Reading and discussing inspiring, helpful books about teaching is an integral part of the Peer Intervention Program’s work with educators. Here is a list of those books, ranging from teaching strategies for various content areas to working with different student populations, from classroom management to stress management to mastering your craft. Each in its way captures the spirit of effectiveness. We invite all UFT members to scan our bookshelf for a title that speaks to you professionally and personally.
- Muhammad, Gholdy (2020) Cultivating Genius. Scholastic Teaching Resources (Teaching Strategies)
This book presents a four-layered equity framework—one that is grounded in history and restores excellence in literacy education. This framework, which she names, Historically Responsive Literacy, was derived from the study of literacy development within 19th-century Black literacy societies. The framework is essential and universal for all students, especially youth of color, who traditionally have been marginalized in learning standards, school policies, and classroom practices.
- Breaux, Annette, et. al. (2015) Seven Simple Secrets, What the BEST Teachers Know and Do!. New York, NY: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group
In this book, internationally acclaimed authors Annette Breaux and Todd Whitaker reveal the seven simple secrets of effective teaching that can be applied in any classroom. Whether you’re a new or experienced teacher, you’ll gain valuable insights on improving instruction, classroom management, discipline, student motivation, and much, much more! This updated Second Edition contains timely topics such as incorporating technology to enhance your lessons and using social media appropriately.
- Barkley, Stephen, et.al. (2011) Instructional Coaching with the End in Mind. Cadiz, KY: PLS Products
In this book, the concept of "backwards planning" shifts the process of teaching practices, coaching, and professional staff development in significant and comprehensive ways. Steve's research suggests that teachers don't cause student achievement; students do, when armed with the right learning behaviors taught and modeled by others. From those behaviors, they become lifelong learners. Receive guidance and insights into specific coaching skills, questioning strategies, and ways to work with principals. The result ensures that teachers are fully supported in the highly complex and challenging world of education.
- Ritchart, R, et. al. (2011) Making Thinking Visible. Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint
This book is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard's Project Zero, that develops students' thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study. Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is a varied collection of practices, including thinking routines, small sets of questions or a short sequence of steps, as well as the documentation of student thinking. Using this process thinking becomes visible as the students' different viewpoints are expressed, documented, discussed and reflected upon.
- Allen, Janet (2005). Reading History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press
This book is designed to help social studies teachers incorporate specific literacy and graphic organizer strategies into their lessons. These tools work well during independent practice and help social studies teachers become more current in their support of literacy in the content area.
- Anderson, Carl (2000). How’s it Going? A Practical Guide for Conferring with Student Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
This book gives teachers strategies for conferring with students about their writing work. It describes the role of both teachers and students in the writing conference. It details how to teach students about their role in the conference and offers conversational strategies to help students talk about their writing. It is appropriate for all grades.
- Barkley, Stephen G. (2005). Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield
This book identifies and describes the use of coaching to increase quality instruction for students. It is also helpful for teachers to increase their professionalism, empowerment, self-esteem and confidence.
- Bridges, William (2001). The Way of Transition. New York: Perseus
Bridges, William (1980). Making Sense of Life’s Changes. Reading, MA.: Addison-Wesley
The first book is the sequel to the second. Each is an inspiration for anyone who has to make a difficult transition. Both offer guidance and insight into understanding difficult situations, and into the steps necessary to make life’s transitions.
- Caesar, Vance, and Caesar, Carol Ann (2006). The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
This simple, straightforward easy-to-reference guide explores the profiles of high achievers and provides tools to incorporate more happiness into one’s life.
- Canter, Lee and Canter, Marlene (1995). Behavior Management in the Middle School Classroom. Los Angeles, CA: Canter & Associates
Informative information on behavior management and positive reinforcement as well as consequences and student ownership of their behavior/learning. There are many reproducible forms.
- Canter, Lee and Canter, Marlene (1991). Parents on Your Side. Santa Monica, CA: Lee Canter & Associates
A comprehensive parent involvement program for teachers.
- Chapman, Carolyn and Bellanca, James (1993). If the Shoe Fits: How to Develop Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. Palatine, IL: IRI/Skylight
A look at how to incorporate multiple intelligences into your daily lessons.
- Charney, Ruth (2002). Teaching Children to Care. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children
Strategies for building community in the classroom.
- Clark, Sarah Kartchner (2007). Writing Strategies for Social Studies. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education
This book really connects writing strategies with social studies content. It provides graphic organizers for every aspect of understanding text and processing content. There is a rationale and a differentiated piece for each strategy.
