Summer Reading

Hello. Mrs. Sanford speaking.

This is a transitional time for me. I just finished my third year of full time teaching at a private school in San Francisco and my husband and I are about to make a big move east for two reasons:

  1. To be closer to our families
  2. To be able to buy a house for less than a million dollars

From here

San Francisco, CA, USA

To here

Lighthouse in Portland Maine In Fort Willams Park

Teaching in SF has been a wonderful experience. Not only was I lucky enough to have been employed by a school which allowed me to create my own curriculum and run my classes with my own vision, I was also surrounded by many incredibly competent and talented educators and administrators. These educators have been friends and mentors to me. The Bay Area has also provided me with ample opportunities to expand my educational horizons by supplying a wealth of innovative pedagogical resources and tech-oriented learning. For this I will be forever grateful. I will also strive to carry this forward thinking approach with me wherever I go.

As I enjoy my last summer vacation in SF and begin my transition east, I’m setting aside some time for professional development. I have a list of self assigned summer reading, as well as a few training workshops. On this blog I’ll be sharing my thoughts on and experiences with these books and trainings (among other resources I come across in life). I’d love to know what others are reading and doing this summer in order to advance their knowledge of education and teaching practices. So please comment and share your thoughts and ideas.

Here is my summer reading list:

  • Mathematical Mindset by Jo Boaler
  • The New Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov
  • Hacking your Education by Dale Stephens

And of course a few non-education related novels just for fun:

  • The Baklava Club by Jason Goodwin (This is the 5th volume of Goodwin’s Ottoman detective series – so good!)
  • The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (because I’ve never read them and because my husband talks about them a lot)


  • Making Math Real Overview
  • Wilson Reading

Many of the trainings I have done and will be doing are aimed towards students with mild to moderate learning differences or with language based learning disabilities such as dyslexia. This is because that was the focus of my school and the profile of the students with whom I worked these past three years. But I believe that these resources and techniques can be incredibly beneficial to all students.

I completed the Making Math Real Overview in early June. This is a great math program that focuses on making math into a more concrete subject for students who struggle with the abstract aspect of the subject. There are lots of techniques for visualizing problems and, as the name suggests, “making math real.” I enjoyed the overview; however, I got a little tired of hearing questions answered with “Oh, you’ll learn that in the content courses.” 

The two books that I’ve started (and almost finished) are Hacking your Education and Mathematical Mindset, both of which I will discuss more in the coming posts, so stay tuned.
books for blog

– Mrs. Sanford

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