Summer is a great time for reading.
There’s just something about either sitting under a fan with the warm summer breeze or on a beach with the waves in the background, reading a good book that makes the geek in me happy. I have some extra time, less commitments (??), and it’s nice to have an hour or two to do nothing else but to absorb life through words.
In this spirit, I thought it would be nice to have a Great Summer Reading Project book list with quality material. How many of you have wanted to do a professional book club at your school, yet didn’t know what books would be good to use? Or worse, ordered a book that you thought would be great, but in reality was a terrible pick for your group. I have definitely had both of those experiences and wanted to offer you a few recommendations for arts integration reference books that are a sure-hit.
Great Summer Reading Project Book List
1.) Learning Through Pictures by Sean Layne. This book is published through The Kennedy Center. It is a wonderful resource for anyone starting out in an arts integration program. It comes with 10 workbooks, a video and a CD, so it’s also great for a small group inservice.
2.) The Dramatic Difference by Victoria Brown. This book is geared toward the primary grades in elementary school, though the concepts can be extended for the older grades as well. It’s based on using drama in various ways to extend the content curriculum and has some very nice lesson plan ideas that can be implemented right away.
3.) Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind by Linda Williams. This short book is a nice reference guide for teachers who are looking to incorporate arts integration, multiple intelligences, and using differentiation. It contains techniques for working with special education students as well as gifted students, as well as specific classroom activities for various contents. Great for K-12 teachers!
4.) A Dramatic Approach to Reading Comprehension by Lenore Blank Kelner. This book takes a different twist on using drama during reading. There are specific lesson plans and various types of assessments that are reproducible in this book and are all tried and true. I have used this book several times and student participation in the lessons that it outlines is incredible. A must-buy for any elementary/middle school arts integration program!
1.) Assembly Required by Lezotte and McKee. This book is wonderful for providing an outline to an effective school improvement process. If you’re looking for your staff to understand the school improvement process and for an easy-to-understand method by which school improvement goals can be written and implemented, this is a wonderful book to get your started.
2.) Clock Watchers by Quate and McDermott. This amazing resource explains how to motivate students. Additionally, it provides assessment ideas and contains projects and activities designed specifically for student engagement. This is great for whole-school improvement as a tool for developing school culture.
3.) Successful Team Building by Thomas Quick. This is a very short, but powerful workbook. It brings personality and learning types to the surface and provides tools for developing cohesive and effective teams. Great for leaders who are looking to change or build strong teams and department chairs, or who are looking for ways to deal with conflict, this is a fantastic small investment.
4.) Mentoring Matters by Lipton and Wellman. This book provides teacher mentors and administrators with a practical and relevant guide to building quality professional relationships among staff. It illustrates helpful tips and a scope and sequence of what new and veteran teachers need and how best to help them while treating them with respect and building their professional awareness.
If you pick up just one of these books this summer, I know that you will feel like it is time well spent. Do you have any books you’d like to recommend? Please, leave a comment below and build our list!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.