Have a Fantastic Summer!

Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer

The year is coming to an end. Soon your classroom will be quiet. No more pencils, no more books, no more finger counting, no more area models, no more calendar grid markers, no more pattern blocks and geoboard bands and base ten pieces littering the floor.

As Sam Keen said, “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” You’ve earned all the relaxation you can get this summer; enjoy it. After a year of molding young minds, time off is the minimum that you deserve.

But we know that you’re a dedicated professional. We know that relaxation will soon turn to boredom and eventually to renewal and focus. We know that it won’t be long before you’ll start planning for the fall. So as you head into summer, here’s a list of some of our favorite educational books, as chosen by members of The Math Learning Center staff:

  • Troublemakers, Carla Shalaby (Corey Drake, Sr Dir for Professional Learning)
    • Corey loves this book of “rich narratives about elementary students who are often called ‘troublemakers’ and what we can learn from those students.”
  • Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson (Emily Saxton, Dir of Research)
    • Emily says that this is an “inspiring read from an author who remains hopeful about compassion and justice in the face of injustice and systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”
  • Choosing to See, Pamela Seda and Kyndall Brown (Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer)
    • I included this book, which has been the focus of a book study at The Math Learning Center, because it contains a practical framework for addressing race and systemic bias in the math classroom. 
  • Becoming a Teacher of Mathematical Modeling, K–Grade 5, Elizabeth G. Arnold, et al. (Kim Markworth, Dir of Content Development)
    • Kim says that this book will help you “learn more about the ways elementary students can engage in authentic mathematical modeling using contexts related to their lives.”
  • Choral Counting & Counting Collections, Megan Franke, Elham Kazemi, and Angela Chan Turrou (Mike Wallus, VP of Educator Support)
    • Mike notes that this is a “thought-provoking and practical book that explores the ways that these activities, which have historically been considered appropriate for K–1 students, can be used to deepen students’ number sense.”
  • Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Peter Liljedahl (Nicole Rigelman, Chief Academic Officer)
    • Nicole appreciates the “inspiration and tips for shifting typical classroom norms to reposition students when engaging in mathematical problem solving, so that students can be supported as mathematical doers, knowers, and sensemakers.”

It’s quite possible that you won’t want to crack open any of those books until the end of July. Or the week before school. Or never. And that’s cool, too.

Maybe you just want to relax by the side of the pool with some light reading. Then you definitely should.

No matter what you do this summer, though, know that you’re appreciated.

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for demanding the best from your students. Thank you for the long hours you’ve put in, and thank you for doing a year’s worth of work in just 10 months.

With appreciation from all of us at MLC, have a great summer!