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Transcript of Readicide: Summary
The Elephant in the Room
Avoiding the Tsunami
Finding the "Sweet Spot" in Instruction
The overemphasis on standardized testing is harming young readers.
Curriculum steeped in multiple-choice test preparation drives shallow teaching and learning.
Test preparation reading plays a large part in maintaining "apartheid schools."
Shallow Teaching & Learning
Teaching to the test is only a problem when teaching to a shallow test, which is what often happens.
Too many standards in a curriculum: too much breadth, not enough depth.
Which of the following themes is developed in the article:
A. the conflict between art and science
B. the importance of technology
C. the joy of exploration
D. the difficulty of being true to onself
Identify Golding's central theme in
Lord of the Flies
and analyze how this theme is developed through the author's use of symbolism. Cite specific examples from the text, making sure you move beyond simply summarizing.
There's a difference between...
One study of standards found in a typical K-12 school system found that, to cover all of the content in the benchmarks, the schooling system should actually be changed from K-12 to K-22.
Teachers rush through material, and students learn to play the memorization game.
Maintaining "Apartheid Schools"
The Paige Paradox
: The achievement gap between low-income and minority students grows the longer that they are in school.
The "Texas Miracle" that the No Child Left Behind Act is based upon has flaws.
- Scores did increase, but many of the struggling students dropped out or were held back.
- More students were classified as "special education" students.
- According to other tests, these "miracle students" were less prepared for college.
The 3 Flaws with the Texas Schools' Miracle
Students enter high school behind in reading and leave even farther behind in reading because:
1. The poverty of poor expectations
2. Drill-and-kill remedial programs
3. More likely to be place in curriculum with emphasis on multiple-choice exams
4. Less access to interesting reading material
5. Often not given time to read extensively
6. Often taught by less-experienced teachers
Standardized Testing is Harming Readers
Students are in desperate need of more authentic reading.
There is a lack of interesting reading material in schools.
Many schools have removed novels to provide students and teachers with more test preparation time.
When Students Lack Interesting Material...
They aren't able to practice reading skills.
"Word poverty" and a lack of "knowledge capital" negatively impact reading ability.
Michael Phelps doesn't show up to the Olympics without practice.
Not Enough Time Spent Reading
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) has many benefits.
Why are students lacking authentic reading?
Removing Novels for Test Practice
School may be the only place that students are given an opportunity to think deeply; analyzing novels is a way to do so.
"Any teacher worth his salt can teach any language arts standard through teaching any novel."
Students are not spending enough time reading in school.
Why would students
become great readers without practice?
Reading consists of two factors:
1. Decode the words
2. Connect the words to prior knowledge
A reader needs to understand about
of the words in a passage to comprehend the reading.
32 million words
separate children in some linguistically impoverished homes from their more stimulated peers.
That's a three
grade level difference
by 6th grade.
Without some context, or
the text will make little sense.
"The pitcher's stuff was filthy. He was bringing cheese. He mixed in some chin music. Along with the heat, Uncle Charlie would occasionally show his face, producing a number of bowel-lockers. Only two batters got to know. No one came close to dialing 8."
1. It's valuable in
2. It allows students to
expand their prior knowledge
3. It may be the only opportunity for some students to develop a
recreational reading habit.
Teachers are over- teaching books, and this negatively effects students.
It prevents students from reaching the reading flow.
It creates instruction that values the trivial at the expense of the meaningful.
The Reading Flow
This is when you become absorbed in a book and lose track of your surroundings.
Too many goals and objectives creates a choppy-effect when students read.
Negative Experiences = Less Readers
Recipe for Kill-a-Reader Casserole
Why is overteaching books a bad thing?
Value the Trivial, Lose the Meaningful
Imaginative Rehearsing: Use great books as a means to examine issues in today's world.
"When students read books solely through the lens of test preparation, they miss out on the opportunity to read books through the lens of life preparation."
The negative effects can spill over and damage students' recreational reading habits.
Take one large novel.
Dice into as many pieces as possible.
It's easier to reach with recreational books.
Help students find this feeling when reading academic texts.
Imagine you're reading
*insert favorite book here*
How would you feel about having to write a reflection after every page?
teaches us about:
Isn't that more valuable than memorizing the plot?
Douse with sticky notes.
Remove book from oven
every five minutes and insert worksheets.
Add more sticky notes.
Baste until novel is unrecognizable,
far beyond well done.
Serve in choppy, bite-sized chunks.
A result of readicide...
Using effective teaching methods makes all the difference.
Recognize the importance of framing, especially with academic books.
Remember that there is value in "second-draft" and "third-draft" reading.
Framing Academic Texts
What students do before they begin reading is extremely important.
There is no such thing as a "lousy classic."
Ways to be an effective literature teacher...
The Value of Multiple Readings
readings are for
The first reading
Adopt a "big chunk/little chunk" philosophy when reading.
Strategies to frame texts:
Preview final essay question to give direction
Background of the author & his/her purpose
Discuss the historical context of the text
Give some vocabulary, if it's unfamiliar
A lousy classic
"If we were unable to discover this greatness, if we didn't recognize the value found in these books, it's because our teachers did not help us recognize this value."
Big Chunk / Little Chunk
Read a "big chunk" of the novel, then analyze a "small chunk" from that reading.
Start books with a guided tour, but ease students into the budget tour.
This is used to ease students into a text:
read and analyze together.
After students feel more comfortable with the text, keep some guidance, but mostly,
let them be free.
so that students...
Don't feel like this
Find the courage to speak up and the perseverance to stick to it.
Recognize the difference between the political and authentic worlds in which we teach.
Fight against the educational practices that are killing young readers.
We can fight against readicide!
Step up and do what is right for our students.
How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it.
By: Kelly Gallagher