Teachers: Winter PD Book Club!

Don’t miss out on Groton-Dunstable’s newest PD rage – the PD book club. The premise is simple: browse our offerings, send Katie Novak or Leslie Wickfield an email requesting a title, receive it in intradistrict mail, read at your leisure, complete the final project and voila!, you earn 10 PDPs.

The fall book club resulted in 180 awarded PDPs, as 18 staff members dove in and learned about everything from Common Core math to finding their inner artist in the ELA classroom. Even if you missed the fall book club social, you can still borrow a book at any time to earn PDPs.

The Winter Offerings are here! This season, we’re featuring the following texts (with short summaries from Publishers):

  • Mindset by Carol Dweck: Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional.
  • How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough: Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control. So, how do we teach these skills?
  • Drive, by Daniel Pink: Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.
  • Pathways to Common Core, by Lucy Calkins. The Common Core is written, but the plan for implementing the Common Core is not. Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Reading and Writing Project have helped thousands of educators design their own pathways to the Common Core. This text will help you find your way.
  • The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn’t turn into a reader. No matter how far behind Miller’s students might be when they reach her 6th grade classroom, they end up reading an average of 40 to 50 books a year. Miller’s unconventional approach dispenses with drills and worksheets that make reading a chore. Instead, she helps students navigate the world of literature and gives them time to read books they pick out themselves. Her love of books and teaching is both infectious and inspiring.

Once you complete your book, choose one of the following “projects,” email to Leslie Wickfield, and earn your 10 PDPs.

  • Written Reflection: After reading the text, write a short reflection (300-400 words) about how the text influenced your thinking about teaching and learning. What will you continue to do to align to this new thinking? Are there any new strategies you want to try to implement? If so, which ones?
  • Student Work: After reading, you may decide you want to write a new lesson or adapt one you already have to align to the content of your text. Design a lesson and then share it with us. When submitting the final lesson, please share at least one piece of student work, and a short reflection (150-200 words).
  • Art Attack: After reading the text, create a Powerpoint, poster, or brochure that highlights the major points in the text and why reading it is valuable for teachers. Feel free to use any medium to communicate the most important messages in the text.
  • Book group: Create a group of 2-4 teachers who will read the book together and determine the meeting schedule. Meet for a minimum of 5 hours to reflect on each chapter. At the end of the last session, write a short reflection (300-400 words) about how the text and the discussions impacted how you view teaching and learning.
  • PD proposal: Try to turn this book into inspiration for a multi-part series for next year. Complete the PD proposal based on the book and you can share what you learned with colleagues during the 15-16 school year!