Book Table

Vagabonding

Vagabonding

Author:
This is about traveling long term with just the essentials. It does not sound that exciting and is something I just don' have the time to do right now. However, I highlighted so many excellent passages. It is more about a philosophy and outlook on life. I read this book in two days and just found myself really pondering my views on life. A great short read and one I will recommend to others because I know many have not read this one. One of the best reads this year. More info →
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Buy from Amazon
Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius

Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius

Author:
Genre: Creativity
One of my go to resources when I need a new idea to help teachers, students, or myself with developing new ideas and tactics. All of his material is excellent. Brainwriting is one of my favorite ideas! More info →
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Buy from Amazon
Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques

Author:
Genre: Creativity
This is my second favorite of his books. I use this all time to find so many new ways to develop creativity and new ideas for students, teachers, and myself. More info →
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Classroom Activities for the Busy Teacher: EV3

Classroom Activities for the Busy Teacher: EV3

Author:
Genre: STEM
Tag: Robotics
Damien is the one of the best when it comes to robotics and LEGO EV3. I have this book and reference it all the time. I love his simple build which is a bit different from EV3. It provides you with one more option of building when getting started. This book is great as a guide to create a curriculum for the classroom when just starting out. This is a must have resource if you work with EV3. More info →
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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Author:
Genre: Non-Fiction
A book that will make you think about things in a new way by changing the perspective of stories and the concept that what it means to be an underdog will give you much food for thought. A must read! More info →
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Buy from Amazon
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Another amazing read from Austin Kleon. Using his style of art and design he provides small, yet powerful ideas about how we need to share and create our work for others to connect with. It is about quality. Like everything he does I am motivated to develop work and share it with others. More info →
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Buy from Amazon
Why Smart Kids Worry by Allison Edwards

Why Smart Kids Worry by Allison Edwards

A very powerful read to help parents and educators understand anxiety and the ways in which in can affect children. The book provides a great overview of they types of anxiety and then provides many tools and tips to try to help work through the anxiety. This is a read that all parents should read! More info →
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Buy from Amazon
Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters

Such a great read. This is the book I have trying to write. She beat me to it and did a much better job than I would have done. What is so great about this book is not the message. Follow your passion is nothing new and often when reading this book I felt like she took a lot of stuff from Angela Maiers. However, what makes this book different is that it provides context in terms of how to actually act on your passion. It provides ideas, tips, reminders, and starting points to get going. As an adult I took many useful tips to apply to things that I am trying to do as an educator to make change. So even though the book is designed for YA, anyone can benefit. I have many highlights and pages marked to go back to and process, use, and share with students. A really helpful book to read to learn how to get started. More info →
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Buy from Amazon
The Art of Stillness

The Art of Stillness

I have been waiting to read this book and my impatience to finally devour this book was rewarded by having to wait longer than I wanted. Reading the book reminded me that my impatience is not the answer that I need. This book is powerful. It is short and simple to read. The idea of stillness makes sense and does not require much thought to process. However, to implement or rather have it be part of your life is challenging. That is the reason so many people need to read the book and think it through about how to adjust life so this is part of the 24 hours. More info →
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The Teaching Brain

The Teaching Brain

Author:
Genre: Education
Tags: 2015, Education
Finally a book about education that places an emphasis on the importance of teachers in the equation of learning in school. This book explores the issues in education reform today and provides some answers to how we can improve our classrooms right now. More info →
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Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success

Another excellent read in 2014. Shane Snow is able to weave key elements to help become more successful in an entertaining and engaging read. I have not been this entertained by stories of success before and it was nice to not hear the same old stories over and over. Shane Snow has a real knack for providing helping tips and ideas and delivering it in quality format. More info →
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Buy from Amazon
Engaged Instruction: Thriving Classrooms in the Age of Common Core

