Kelly Gallagher Building Deeper Readers & Writers

Food for Thought 101 Sports Books for the JHS/SHS Classroom Library
I asked my Twitter followers to recommend great sports books for both junior high and senior high school students. Here is an alphabetical list of their recommendations. Note: I have not read all of these books. Some may be too mature for JHS students. A big thanks to all who contributed recommendations.

The Exchange (April, 2014)
In advance of the 2014 IRA Conference coming up in New Orleans, be sure to check out the latest newsletter from IRA's Secondary Reading Interest Group.

Spoken Poetry for Middle and High School Students
These are the spoken poems recommended in response to my recent Twitter request. Warning: Some of them contain explicit language. Thanks to my friend, Penny Kittle, and to all others who responded.

Poetry for Middle and High School Students
I recently asked (on Twitter) for suggested poems and books of poetry for middle and high school students. These are the recommendations I received.

High-Interest Non-Fiction Titles for Eighth Graders
Thanks to my colleague, Donna Santman, and many others who responded via Twitter for helping me compile this list of high-interest non-fiction books for eighth graders.

Essential Books for the Classroom Library
At NCTE 2013, I hosted a roundtable centered on one question: “What books are essential to your classroom library?” Click on the link above to see the complete list of responses.

The Exchange (October, 2013)
It's here...the International Reading Association (IRA) Secondary Reading Interest Group's fall newsletter for 2013.

The Exchange (April, 2013)
The spring edition of the International Reading Association (IRA) Secondary Reading Interest Group's semi-annual newsletter features a great article by Jeff Wilhelm.

5 Things Every Teacher Should Be Doing to Meet the Common Core State Standards
Eye on Education's Senior Editor Lauren Davis outlines five specific strategies that all teachers should be using to implement the new standards in their classrooms.

The Exchange (October, 2012)
Check out the International Reading Association (IRA) Secondary Reading Interest Group's fall newsletter.

Literary Implementation Guidance for the ELA Common Core Standards
The International Reading Association addresses specific literacy issues with the ELA Common Core Standards and offers guidance for effective implementation.

After the Testing
Educator and researcher Allan Luke presents long-term evidence that standardized testing has failed to narrow the achievement gap in literacy.

The Writing Revolution
Education writer Peg Tyre explores one school's approach to teaching young writers—but is it the right approach?

The Exchange (April, 2012)
Check out the International Reading Association (IRA) Secondary Reading Interest Group's spring newsletter.

The Case Against Zero
Doug Reeves warns us about the unintended consequences of giving a grade of zero.

A Snapshot of Writing Instruction in Middle Schools and High Schools
This article by Applebee and Langer discusses how standardized testing and other factors have affected writing instruction at the secondary level.

What Is Happening in the Teaching of Writing
Applebee and Langer examine the changes in writing instruction that have taken place over the last 30 years.

What Amreicans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success
Finnic journalist Anu Partanen explains how Finland's social policies contribute to the country's educational successes.

An Adult Takes the Test
his illuminating blog post features a piece by veteran educator Marion Brady who writes about the insights a school board trustee gains after taking portions of his state's standardized math and reading tests.

The Exchange
Here's the most current newsletter from the International Reading Association (IRA) Secondary Reading Interest Group.

Writing to Read
This new study illustrates the link between writing and deeper reading.

Testing Remains the Problem
Diane Ravitch weighs in on Obama's State of the Union address, specifically his policy for education reform, finding it—like No Child Left Behind—fundamentally flawed.

What Passes for School Reform: "Value-Added" Teacher Evaluation and Other Absurdities
Education expert Alfie Kohn exposes the "ugliness" and ignorance behind what many politicians, corporate executives and journalists consider "education reform."

There's No Such Thing as a Reading Test
Authors E.D. Hirsch and Robert Pondiscio make a clear case for the role background knowledge plays in reading competency. In a nutshell, it's why I feel so strongly about assigning an "Article of the Week" in my classroom.

Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers
For educators facing evaluations based on value-added models, a group of scholars convened by the Economic Policy Institute recently published this briefing in which they detail the significant problems associated with test-based teacher evaluations.

The Medium Is the Medium
New York Times Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks examines recent studies related to the Internet-versus-books debate.

A Pretense of Science and Objectivity: Data and Race to the Top
Noted education researcher Yong Zhao details the problems of tying education policy and funding to questionable data.

Just Say No to the Race to the Top
Diane Ravitch presents 10 reasons why schools should not participate in the government's Race to the Top initiative.

The Big Idea—It's Bad Education Policy
Diane Ravitch, a staunch NCLB supporter, has changed her mind.

Proposed National English Standards
Check out the first round of proposed national English standards, which were just released by the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI).

