategy 31 which outlines the benefits of using examples to show student writers what their final product should or should not look like. This book is available in school libraries.

Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice edited by Kylene Beers, Robert E. Probst and Linda Rief contains chapters that can be read as stand alone readings. Topics vary from vocabulary instruction to the power of inquiry. English heads and Literacy Chairs received a copy of this book. Chairs should have turned their copy over to school libraries at the end of last year.

More Books
Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Educators by Will Richardson (SCSS English Department PLC. Available in school libraries)
Ahead of the Curve: The Power of Assessment to Transform Teaching And Learning. Edited by Douglas Reeves (Vice Principal PLC)
Teaching with the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen (Available in school libraries)
Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey (Available in school libraries).
Educational Leadership (Available in school libraries in February ’09)

Are you reading something that you would like to share? Please improve upon our list by adding a comment or emailing me at

See an error in my writing? Let me know and I’ll correct it.

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