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I Asked, They Shared: Gifts for Teachers

November 18, 2018

Last year I put together a few gift guides for teachers but this year I wanted to try something new. I reached out to a handful of education authors to ask them for their favorites. Not only do they all have their own books (that would make fantastic gifts!), but their recommendations are wonderful too.

If you scroll to the bottom of the post you can see last year’s gift guides. Although this blog post is brand-new you can definitely dive back into these lists. However, the recommendations from education authors you’ll find here will surely help you finalize your shopping list this holiday!

Creative Gifts for Teachers

Lisa Johnson is the author of Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students. It’s a fantastic guide for teachers preparing students to communicate both inside and outside of the classroom. Lisa recommends a few items for educators excited about bullet journaling. Her favorites include the Polaroid Zip printerLeuchtturm Class Hardcover Journal, and Sharpie Art Pens. Lisa loves blending digital and analog and shares multiple bullet journal and reader/writer’s notebook examples on her Instagram account using these products.

Holly Clark, author of The Google Infused Classroom, recommends Gift Cards by Sylvia Duckworth for all educators. Each card is one of her hand drawn inspirational sketchnotes and people love getting them. They are the perfect holiday gift!

Gift Ideas for Coffee Lovers

Bethany Petty is the author of Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning. One of her favorite gifts from a former student is the I Turn Coffee Into Education Mug. She suggested this mug as the perfect gift for any coffee-drinking teacher!

Fred Ende, author of Professional Development That Sticks (and a forthcoming book from ASCD on leveraging relationships to succeed) recommends the Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug. Fred says, “I know, I know, coffee and tea, aren’t exactly edtech items. . . .BUT. . . . .without coffee or tea in the morning, I’m going to be nowhere near as effective at what I do. The Ember Travel Mug keeps your beverage warm through an innovative temperature control dial (and a fancy schmancy companion app). A great gift for the holiday season for someone else, and a nice little splurge for yourself!”

Books to Give as Gifts to Teachers

Robert Dillion is the author of numerous books for educators including the new title, Powerful Parent Partnerships: Rethinking Family Engagement for Student Success. He recommends this book as a gift: Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. Robert shares, “Balancing screen time and green time is essential for our children to grow whole. This book supports fresh air for creativity, curiosity and children that can be kids again.”

Patrick Green, author of 50 Ways to Use YouTube in the Classroom, recommends Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School. Patrick shares how he loves this book because, “solid and honest financial advice with no strings attached (and explained by a a professional educator) is hard to come by.”

Ross Cooper is the co-author of Hacking Project Based Learning which I shared in this blog post when it first hit shelves. Ross recommends Creativity, Inc. and says that it is “easily my favorite book ever. When I left my teaching position a few year back, I purchased copies as gifts for a few of the district’s administrators. Now, as a principal, I dream of doing a Creativity, Inc. staff book study wrapped in the essential question, ‘How can we be more like Pixar?’”

Read Aloud Recommendations for Teachers

Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt is the co-author of Inquiry Mindset: Nurturing the Dreams, Wonders, and Curiosities of Our Youngest Learners. She recommended two fantastic books by Andrea Beaty. Rebecca shares, “I LOVE using the picture book Ada Twist Scientist to introduce how our learners are full of curiosity and questions. If you haven’t picked it up, you’re missing out. Also, I am beyond excited that Andrea has just released a new book Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters in the series The Questioneers. It is an awesome book that talks kids through the design and creation process, she also ties in mindfulness, kindness and growth mindset into this book. It is a MUST to add to your classroom library or read aloud selection!”

Professional Books for Teachers

Trevor MacKenzie is the co-author of Inquiry Mindset with Rebecca. He recommends, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana’s book Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions.  Trevor says, “In this amazing book Dan and Luz describe the Question Formulation Technique, a simple yet powerful process to add to our teaching that helps our student becomes stronger questioners and in doing so sharpen such skills as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and all of the other DOK Level 4 goodness.  I always have a couple copies in my classroom as I often tend to lend it out to curiously keen colleagues to help them get going with the QFT on their own.  Check it out for yourself.  You’ll thank me later!”

Billy Krakower is the co-author of Getting Started with STEAM: Practical Strategies for the K-8 Classroom. He recommends, Bold School: Old School Wisdom + New School Technologies = Blended Learning That Works. Billy shares that, “Bold School is an excellent read for educators who are looking to enhance and transform technology into the classroom. Bold School, helps change your thinking about how to incorporate technology into the classroom and schools.”

Shopping Websites for Teacher Gifts

Heather Wolpert-Gawron, author of Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement, recommends shopping at Thinkgeek. Heather says, “First off, we are all geeks at heart about something. ThinkGeek has a lot of unique gifts for any age group. But secondly, as it relates to my book, it’s vital that we differentiate ourselves and ‘show our humanity’ in order to build community in our classrooms. When connections are made and similarities are pointed out between students and teachers, research shows that achievement goes up. So show what geeks out you, or buy a gift for that geek teacher in your life, and shop ThinkGeek! It’s my family’s go-to holiday store!”

Michele Haiken is the author of Personalized Reading (ISTE, 2018) and Gamify Literacy: Boost Comprehension, Collaboration, and Learning (ISTE, 2017). She recommends gift cards to expand teachers library. Michele also recommends ther great gifts under $100 including a premium subscription to Classcraft or a teacher subscription to Book Creator. Classcraft enages students in quest-based learning. Book Creator is a fantastic open-ended creation tool that readers of the blog have seen mentioned here before.

I hope these recommendations will come in handy this year! Here three other gift guides you may want to check out too:

Do you have a favorite that should be on this list? Use the comments button below to add another, or share this link on social media and include your recommendation there.

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Yours in Learning, Monica :)

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Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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