- Collier, Catherine and Hoover, John J. (1987). Cognitive Learning Strategies for Minority Handicapped Students. Lindale, TX: Hamilton Publications
The authors hold that the failure of acculturation is responsible for minority students being singled out for behaviors which classify them as handicapped. Cognitive learning strategies are coupled with desired outcomes in students. Teachers must be aware of special considerations regarding how long the student has been in the country, what country they are from, levels of violence, tolerance of male/female relations as well as the formal education to which the student was exposed. Teachers are walked through the application of a variety of strategies.
- Covey, Stephen R. (2003). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York, NY: Free Press
This book presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems.
- Cunningham, Patricia (2000). Phonics They Use, Third Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison Wesley Educational Publishers, Inc.
This book describes activities teachers have used to help struggling students who are not making academic progress in reading and writing. It includes activities to help students build the necessary foundation for reading and writing. It includes activities for teaching irregular words and decoding regular words. It is appropriate for teachers in the early grades.
- David, Judy and Hill, Sharon. (2003).The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
This wonderful resource goes through the writing process; how to use a writer’s notebook; a mentor text; conference for writing, and assess student writing. Each chapter explains another step of the process. The book gives suggestions for mini-lessons. It expands to the various types of writing that can be done. There is a good section on trouble shooting problems along with lifting the quality of the student work. The book provides photos showing how to set up and display writing, along with sample writing as a guide. Finally the book walks you through three different writing cycles in three areas. It also contains very useful graphic organizers.
- Drapeau, Patti (2004). Differentiated Instruction: Making it Work. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.
A practical guide to planning, managing and implementing differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learners.
- Dunlap, Linda L. (1997). An Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon
The book is a compilation of chapters written by professionals in the field. Ms. Dunlap stresses the importance of collaboration between professionals providing services for students with special needs coupled with a parental active involvement piece. The book focuses on detailing the wide variety of needs for each early childhood disability. Two of the chapters emphasize the importance of using art, music and play as well as behavior management as an integral part of the special needs child’s education.
- Fletcher, Ralph and Portalupi, Joann. (1998). Craft Lessons. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishing
There is a book for fiction and one for nonfiction. They are wonderful resources for the skills used in writing. The books are separated into skill-based chapters. Each skill is then demonstrated with an example. The author also includes a sample mini-lesson for each skill. The back of each book contains excellent mentor texts that can be used to teach each skill. These also books help in the teaching of reading since a reader needs to consider the skills to increase comprehension.
- Fountas, Irene and Pinnell Gay Su (2000). Interactive Writing: How Language and Literacy Come Together, K-2. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
This book focuses on the early phases of writing. Fountas and Pinnell clearly explain the step-by-step interactive process. They show how teachers can use interactive writing to teach a range of foundational literacy skills by sharing the pen with young writers. The book is filled with practical information on how to get started with interactive writing with explicit details from specific materials to fine teaching points.
- Giangreco, Michael F., Cloninger, Chigee J., and Iverson, Virginia (1998). Choosing Outcomes and Accommodations for Children: A Guide to Educational Planning for Students with Disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Giangreco, Cloniger and Iverson show how general education teachers can use strategies that accommodate a variety of learners in the class. They advocate for heterogeneous groupings that lead to inclusion. Inclusive education that benefits all students can be achieved by the general education teacher adjusting the educational program through the use of a multi-level curriculum and curriculum overlapping.
- Goleman, Daniel (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam
This eye-opening book offers a new vision of excellence. Self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy are explored to illustrate a different way of being smart.
- Hallowell M.D., Edward and Ratey M.D., John (1994). Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood, New York, NY: Touchstone
This book dispels a variety of myths about attention deficit disorder (ADD). Both authors have ADD themselves and are successful medical professionals. They can easily define and associate with “Attention Deficit Disorder” syndrome. ADD is described by illustrating what it is not! The best way to understand what ADD is — and what it is not — is to see how it affects the lives of people who have it. This book follows many cases. It shows how these individuals struggle and how they are faced with inaccurate labels and unfair judgments.
- Heard, Georgia. (2002). The Revision Toolbox: Teaching Techniques That Work. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
This approachable text tells teachers how to teach children to revise their writing. It clearly defines each aspect of the revision process and provides a clear example. The book also provides examples of student writing and how revising changed the work.
