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One of my favorite things to do is walk into a bookstore. It doesn't matter if it is a big box bookstore or the Friends of the Library resell shop in town. I love books... especially children's picture books. Before I started teaching, I would buy any and all books. I have had to be more strategic as the years have passed and the space to shelve these books shrinks. My focus has been building a collection of diverse and rigorous books which I can use to teach mathematics. I buy math picture books now! I have four favorites that I use for teaching place value! I hope this list helps you as you grow your math picture book library!

Place Value Picture Books


The Best Picture Books for Place Value


Picture books provide an opportunity to open mathematical discussions with children. This list will help you find the best picture books to use with your classroom to facilitate their learning of place value. Each of these titles specifically teach mathematical concepts about place value and were written to inform the reader about them. This is not an exhaustive list of books that can be used to teach this skill, but a solid start of titles that I actually own and use!

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. I only recommend items that I own and use to my Valued Parents. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a very small commission on your purchase that allows me to maintain this website. Thank you for your continued support!

Count to a Million by Jerry Pallotta - Place Value Picture Books
Count to a Million

Count to a Million


Popular children's author, Jerry Pallotta, hits it out of the ballpark again with this title, Count to a Million! If you can count to ten, you can count to one million! That's a pretty bold statement! Although some may have their doubts, readers will find themselves counting higher than they ever thought possible, inspiring even the most reluctant math student, as they build confidence and have fun.


Earth Day- Hooray! Place Value Picture Books
Earth Day-Hooray!

Earth Day-Hooray!

I can't get enough of the MathStart books by Stuart J. Murphy! Earth Day–Hooray! is one of his most popular children’s books too!  Earth Day-Hooray! is a story about Ryan, Luke, and Carly.  These friends need to collect and recycle 5,000 cans if they want to make enough money to plant flowers in the park.  This story is a two-for-one lesson about recycling and the math skill of place value.  Your students will be counting by groups of hundreds, tens, and ones as you read this title to them!


How Much is a Million? Place Value Picture Books
How Much is a Million?

How Much is a Million?


How Much is a Million? by David M. Schwartz is a great story about large numbers.  Ever wonder just what a million of something actually means? How about a billion? Or a trillion? Marvelosissimo, the mathematical magician, can teach you! Say that two times fast! How Much is a Million? breaks down complex numbers down to size in a fun and humorous way that helps children conceptualize a difficult mathematical concept.


Math Fables: Lessons That Count Place Value Books
Math Fables: Lessons That Count

Math Fables:  Lessons That Count


Math Fables: Lessons That Count by Greg Tang is an amazing resource for teaching children their math skills, in particular place value!  Through these “fables” about concepts that are relevant to the very youngest math learners, including sharing, teamwork, etc., Tang encourages children to see the basics of addition and subtraction in entirely new ways. Fresh, fun, and most of all, inspiring, this title is perfect for launching young readers on the road to math success!


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Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover!

Other Place Value Titles on my Personal Wish List


Place Value by David A. Adler (Popular Author)- This is a newly released book!

You had better not monkey around when it comes to place value. The monkeys in this book can tell you why! As they bake the biggest banana cupcake ever, they need to get the amounts in the recipe correct. There’s a big difference between 216 eggs and 621 eggs. Place value is the key to keeping the numbers straight. Using humorous art, easy-to-follow charts and clear explanations, this book presents the basic facts about place value while inserting some amusing monkey business.


Join Sir Cumference and the gang for more wordplay, puns, and problem solving in the clever math adventure about place-value and counting by tens. Sir Cumference and Lady Di planned a surprise birthday party for King Arthur, but they didn’t expect so many guests to show up. How many lunches will they need? And with more guests arriving by the minute, what about dinner? Sir Cumference and Lady Di count guests by tens, hundreds, and even thousands to help young readers learn place-value. Fans will love this new installment of the Sir Cumference series that makes math fun and accessible for all.


A Million Dots by Andrew Clements

It's a long way to 
a million, right?
Of course it is.
But do you really know 
what a million looks like? 

If you'd like to see -- actually see, right now, with your own eyes -- what a million looks like, just open this book. 