Engaged Instruction: Thriving Classrooms in the Age of Common Core

Tag: Education
A great read for educators. I found some chapters amazing and speaking to me and my concerns. This is not a book that you have to read cover to cover. Pick what you want and skip the rest. The book will challenge some of your existing thoughts and ideas and hopefully you take time to ponder to see if you need to change your perspective. This has something for everyone of all grades, subjects, and education positions. More info →
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Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century

Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century

The best book on education I have read in the year 2014. Really great look into what makes deeper learning possible for schools. Great examples with many that could be applied to any school. I will be sharing this with every educator that I know. More info →
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Letters To A Young Poet

Letters To A Young Poet

A short, but very powerful read. I read this book as it was suggested on a podcast I listened to. I have been searching for books that I connect with to motivate myself to become a better person and lead a better life. This book was wonderful to read in one sitting and really process the ideas. I was amazed by the insight shared in the letters. Here are some of my favorite passages "For what would aloneness be, you ask yourself, if id id no possess greatness. There exists only one aloneness, and it is great, and it is not easy to bear." I love this quote and is something I have been focusing on as I do my digital detox to find myself in moments of quiet. When a truly great and unique spirit speaks, the lesser ones must be silent. Franz Kappus I end with this quote because the voice of this book is greater than mine so I had to be quiet and listen. This book is worth your time to read and reflect. I have spent much time in reflection based on passages of this book. More info →
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Buy from Amazon
Frugal Isn’t Cheap

Frugal Isn’t Cheap

Author:
Genre: Finance
Tag: Finance
A great read! This book was quite helpful. I have been reading several books on helping to improve finances and debt. After reading books by Dave Ramsey this book was good to compare. I found the simplicity of the tips in this book more manageable than ideas by Dave Ramsey although very similar to the overall ideas. The key is to be honest with yourself and make practical decisions. I don't agree with everything, but using the tips in this book makes life better on track. I really like the Have To and I'd Rather columns for the budget. Short and simple and helpful which is what you want when trying to make changes in your life. Change is not easy, but gaining some common sense tips can help the journey. The key tips I like 1. Coupons for only things you use. Don't buy because coupons are good deals if you don't use the product. For us it is just about actually using coupons. 2. I love this quote "Instead of spending time accumulating more, spend your time taking good care of hate things you already have." 3. Budget your expenses into two columns "Have To" and "I'd Rather" columns to see how you are spending your money and make necessary changes. More info →
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Buy from Amazon
The Fault In Our Stars (Review from 2012)

The Fault In Our Stars (Review from 2012)

John Green is one of my favorite authors of YA fiction. As he continues to become more popular his writing has not declined. This is a story that grabs anyone whether a teen or adult. I hope this book inspires others to go back and read his other books because he is a genius. This story will grab your heart and mind, twist them, and make you think about life. More info →
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Independent Thinking by Ian Gilbert

Independent Thinking by Ian Gilbert

Author:
Genre: Education
This is one of the better reads I have had this year. I have owned this book for quite a bit of time and I finally sat down to read this book. I had to digest it all in two days where I highlighted so many thought provoking passages. If you happen to buy the book, please buy through my affiliate links as that money will go towards sending school supplies to schools in need. Read more here Selling Autographed The Fault In Our Stars for Good Cause http://wp.me/p4covo-Vr The book is just a spewing of his thoughts and questions. I love the variety presented in this book. The questions he poses are great driving questions for projects for students. His ideas he bring to light about education have me crafting many blog posts to formulate my own thoughts and answers. I have just become a huge fan of his work and cannot wait to track down the rest of what he has developed. So good. One of the best books on the topic of education that I have read. It has something for anyone who is willing to take time and ask themselves some questions to answer. More info →
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Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

One of, if not the best book I have read in 2014. A great wake up call to rethink how we define success and ways in which we need to incorporate mindfulness back into our lives so we don't miss out on what is important. I wish I had the money to buy a 100 copies to give away as gifts to people that I know. More info →
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Buy from Amazon Kindle
Lean In

