5 Professional Development Books for Special Education

I love to read. I’m also a total nerd when it comes to professional development and learning new things. I literally have bookshelves full of books. Some I’ve read. Others are on my “To Be Read” list. 

I feel like there is always something to learn in special education: a new strategy, developing research, a mindset shift. We can never learn or know enough. I hope that you will take a minute to browse these books and see if any of these areas are a good fit for you to read this summer. 

Pre-Referral Intervention Manual

This book is literally in every single school that I’ve ever worked in. That’s how important it is. I have also rarely seen it utilized to it’s fullest potential. In this book, you’ll find THOUSANDS of researched based strategies for so many learning and behavioral difficulties. 
When you are asked what researched based strategies you are using for your students or students in the referral process, this is your go to. What I love most, you are already doing so many researched based strategies without even knowing it. This book is extremely valuable and easy to use! 

Phonological Awareness Assessment Tools & Strategies

If you read ANYTHING about Dyslexia, you’ll quickly realize the important of phonological awareness. For me, I was asking myself what I could do to help my kids improve in this area. 
I received this book when I attended an Orton-Gillingham training last year. The activities inside are GOLD. They are simple, easy, and fun for the students to do. In many cases, they don’t require any materials OR they can be done with things you already have around your home or classroom. It also breaks down strategies for things that you would do in Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. 

The Complete Learning Disabilities Handbook

I’ll be honest. This one isn’t a fun read. This was actually a book that I had to buy when I was working on my masters. It is big and really thing, but it is LOADED with strategies for you to use with your students. When I am working on a new product line or struggling with a student who isn’t making progress, I reference this book. 

Take Control of Dyslexia & Other Reading Difficulties

I LOVE this book. It is actually designed for students and adults with dyslexia to read themselves. However, I don’t believe that it’s just for people WITH dyslexia. I think it’s also for people who will be HELPING people with dyslexia grow and learn. 
In this book, it discusses strategies for becoming a better reader, as well as explaining what dyslexia is and how we need to get to know our own learning style. It is a quick, easy read that is very helpful for teachers and parents. I plan to keep a few copies of this on my bookshelf at school to loan to general education teachers and parents. 

Differentiation and the Brain

This book is very heavy, like in research not weight! It dives deep into the neuroscience behind differentiation to allow us to help our students. It is a unique book that offers a great understanding of WHY we need to differentiate for our students and HOW we can make that happen. 
Special education teachers, I have something just for YOU! I have a free week of reading intervention that helps me tackle all sorts of challenging areas for my students. You can download it by clicking this link or the image above. 
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