Be prepared to learn some interesting things along the way. Like how many shoe boxes it would take to make a stack to Mount Everest. And be prepared to do some number wondering of your own. But, most of all, be prepared to be amazed. Because a million is a LOT of dots.


I hope this post inspires you to use picture books as you teach place value.

What are some of the math picture books you use in your classroom?



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The Best Books for Teaching Place Value by Down River Resources

Have you ever had the privilege of making a home visit and seeing one of your students interact with their family? It's quite a fascinating experience! As a lifelong learner and constant observer, I often find ways that help me understand the "whole child" of which I am responsible for teaching. Teaching social skills is one of many skill sets that should be taught to our students, but is often overlooked due to time constraints and the growing demand of teaching content standards. I have found that you can incorporate social skills into your regular classroom day by using a quick and effective method. This method can be used to teach one of the most essential social skills in the classroom, using the appropriate voice tone.

Three Steps to Using the Appropriate Voice Tone

Teaching How to Use the Appropriate Voice Tone Now


Think about your home growing up. I came from a home where the voice tone got a little loud, especially on Friday nights when the entire family would gather around the large round table to enjoy a fiesta of tacos and burritos. It might be an amusing sight, especially since I am of Eastern European decent, but surely a product of growing up along the United States-Mexican border! 'Ole! 

Students usually bring the voice tone that they are accustomed to into the classroom. While I had to learn how to adjust my voice tone when speaking with a small group, some students live in a soft-spoken home. Students that come from this type of environment have to learn to use their speaker voice when addressing the class. These types of adjustments are necessary and teaching this social skill explicitly can save you a lot of time throughout the school year.

The Importance of Social Skills 


Social skills are sets of behaviors that help individuals interact with one another in ways that are socially acceptable and beneficial. Teaching children that there are new ways of thinking, new ways to feeling good, and new ways of behaving are reasons we teach social skills.

Social skills can be broken down in a step-by-step manner. By breaking down these skills, we identify the behaviors that need to be included to get the desired result. Making sure that each step is observable, we can instantly know if students are meeting the expectations. 

Three Masterful Steps to Using Appropriate Voice Tone


1. Listen to the level of the voices around you.

2. Change your voice tone to match.

3. Watch and listen for visual or verbal cues and adjust your voice as needed.


Three Masterful Steps to Using Appropriate Voice Tone

Supporting Students Visually with a Voice Level Chart


Standardizing a few simple volume levels for your classroom can prove helpful, especially as we encourage learning in a variety of settings.

We can use these volume levels as we directly teach using appropriate voice tone. Model these volumes before having small groups practice these voice tones. 

Once you have these voice levels established in your classroom, you can clarify for each activity which level is most appropriate. 

For example, before releasing your students to work with their small group on a math problem, you might say simply, “We are working at a voice level two.”

Once using this system, students become accustomed to the appropriate voice tone. When it becomes a regular routine, you do not need to spend any time on noting the voice tone for the activity unless needed.


This classroom voice level chart can be used to display the appropriate voice tone in the classroom during a specific activity.

Supporting Students Who Struggling Using Appropriate Voice Tone


Visual Cue


You can simply point to the voice level chart displayed in the room or hold up the corresponding voice level using your fingers.

Create a personal voice levels chart that students can keep on their desks. Add a colorful or seasonal clothespin that students can adjust based on the activity they are working on. Having this support on their desk helps students remember that they are to work using a certain voice tone.


Students can keep a personal voice level chart at their desk. This can be used as an additional visual support for students. Add a colorful clothespin to keep students focused on a particular voice level for a specified activity.

Corrective Prompt


You can quickly refer to the visual voice level chart along with a corrective prompt. 

As you smile, and in a positive voice, say: "Hey Josh, where's level 3?"

Coupling Statement


You can also use a coupling statement where you briefly describe the inappropriate behavior while offering the more appropriate alternative behavior. Say: "Josh, you walked into class using a Level 3 voice. Try coming in again using a Level 0."

Teachers Need to Explicitly Teach Social Skills


After reflecting on my own teaching practice, I was curious how other teachers handle social skills. I reached out to my audience on Instagram and inquired:

Do you explicitly teach using the appropriate voice tone to your class?

Sixty percent of respondents stated that they had not taught this social skill. 

