Our Recommended Reads...


Pam: Beyond the Norm
Gambrell, L. B. (1996). Creating classroom cultures that foster reading motivation. Reading Teacher, 50(1), 14.

This discusses six core factors to build reading motivation and describes characteristics of an engaged reader.

Johnson, C, Eva, A, Johnson, L, & Walker, B. (2011). Don’t turn away: empowering teachers to support students’ mental health. The Clearing House, 84 (1), 241-249.

This article is about helping students who have mental illnesses. In fact, it states some eye-opening facts about people with mental illnesses, such as "1 in 5 adolescents have some sort of serious emotional, behavioral, or mental health problem." ONE IN FIVE!!! So if you have 20 students, it's likely that FOUR of them will have a mental health issue!! This article helps us to learn about the red flags of potential mental illnesses within adolescences. This information provided in this article can be used with ALL students with & without mental illnesses and with & without disabilities. THIS IS WORTH THE READ!!! It also references other REALLY good articles, such as the Margolis & McCabe one below!


Krashen, S. (2009). Anything but Reading. Knowledge Quest, 37(5), 18-25.

This provides a variety of traditional and nontraditional ways to motivate adolescents to read with a brief discussion on the importance of self-selected reading.


Layne, S. (2009). Igniting a passion for reading. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

This book is a core resource in my repertoire of materials and strategies. It is #1 on my Top 5 Must Read - Literacy books! It's easy to read and has lots of examples and resources. Majority of the strategies in this book are practical, cost efficient, and, most importantly, EFFECTIVE! Browse it online at: Igniting a Passion for Reading


Margolis, H, & McCabe, P.P. (2004). Self-efficacy: a key to improving the motivation of struggling learners. The Clearing House, 77 (6), 241-249.

Another great article that focuses on the struggles of struggling learners. The information hits CRUCIAL items to use in the classroom. I have USED many of these strategies and have SEEN THEM WORK! This is a phenomenal article! EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS ARTICLE!


Articles about the environment & structure:
Articles about Daybooks: 
Articles about getting your students writing & keeping them writing:
Articles about Sharing their writing & Author's Chair:


Regina: Beyond the First Day
Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics & moral education. Berkely: University of California Press.

This book is essential reading for every teacher. It is Nel Noddings' foundational work on the ethic of caring.


Leslie: Beyond the Text


Rachael: Beyond the Barriers
Echevarria, J., Vogt, M., Scott, D. (2010). Making content comprehensible for secondary english learners. Boston, MA: Pearson.
The authors of this text have combined strategies and activities together that focus on English Language Learners. Many of the lessons here help to create culturally relevant classrooms, as well as focusing on the five domains of speaking, reading, writing, and visually representing.

Sleeter, C., Cornbleth, C. (2011). Teaching with vision:Culutrally responsive teaching in standards-based classrooms. New York, NY: Columbia University.
This book is "textbook like", but hits issues such as urban education, teaching thematically, and teaching culture to build confident learners.

Meredith: Beyond the Facts
Beers, K. (2003). When kids can't read, what teachers can do. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
This comprehensive book is filled with practical strategies for making reading skills accessible to adolescent readers.

Quate, S.J., McDermott, J. (2009). Clockwatchers: Six steps to motivation and engaging disengaged students across content areas. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
This book applies research on motivation and engagement to improve reading achievement. The six steps can be implemented across all subjects and is applicable to all types of academic settings.
Clockwatchers Motivating Disengaged Students- preview and podcast of book