Teacher Books You Need

Reading and I have a strange relationship.

I have never really been a ‘reader for personal enjoyment’ type of girl.

But I am more than happy to read a picture book aloud to my class with some weird voices that I never knew that I could make.

For me, books just don’t do it. But give me the latest glossy fashion mag and I can be lost for hours.

However, throughout my years of teaching I have read a few texts, some mandatory and others not and have a few which I still refer to daily/weekly.

I have been getting numerous emails lately from beginning and pre-service teachers regarding lesson planning, behaviour management and classroom organisation.

So I thought I would share with you some of my go to text to use within the classroom.

Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids

book 1

This book is my bible.

Based on cutting edge scientific research, Whole Brain Teaching recognizes that students learn the most when they are engaged in lessons that involve seeing, hearing, doing, speaking and feeling.

There are so many resources that go with this book too.

Even if you don’t have challenging students, I highly recommend this book.

The CAFE Book


In The CAFE Book, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser present a practical, simple way to integrate assessment into daily reading and classroom discussion.

The CAFE system, based on research into the habits of proficient readers, is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary.

The system includes goal-setting with students in individual conferences, posting of goals on a whole-class board, developing small-group instruction based on clusters of students with similar goals, and targeting whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs.

Gail and Joan developed the CAFE system to support teachers as they:

  • organize assessment data so it truly informs instruction;
  • track each child’s strengths and goals, thereby maximizing time with him or her;
  • create flexible groups of students, all focused on a specific reading strategy; and
  • help students remember and retrieve the reading strategies they learned.

The CAFE system does not require expensive materials, complicated training, or complete changes to current classroom literacy approaches.

Rather, it provides a structure for conferring with students, a language for talking about reading development, and a system for tracking growth and fostering student independence.

The CAFE system’s built-in flexibility allows teachers to tailor the system to reflect the needs of their students and their state’s standards.

This is a great book if your school does not have a whole school reading program and you are not to sure where to start.


I was lucky enough that an old principal of mine bought a personal copy for every teacher in the school. Another bible of mine.

Explicit instruction is systematic, direct, engaging, and success oriented–and has been shown to promote achievement for all students.

This highly practical and accessible resource gives special and general education teachers the tools to implement explicit instruction in any grade level or content area.

The authors are leading experts who provide clear guidelines for identifying key concepts, skills, and routines to teach; designing and delivering effective lessons; and giving students opportunities to practice and master new material.

The best part is that there are sample lesson plans, lively examples, and reproducible checklists and teacher worksheets to enhance the utility of the volume.

Purchasers can also download and print the reproducible materials for repeated use.

Video clips demonstrating the approach in real classrooms are available at the authors’ website www.explicitinstruction.org.



There’s a technological and creative revolution underway.

Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers.

Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses.

Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing.

The active learner is at the center of the learning process, amplifying the best traditions of progressive education.

This book helps educators bring the exciting opportunities of the maker movement to every classroom.

What are your top teacher books? Have you read any of the above?


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