When someone asks me about my favorite books for teachers, I find myself stumped. It’s like asking which one of my children I love the most. Well, a friend sent me a Facebook message and was wondering about great resources for kindergarten teachers. She is moving from the intermediate grades down to kindergarten next year and looking for some good summer reading materials. (I know she’ll do great because she was a great second grade teacher, back when we worked together!)
I started looking through my bookshelf and had a hard time picking, but here are my greatest inspirations. First up, is anything written by Katie Wood Ray. When I first started teaching Regie Routman was my go-to author. Over the years I’ve drifted a bit toward Katie Wood Ray. This may make me sound like a nerdy teacher, but I get goosebumps when I read her books. I want to be her. About the Authors is a must-buy for any teacher in early primary.
I’ve always been totally fascinated by the transition from pre-k to kindergarten. I wrote an ebook a few years ago about my experience as a mom and teacher, and how that transition went for our family. Literacy Beginnings was a great resource to help understand where kids are coming from and figure out how to supplement curriculum for those kids who never attended a pre-k program.
Playful Learning and The Language of Art are right up there on the very tippy-top of my list for must reads!!! These two books are great for parents as well. I love, love, love the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education and these books are incredibly inspiring.
Is That A Fact? is a good resource for teaching non-fiction writing. I use this in late winter or early spring when we need to change things up a bit in Writer’s Workshop.
The Write Start was written by an occupational therapist who wrote a book to help parents and teachers know how to support young writers at home and in the classroom. It has very simple activities for kids to try and supports the developmental process kids go through as they learn to write.
Already Ready and In Pictures and In Words are two books by Katie Wood Ray that are also on my MUST BUY list for teachers of very young children. I think these two could be put in the category of “Bible of Early Childhood Education”… seriously. They are that good.
Here’s one by Katie Wood Ray and Matt Clover that is SO cool! It’s actually available on iPad only. It’s an ebook that is loaded with short videos of Matt and Katie conferring with young writers.
These last two books are kindergarten specific. I bought them when I was moving from second grade to kindergarten. They really helped me wrap my head around the essence of kindergarten.
To sum it up, if I had to pick, I’d buy Playful Learning, In Pictures and In Words, and About the Authors as my first choices. Then, I’d buy the kindergarten-specific books if a move to kindergarten happened to be in my future. The rest of the Katie Wood Ray library and The Language of Art would be on my must buy list as well, but there is only so much time to read in the summer.
Happy reading friends!