- Hindley, JoAnne (1996). In the Company of Children. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishing
This is a great book for teachers because it helps them manage a productive workshop model setting in crowded NYC classrooms. It shows how to launch a writer’s notebook and then move students into formal writing projects. It gives tips on conferring, keeping records, and assessing student progress.
- Jackson, Robyn (2009). Never Work Harder Than Your Students. Alexandria, VA: ASCD
This book explores seven principles that show how to become a master teacher no matter where you are in your practice.
- Kriete, Roxanne (2002). The Morning Meeting Handbook. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children
Community building activities for students.
- Krisot, Janice V. and Bamford, Rosemary A. (2004). Nonfiction in Focus. New York, NY: Scholastic
This is a great resource for teachers who need help teaching this genre. The book is broken into the different structures of nonfiction, explaining the differences, and how to teach each one. The elements of nonfiction are explained. Then the book applies how they can be taught along with student sample work. This is a very useful resource for teachers who have difficulty teaching reading/nonfiction.
- Lattimer, Heather (2003). Thinking Through Genre. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishing
Units of study for feature article and short story.
- Macceca, Stephanie (2007). Reading Strategies for Social Studies. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education
This book really connects reading strategies with social studies content. It provides graphic organizers for every aspect of understanding text and processing content. There is a rationale and a differentiated piece given for each strategy.
- Nelson, Jane, Lott, Lynn, and Glenn H. Stephen (2000). Positive Discipline in the Classroom. New York, NY: Prima Publishing
This book has a great foundation for fostering cooperation, problem-solving skills, and mutual respect in children. This book helps teachers create a classroom environment that enhances academic learning. Teachers learn to use encouragement and instill valuable social skills and positive behavior.
- Palmer, Parker J. (1998). The Courage to Teach. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass
A moving, profound, and exhilarating journey toward discovering the true spirit of teaching.
- Parsons, Frank (1909). Choosing a Vocation. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin
Believe it or not, this book was written in 1909 and has resurged in career counseling literature. Many of today’s tenets are based on this seminal work and are as useful now as they were then!
- Parsons, Stephanie (2005). First Grade Writers: Teachers’ College Step-by-Step Writing Program for First Grade. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
Simple and workable.
- Pinell, Gay Su and Fountas, Irene (2007). The Continuum of Literacy Learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
This continuum helps teachers across the grade levels with interactive reading, shared reading, writing and word work. It supplies goals for all guided reading levels. It helps teachers plan instruction for individuals, small groups, or whole class. There are tips on assessing children’s literacy development and evaluating student progress. This book is a powerful tool to help educators observe teaching and learning, to plan responsive instruction, and to ensure consistency across buildings, grades, or classrooms.
- Reis, Sally, Renzulli, Joseph (2005). Curriculum Compacting — An Easy Start to Differentiating for High Potential Students. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press Inc.
This book describes how to use Curriculum Compacting to differentiate instruction. It describes the strategy and provides steps for its use in order to provide a challenging experience for all learners. Topics such as pretesting to measure the students’ knowledge before instruction, streamlining practice and instructional time for students who have grasped the learning objective, and curricular alternatives are presented.
- Rutherford, Paula (2009). Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? Alexandria, VA: Just Ask Publications
The author has pulled together what many of us learned in college. It is a source of various old and new strategies to use in the classroom.
- Smith, Rick (2004). Conscious Classroom Management. San Rafael, CA: Conscious Teaching Publications
An excellent resource for the beginning or veteran teacher who has questions/issues about classroom management. The author contrasts and compares two hypothetical teachers in his book, Ms. Allgood and Ms. Meanswell.
- Taberski, Sharon (2000). On Solid Ground. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
The author shares what she’s gained in her twenty years of working with children and teachers. The book is organized around a series of interconnected interactions with the learner rather than a set of prescribed skills. Sharon’s approach is clear, sensible, and infomed by current thinking. It is also loaded with advice, booklists, ready-to-use reproducibles, and, of course, the words and work of real children.
- Three, Four Open the Door (1986). New York, NY: NYC Board of Education
A very comprehensive book on early childhood. Everything you need to know, from room arrangement to lesson plans and class management. Timeless!
- Tovani, Cris (2002). I Read it But I Don’t Get It. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishing
Describes the difficulty students go through when they read something but don’t understand what they’re reading.
