I have read many books lately, but one of my favorites was Wonder by R.J. Palacio because it was powerful read that creates a deep level of empathy and acceptance in the reader. I could not put this book down while I was reading it and I couldn't wait to share it with my 5th grade students because we just finished reading aloud Out of My Mindby Sharon Draper so I knew they would be able to make meaningful connections between August in Wonder and Melody in Out of my Mind. When I brought in Wonder into my classroom and gave a book talk on it, there was an immediate rush to read it, so of course we had to get another copy of the book for the classroom!
For professional books, I just finished reading What Readers Really Do by Vicki Vinton and Dorothy Barnhouse and it confirmed the strong beliefs I have about teaching students skills and strategies to be life-long readers. It discussed the importance of providing students with the tools to help them produce their own meaning and how to instructionally support students in reading more complex texts like the Common Core State Standards asks us to do as educators. The book has a variety of charts that visually show how we need to rethink the way we teach reading by highlighting what we used to do and what we should do now. The book encourages and inspires you to reflect upon your own teaching practices and reading instruction in reading workshop.