Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tracy's Annual Summer Reading List

So, sometimes the kids get Summer Reading Lists. I certainly never had one growing up, but maybe my county didn’t do that. Or my teachers didn’t like it. I don’t know.

Every summer I bring home a pile of books on my own Summer Reading List. Every summer, I make it only halfway through. But I still try!

I like to have high expectations for myself, even if I don’t always complete my task lists...

Anyway, here’s this year’s Summer Self-Selected, Self-Paced PD for me.

  • 1491 By Charles C. Mann. I have somehow never gotten around to reading this book. As I look more at the Pre-Columbian Americas, I am amazed by both this book -- and by the fact that I have somehow missed it before now!
  • Building Students’ Historical Literacies: Learning to Read and Reason with Historical Texts and Evidence by Jeffery D. Nokes is a history professor at BYU. And his foreword is written by Sam Windburg, the #1 Top Dog in the field of History Education. I think I will really learn a lot with this one.
  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jean Marie Thorne. I am halfway through this teen fiction novel about a girl who discovers that the father she never knew -- is a US Senator running for President! It’s a teen-oriented look at fitting in  -- with a nice “side” of elections.
  • The Highly Engaged Classroom by THE Robert Marzano, the same Marzano who has designed the evaluation systems. I want to know what highly engaged students look like and how to make that happen.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I know that this came out a few years ago and that it is supposed to be a huge hit. 4,000 people on Amazon gave it 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s the story of a poor, black, tobacco farmer whose cells were taken -- without her knowledge -- and use to make amazing advances in medicine and science.

I know, I know. I’m behind. Some of those books came out quite a while ago. But, hey! Life gets busy and then summer comes and I get a chance to catch up.

What’s on your summer reading pile? Will you get to anything other than beach reads? As always, I love to hear from you! Email me at

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