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Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It

de Kelly Gallagher

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From the Publisher: Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools. Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline-poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. In this provocative new book, Kelly Gallagher suggests, however, that it is time to recognize a new and significant contributor to the death of reading: our schools. In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. Specifically, he contends that the standard instructional practices used in most schools are killing reading by: valuing the development of test-takers over the development of lifelong readers; mandating breadth over depth in instruction; requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support; insisting that students focus solely on academic texts; drowning great books with sticky notes, double-entry journals, and marginalia; ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading; and losing sight of authentic instruction in the shadow of political pressures. Kelly doesn't settle for only identifying the problems. Readicide provides teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading-steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 19 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Great book on how NCLB is ruining American students. Offers some practical advice to teachers on what they can do to create thinkers instead of test-takers.

It would have gotten 5 stars except Gallagher states that he will discuss assessment of the Articles of the Week in Chapter 5 and then doesn't. (At least as far as I can see.) I would like to know how he assesses them. ( )
  Sarah220 | Jan 23, 2021 |
In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. Specifically, he contends that the standard instructional practices used in most schools are killing reading by:
· valuing the development of test-takers over the development of lifelong readers;
· mandating breadth over depth in instruction;
· requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support;
· insisting that students focus solely on academic texts;
· drowning great books with sticky notes, double-entry journals, and marginalia;
· ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading; and
· losing sight of authentic instruction in the shadow of political pressures.

Kelly doesn’t settle for only identifying the problems. Readicide provides teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading—steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers.

A must read for anyone who cares about our young people and understands that reading is an essential skill that all other skills need as their base. ( )
  Gmomaj | Jan 19, 2021 |
The tl;dr version: Students need to have dedicated time during school (e.g. SSR) to read books of their own choosing in order to build a lifelong habit of reading and a positive identity as readers. Recreational reading is equally important as academic reading. With more difficult academic texts, teachers need to find the "sweet spot" between under- and over-teaching; "chopping" books up into too-small parts doesn't allow for reading "flow" to develop, but some guidance (e.g. framing) is necessary. Poorly designed tests with multiple choice questions elicit only shallow learning and don't encourage deep reading or the development of critical thinking and literary analysis skills.

Notes/quotes

Introduction
Readicide (noun): the systemic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools (p. 2)

Chapter 1

We are developing test-takers at the expense of readers. (7)

Multiple-choice test prep drives shallow teaching and learning (8)

Teaching to the test is not the problem. The problem occurs when we spend most of our time teaching to a shallow test. (12)

Skills that would make our students "expert citizens": creativity, common sense, wisdom, ethics, dedication, teamwork, honesty, hard work, knowing how to win and how to lose, a sense of fair play, and lifelong learning. (13)

Chapter 2

3 factors that contribute to readicide: (1) dearth of interesting reading materials in schools, (2) many schools have removed novels and other longer challenging works to provide teachers and students with more test prep time, (3) students are not doing enough reading in school. (29)

Reading consists of two factors: (1) being able to decode words on the page and (2) being able to connect the words you are reading with the prior knowledge you bring to the page. (34)

One of the casualties of this testing era seems to be the death of sustained silent reading (SSR)...eliminating SSR is wrong for three reasons: (1) SSR is actually a valuable investment in test prep, (2) SSR is necessary to allow students an opportunity to build their prior knowledge and background, (3) SSR provides many students with their only opportunity to develop a recreational reading habit. (42-44)

Do your students have access to interesting books? Do they have time to read? [Raise awareness with other faculty and admin of the importance of SSR; be the "discussion director" and bring it up at every meeting.] (51)

Instead of taking the students to the library, it is often much more effective to bring the library to the students [and create a "book flood" in the classroom]. (53)

Chapter 3 (Overteaching)

...we don't have students stop the films they watch every five minutes so they can discuss foreshadowing, developing themes, and the director's tone. Could it be that our students are turning off to great books because teachers are chopping the books up so much that achieving reading flow is impossible? Would you stay in a movie theater if the projectionist stopped the film 22 times? (61)

Setting test scores aside for a moment, isn't it our overall, long-term goal to produce graduates who become lifelong readers? (75)

Numerous studies have found the most powerful motivator that schools can offer to build lifelong readers is to provide students with time in the school day for free and voluntary reading (FVR). (75)

...the real value in reading literature is that it provides our students with imaginative rehearsals for the real world (Kenneth Burke, 1968) (79)

3 ingredients to building a reader: (1) they must have interesting books to read, (2) they must have time to read the books inside of school, (3) they must have a place to read their books. (84)

Chapter 4 (Underteaching)

Nancie Atwell, In the Middle: the teacher is the best reader/writer in the classroom and should be a mentor, a mediator, and a model. (90)

My job [as a teacher] is twofold: (1) to introduce my students to books that are a shade too hard for them and (2) use my expertise to help them navigate these texts in a way that brings value to their reading experience. (94)

To prevent readicide: recognize the importance of framing, remember the value found in second- and third-draft reading, adopt a "big chunk/little chunk" philosophy, find the metacognitive sweet spot (strategies good readers use, e.g. skim, slow down and reread, ask questions, use context clues, etc.). Don't lose sight of the 50/50 approach (half recreational reading, half academic)

Appendix A: 101 books my reluctant readers love to read
Appendix B: Book of the month form
Appendix C: One-pagers
References

Resources
http://edresearch.info/
https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/
Nancie Atwell, The Reading Zone, In the Middle ( )
  JennyArch | Jun 16, 2020 |
Very interesting concept and a great read for all English teachers and their librarians. ( )
  ksmedberg | Jun 12, 2019 |
This slim but powerful volume minces no words—Gallagher believes that our obsession with standardized testing is killing our students’ ability to read critically. His argument relies on both research-based empirical evidence and his personal experience as a high school language arts teacher.

While Gallagher’s blunt writing style (some might even call him melodramatic) could alienate some more genteel readers, he pours his passion onto the page, and there’s no denying his sincerity. But this is no mere polemic; Gallagher offers practical suggestions for improving reading instruction in meaningful and authentic ways. For example, he recommends that fully half of all reading that students do should be recreational—unassigned, unassessed, and chosen by the student him/herself. He acknowledges the value of fostering in students a sheer love of reading. Indeed, he insists that transforming students into independent readers—who actually ENJOY reading—is the only strategy that will help them succeed (a concept that is exquisite in its simplicity). Forget worksheets, standardized reading programs, isolated skill instruction, and decontextualized teaching. As Gallagher would say—be a teacher, not an assigner.

I’m eager to use this text the next time I teach my course in urban literacy. ( )
  jimrgill | Dec 7, 2016 |
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From the Publisher: Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools. Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline-poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. In this provocative new book, Kelly Gallagher suggests, however, that it is time to recognize a new and significant contributor to the death of reading: our schools. In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. Specifically, he contends that the standard instructional practices used in most schools are killing reading by: valuing the development of test-takers over the development of lifelong readers; mandating breadth over depth in instruction; requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support; insisting that students focus solely on academic texts; drowning great books with sticky notes, double-entry journals, and marginalia; ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading; and losing sight of authentic instruction in the shadow of political pressures. Kelly doesn't settle for only identifying the problems. Readicide provides teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading-steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers.

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