Saturday, November 1, 2014

The book I wanted to recommend is quite difficult to find, and to be honest, I don't know how I got it! So, I will recommend this one: It is How to Talk So Kids Can Learn : At Home and in School by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. I recall reading this book as a new teacher, and it really changed the way I viewed myself and my communication style. Before reading the book, I was having a really rough time in my classroom. My students were out of control, and a significant portion of my time with them was spent yelling and reacting to their behaviors. This book taught me how to talk to them, and I swear, things changed in the classroom. Scouts honor! Check it out.

:) Jameelah
Gosh, I am such a slacker, right? Please forgive me. I think many moons ago, I suggested a book for all you book worms out there. Well, here I am, finally getting around to posting it. The book is Learning to Listen, and Listening to Learn by Mary Renck Jalongo. This book is especially important for those of us who teach early childhood. Developing children's listening comprehension skills is pivotal to their learning and understanding the world around them. I encourage you to read this book. And if you're really feeling bold afterwards, then complete a Shiny Apples Self-Study project through the organization. It's a nifty way to earn a few professional development hours. Really! Just download the application, fill it out, submit a reflection paper and registration fee (only $5) and you will receive your hours. True story!
:) Jameelah
I'm back! It's only two years later, but here I am recommending another book for your reading pleasure and professional development. Why Boys Fail by Richard Whitmire is more than interesting, it is eye-opening. Admittedly, my inner-feminist did not want to even consider anything this book was purporting. I mean, just as females are beginning to lead in the classroom and the workforce, someone wants to claim that boys are being treated unfairly in the classroom? Nonsense!! However, as an educator, I knew had to atleast give Mr. Whitmire the opportunity to state his case, and he makes a really good case. In essence, Mr. Whitmire argues that the world is becoming increasingly verbal, and boys aren't. As a kindergarten teacher, I know that we are pushing our students to learn to read at increasingly earlier ages. Where formal reading instruction typically began in grade one, now students are being instructed to read in kindergarten. While girls are usually more verbal than boys, and can easily adapt to early reading instruction, young boys normally aren't. Just to illustrate, in my class this year, the top five readers were all female. If I expanded my list to the top ten readers, only then would male students make that list. Additionally, Richard Whitmire explains that boys are losing the edge they used to enjoy over females in math. These trends have been noted across the board; males, regardless of race or social economic status are failing in school. Why, and what can be done about this?

Another book in the same vein is The Trouble With Boys by Peg Tyre. This book is also an interesting read, and it pretty much corroborates Richard Whitmore's argument.
So, what are you waiting for? Go pick up these books and read, read, read! Don't forget to write a reflective summary for professional development credit. How will the data reported in these texts influence how you plan your classroom instruction? Will you differentiate your lessons to accommodate for how males learn best? Hmmm...that's some heavy thinking there. Happy Reading!