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Envision Blog

2016’s Best Books for Teachers

December 29, 2016

If you’ve got R&R (Rest & Reading) planned for the winter break or as part of your New Year's resolution, here are some recommended titles to check out, from four notable lists:

Best Books for Teachers
Fractus Learning brings us a great list of reading material for Educators, organized into five categories:

  • Inspiration
  • Leadership
  • Educational Psychology
  • Learning Culture
  • Practice

In the Inspiration category, there are bestsellers like: The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, about a man who built more than 250 schools. Each chapter provides steps that anyone can take to turn their ambitious dreams into reality.

The Leadership category addresses topics like Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times. The author, Eric Sheninger, describes using a digital leadership mindset to create a meaningful and engaging school culture. 

Some of Envision’s favorites are in the Educational Psychology category, like Mindsets in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci, and Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown. These books apply neuroscience to successful new teaching techniques.

The Learning Culture category covers topics such as blended classrooms, social media’s place in the classroom, and building an innovative school culture. The books in the Practice category present techniques for applying today’s education trends in your own classroom. One of our favorites is Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner, which helps you enable K-12 students to absorb knowledge and demonstrate their depth of understanding.

Best Fiction
Some of us may prefer to rest our teaching brains with a little fiction over the holiday. This list from The Thread brings us 12 favorites, including Shelter by Jung Yun and The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. Shelter is about a young, mixed-race family who find themselves underwater in their mortgage and their marriage – a situation that only worsens when the husband’s parents move in with them. The Nest follows a family of New England siblings on the verge of receiving significant wealth, until their drunk brother crashes his car, putting their trust fund payoff into jeopardy.

The Best Brain Books
This list of 8 “must-reads” comes courtesy of Forbes, offering topics like “deception, empathy, placebos, gaming, algorithms, microbes and that little voice in your head.” Intriguing samples from the list include Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths; and Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom.

The Best Books. Period.
Publisher’s Weekly brings us their top 10 titles for the year, along with a separate list for children and young adults. One of their adult choices, What Belongs to You, by Garth Greenwell, also made The Thread’s list, mentioned above. Others include Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, by Nobel Prize winner and New York Times bestseller Svetlana Alexievich; and The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead – also an Oprah’s Book Club choice!

We wish you enjoyment and enlightenment in your reading adventure over the school break. And, in case these lists weren’t broad enough for you, try: Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.


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