This semester students in READ 6325 explored professional resources on a variety of topics.
As teachers (current, or future) we want what is best for our students. Out students will most benefit by becoming good readers. As we all know, schooling has changed drastically over the last few decades and things are getting harder by the year. As elementary teachers, we have a tremendous influence on our students and their growth as readers. It is important that we try our best to keep up to date with professional literature in order to have the best teaching practices for our students. I will be providing a few resources that could be helpful for elementary teachers that would like to engage in some personal professional development through the use of professional books, journals, and organizations.
One professional book that caught my attention is Kidwatching: documenting children’s literacy development by Gretchen Owacki and Yetta Goodman. I found this to be a good resource because learning to really watch our students in order to figure out what they really know and what they need is extremely important for planning future lessons. UTPA students are in luck because the school library has a copy of this book and for non-students it is readily available for purchase through Barnes & Noble for $17.54.
The professional organization that captured my interest is NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English.) The website that leads to this organization is http://www.ncte.org/. This organization has some information free of charge. If you would like more it does have a membership fee but with this fee comes access to, as per the website, “receive timely material to keep you informed on the trends and ideas affecting education, with a special focus on your level.” The annual membership fee is $50. This site also informs of upcoming professional development as well as information on professional literature.
One of the professional journals that I will be recommending comes from the NCTE site. Language Arts is a journal geared toward elementary leveled students that, as per the site, “is a professional journal for elementary and middle school teachers and teacher educators. It provides a forum for discussions on all aspects of language arts learning and teaching, primarily as they relate to children in pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade.” Access to this journal requires a subscription. The yearly fee for this bimonthly journal would be $75 if you choose to get the journal subscription alone. The price with the NCTE membership would be $25. If you plan on getting the Language Arts subscription, it would likely be in your best interest in getting both the journal and NCTE membership as the price would be the same as purchasing the journal subscription alone.
The second journal that I really liked was Elementary School Journal. This journal is printed quarterly and is free to UTPA students via the library database. I really enjoyed looking at the variety of titles available in the journals. The topics are not strictly literacy related but it does have a heavy focus on the topic. Good luck on your professional development endeavors.