Readicide Blog hop - Week One

Hey friends.
While I'm unfortunately not on Summer Break, I have linked up with a group of bloggers for a book study!

I'm so excited to be collaborating with this super awesome group of teachers.  It makes me miss teaching my last year's class! 

This summer we are reviewing the book Readicide by Kelly Gallagher.  That link will take you to Amazon where you can check it out.  

This week we are talking about chapter one.  I'll admit, this was a hard chapter to read!  I've taught for 9.5 years now, and reading has always been something I've enjoyed teaching.  My philosophy is all about teaching kids to love reading, by reading!  And yet we, as teachers, are more and more forced into the process of testing!  I'm lucky here in New Zealand that we don't have end of year standardised tests, but I do know the annoyance that comes with National Standards.  

We have been forced into proving kids reading levels with countless tests and running records.  I've been a fly on the wall when my colleagues have unknowingly (or perhaps even deliberately!) fed their students prompts to comprehension questions to boost their running record scores.  I've been on the other end of this "cheating" when the same kids come to me the next year and they are definitely NOT at the level that their previous teacher put them at.  

The "elephant in the room" is definitely something that is VERY prominent in American schools, but is also starting to become evident in New Zealand schools.  We are teaching kids to a test, rather than where they are and what they are interested in.  

If we continue down this track the kids who are falling behind are going to be even further back.

How do we fix this gap?  How much failure do these students have to endure before we start doing something about it?!

In my class thinking is definitely valued higher than the answer.  I would rather have a student demonstrate that they can think in a range of ways and be WRONG with their answer, than have someone who has faultless answers but can't think for themselves.  

What about you?

Hop over to the next stop to hear what she has to say on this chapter.  We're all excited to share our ideas on how we can stop Readicide in our schools!  

Check out what is coming up in the bloghop.

5 comments

  1. Oh, no! New Zealand's literacy instruction model has been considered the gold standard to us in the States! I hate to think that some of the worst bits of our system is bleeding into yours. I hope your teacher leaders can push back. :(

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  2. Hopefully New Zealand schools will not go down the standardized testing path. My poor fourth graders had to take 6 PBAs, 4 End of the Year tests, and we were chosen for the NAEP this year. This is all in addition to district mandated tests. One day, I hope to see the era of testing as a black spot in education's past. I'll have to check out this book. I love Kelly Gallagher. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I'm looking forward to reading more.

    Mary
    Fit to be Fourth

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  3. I completely agree with your statement that they learn to love reading by reading. I wish every teacher out there would read this book. So important for our students.
    Brandi
    The Research Based Classroom

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  4. Running records sounds exhausting!! I actually like *one* of the standardized tests we give here in the states called MAPS... it gives you a lot of instant data and really narrows down areas you can help your students in. That's the only one I like though. So far, I've never taught to the test.. but I am guilty of handing out a lot of reading comprehension essays.

    I feel like reading and writing should go hand in hand. I think the newer standardized tests will focus more on "essays".. which I think are ten times better than multiple choice anything. I can't wait to see what you have to say for chapter 2! Thanks!

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  5. I couldn't agree with you more. I find that the students want to know "what's the right answer?". They have been "taught" that that is what is important. I often think that "thinking for themselves" will be a lost art in the future. It seems to be all about test scores. Read for the sake of reading has been phased out of the school day. So sad.

    Kim
    Quinnessential Lessons

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