For the past week, we've been focusing on Kelly's new book, Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It, which will be released by Stenhouse on February 10th. (Order it HERE!) Kelly has stopped by to answer teacher's questions about the sneak preview that we presented here last week. Here are your questions and Kelly's answers during this exciting discussion:
There are three questions that can be asked after the reading of any text: What does it say? What does it mean? What does it matter? These are the levels of assessment I want to assess after my students read. (More on this in my book, Deeper Reading). I also want them to consider what the text didn't say. I design all my reading assessments with these levels of thinking in mind. This means all my assessment requires written response. No bubbling. If I want to know my students are getting to deeper levels, they have to demonstrate this via writing.
2. I agree with Mr. Gallagher that giving kids time to read during school is important, but what do you do when there are a few kids who simply don't read during this time? For example, I have one student who says he hates reading. We looked through my classroom library together, and there was nothing that looked interesting to him. We've looked through the school's library with the same result. When we finally find a book he's willing to try, he looks around the room during most of our reading time. During independent reading time, I run guided reading groups, have student-teacher conferences, or give individual students reading assessments (DRAs), so I can't read with him every day. How do I make sure independent reading time is a valuable use of time for ALL kids?
Frankly, I do not know that you can. There may be that one kid out there who will not read. Whenever I get a kid like that, I want to know if it is a case of "will" or a case of "skill." Does he not want to read? Or is it that he cannot read? I sit down and assess the child's ability to read. I start really reluctant readers with comic books and magazines. I also start by sharing with them the real-world reasons why reading is a worthwhile undertaking. That said, I do not think it is possible (given our class sizes and other obstacles) to turn every kid on to reading. I try to touch as many of them as I can.
Thanks goes out to our visiting author, Kelly Gallagher, as well to as our teachers who submitted questions. We appreciate Mr. Gallagher including us on his BlogTour and wish him well as he continues his travels!