The holiday season is upon us and it’s a great time to show your colleagues some love. If you’re struggling to come up with gift ideas (as we all do around this time of year), you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of 10 books the MC team and MC Featured Teachers are calling their favorite books on education and leadership.

And in the spirit of giving, MasteryConnect will also be doing a book giveaway for these 10 recommended reads! It’s super easy to enter by following the steps below.

On December 10th we will begin selecting one random winner every day for ten days on. Winners can select the book of their choice from our recommend reading list below.

Our Winter Reading List

  1. Front of the Class by Brad Cohen

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher James Mazzarano

    As a child with Tourette syndrome, Brad Cohen was ridiculed, beaten, mocked, and shunned. Brad never stopped striving, and after twenty-four interviews, he landed his dream job: teaching grade school.

  2. The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher Jessica Jones

    Created by teachers for teachers, this is the ultimate guide for unleashing students’ potential through creative lessons, empowering messages and innovative teaching.

  3. The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher Nicole Menssen

    A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere: this is the goal of the Khan Academy, a passion project that grew from an ex-engineer and hedge funder’s online tutoring sessions with his niece, who was struggling with algebra, into a worldwide phenomenon.

  4. Multipliers: How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Greg McKeown

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher Katherine Karl Anderson

    A thought-provoking, accessible, and essential exploration of why some leaders (“Diminishers”) drain capability and intelligence from their teams, while others (“Multipliers”) amplify it to produce better results.

  5. Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division by Anthony Muhammad

    Recommended by: MasteryConnect Regional Education Team

    Transforming School Culture provides a school improvement plan for leaders to overcome staff division, improve relationships, and transform toxic school cultures into healthy ones.

  6. On Common Ground: The Power of Professional Learning Communities by Roland Barth, Rebecca DuFour, Richard DuFour, Robert Eaker, Barbara Eason-Watkins, Michael Fullan, Lawrence Lezotte, Douglas Reeves, Jonathon Saphier, Mike Schmoker, Dennis Sparks and Rick Stiggins

    Recommended by: MasteryConnect Required Reading

    On Common Ground provides a valuable tool for educators who are doing the hard work of improving their schools. This resource offers teachers and administrators a coherent conceptual framework and specific, practical strategies for moving forward with their improvement efforts.

  7. Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work by Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker, Thomas W. Many and Mike Mattos

    Recommended by: Noel Gomez, MasteryConnect Regional Sales Leader & Former School & District Administrator

    Discover how to close the knowing-doing gap and transform your school or district into a high-performing professional learning community (PLC).

  8. Grading for Impact: Raising Student Achievement Through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System by Tom Hierck and Garth L. Larson

    Recommended by: Andrea Mendoza, Regional Sales and Former Teacher

    As grading, assessment, and reporting continue to be a relevant topic of discussion, this book creates a functional plan to move standards-based grading practices forward in schools. Teachers and teacher leaders will learn how to assess, grade, and report against specific learning targets rather than standards as a whole.

  9. Grading Smarter, Not Harder: Assessment Strategies That Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn by Myron Dueck

    Recommended by: Tiffany Hardinger, Regional Education Consultant and Former Teacher

    In this lively and eye-opening book, educator Myron Dueck reveals how many of the assessment policies that teachers adopt can actually prove detrimental to student motivation and achievement and shows how we can tailor policies to address what really matters: student understanding of content.

  10. How To Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom by Susan M. Brookhart

    Recommended by: MasteryConnect Team

    Educators know it’s important to get students to engage in “higher-order thinking.” But What does higher-order thinking actually look like? And how can K 12 classroom teachers assess it across the disciplines? Author, consultant, and former classroom teacher Susan M. Brookhart answers these questions and more in this straightforward, practical guide to assessment that can help teachers determine if students are actually displaying the kind of complex thinking that current content standards emphasize.

We are always on the hunt for a new read! Have a book that inspires your teaching and leading methods? Enter in our Holiday Book Giveaway by following the instructions above!


Beginning next week, you will have a new option for organizing and printing progress reports. You will  be able to print alphabetically by grade, making it easier to create, print, and distribute reports.

To organize and print alphabetically by grade within a school, simply select the checkbox on the Create Progress Report page as shown below.

For more information on creating Progress Reports, visit our Help Center article.


Last month we announced an exciting new feature—Teacher Item Authoring— and our partner educators are already loving the functionality. This feature gives teachers the tools to create over 50 item types, while building and sharing their own personal item banks. (Missed the announcement? Read it here.)

The launch of Teacher Item Authoring makes it the perfect time to hold professional development dedicated to implementing, improving, and expanding usage of item authoring in your school or district. Our PD experts have a variety of options to deliver hands-on instruction to ensure maximum effectiveness and best practices when creating and managing items.

Our Item Authoring PD Sessions are right for you if…

  • you recently implemented Teacher Item Authoring.
  • you could use support in creating your own district item bank.
  • you would like a more in-depth look at the specific functionalities within Item Authoring, including all the awesome technology-enhanced item types.
  • you feel confident creating items, but would like some guidance from an MC expert on creating quality assessments with your own item bank.

The best part about these interactive PD sessions is the one-on-one time you’ll get with an MC specialist to help you build your item bank.

Interested in scheduling a session? Please contact your Regional Education Consultant for more information—or fill out the form on this page and we’ll call you! And be sure to ask about our limited-time PD specials that are available now through December 21st.

Want Teacher Item Authoring?

If you’re a school and district administrator and you’re interested in activating Teacher Item Authoring, please contact your Regional Education Consultant for more info or call us at 801.736.0258.

Teachers, if you are interested in authoring your own items, let your in-house MasteryConnect administrator know!