Are you looking for phonics and reading related professional development books to read over summer? If so, you’re in luck! Today I’m sharing my favorite professional development books for teaching phonics and reading and letting you know what’s on my summer to-read list!
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Reading Professional Development Books
Ever since I shared in my about me page that I read professional development books for pleasure, I’ve gotten a ton of emails asking me what I’m reading.
Since summer is *almost* upon us, and the thought of reading in the hot sun by a cool pool is sooooo appealing, I thought I would share what I’m planning to read this summer.
Reading Professional Development Books Does Not Make You a Good Teacher
Now, let me just say, reading professional development books over summer is NOT what makes you a good teacher.
If the thought of reading these books by the pool or on your porch doesn’t make you smile, don’t force yourself to read these!
There are so many ways to learn (and stay teachable 😉 )…and this is just one way.
If you’re all about fiction – please, please, enjoy your fiction books by the pool!
I wish I could, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I love learning and nonfiction is my thing!
Just to be clear, when I say teaching, that doesn’t just mean mainstream classroom teachers. I’m talking about mainstream classroom teachers, special education teachers, aids, paraprofessionals, homeschool teachers, parents, tutors, and more!
My Favorite Professional Development Books for Phonics and Reading
Since I obviously haven’t read the books on my Summer 2021 reading list (YET), I’m going to share my top favorite phonics and reading related PD books from the past with you first!
You can click on any book title to find it conveniently on Amazon (affiliate links).
I love anything by Wiley Belvins! This book focuses on teaching reading in k-2. There’s one chapter for each “key” to phonics success and then the top 10 failures of phonics instruction. I love this book because it’s easy to read and simple to understand. It’s a great starting point if you’re new to phonics!
This text reviews the five pillars of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics and word study, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. I like this book because it doesn’t just tell you how to teach it, it tells you why teaching it that way is effective. You’ll get a lot of ideas for your reading lessons and your book will probably be as highlighted and tabbed-up as mine. HA!
I wouldn’t exactly call this a “fun read.” It’s definitely a textbook. [Tip: Opt to buy an older edition OR a used book to save money.) However, I gained some very valuable information by skimming this books for sections where I struggled in teaching and/or my students struggled in learning.
This book is just downright practical. It’s not a book you read cover to cover. Instead, you’ll “outline” the book and then read about specific interventions you could do in your classroom TODAY (except you won’t, because it’s summer).
My point is it’s EASY to replicate these interventions in your real life classroom. I bookmarked and dog-eared this book up and refer to it often. When you’re planning whole group instructions, interventions or tutoring lessons, keep this book close by. These activities are gold!
Phonics and Reading Professional Development Books I’m Reading This Summer
I got the spiral bound version of this book delivered a few weeks ago. I did a quick flip and it looks like is VERY practical. It’s information mixed with ideas, charts, pictures, lessons, examples, and more! The tagline is “strategies and texts to engage all readers” and I’m here for that!
The basis of this text is that if we can understand the logic of English, and teach it to our students, we wouldn’t have a literacy crisis. The goal of the book is to teach parents and teachers how English words are formed and understand where the spelling comes from, VS teaching the rules and generalizations we have previously taught. This one has piqued my interest for sure, I’m excited to read it!
This is another spiral bound book. It came highly recommended. It’s David Kirkpatrick’s comprehensive program for developing phonemic awareness and fluent word recognition. I did a quick skim and it appears to be very practical. It is divided into 4 sections:
- What Needs to be Done
- How To Do It
- Training Exercises
- Appendices and Resources
This book is also by David Kirkpatrick. It appears to be a book I will mark up a ton, and then go back and reference when I need interventions for a struggling reader.
The table of contents is pretty specific, which different sections for how to assess, help with specific issues like word recognition, reading comprehension, phonological processing, and more.
It’s thick and the print is small, but I think the information will be very valuable.
3 Tips for Remembering to Apply What You Read and Learned About Reading and Phonics
1. Read with a Highlighter
When I read something that stands out to me, I read it again as I highlight it. It might be because I’m a visual learner, (like so many of us!), but when I go back to skim the book, I can remember the areas that I highlighted. The information stands out easily to me when I flip back through.
These are my favorite highlighters. They’re not just for Bibles, although I use them in my Bible, too. They do NOT bleed on any paper and they don’t mark up your hands with ink. I’ve also never had the highlight transfer to the next page and there’s no “dry time” needed between marking and turning pages.
2. Bookmark or Tab the pages
After I highlight something, or if I want to refer back to something like a specific lesson or intervention idea, I will mark the page. With these tabs, you can write on it with a pen or marker, making it even easier to find what you’re looking for.
I’ll write things like, “CVC versus CVCe” or “letter reversals” so that when I need to help a student with something specific, I can go right back to that information/activity/idea without wasting much time!
3. Write Down Your Takeaways & Keep Them Nearby
I used to write down my big takeaways in the back of my lesson planner. It’s probably no surprise to you that I had that section bookmarked with a tab. 😂
If you aren’t currently in the classroom (like me!) or you don’t have a plan book for next year yet, write down your big takeaways in a notebook. Have that notebook nearby when you’re planning your instruction, and the likelihood that you’ll remember to implement that new idea/activity/intervention is much higher!
4. Put it all together!
Most importantly, put it all together! What’s the point of “having all the knowledge” if we don’t do anything with it?
Once you finish reading a book, skim back through and reread what you highlighted. Check your tabbed pages, and add tabs on any pages of importance. Write down what you highlighted/tabbed, and how you can apply it in helping your students either in your lesson planner or notebook.
Now use those ideas when you plan and implement instruction. It’s a game changer!
What are you reading this summer?
Have you read any of the books above? Did you add any of them to your list?
I would love to know about any books you recommend I read this summer. Please let me know in the comments below!