My Gap-Year Reading List

Yep.  We are about to embark on a family gap-year.  We have been living and teaching in Asia for the past six years and we are ready to return home, to the United States.  We did not keep a home when left and we feel ready and excited for a new adventure ahead.

In order to create enough space for us to find the right home and, for me, a wonderful place to work as an educator, we are gifting ourselves time.  We plan to travel, homeschool the children for one year, soak up family, and make time for thinking, creating and scheming.

One of the commitments I have for the year is to read professionally.  I have virtual “stacks” of books that I am excited to read and I thought I would share them here.

Of course, nearly all of these books were either recommended or introduced to me, by fellow teachers, educators and people I respect and honor.

Have a look if you like, maybe there will be a good pick for you.  If you do take a look, tell me, which books are I missing?  What do you recommend?

Future Wise: Educating Our Children For A Changing World – David Perkins

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Here is the blurb from Amazon:

“K-12 teachers and administrators play a crucial role in building a thriving society. David Perkins, founding member and co-director of Project Zero at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, argues that curriculum is one of the most important elements of making students ready for the world of tomorrow. In Future Wise, you’ll learn concepts, curriculum criteria, and techniques for prioritizing content so you can guide students toward the big understandings that matter.

  • Understand how learners use knowledge in life after graduation
  • Learn strategies for teaching critical thinking and addressing big questions
  • Identify top priorities when it comes to disciplines and content areas
  • Gain curriculum design skills that make the most of learning across the years of education.”


Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity – Andrew Solomon

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Here is the blurb from Amazon:

“Solomon’s startling proposition in Far from the Tree is that being exceptional is at the core of the human condition—that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, and Solomon documents triumphs of love over prejudice in every chapter.”


Why Think?: Philosophical Play from 3 -11 – Sara Stanley

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Here is the blurb from Amazon:

“We live in an ever demanding world where independent, creative thinking is highly prized. We want the children of the future to have the skills and confidence to form their own ideas and have the confidence and resilience to speak up for what they believe in.

Why Think? will enable practitioners of children aged 3-11 to confidently turn their classrooms into spaces where thinking, challenging and reasoning become as natural as play. In this book, the author of But Why? explores how to maximize philosophical play through activities, games and parental engagement.”


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck

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Comprehension & Collaboration – Stephanie Harvey and Harvey “Smokey” Daniels

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Mindset Mathematics: Visualizing and Investigating Big Ideas – Jo Boaler, Jen Munson, Cathy Williams

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I read Jo Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets, so I am really curious to see this collection of what Jo Boaler calls, “low floor, high ceiling tasks”.


Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics – John A. Van de Walle

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I’m not sure if I will actually curl up and read this one (I probably will).  Truthfully, I have been borrowing this and other copies of Van de Walle’s books from my schools and colleagues for years.  I was just ready to own this one.





5 Replies to “My Gap-Year Reading List”

    1. Hi Gareth. Long time no see. Are you and Stacey taking a year off next year? Where are you planning to go? Great to be in contact again. Thanks Nora for being the link to Gareth. Gareth I’ll add you on fb so that I don’t use Nora’s awesome blog as connect forum. 🙂
      Nora, I wish you the best of luck next year. We are so sad to lose you at NIS, but it’s great that you’re taking the leap and taking some time to ‘think, create and scheme’. I’m definitely going to have a look at your book suggestions for some summer reading. Thanks for sharing. H x


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