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Gift Ideas for Teachers: Books I’ve Loved This Year + Extras

If you receive my free Monday newsletter you know how I like to give a shout out to books I’m reading. With so many talented authors in my Twitter PLN it isn’t hard to find a great read by someone in the industry or a fantastic recommendation from someone who also loves to dive into a good book. If you’re looking for books for teachers, this list of titles has plenty of favorites to choose from for the perfect gift!

On this list I’ve collected a handful of books I’ve loved this year and gathered recommendations from a few fellow educators. I’ve included the links to Amazon but you might consider adding a few recommendations in a personalized note that accompanies a gift card, or simply sharing this list on Twitter or Facebook with fellow educators. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite books this year, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post!

Gift Ideas for Teachers: Books for Teachers

The Curious Classroom

After seeing a few social media shares giving praise to this book I added quickly added it to my reading list this summer. The Curious Classroom: 10 Structures for Teaching with Student-Directed Inquiry is full of actionable ideas for educators and relatable stories. I’ve recommended this book to a handful of teachers during back-to-school professional development this year and if you’re looking for a teacher gift for a fan of author Harvey “Smokey” Daniels and inquiry in the classroom, this is a great choice.

Engagement by Design

This fall I had the opportunity to visit Health Sciences High & Middle College, led by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. During the trip I snagged a copy of their brand-new book Engagement by Design: Creating Learning Environments Where Students Thrive co-authored with Russel J. Quaglia, Dominique Smith, and Lisa L. Lande. This text is perfect for teachers who are already fans of their great work or who want to boost engagement in their classroom, Engagement by Design is a terrific read. It connects to John Hatties’ work around visible learning and includes classroom-ready ideas for teachers.

Blended Learning in Action

Earlier this year I started working with a fantastic school in New York who are using a blended learning model across grade levels and subject areas. As we wrapped up the school year in June one of their teachers asked for recommendations for summer reading and I immediately named this book, Blended Learning in Action: A Practical Guide Toward Sustainable Change by Catlin R. Tucker, Tiffany Wycoff and Jason T. Green. If you know someone exploring different models for technology integration, this book is a terrific guide for getting started with blending learning.

Disruptive Classroom Technologies

My editor at Corwin, Ariel Bartlett Curry shared Disruptive Classroom Technologies with me this year. In this book educational technologist Sonny Magana introduces the T3 Framework to help educators identify both low- and high-impact technology use in education. I found this book to be an extremely useful resource for thinking about the way technology is used in schools to impact learning. It’s a great gift idea for someone who loves educational research and is exploring new frameworks for tech integration.

The Power of Habit

Gift Ideas for Teachers Books I’ve Loved This Year + Extras 1ASCD Emerging Leader and my former colleague Tammy Musiowsky suggested I add The Power of Habit to the list. I love this book and the stories it uses to illustrate the importance of creating positive habits. The examples have stuck with me and are ones I continue to reference in conversations with educators. Charles Duhigg shares ideas that are perfect for anyone interested in productivity.

The Healing Power of Hip Hop

I connected with awesome Georgia educator Adam A. Phyall, III last week at ShiftinEDU who was also a featured speaker at this Miami event. Adam recommended I add The Healing Power of Hip Hop Raphael Travis, Jr.by  to this list. If you know someone who is interested in Hip Hop culture and how it can be used to empower students, this book offers real-world examples for educators to explore.

Cultivating Communication in the Classroom

In this book, fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Lisa Johnson demonstrates the importance of communication skills and how they can be introduced and strengthened in the classroom. From helping students write effective emails to exploring digital portfolios, Cultivating Communication in the Classroom provides lots of actionable resources for teachers. If you’re looking for a book to give a teacher working with secondary students you’ll want to add this to your list!

Learning Transformed

One of the favorites from my summer reading list is Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools Today, co-authored by Eric Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray, If you are looking for a gift for a school leader or passionated educator, this book combines actionable, ready-for-tomorrow tips with powerful research. It provides advice for school leaders directly connected to school stories and will definitely make readers think about their personal and professional goals.

Gen Z Effect

I’m currently in the middle of course design project for a local university where I’ve served as an Adjunct Professor this year. Fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Courtney Pepe recommended Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business by Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen and it’s a fascinating read. I love the connections between the profile of students of today and past generations and the interesting and important information it shares about the unique needs of this generation.

The Meaning of Names

In February of this year I spoke at the Nebraska State Reading Conference and was gifted this book written by Karen Shoemaker. Once I start a great story it’s hard for me to put it down and this beautifully written novel was one I couldn’t tear myself away from. I love historical fiction and this compelling read is definitely a great gift choice.

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