On May 16th, we posted part one of our summer reading suggestions for educators. Today’s post includes the second installment of that summer reading list, books recommended for educators by educators.

25438683.jpgBook:  The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers by Jennifer Serravallo

Facebook discussion group for the book:

Recommended for:  Pre-Service Teachers, Teachers, Parents

Recommended by:  Corrina Allen, 5th Grade Teacher

“This is a fabulous bank of hundreds of strategies that teachers (and parents!) can use to help children achieve their reading goals. It’s colorful, well-organized, well-researched, and fits with any reading program you currently have. A Summer Book Study of this books starts on June 12th and is linked through their Facebook group.” 

Book: 25489625.jpg Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Related links: NPR top books of 2015:
Articles by the author from the Atlantic:

Recommended for:  High School Students, College Students, Pre-Service Teachers, Teachers, Administrators, Parents

Recommended by: Jacquelyn Whiting, High School Social Studies and Library Media Teacher

“Coates continues to push all Americans to have the important (even if it is difficult) conversation that this nation needs to have about race relations. This book, written as a letter to his teenage son, is an excellent compliment to TED Talks by Bryan Stevenson, Mellody Hobson, and Chimamanda Adichie (to name a few) as well as to research and discovery by Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and literature by writers like Toni Morrison. Coates’ text is provocative, passionate, compassionate, unapologetic… and so necessary.”

Book:  Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students11438003.jpg by Erik Palmer

Author’s Website:

Recommended for:  Pre-Service Teachers, Teachers

Recommended by:  Amy Illingworth, Director of Professional Growth

“Our primary form of communication in life is speaking, but we provide students will little to no direct instruction on how to speak effectively. This book provides teachers with a practice framework to teach students how to build and prepare for a speech, as well as how to deliver one.” 

6775625.jpgBook:  Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life by Baruti Kafele

Author’s Website:

Recommended for:  Pre-Service Teachers, Teachers, Administrators, Parents

Recommended by:  Eugenia Cooley, Teacher/Reading Specialist

“This book is filled with wonderful & practical suggestions on way to meet a unique group of students that are most often misunderstood by each of us. This book helps to understand the black male student and how to guide them toward a successful path.”

Have a book that you would like to recommend? We’d love for you to fill out the form below:

~What did YOU do in school today?



Whether it’s for professional growth, a fun beach read, (or both!) we’re all talking about the books we want to read this summer.

Here are some summer reading suggestions from educators for educators.

Book: The Zen Teacher by Dan Tric27163769.jpgarico

Author’s Website:

Recommended for: Pre-Service Teachers, Teachers, Administrators, Parents

Recommended by: Rich Czyz, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

“A very easy read with practical strategies for incorporating mindfulness into your classroom and life!”


12979592.jpgBook: What’s Your Evidence? by Carla Zembal-Saul, Katherine L. McNeill, and Kimber Hershberger

Recommended for: All Teachers

Recommended by: Kathy Renfrew, Proficiency Based Team, Science Specialist

“Excellent read on constructing explanations in K-5 science. The book is easily understandable and has very practical, bring back to the classroom suggestions.”


28015715.jpgBook: DIY Literacy by Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts

Authors’ Website:

Recommended for: All Teachers

Recommended by: Nicole Jordan, Reading Specialist

“This book will spark so many ideas for the upcoming school year. You’ll be excited to put those ideas to practice with your students.”


9661920.jpgBook: Ready to Lead? A Story for Leaders and their Mentors by Alan Price

Recommended for: Pre-Service Teachers, Teachers, Administrators, Parents

Recommended by: Adam D. Fried, Innovation Leader

“This book allows individuals to break down the process and allows you to think about how and what you want to be when you grow up…”

Have a book that you would like to recommend? We’d love for you to fill out the form below:


~What did YOU do in school today?


Today in school…well, today at a local coffee shop, teachers in central NJ met for a #CoffeeEDU.

The idea behind a #CoffeeEDU, as originated by Alice Keeler, is that it is an opportunity to meet up in person — face to face — with members of your online Professional Learning Network (PLN).

“#CoffeeEDU is a subset of the unconference. #CoffeeEDU is not about promoting a product or organization, it is about expanding your PLN in a face to face meet up for one hour.”

Our group today had representation from four different districts in the area. We represented elementary, upper elementary, middle, and high school levels. We were classroom teachers and instructional coaches. We were educators returning to the same assignment as last year and educators preparing for new assignments, buildings, or districts.

We introduced ourselves…and shared experiences, concerns, and ideas all at our own pace over a relaxing cup of coffee. We shared contact information. We expanded our PLN.


A group photo from our #CoffeeEDU! @MrsDubuque, @mcfallrenee, @mmorriswrite, @Gallagher_Tech, @Radical_Robin, @ms_itech, and @iruntech (@patflavin1007, not pictured)

Like with a larger unconference, there is no agenda in place ahead of time, and there really is no one person in charge of the event. The event unfolds as the individual attendees see fit. Anyone can leave at any time. Anyone can jump in with an idea, a suggestion, or change the direction of the conversation. For more specific details, you can visit this #CoffeeEDU guidelines page.

#CoffeeEDU is a casual event.


Some of the materials from Remind and Edmodo for our next #CoffeeEDU!

And just like larger unconferences, there can be sponsors! Remind, for example, is one company interested in and dedicated to getting teachers to connect with one another. You can visit the Remind blog and find out more information about their limited time offer to sponsor #CoffeeEDU meet ups.

Our group decided that we definitely wanted to meet up again! We are going to pick a date about a month from now and pick a different coffee shop for our next #CoffeeEDU. We divided up some small jobs to prepare for the next event (including each person trying to bring another educator with us).

In keeping with the unconference structure, we won’t have a specific agenda in place for our next meet up, but we did say that we wanted to focus our meet up around a topic important to all of us, parents:  parent outreach, parent engagement, parent support, etc.

As of today, we are planning to meet up to talk about these topics. Some of us may bring related resources to share out, and some of us may prepare questions for when we meet. Some of us may think of something entirely different that we want to talk about. We may stick to the topic of parents the entire time, or we may pivot and spend our time on a different topic.

That’s the beauty of the unconference and the #CoffeeEDU.

Here are some resources to find or start a #CoffeeEDU near you:

~What did YOU do in school today?


Today in school…

Teachers, instructional coaches, supervisors, principals, and superintendents spent the day learning from and with one another in Wyckoff, NJ. (And this was just one of many locations for this summer’s EdCamp Leadership unconference, connecting educational leaders from all over the world!)

I got to meet up and learn with a friend and colleague. 

I expanded my PLN…

…and I met some of my online connections in person for the first time.

I gleaned new ideas for the coming school year from educators with different roles, different backgrounds, different experiences, and the common goal of being the best educators we can be for our students.

We learned.

We laughed.

We left a little bit more connected than when we arrived.

It was a good day.

~What did YOU do in school today?