Encouraging early literacy endeavors and shaping internal culture are critical elements of a successful kindergarten classroom, according to five popular books for kindergarten teachers. How do you jump confidently into these worthy challenges and manifest best practices without doing harm to yourself and students?
Kindergarten teachers far and wide confront these questions daily as assume the honorable role of the first major teacher most students ever interact with. Luckily, kindergarten teachers form a strong network of support and knowledge, frequently sharing wisdom. Following are five titles that kindergarten teachers highly recommend.
1. The Literate Kindergarten: Where Wonder and Discovery Thrive
This first of five great books for kindergarten teachers shows kindergarten teachers how to restore an element of innocence and joy to the classroom through engaging, interactive, fun lessons. In roughly 200 pages, author Sue Kempton illustrates how to mindfully weave play, talk, movement and song with academics.
Kempton’s aim is to help kindergarten teachers construct an in-class atmosphere that is conducive to learning and childhood. She offers precise language on how to help children become motivated, energized, interested, joyful students.
2. Teaching With Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practice, Taking Action
Debbie Miller, the author of this 162-page book, taught in the Denver Public Schools for 30 years. Out of her wealth of experience emerges a concrete strategy for redefining curriculum according to one’s beliefs, convictions and intentions as a teacher. It is a highly recommend book for kindergarten teachers. Miller gives fledgling teachers the permission to ditch a script or a prescribed set of curricula.
She describes how to set up a classroom environment and how to use language meaningfully for the sake of lesson design and comprehension instruction. Leaving no stone unturned, Miller discusses precisely what she does in the classroom, why she does it and the outcomes one can expect.
3. Catching Readers Before They Fall: Supporting Readers Who Struggle
Geared at teachers of kindergarten through fourth grade, this 288-page book for kindergarten teachers by Katie Keier and Pat Johnson emphasizes what to say/do when confronted with promising students who don’t take easily to reading.
The book identifies why some some young readers grapple with reading and how to address such circumstances positively and gently. The book also illuminates the process of using explicit modeling and gradual release as a teaching method as well as how to establish a classroom that is safe and accepting of weakness and mistakes.
4. Kindergarten and the Common Core: It’s Easy As ABC
For teachers working in kindergarten classrooms with curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards, author and experienced teacher Kathy Brown offers a detailed introduction to the Common Core as well as lessons, checklists and organizers.
The goal of this book for kindergarten teachers is to show both new and seasoned kindergarten teachers a set of rigorous yet compassionate, effective teaching methods for implementing the standards. The book includes developmentally appropriate activities and practical routines to help students master kindergarten curricula at Common Core standards.
5. Conscious Discipline
Written by Dr. Becky Bailey, “Conscious Discipline” is a social-emotional curriculum and a comprehensive classroom management program. Designed to make changes in the lives of adults first, this book helps kindergarten teachers organize classrooms and schools around the concept of a “School Family.”
The “School Family” becomes the central learning medium through which students learn their subjects as well as the arts of communication and forming relationships.
Related Resource: 5 Great Books for Preschool Teachers
Summer Reading List for Kindergarten Teachers
Children differ widely in their cognitive knowledge and learning behaviors, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Each of these books for kindergarten teachers takes this reality into consideration, arming kindergarten teachers with an array of concrete principles and applications for diverse kindergarten classroom settings.