If you want your students to use the appropriate voice tone in your classroom, you can to teach the process step-by step. 


I hope this post inspires you to teach this essential skill and if you'd like to use my voice level charts to help you along this process, you can find them in my TpT shop.

What are some of the other social skills you are thinking about teaching explicitly to your classroom this school year?



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Planning for the new school year can be hectic, if not overwhelming! Everyone is worried about finding the latest and greatest school supplies and teacher resources. If you are currently facing this dilemma, I'd love to keep you afloat. I recommend pencils and a calendar as being the top two teacher tools you need this back to school season. Everything you think will happen, usually changes. The pencil will help you keep track of these many changes. If you have a calendar, you can map out where you want to take your students in the coming year! Yet again, the pencil will surely help you in this endeavor. Everything you plan, usually changes. Notice a pattern here! If you are ready to plan out the best school year ever and learn the secrets of creating a dynamic pacing guide, this blog post is for you!

Curriculum pacing guides are essential tools for examining and organizing the curriculum taught over the course of the school year.


Creating a Curriculum Plan for the New School Year


Before you begin this process you will need a few items:

  • writing tools (pencils, pens, highlighters, etc.)
  • blank calendar (monthly calendars work best)
  • district and/or campus calendars
  • standards and scope and sequence documents (if you possess any)

You can create your own curriculum pacing guide which will help you examine and organize the curriculum taught over the course of the school year.
Prepare for creating a curriculum plan by gathering  materials first. 


1. Start with a vision or end goal. To read more about this subject before beginning this process, click here. {It will surely help you plan the best school year ever!}

2. Grab a copy of your district and campus calendars and some writing tools. {I usually have access to the district calendar when starting this process, but not the campus calendar... that's okay!}

3. Use a calendar (you can print a simple monthly calendar for the school months off of the Internet or use a calendar from a Dollar store) to mark all of the holidays and special days in the school year that your students will NOT receive instruction. These dates will impact your teaching time, so it essential to account for how much time you will actually have this school year!

  • You can use a highlighter to mark out non-instructional days or cross them off.
  • I usually put a diagonal line through days that are half-days, commonly called "early release days." This gives me a visual cue that my instructional day will be reduced. {In my experiences, the focus for half-days are solely reserved for reading and math instruction. Some administrators just ask teachers to completely compress the day, so that every subject is still taught, but for a reduced amount of time.} 
  • Make sure you pencil in all of the end of the reporting or grading periods and semesters. This will help you stay on track with your pacing as you plan out your school year.

It is essential to account for all of the teaching time you will have when creating a curriculum pacing guide.
Account for all of your instructional time per month.

4. Once you mark up the calendar, you may want to count the number of instructional days for each subject area and/or grading period. {This will help you know how many days to divide a certain number of standards by as we work to map out the school year!}

5. Take the standards and/or scope and sequence documents for each individual subject. Working through this process takes time and attention. Start with one subject area. 

Since I focus on math, I will provide an example for math.

Using the state standards for math, I know that in kindergarten I need to work through the numbers 0 through 20. In order to promote mastery, I need to break up those numbers in groups. I will not teach all of the numbers in September, but focus solely on numbers 0 to 5. Now, looking at the calendar, I know that I have 18.5 days in this month to teach my students how to represent numbers 0 to 5, generate sets with numbers 0 to 5, and compose and decompose numbers 0 to 5.

As a novice, you will rely on basic division to give you the pacing for this month. You will probably not know what topics will give your students the most difficulty, but you can plan in time to help remediate students. 

For example, 18.5 days divided by three topics is about five. I can spend five days for each of the topics. Then, I will have four days for review, assessment, and remediation. 

As an experienced teacher, you might plan out this month of math like this:

If I have three focus topics (based on the standards) that need to be covered and 18.5 days to cover them (based on the instructional days on the calendar), I could spend five days on each topic and have four days of built-in time for assessment and re-teaching. These days can be called "flex days" on your calendar. The flex days can be used if a topic needs more than five days devoted to it, or if you need to re-teach a portion of the students in the classroom. As an experienced teacher in this grade level, I know that composing and decomposing numbers will be most difficult, so I anticipating using at least one of the "flex days" for intervention on this topic. 

