Alexandria, VA (5/22/2014)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, has assembled a list of 10 books for educators seeking to improve their practice during the summer months. With the traditional school year coming to a close, it’s important for educators to maintain their professional learning and dive into resources that will ensure success in the next school year.

“ASCD’s list of summer reads is packed with tools, strategies, and best practices that will help every educator improve classroom instruction,” said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter. “We hope educators around the world take advantage of these summer months to grow professionally in their career and reinvigorate their practice.”

Align to the Common Core State Standards

Teaching the Core Skills of Listening and Speaking – Aligning his approach with the Common Core standards, education consultant Erik Palmer provides guidance for teaching and assessing collaborative discussion, listening and media literacy, questioning and reasoning, adapting speech to different content and tasks, and more.

Teaching the Critical Vocabulary of the Common Core: 55 Words That Make or Break Student Understanding – ASCD author Marilee Sprenger explains the compelling reasons to teach these 55 crucial words and provides fun, memorable strategies for making these words stick in students’ minds.

Assignments Matter: Making the Connections That Help Students Meet Standards – Seasoned teacher coach and curriculum design expert Eleanor Dougherty guides educators in crafting assignments that matter when preparing for the Common Core standards.

Enhance Instruction

West Meets East: Best Practices from Expert Teachers in the U.S. and China— Education researchers Leslie Grant, James Stronge, Xianxuan Xu, Patricia Popp, Yaling Sun, and Catherine Little explain key cultural differences and similarities among successful educators from both nations and highlight practical solutions from the two sides of the world.

Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility, 2nd Edition – In this updated edition, teacher leaders Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey dig deeper into how teachers can equip students with what they need to develop content understanding and be self-directed learners.

Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put ALL Students on the Road to Academic Success—Veteran classroom teacher and education consultant Suzy Pepper Rollins identifies eight high-impact, overarching practices to foster academic achievement, including increasing students’ vocabulary, building students’ motivation, and addressing gaps within the context of new learning.

How to Plan Rigorous Instruction – Dynamic educator Robyn R. Jackson provides a step-by-step process of planning rigorous instruction that helps students master content and become engaged learners, effective problem solvers, and critical thinkers.

Get Organized and Energized for a New School Year

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day – Experienced educators Bryan Goodwin and Elizabeth Ross Hubbell provide educators with a daily checklist to reference in order to ensure they are doing what matters most to help every student succeed each day. The 12 universals of teaching presented in this book apply across grade levels and subject areas.

The 5-Minute Teacher: How Do I Maximize Time for Learning in My Classroom? – Veteran teacher Mark Barnes helps educators deliver quick, thought-provoking lessons that transform any classroom into a student-centered learning environment.

When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game – Veteran educator Allen Mendler explores practical strategies that help educators rejuvenate their enthusiasm for teaching and provides tips on how to address challenging students, gain parents’ support, and create a positive, healthy environment.

In addition to the summer reading list, ASCD is offering a sales promotion on more than 200 professional development publications and DVDs. To learn more, visit the ASCD store.

To learn more about our books program or to read sample chapters from past books, visit For more information about ASCD, visit or read the 2013 Annual Report.

Contact Information
Mary Melvin, communications specialist, 1-703-575-5704 or by
Alexandra Fenwick, communications assistant, 1-703-575-5482 or

About the Author:

Andrea Jones

Andrea Jones is a technology specialist in Virginia. A former French teacher, she currently supports technology integration in a middle school.