- Wilhelm, Jeffery (2001). Improving Comprehension with Think-Aloud Strategies…Modeling what Good Readers Do. New York, NY: Scholastic
This book gives examples of the language used in a think-aloud based on teaching various reading strategies. It walks the reader step by step as to what is done during a think-aloud lesson. It is written using the language and structure of a Teacher’s College lesson. It goes on to cover many of the skills that work well when teaching reading. It has good suggestions with illustrative examples.
- Willingham, Daniel T. (2009). Why Don’t Students Like School. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass
A cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means in relation to the classroom.
- Wong, Harry & Rosemary (2005). The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher. Mountain View, CA.: Harry K. Wong Publications
This book explains how to manage the vital first days of school. An invaluable book for any teacher, but a must for the beginning teacher.
Effective behavior management
One of the biggest headaches teachers have is handling behavior problems in their classroom. In fact, it is among the most common problems that PIP participants ask their intervenors to help them address. Recently, PIP staffers Kathie Bondhus and Barbara Hackett provided a sold-out workshop series on behavior management for teachers on the PIP wait list. Here is a list of resources compiled by Intervenor Amy Silverstein which we have found helpful in our work supporting teachers maintain an orderly and safe classroom environment.
- Albert, L. (1989). A teacher’s guide to cooperative discipline. Minnesota: American Guidance Service Circle Pines
This book, for teachers of all grades, shows how to intervene quickly and effectively to handle instances of misbehavior; as well as how to maintain this effort over the long haul. For long-term efforts, the focus is on helping students build their self esteem.
- Breaux, E. (2005). Classroom management simplified. Larchmont: Eye on Education
The tips in this book are accompanied by typical classroom scenarios and step-by-step instructions on how to implement them. The author includes delightful poems to get her points across! This book is appropriate for teachers of all grades.
- Bowman, R., Cooper, K., Miles and Toner, (1998). Innovative strategies for unlocking difficult children. Chapin, S.C.: Youthlight
This book offers specific strategies, activities and hints for reaching “difficult ” children of all kinds including attention seekers, manipulators, hostile students and those who seem apathetic. For all grades.
- Canter, L. and Canter, M. (2001). Assertive discipline, 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Canter & Associates
For teachers of all grades. This book promotes proactive, effective behavior management by helping teachers establish a trusting and caring relationship with their students.
- Canter, L. and Canter, M. (1993). Succeeding with difficult students. Los Angeles: Canter & Associates
The heart of this book is about building relationships with children people tend to keep at a distance. Readers are given strategies to develop positive relationships with difficult students and guide them toward more constructive behavior. For teachers of all grades.
- Cherry, C. (1983). Please don’t sit on the kids: alternatives to punitive discipline. Belmont, Ca.: Lake Publishers
The author discusses an array of alternatives to punitive behavior management techniques. Highlighted strategies enable teachers to model constructive methods of handling anger and resolving conflict. Best for early childhood teachers.
- Curwin, R. L., Mendler, A.N. and Mendler, B.D. (2008). Discipline with dignity: new challenges, new solutions. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
This book, for upper elementary to high school teachers, offers an affirming approach to discipline that promotes respect for self and others. It emphasizes specific strategies and structures for educators to help all students, even difficult ones, be successful.
- Kreidler, W. J. (1984). Creative conflict resolution. London: Scott, Foresman
This is a book for teachers of grades K-6. It offers conflict resolution techniques with examples, reproducible worksheets, class-tested activities and cooperative games.
- Luhn, R. (1992). Managing anger. Los Altos, Ca.: Crisp Publications
This book, for teachers of all grades, is a practical guide that explores anger as a complex emotion that many of our students face. It offers exercises that help readers understand where anger comes from and how it can be effectively managed.
- Thompson, J. (1998). Discipline survival kit for the secondary teacher. San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass
This is a hands–on resource for middle school teachers packed with ideas and strategies to help create a classroom environment where good conduct and high achievement are the norm. Students are helped to become self-motivated and take responsibility for their actions.
- Williams, J. (1996). How to manage your middle school classroom. Huntington Beach, Ca.: Teacher Created Materials, Inc.
This book focuses on improving the quality of middle school education. It is a hands-on, nuts-and-bolts, bare-bones guide to teaching this age group.
- Wong, H. and Wong, R.T. (2005). The first days of school. Mountain View, Ca.: Harry Wong Publications, Inc.
Teachers of any grade will find useful tips for classroom management. As the authors note, “Effective teachers manage their classes; ineffective teachers discipline their classes. ”