Curriculum pacing guides are helpful for organizing each subject area based on the instructional time you have over the course of a school year.
Color code your curriculum calendar based on subject areas.

6. In order to create the most effective plan take into consideration the following things:

  • collaborative work with colleagues in the same grade level (horizontal planning)
  • collaborative work with colleagues across grade levels (vertical planning)
  • school curriculum: What resources do you have access to? Is there anything you are required to use to teach a particular subject?
  • school learning philosophies: Is your campus implementing a particular approach to teaching?
  • students' needs
  • past experiences

Many of these topics will be taken into consideration as you build your daily and weekly lesson plans, but I would be amiss without mentioning these!

7. Repeat the process for the entire school year, for each individual subject. 


Personally, I like to work through one subject at a time. It helps me to stay in the same mindset while planning out the subject area. I tend to work in chunks of time devoted to each subject area and find that, for me, it is beneficial and the most efficient use of my time.

Some teachers prefer to work through each subject within a grading period. Then, they move to the next grading period. Whatever strategy helps you, commit to it and use it!

Regardless of your method, I recommend completing this task for the entire school year, before the school year begins. You can alter your plan during the school year, but it is harder to make time for this practice and it is not as effective building your big picture plan as you go.

Implications for Creating a Plan for the New School Year


This process will help you create a significant planning tool for your classroom or grade-level.

This procedure allows to you examine and organize your school year.

It allows you, as the educator, to determine how the content, skills, and assessments will unfold over the course of the year.

There are many implications for creating a plan for the new school year!

Frequently Asked Question about Pacing


I am in a grade level that takes a state assessment, prior to the end of the school year. How do I plan for this?

You want to plan out all of your tested standards so that you cover them before the testing window. I like to plan to have everything taught at least two weeks in advance of the testing window. If I can teach everything before this time, this allows me two solid weeks of review. This review time is critical for students to recall older information and set the tone for testing!


What if I do not have any direction on curriculum pacing?

Use the standards as your guide. If you have 36 standards to cover in a particular subject, cover one standard per week. If you have 36 standards to cover and need to cover them before a testing window, count up your instructional days BEFORE the assessment, and teach all of the standards prior to your testing window!


What if I already have a pacing guide?

If you already have a pacing guide, you are one step ahead in this process! I still recommend working on your calendar and breaking up the units or topics into the specific days accounting for all of the instructional time that you will have based on the calendar you created in step three above.


What if I own a Down River Resources' TEKS pacing guide?

I did a lot of the pacing for you! I have already broke all of the standards into groups based on months of the year. If you are in a grade level that takes the state assessment, I took this into consideration while mapping out the standards by month. Using the prepared pacing guide effectively still requires you to break down the recommended standards by month into instructional days based on the calendar you created in step three above.

Because student groups and instructional calendars vary from district to district, it is impossible for me to have a universal guide for this!
I hope this post inspires you to create a plan for your best year ever and if you'd like to use my TEKS pacing guides to help you along this process, you can find them in my TpT shop.

What resources are available to you to create your plan for the new school year?


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Creating a solid instructional plan for the coming school year will help you in creating the best school year ever!

Are you ready to rock the new school year? Then, join me as we plan for the best school year ever! Whether you are a new teacher or a seasoned teacher, you may be feeling the weight of the world as the new school year approaches. Perhaps you have a new superintendent, administrator, curricula, or expectations! (This seems to happen a little too often to ease my mind!)  If you want to have the best school year ever, you'll need the key to unlock it. The key to successful school year is... a plan! Whether it be curriculum planning or curriculum pacing, I want to help keep you afloat this school year! If you are ready to take over your dining room table or kitchen floor, you'll be at it in no time!


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no extra cost to you. These small commissions keep this very website online! I only recommend books and resources that I use and know you will love!

Beginning the School Year with the End in Mind


Ben Franklin, the American President and time management guru said, "Failing to plan, is planning to fail." 

The man behind the "7 Habits of Highly Successful People," Stephan Covey states: "To begin with the end in mind means you start with a clear understanding of your destination."

Where are you going? What's your destination? 

As I mentor new teachers, I ask this question: "By the end of the year, where do you want your students to be?" 

YOUR TURN: Think for a moment and complete this sentence, "By the end of the year, I want my students to..."