Building a Better Teacher
Author Elizabeth Green writes about education professionals who are successfully cracking the code to what makes a great teacher.

Conflicts of Interest and The Race to the Top
Two of the country's leading education voices, Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier, debate Obama's education policy.

Introducing "Mr. Literary"
Need a good laugh? Check out this new video series on the Barnes & Noble website.

Turning Schools into Registry of Motor Vehicles
Why a poorly designed accountability system can actually make teaching worse

As School Exit Tests Prove Tough, States Ease Standards
Lowering standards to meet testing demands

How E-Books Will Change Reading and Writing

Hybrid Books and Their Effect on Young Imaginations
Read a good "vook" lately?

The New Writing Pedagogy
The shape of writing is changing.

Federal Researchers Find Lower Standards in Schools
Better readers or lower standards?

Obama's Vision for Education
Obama: Bush Part 2?

Replacing No Child Left Behind
It is time to tweak NCLB.

The Sun Sets on "Reading Rainbow"
A shift in educational philosophy to focus more on how to read rather than why kids should read is partially responsible for the end of this beloved television program.

Illiteracy in Our Prisons
Thanks to Guillermo Rivera for bringing this important New York Times article to my attention.

Illiteracy and Teen Suicide
Guillermo Rivera also shared this important article about the correlation between poor reading skills and risk of suicide.

Shallow testing is driving shallow writing in Florida.

The End of NCLB?
Diane Ravitch, noted professor of education, argues that it is time to kill NCLB.

Questions About Reading Management Software
In an essay published in The New York Times, writer Susan Straight expresses concern about the Accelerated Reader program.

What Should Colleges Teach?
Noted scholar Stanley Fish blogs about the need for college writing courses that teach writing.

Parents Take a Stand for Reading
I just came across this article in North Carolina's The News & Observer. As Tom Newkirk says in his new book, standardization leads to sameness, rarely to excellence. It's heartening to see some parents stand up for authentic reading.

One Professional's Experience with Readicide
I am pleased to share with you an essay written and sent to me by Renee Langmuir, Assistant Director of Student Teaching and Field Placements at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, in which she laments the direction reading instruction has taken under the influence of NCLB. Thank you, Renee.

WYTIWYG in Action
A recent article in the Houston Chronicle prompts me to wonder, "How can a school system receive the state's highest ranking, yet fail to meet federal standards?" Remember WYTIWYG—What You Test Is What You Get.

Measuring the Achievement Gaps Between Black and White Students
The latest NAEP study shows some narrowing of the achievement gap, but it is worth your time to read the fine print.

The Importance of Literature in Preparing Students for the "Real World"
In an age where anthologies and worksheets are crowding out the reading of longer works, a white paper by Carol Jago reminds us why it is important that students still be challenged by novels and longer works of non-fiction.

Simple Writing Assignment Improves Minority Student Grades
In a follow-up to a 2006 study researchers found that an in-class writing assignment designed to reinforce students' sense of identity and personal integrity increased the grade-point averages of African-American middle school students over a two-year period, and reduced the rate at which these students were held back or placed in remediation.

"Depth' Matters in High School Science Studies
In the argument of "breadth" versus "depth," one new study of science classrooms has found that our students are better served when "depth" is given priority.

The Genteel Unteaching of America's Poor

In this report, NCTE President Kylene Beers discusses the "segregation of intellectual rigor" that occurs when we have low writing expectations for those students on the wrong side of the achievement gap.

Writing in the 21st Century
A new report from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) calls for more effective writing curriculum and teaching models

Social Websites Harm Children's Brains
In this article, a top neuroscientist warns that children's brains are being harmed by social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Are Hollywood and the Internet Killing Reading?
In this Forbes.com article, Diane Ravitch questions popular culture's effect on literary reading.

Are We Killing Readers?

This article argues that students need more real-world reading and that giving them only academic reading may be a contributing factor to the death of reading.

NCTE on High-Stakes Testing
NCTE's recent resolution urges reconsideration of high-stakes testing.

Illusions of Progress
A new Education Week article addresses recent research indicating that, under No Child Left Behind, several factors conspire to produce scores on state standardized tests that are “substantially better than students‘ mastery of the material.”

The Writing and Learning Connection
This USA Today article summarizes a recent report from the National Survey of Student Engagement in which researchers find that writing leads to deeper learning.

Reading First Impact Study
Although the U.S. government spent $1 billion on the Reading First program, the study finds that students in the program did not achieve higher comprehension scores than children who were not part of the study.

Tax Cuts for Teachers
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman suggests that, looking long term, a major investment in education is the most effective means for stimulating the economy.