Books you should buy before Summer Institute

In my bid to start organising my final portfolio this Easter holiday, I have uncovered my rather battered looking Subject Knowledge Audit. Written, in my salad days, prior to ever having written a PGCE essay, taught a lesson or generally having any idea what was in store for me, it is a bit of an embarrassing document. With this in mind I thought that it might be handy to pull together a list of books that are by no means definitive, but will definitely give you a good starting point for Summer Institute. Voila:

(In no particular order!)

1. Learning to Teach in the Primary School

Arthur and Cremin: Routledge (2010)

It’s recommended by the tutors of a reason folks. Don’t read it cover to cover but make a hit list. I’d say differentiation and AFL would be very good places to start.

2. Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential

Dweck: Robinson (2012)

A good book to get you thinking about your vision, values and creating a positive classroom environment. It will come in handy for the Reflective Journal Assignments (RJAs)

3. Teach Like a Champion

Lemov: Jossey Bass (2010)

Although, this book was a bit of a joke for poor Oliver in Tough Young Teachers, it actually contains a lot of bread and butter AFL techniques. It’s really good for getting a sense of how to apply a lot of the strategies you will be learning about at S.I. into your own classroom and there is a handy DVD with lots of clips of teachers in action.

4. Talk for Writing Across the Curriculum

Corbett & Strong: OUP (2011)

This is my favourite teaching book! The children love Talk for Writing and it’s probably the reason why I love teaching literacy so much. This particular book helps you get to grips with all the different text-types you’ll need to teach across the curriculum and includes handy banks of language features. Again, you get a lovely little DVD so you can watch the strategies in action. There are also lots of other Talk for Writing books which I wholeheartedly recommend!

5. The Behaviour Guru

Bennett: Continuum (2010)

Nothing is actually going to prepare you for children and their weird and wonderful sense of mischief. Tom Bennett does make me smile though. Go in with the knowledge that you are not the first and you won’t be the last teacher to deal with all kinds of bizarre behaviour!

6. Critical Incidents in Teaching

Tripp: Routledge (2011)

You are going to need a reflective model for your RJA assignments. This is my personal favourite. It’s easy to connect with your weekly journal musings and one of the more digestible models. A good investment.

7. Success Against the Odds

Wigdortz: Short Books (2012)

It’s good to get a little context about Teach First before you start. Will also help you to think up some questions incase you bump into Brett at Summer Institute.

I am sure I’ll think of a few more to add over the next couple of weeks. Signing up to the TES is also a good idea. As a student you’ll get a free introductory subscription so it’s definitely worth a look!






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