If you don't have your sentence yet, don't fret! There's still time. Write the sentence starter on a notepad and come back to it after you've considered it for some time.


Teachers wear many hats. Often times, we are relied on as teachers, counselors, social workers, janitors, parents, and a plethora of other titles that reach beyond our job descriptions. Teachers, don't often seem themselves wearing one of the most important hats though. 

Take a second and look in the mirror. You are a designer!

Teachers are designers of their classroom as they design the curriculum, lessons, and activities that fill the days, weeks, and months of the school year. If you are constantly aware of your end goal, you will design all of the happenings in your room to meet your specific purpose.

How can you enhance your vision for your students?


If your end goal is that your students are able to master the grade level standards, become a student of the standards. 


  • Read the standards for your grade level or subject area. 
  • Look up words that are foreign to you. 
  • Watch videos on the internet about how something works!

If your end goal is that your students pass the state assessment, become a student of the assessment.

  • Download a copy of previous assessments. 
  • Ask yourself, "What is the content? (What standard is being addressed?) What is the context? (How is this standard being tested? Is the information being presented using a diagram or graph?) 
  • Study the way the questions are worded. (TEACHER TIP: Ask questions in a similar format throughout the school year so that students are familiar with the language!)
  • Look for patterns across the questions.
  • Look for patterns across the years of released tests.

Becoming a student of the standards or assessments takes time. You may not have all of the time right now. Make a note of this practice and get to it as soon as you can! You will not regret it, friend!



Texas athlete, J.J. Watt, reminds us that, "If you don't have that vision for the end goal, you have no clue where you're going, and you're going to work very hard to go nowhere."

Now, that you have a vision for your new school, you should be ready to roll up your sleeves and get messy and learn about planning your best school year ever! Stay tuned for the next edition!


What is your vision for your students this school year?


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Are you required to post daily learning targets, learning objectives, or "I Can" statements in your classroom? If so, I'm here to keep you afloat! There's a few key pieces of research-based practice that you should know before embarking on this new journey! Depending on your district or your campus administrators, your requirement for this task may look differently. Educational gurus, including John Hattie, Robert Marzano, and Doug Lemov, all agree that it is essential for you and your students to be clear about what you want them to learn in each lesson. You'll soon master how to set a purpose for your classroom using "I Can" statements this school year!


Using "I Can" Statements or Daily Learning Targets in Your Classroom


Are you framing your daily lessons? 


At the simplest level, a lesson frame represents the beginning and end of a lesson. There are two distinct parts that form a lesson frame.

The first part of a lesson frame is the daily learning objective. It is a quick summary statement of what the students can expect to learn within the lesson.

The second part is the closing question, product, or task. The closing question, product, or task clearly states how the students will demonstrate their personal learning of the daily objective. The students are required to prove to the teacher and themselves that learning took place by answering, producing, or completing a task.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no extra cost to you. These small commissions keep this very website online! I only recommend these resources that I use and know you will love!

This hassle-free system allows teachers to display daily or weekly "I Can" Statements or Daily Learning Targets with ease! Daily Learning Target


The first part of a lesson frame is the daily learning objective. It is a quick summary statement of what the students can expect to learn within the lesson.

The daily learning objective addresses only a single day of instruction.

What specifically we will do TODAY?

It should be written in concrete, student-friendly language, in the form of a “We will…” statement.

We will identify the attributes of a circle.

The math standard might include the attributes of a variety of two-dimensional shapes, but we hone in on a very clear and specific element for each lesson.

Many schools have adopted the usage of "I can" to personalize the instruction.

TEACHER TIP: While stating the daily learning target at the beginning of the lesson, I use a visual cue so students make a connection to what I am referencing. I make a fist and simply punch out in front of me. {BAM! This is the target!} I do not make the sound effect, but they know it's like I am hitting the target! 

As I reference the target throughout the lesson, I might use that gesture again, and have the students tell me the target.

This visual cue helps us stay on track throughout the lesson. This stay clear!

Teaching Practice


Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like a Champion 2.0: 62 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College, suggests to display the daily lesson objective where everyone can see it in your classroom.

Posting the objective helps you, your students, and your administrators identify the purpose for teaching that day.

