Gift-Giving Books

Gift-Giving Books

Resources, from testing tips to Dr. Suess, can help district leaders.

Books for Kids of all Ages:

George's Secret Key to the Universe

By Stephen Hawking and Lucy Hawking (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2007) Curious George's author, H.A. Rey, was an amateur astronomer and friend of Albert Einstein. Now Stephen (this generation's Einstein) and Lucy Hawking have accepted this generation's challenge of explaining the universe to kids. If you haven't been able to fi nish A Brief History of Time, this book, written for children ages 9-12, might help.

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

by Dr. Seuss (Picture Lions, 2001) This book was published posthumously and completed by Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith. In addition to being a fabulous ( and timely) fable about the dangers of reducing education to test prep, the second half of the book is an exploration of Dr. Seuss' creative process and a behind-the-scenes look at how the book was created.

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Rotraut Susanne Berner, and Michael Henry Heim (Owl Books,2000) Imagine a whimsical novel, plus math, and you get the picture of this book, which can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Educational Technology:

Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms

by Will Richardson (Corwin Press, 2006) DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION columnist Richardson explains the emerging technologies of blogging, podcasting, wikis, social networking and other innovations based on RSS.

The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer

by Seymour Papert (Basic Books, 1994) The "father of educational computing" provokes us to think hard about the incredible potential to construct knowledge using computers.

Learning:

Painting Chinese: A Lifelong Teacher Gains the Wisdom of Youth

by Herbert Kohl (Bloomsbury, 2007) Herb Kohl's poetic meditation on life, art, teaching and learning is a gift that keeps on giving.

The Book of Learning and Forgetting

by Frank Smith (Teachers College Press, 1998) Smith may have written the most beautiful and thoughtful book about learning in the past decade.

Raising Children:

Come on, People

by Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint (Thomas Nelson, 2007) Cosby and Poussaint explore the problems plaguing child rearing in our poorest communities and offer no-nonsense practical advice for adult caregivers and educators.

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

by Alfie Kohn (Atria, 2005) Popular education author Alfi e Kohn focuses on parenting in an informative book that might make Supernanny crazy.

Reading Instruction:

Reading FAQ

by Frank Smith (Teachers College Press, 2007) This book poses the countless questions educators and parents have about reading, and answers them succinctly and in plain English.

School Innovation:

The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business

by Dennis Littky and Samantha Grabelle (ASCD, 2004) Now on his fourth decade of successful school reform, Littky demonstrates how it is possible to create successful schools for the 21st century with innovations that are replicable.

The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach Advanced Refl ections, 2nd ed.

by Carolyn Edwards, Lella Gandini, and George Forman (Ablex Publishing, 1998) American educators of all grades can learn from the municipal preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. This book explains their educational ideas better than any book.

Teaching in These Times:

Letters to a Young Teacher

by Jonathan Kozol (Crown, 2007) For more than 40 years, Kozol has given voice to the voiceless children in our cities. In his latest book, he uses the literary device of writing to a new teacher in Boston as a vehicle for exploring issues of pedagogy, politics, social justice and the joy of teaching.

Stupidity and Tears: Teaching and Learning in Troubled Times

by Herbert Kohl (New Press, 2005) A terrific collection of essays by the legendary educator and author.

Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade

by Linda Perlstein (Henry Holt, 2007)perlstein, a celebratedjournalist, chronicles the story of a school that raised test scores dramatically by exploring the sacrifices made and whether continued progress is possible.

The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial

by Susan Eaton (Algonquin Books, 2007) Eaton writes an in-depth analysis of the crises plaguing urban education through the story of one school in Hartford, Conn., over a period of 18 months.

The Game of School: Why We All Play It, How It Hurts Kids, and What It Will Take to Change It

by Robert Fried (Jossey-Bass, 2005) Fried offers thoughtful critiques on the state of public education and what we might do to improve matters.

Vision, Leadership and Management:

Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do about the Real Crisis in Public Education, 2008 Election

by Carl Glickman (Teacher's College Press, 2007) This collection of essays by leading educators and citizens offers unsolicited advice about education policy for our next president of the United States.

Selling the Dream

by Guy Kawasaki (Collins, 1992) Kawasaki has inspired countless readers to gather and sustain support for their products and innovations.

Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency

by Tom DeMarco (Broadway, 2002) A management expert, DeMarco makes a compelling case for granting employees some much needed time and space.

The Inner Principal

by David Loader (Routledge, 1997) Loader, one of the world's boldest and most accomplished principals, lets readers inside his head and heart as he does his job.

Gary S. Stager, gary@stager.org, is senior editor of District Administration and editor of The Pulse: Education's Place for Debate (www.districtadministration.com/pulse).


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