I'll admit it: this summer, I've tried to devote time to reading non-educational books. I've spent so much of the last three years just reading things related to education, that I worry about brown-out. So, this post is more about why you should read non-educational books as well. Don't feel guilty about reading a "trash" novel. Reading is a great stress release. It's also a creativity booster.
This summer, I've been reading books off the New York Times Best Seller's list. Though, many have opinions about this, I like to read for enjoyment. And, as a result, I feel more inspired and more encouraged to be creative. Don't underestimate the power of just reading - whether it's educational or not.
Last year, I started with Makerspaces, but this summer I wanted to expand my knowledge of what they can be. So, I did purchase The Art of Tinkering - an amazing book of ideas for starting Makerspaces. I love how this book is full of examples on how to perform Makerspace activities. It is not just the Why.
I also started skimming the Practical Duct Tape Projects book. It's full of examples of Duct Tape projects - projects I intend to bring into our Makerspaces next year. If anything, they are great activities to encourage creativity.
Along the Makerspace vein, I'm also reading Sew Electric, at the recommendation of a friend. Like the others, it is not a traditional read. Instead, it is full of project ideas for Makerspaces that involve LilyPads (sewable Arduinos). I am super excited to try these out with our 6-12 grade students next year.
And, lastly, I'm reading Invent to Learn, the guide to Makerspaces. Unlike the others, this books is more about why you should try Makerspaces and how they fit into the curriculum. This is the glue to the idea books I'm reading.
To keep it interesting, I switch between each book each week. One week, I'll read some from Invent to Learn while the next week, I may read Sew to Learn. This allows me to put into practice the theory I'm reading in Invent to Learn.
I found keeping a focus to my reading books helps. This summer, my focus was fun and Makerspaces.
What about you - what educational/non-educational books are you reading this summer?!