Books Worth the Read

Instructional Practice

  • Twice-Exceptional Gifted Children by Beverly A. Trail, EdD – The book has an easy-to-use assessment that helps teachers to see discrepancies that might indicate a student is twice exceptional.   It also has a fabulous chapter on supporting cognitive styles.   It outlines characteristics and strategies for the auditory/visual dimension, sequential/conceptual dimension, and convergent/divergent dimension.   It also has information to help support students with executive functioning difficulties (including organizational/planning handouts), students with attention issues, and students with sensory integration challenges.
  • Classroom Instruction that Works by Robert Marzano & Debra Pickering – The book outlines nine instructional strategies that are research-based.   It discusses how and why to use them, as well as the expected outcome on student outcomes.
  • Building Academic Vocabulary by Robert Marzano & Debra Pickering – The book provides guidance on best-practice for teaching academic vocabulary.   It also includes a set of activities and games that can be used to review the vocabulary.  The activities and games take time to create, but can be done in a small chunk of time within the classroom.
  • The Highly Engaged Classroom by Robert Marzano  & Debra Pickering – As is true for all of the Marzano books I have read, the book begins with the research.   It addresses the factors that influence engagement and then gives strategies for working with those factors:   how the student feels (pacing, physical movement, intensity/enthusiasm,  humor, relationship), student interest (games/inconsequential competition, friendly controversy, unusual information, questioning),  student perception of importance (real-life connections, application of knowledge), student self-efficacy (tracking progress, effective feedback, teaching self-efficacy).

Math-Specific

  • Mathematics Formative Assessment by Keeley and Tobey – This is a fabulous book on formative assessment.   There is a huge array of different assessments, examples of each assessment, information on why it is a good assessment and information on how to modify the assessment.   This is one of my favorite books.
  • Mathematics Assessment: A Practical Handbook    NCTM – I think every math teacher should read this book.   It provides a broad picture of assessment and very specific ways to do each of the types of assessment.   It includes simple, easy to use self-assessments.   It includes a great anecdotal record/observation form.   It also has a couple of rich tasks as examples of exemplary assessments.
  • Powerful Problem Solving by M. Ray of the Math Forum
  • Fostering Algebraic Thinking by Mark Driscoll – The book outlines algebraic habits of mind and then provides a great set of activities to help develop those habits of mind.   The problems are rich and deep.   This could be a great book to work through within a math department.
  • Accessible Mathematics by Steven Leinwand – The book outlines 10 instructional shifts that raise student achievement.   The shifts are do-able and powerful.   Leinwand ends each chapter with “So what should we see in an effective mathematics classroom?” and then proceeds to tell the reader the answer to that question.   This is a book that you can read in a day and then go back to it again and again to see how you are doing.
  • Navigating through Data Analysis in Grades 6-8 NCTM  – The “Navigating” series provides a set of lessons on a mathematical strand.   The lessons increase in complexity and can be used throughout the middle school years.   The lessons are rich and engaging.   I use this particular book for a lot of the lessons in my data unit because it addresses all of the different data representations.   At the end of it, my students are ready for whatever data representation may show up on mandated testing.
  • Navigating through Probability in Grades 6-8 NCTM – The “Navigating” series provides a set of lessons on a mathematical strand.   The lessons increase in complexity and can be used throughout the middle school years.   The lessons are rich and engaging.
  • Navigating through Algebra in Grades 6-8 NCTM – The “Navigating” series provides a set of lessons on a mathematical strand.   The lessons increase in complexity and can be used throughout the middle school years.   The lessons are rich and engaging.   I love this particular book in the series.   It starts with tasks that bridge nicely from concrete thought to more abstract thought.   This is really helpful in the early middle school years.   I also love the section From Graphs to Stories.   One of the activities gives students a verbal “story” for which they must then create a graph.   Another activity gives students a graph for which they must devise the story.   These activities make them really think about the variables and how they change with respect to each other.
  • Navigating through Geometry in Grades 6-8 NCTM – The “Navigating” series provides a set of lessons on a mathematical strand.   The lessons increase in complexity and can be used throughout the middle school years.   The lessons are rich and engaging.