Students will watch better in the classroom if they know what they are looking for during the lesson.

Lemov points out that you can take this practice one step further by adding the objective part of the classroom conversation. Students can discuss, review, copy, or read the objective of the day.

Take it a step further! Tell your students WHY this matters and connect it to their prior learning.

Closing Question, Product, or Task


The second part is the closing question, product, or task. The closing question, product, or task clearly states how the students will demonstrate their personal learning of the daily objective. 

The demonstration of student
understanding serves as a conclusion of the lesson. It also provides proof to the teacher and student that the objective of the lesson was met. This is helpful information for the teacher to have so that no one’s academic struggles go unnoticed. This is a key to early intervention for students who are struggling.

The closing question, product, or task should address the specific objective and learning that occurred during the lesson. It should be written in concrete, student-friendly language, in the form of a “I will…” statement.

I will write down two attributes of a circle and share with my team.

Research Says...


John Hattie has found that teacher clarity is one of the most potent influences on student achievement. 

Robert Marzano, author of Classroom Instruction that Works, even includes lesson goals in his list of the top five factors that affect how well students do at school.

Get acquainted with your team and learn the specifics about your campus. If there is no requirement, I still highly recommend this technique in your classroom.

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't teach without stating and posting a lesson objective! 

It is research-based, and let's just face it, it makes sense. When you are going somewhere, it helps to know your destination!

In the words of a young, Texas athlete, J.J. Watts, "If you don't have that vision for the end goal, you have no clue where you're going, and you're going to work very hard to go nowhere."

If you are a Texas teacher and need a hassle-free system to help you stay on track as you set a daily or weekly purpose in your classroom, I have a simple solution! {available for TEKS grades K-5}

This hassle-free system allows teachers to display daily or weekly "I Can" Statements or Daily Learning Targets with ease!

I hope this post inspires you to use daily learning targets or "I Can" statements in your classroom and if your interested in using my "I Can" system, you can find it in my shop.

How will you display your statements in your classroom?


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This hassle-free system allows teachers to display daily or weekly "I Can" Statements or Daily Learning Targets with ease!

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!


This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!Take a cue from your suggestions to your students' families to keep reading this summer and create your own summer reading list! Explore new teaching strategies for guided reading and math number talks, learn to change your fixed mindset and be a gritter teacher, improve your communication as an instructional specialist, or be the 'wild card' in your classroom! All this and more is awaiting you in my top 10 books for teachers designed for those who are wanting to deepen their professional learning and re-energize before the bustle of back-to-school season comes in full force.

Do you fit the bill?

In the last few months, I have been inspired by these ten books! Being the leader of a teacher development program, I have found that they have expanded my knowledge and re-energized me as I have assessed my program's successes and areas for growth. I have suggested these books to my teacher friends who are looking to expand their knowledge and want to share a little bit about each book with you.  I complied a list with a variety of books so that each teacher can find something suitable for their interests and needs, but I am sure you can already tell what has become a personal interest for me! I hope that by the end of this post, you are heading to your local library, purchasing a personal copy, or downloading the digital version of at least one of these professional titles.

Top 10 Summer Reads for Teachers 

* Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no extra cost to you. These small commissions keep this very website online! I only recommend these resources that I use and know you will love!

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!

Mindset Summer Reads 

I wanted to start off with the book that reignited my passion as a teacher and mother! Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance has changed the way that I view my daily tasks in my professional and personal life. 

This is the book, authored by Angela Duckworth, is one that I keep going back to reread! I will be implementing the "Hard Thing" rule that Duckworth writes about with my own child on my pursuit of raising a gritty young woman. If you want your students or children to be gritty and create a household or classroom of follow-through, this is a must-read!

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!The "growth mindset" has become a trending topic in education over the last few years and really took off this past school year. Before reading, I knew the basic principles based on the plethora of anchor charts floating around the internet. I must confess, I like to read the actual research and book before basing my classroom and my instruction around it!

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success will not let you down in your pursuit to understand the startling differences between the fixed and growth mindset and ways to help nurture a growth mindset in yourself and students.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance paired with Mindset: The New Psychology of Success have been two of the most powerful reads for me recently. I have made many decisions for my family and business after reading these books that have transformed the way we do things! I am so thankful for the tireless research of Duckworth and Dweck.

