List Entry

Teaching Books

teach like a champion

1. Teach Like a Champion – Doug Lemov

This book was given to me when I was student teaching in undergrad. I read it once I graduated and it put a lot of things into perspective for me. My cooperative teacher really believed in what the book discussed and now I totally agree with her! It inspired me to be a creative and understanding teacher who shows more respect than gets. I highly recommend this read or any of the others in the series!

2. Mathematical Mindsets – Jo Boaler


I love this book. It is my favorite teacher book that I have ever read. It changed the way I looked at how people learn math. It makes the not so popular claim that everyone has the capabilities to learn math, that it is just people’s mindsets holding them back. My favorite part of the book was when Boaler said that mathematical ability is not hereditary and that just because a parent believes he or she is bad at math, that it does not mean that their child will have the same math abilities. I use that line all the time with my parents! If you teach math at any age, then this book is for you!

Math Movies

hidden figures.jpg

1. Hidden Figures

This is one of the most inspirational movies I have ever watched. I showed it at the end of the school year this year and some amazing conversations came out of it. We were able to discuss women’s rights, racism, and tie it all in with the history of the space race. The movie is beautifully done and is school appropriate depending on your age group. I also love that in the movie they are racing against a computer which shows students that the phones they have aren’t always correct. Overall, I love this movie and so did my students!

2. Gifted


I have not seen this movie, but I really really really want to! It is about a young girl who is taken in by her Uncle and she has an incredible mind for math. She is able to do huge calculations in her head, and she can even teach herself higher mathematics. I’m not sure how involved the math is in the story line, but it could be interesting for students to see what a truly gifted person looks like.



8 thoughts on “List Entry

  1. Todd Koenig says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Todd here from ET537. I can whole-heartedly give my two thumbs up for Teach Like a Champion. I’ve seen teachers scoff at the idea of reading that book but the ones who do walk away a different teacher. This was my experience as well.

    I came across TLaC in 2010 and was already working in the EFL classroom. With its 49 techniques, the book makes it easy to work on as many or as few as you feel like. I think I read the first five topics the first night I sat down with it. I’m a very practical person so this book fit me like a glove. My time in the classroom has (literally) become 100x more efficient and productive. My students thrive and, in spite of the sense of strictness, know that I care about them.

    I hope others reach out to this book (original edition– there’s since been an update but I like the original) and have as much fun with it as I did.

    By the way, I’ll definitely be taking a look at some of the other books here as well!

    ~Todd Koenig


    • rwaldmanblog says:

      I prefer the original as well! Sometimes the updates just aren’t as great as the original. I also find that my students thrive in a strict but loving atmosphere. My students know that the more respectful they are, then the more fun we all get to have. It is a win-win for all of us!


  2. Michael Barbour says:

    Ryann, like your links entry, it is good that you have added annotations to your listed item (as you could also easily envisions simply listing the books and movie). One suggestion that I might make for future list entries is to provide a couple of sentences to introduce your list to the readers.


  3. kristingaynor says:

    I think this is an excellent list! Hidden Figures is a superb film and really empowers the idea that everyone has the ability to do great things with their minds. I think that students can often get a poor perception of math education because it isn’t inspiring to them, but being able to see people using math in such an amazing and groundbreaking way is engaging. I also like the idea of innovating the way math is taught to make it accessible for all because, as your 2nd link discusses, everyone can learn math.
    Thanks for sharing!


  4. maestracayero says:

    I feel sad when I hear parents saying that they are bad at math so when their children encounter a problem with a math task in the classroom they automatically come up with that excuse. “My parents are bad at math so so am I” and then they end up believing it! I think that more parents and educators should read Jo Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets book.
    I love the Hidden Figures movie it could be so empowering and inspiring especially for High School students to look up to these women.
    I also have been wanting to watch the Gifted movie. I was hoping it will help me understand what may be going on at home of gifted students. If you end up watching it let us know what you thought!
    Thanks for sharing these amazing books and movies!


    • rwaldmanblog says:

      I finally watched Gifted and it was amazing! It shows a very interesting and complicated life of a family of math geniuses. There is a lot of extra things on the side, custody battle and love interest, but the giftedness of the young lady is quite remarkable. I would love having a student like her in my class to work with!


  5. kendalcramer says:

    Hi Ryann,
    Mathematical Mindset sounds very interesting and intriguing, I will have to add it to my books to read. I teach Algebra 1 during the summer to high school students and I often show them episodes of a tv show Numb3rs. The show illustrates how we use math everyday in ways we least expect, every time my students say things like “Wow, I didn’t know that was math!”


  6. @naomi_jaynes says:

    I have read both of Lemov’s TLAC books and always find something new to try even after quite a few years of teaching! I love learning! I’ve heard amazing things about Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets and now that you’ve highlighted it, Ryann, I’ll have to add it to my personal PD reading list. Thanks for sharing!


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