Pub. Date:
Stenhouse Publishers
In the Best Interest of Students: Staying True to What Works in the ELA Classroom

In the Best Interest of Students: Staying True to What Works in the ELA Classroom

by Kelly Gallagher
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What is in the best interest of our students? Is it teaching to the newest standards movement, like the Common Core? Teaching that prepares students to take a test? Or is it something more meaningful and authentic?
In his new book, In the Best Interest of Students, Kelly Gallagher notes that there are real strengths in the Common Core standards, and there are significant weaknesses as well. He takes the long view, reminding us that standards come and go but what remains constant is the need to stay true to what we know works in the teaching of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Instead of blindly adhering to the latest standards movement, Kelly advocates:

·         Dialing up the amount of reading and writing students are doing.
·         Balancing rigorous, high-quality literature and non-fiction with high-interest, student-selected titles.
·         Giving students much more choice when it comes to reading and writing activities.
·         Encouraging readers to deepen their comprehension by moving beyond the “four corners of the text.”
·         Using modeling to enrich students’ writing skills in the prewriting, drafting, and revision stages.
·         Helping young writers to achieve more authenticity through the blending of genres.
·         Resisting the de-emphasis of narrative and imaginative reading and writing.
·         Providing students with more opportunities to sharpen their listening and speaking skills
·         Planning lessons that move beyond Common Core expectations. 
In this provocative and insightful new book, Kelly surveys the teaching landscape since the publication of his highly regarded book Readicide, and finds that although some progress has been made, more needs to be done. Amid the frenzy of trying to teach to a new set of standards, Kelly Gallagher is a strong voice of reason, reminding us that instruction should be anchored around one guiding question: What is in the best interest of our students?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625310446
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date: 02/09/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 414,696
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 10 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kelly, a "baseballoholic" and a self-described expert at negotiating airports, is in his 33rd year of teaching at the high school level.

He currently teaches at Magnolia High School in Anaheim, California.

He believes that "there is no greater pleasure than teaching someone something." Teaching is "artistic, it matters a great deal, and I can never get the job down perfectly."

Kelly thinks that professional development should treat teachers as such - professionals. "I know in the classroom that good things happen when my students have meaningful discussions. I know as a teacher myself that my craft sharpens when I am given the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with my peers. And let's have a laugh or two while we are at it."

Writing his six books for Stenhouse was a solitary experience. "Though I have written outlines prior to each of my books, I have yet to follow any of them step-by-step. That is why I find writing rewarding - because the act of writing itself generates new thinking, and new thinking is always exciting."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Chapter 1 Our Students' Best Interest Does Not Always Align with the Current Standards Movement 1

Chapter 2 Staying True to What Works in the Teaching of Reading 15

Chapter 3 Where the Common Core Reading Standards Fall Short 49

Chapter 4 Staying True to What Works in the Teaching of Writing 63

Chapter 5 Where the Common Core Writing Standards Fall Short 101

Chapter 6 Using Models to Elevate Our Students' Reading and Writing Abilities 129

Chapter 7 Sharpening Our Students' Listening and Speaking Skills 159

Chapter 8 Shift Happens 185

Appendix A Track Your Writing Chart 212

Appendix B Conversation Chart 213

References 215

Index 227

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