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!Culturize: Every Student. Every Day. Whatever It Takes written by author and education leader Jimmy Casas shares insights into what it takes to cultivate a community of learners who embody the innately human traits our world desperately needs, such as kindness, honesty, and compassion. His stories reveal how these "soft skills" can be honed while meeting and exceeding academic standards of twenty-first-century learning. If you want to know how to create an environment where all learners are challenged and inspired to be their best this book will be your jam!

Too many of our most vulnerable students are tuning out and dropping out because of our failure to engage them! (Maybe it's not your own personal failure to engage students, but a problem you are seeing at your campus, or across your district!) It's time to set the bar higher! Until we make school the best part of every student's day, we will struggle with attendance, achievement, and graduation rates. Eric Jensen, whose name you probably remember from college, who has had a great impact as a learning expert, wrote this meaningful book, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement.

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!The Brain Power Classroom: 10 Essentials for Focus, Mindfulness, and Emotional Wellness by David Beal provides expert guidance and inspiring stories from the field. Thirty classroom activities help you create a Brain Power Classroom full of engaged, focused and collaborative students! 

I am amazed at how simple and friendly the exercises are, but how powerful is the effect they have to increase the potential and strength of students' body, emotions, concentration, and mind in the most integrated manner. I had heard so many of my mom friends talk about using the strategies with their children at home!

Wade and Hope King show you how to draw on your authentic self--your past experiences, personality quirks, interests, hobbies, and strengths--to deliver your content creatively in The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator's Creative Breakthrough. Educators have been raving about this book on social media since its release earlier this year! If you think the deck is always stacked up against you, this book is for you. You will learn to be the Wild Card who changes the game for your students!
This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!

Content Specific Summer Reads


If you are a brand new teacher using guided reading or want to delve deeper in assessing, deciding, and guiding your students, you must read this book by Jan Richardson! The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading: An Assess-Decide-Guide Framework for Supporting Every Reader includes 29 comprehension modules for you to use in your classroom. She takes you through all of the key parts of guided reading. You will have a much more complete idea of what guided reading looks like and sounds like in an effective classroom. If you are looking to grow as a reading teacher, this book is for you!

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!Of course, my list wouldn't be complete without a few math titles. Number Talks: Whole Number Computation, Grades K-5 by Sherry Parrish helps you implement number talks in your classroom! If you want to use number talks, but are unsure of how to begin or are a teacher who has a little experience but wants more guidance in crafting purposeful problems to use with your students, this book was designed with you, and me, in mind! After reading it, I just wanted to talk numbers ALL DAY!

I get many questions about the various visual representations that are suggested to use in whole number computations and algebraic reasoning. If you are not familiar with model drawing, this text by Bob Hogan and Char Forsten will walk you through 22 different types of problems and help you understand the basics! 8-Step Model Drawing: Singapore's Best Problem-Solving Math Strategies provides a "teacher talk" section which gives you a suggested script for talking through model drawing! This is a great read for teachers new to a grade level that utilizes model drawing. The book is recommended to teachers in first through eighth grades. After spending an entire night reading through the different problems and scripts, I became eager to share this strategy with all of my teacher friends! It really is a step-by-step guide for the various operations and uses of model drawing!

This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!
Are you a new teacher or instructional coach? I saved this one just for you! Get Better Faster: A 90-Day Plan for Coaching New Teachers by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo shares instructive tools of how school leaders can effectively guide new teachers to success. Over the course of the book, he breaks down the most critical actions leaders and teachers must enact to achieve exemplary results. This is so important as a leader! It gets so overwhelming when you are not focuses on actionable items that are manageable for a new teacher! Get Better Faster is an integral coaching tool for any school leader eager to help their teachers succeed and even helps new teachers as they navigate their classroom!

I hope this post inspires you to read one of these top books for professional learning! 

Make sure you make time to relax and enjoy!
When you are ready to start getting ideas for back to school, please see if any of my resources are a good fit for your classroom. You can shop here.

What book(s) will you read this summer?


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This top 10 summer reads for teachers was designed to help you deepen your professional learning and re-energize before the back to school bustle!
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