As a young classroom teacher, I read my first Heinemann book—In the Middle, by Nancie Atwell—way back in 1988. Clocking in at more than 300 pages, I read it cover to cover, and the book literally transformed my teaching. In the Middle showed me the value of student-centered practices and beliefs, and after reading it, I began a journey of professional reading that’s sustained me ever since. The authors of books like Nancie’s have been my most important teaching mentors.
Professional books look very different today, and teachers access information and inspiration to feed their teaching in new, dynamic ways. But although the way we read is evolving, the transformative power of foundational ideas remains the same. This important realization was the genesis of the Classroom Essentials series.
With a laser-sharp focus, each book in the series highlights one essential, student-centered practice, giving you the information you need to get started trying it—or refining it—in your own classroom right away. Informed directly by the content, each book utilizes a fresh, highly visual design to create an engaging, contemporary reading experience. Most books in the series also include robust online resources—including video that shows you what the practice looks like in today’s dynamic classrooms. Perhaps most importantly, authors in the series connect you with their own teaching mentors, showing you how today’s most progressive practices are built on a solid foundation of research found in professional literature.
As the series editor for Classroom Essentials, my deepest hope is that these books build a strong, lasting bridge between important work in our field from the past, and a future full of bright possibilities for the students we teach.
Katie Wood Ray
For many years as the author of bestselling Heinemann books such as About the Authors, Study Driven, Already Ready, and In Pictures and In Words, and as a member of Heinemann’s Professional Development Services, Katie Wood Ray gave teachers resources and PD that transformed writing instruction and helped children discover a lifelong love of writing.
In 2014, Katie “moved to the other side of the desk” and joined the dynamic team of editors at Heinemann where she works closely with authors to craft powerful professional books on a range of literacy topics. Katie is also the series editor for the new Classroom Essentials books from Heinemann. Tasked with bringing foundational, progressive practices to a new generation of teachers, Katie works to ensure that the sharp focus and enhanced design of each book best serve the content. She also teamed up with her longtime collaborator, Lisa Cleaveland, to write one of the first books in the series, A Teacher’s Guide to Getting Started with Beginning Writers.
You can find her on Twitter at @KatieWoodRay