Lean In

Author:
Genre: Non-Fiction
This is another must read. This is not in my range of books that I typically read, but for some reason I felt this urge to read this book. I am so glad I did. After finishing this book I could not help but think that this book should be required reading by every single girl. They need to have their eyes opened to let them know to that they can be a leader and don’t settle for anything but the best. Having two daughters of my own I will help them to see that they can do whatever. More info →
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A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

This book has radically changed how I think through the obstacles of life. This whole notion of asking questions and how to properly think through the questions is a game changer. As an educator we need to implement this into our teaching. In life, we can start to question the world and be okay with not always having the answers. Our society places pressures on finding answers quickly, but this book demonstrates a whole new perspective and can really help move everything in the proper direction. One of the best books I have read this year. So far, it is my favorite read of 2014. A MUST READ! Read more http://amorebeautifulquestion.com/ More info →
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Buy from Amazon
World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students

World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students

Author:
Genre: Education
Let me start by stating that this book pretty felt like the ideas were taken from my head and Yong Zhao just brought clarity and data to support the ideas. This book is a must read! As the American Education System works towards spending billions of dollars in creating a Common Core curriculum, other countries are trying to emulate what America schools once were. I am not stating that the school system we had was perfect, but it allowed students to pursue their interests and there is a reason that we have more creative awards, innovators, Novel Laureates, and patents than any other country. Forcing everyone to teach the same way is going to cause schools to eliminate those opportunities for students to explore their passions. This book discusses what America is doing wrong and questions why we want to be like a China education system that can have students pass tests, but cannot innovate? China is striving to be us and vice versa. We are in a pivotal moment right now in education and this book shows what can be if we continue down this path. It is imperative that teachers have freedom within their classroom. When a teacher can no longer teach a project because other teachers in the subject field don’t want to and teachers cannot add their own flare to their subject, then students lose out. This mindset is settling in not only with policy makers, but communities as well. Parents want more work. More homework, harder classes, more tests, etc. At what point do we say enough! A child should not have to attend school for 6-7 hours a day and then go home to hours of homework each night. It is very important for kids to have time to explore, play, sports, art, music, drama, etc. These avenues allow students to find out who they are and what they want to pursue. Yong Zhao, the author of this book lays out what he thinks needs to happen to allow students to think like entrepreneurs and prepare for the world. The way things are going right now we are not allowing for this to happen. This is a well written book. He supports all ideas with several facts, figures, and examples. Being a book review I won’t go into all my thoughts and ideas with each section of this book, but I will tell you that this a necessary read for anyone involved in education and wondering what the future holds for us. If we don’t start to rethink how we teach and how schools operate we are going to find ourselves falling behind. Creating a national curriculum driven by people who have not stepped foot in a classroom is not the answer. Teachers need to be willing to step up and take risks to challenge their students. As Rabindranath Tagore stated, “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” It is time for teachers to change and adapt how we teach. It is time for administrators to step up to the challenge and change the system. And it is time for policy makers to get out of the way and quit acting like they know what they are talking about. If our students don’t prepare to be a global citizen and learn to seek out problems and learn to solve them, then the future could be different from life today! Read this book and find out more about how we can change things to better prepare our students for their future. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
The Dip

The Dip

Author:
Genre: Non-Fiction
Tag: 2015
A short read, but a very powerful read. Anything by Seth Godin has always turned out to be a treasure and in some aspect a life changer for me. I recently read another of his books The Dip which really gave a me a lot to think about. As always, I have purchased almost every single Seth Godin book and they are books that will never be discarded because they are the few books I read over and over. Seth Godin takes on the topic of quitting and places the whole idea into a whole new perspective. There is always talk about failure and quitting on social media and in particular education. This book challenges many of the common ideas often discussed. Here are some of the key ideas that stood out to me in no particular order that will hopefully inspire you to read the book for yourself and provide some ideas for you to think about. More info →
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