Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading

As a ridiculous reader, I’ve churned through literally hundreds of titles in the past five or six years, and while all have changed who I am as a teacher, none has been more practical than Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher.  In Deeper Reading, Gallagher—a high school English teacher working in a high poverty school in California—details a collection of ready-to-use strategies for structuring pre, during and post reading activities in the middle and high school classroom.

I’ve purchased countless copies of Deeper Reading to hand out to colleagues, have recommended it as a title for faculty book studies, and spent so much time with my own copy that it is a dog-eared mess.  Heck, I’m even willing to admit that much of what I know about teaching students to read comes from Deeper Reading—which embarrasses me, considering that I didn’t buy my first copy until I was about 10 years into my career.

That’s why I was left a bit slack-jawed the other day when Stenhouse—Gallagher’s publisher—contacted me the other day and asked me to host their first ever blog book tour stop for Gallagher’s new book Readicide:  How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it.

I spent the past few days trying to nail down a few details and am excited to announce that readers of the Radical will have a few unique opportunities in the next three weeks.  First, a live link to the complete text of Readicide will be made available here on the Radical on January 14th.  Your eyes will be among the first to read Gallagher’s provocative arguments—backed with research-based evidence—that our nation’s emphasis on standardized testing has actually harmed readers and that teachers must take the lead in driving change.

Then, Gallagher will answer your questions—about the concept of Readicide, about teaching reading to middle and high schoolers, about responsible actions that teachers can take to reinvent reading instruction in their classrooms—here on the Radical on January 22nd.  Who’d’ve thunk that one of my favorite authors would actually be able to interact with my audience directly?

Very cool, indeed.

So if you’re interested in having free access to a book that is sure to leave you thinking, mark your calendars for January 14th.  Then, set aside a bit of time to read and reflect on Gallagher’s arguments and to churn up a few questions for Kelly.  Let’s pick his brain a bit, huh?  If we work hard, we’ll end up with a pretty convincing set of arguments that we can use to advocate for meaningful instruction in our own schools.

In the meantime, you can expect to see a review of Readicide here on the Radical before the end of the week—I finished my copy yesterday—and a Q+A with Gallagher sometime next week.  I’m sending him a few prompts to spark a bit of conversation later today.

Oh yeah—and spread the word!  You’ve got to know some reading teachers, don’t you?

We’re ALL reading teachers, aren’t we!

9 comments

  1. Traffic School Online

    Great Information. That sounds pretty cool. Really helpful thanks for the Article, Great job, Keep posting interesting matters here. Looking forward to it. Thanks and keep it up! All the Best.

  2. Bill Ferriter

    Hey Mary,
    Glad you found the Readicide conversation that we’ll be having on the Radical in the next few weeks—and glad that you’ll be stopping by! I’m really excited to have Kelly stopping by and am looking forward to seeing what kind of conversation we’ll be able to have with him. My hope is that the collective wisdome of a group of passionate reading teachers will be able to polish some thoughts that we can all use to advocate for more responsible instructional practices in our own buildings.
    Keep watching the Radical in the next few days. I’m planning a few more posts related to the conversation that may help to prepare your teachers for the 22nd. Also, I’ve got a Q+A with Kelly that will be going up that you might find interesting.
    Be well,
    Bill

  3. Patrick Woessner

    Bill,
    Thanks for sharing this great opportunity! I’m hoping to get some of our teachers to read on the 14th and join the conversation on the 22nd. Good stuff!

  4. Mary Thomas

    I was just doing an online search to see when Gallagher’s new book will be out and found you. What a find! I can attest to the wonderful content in all of his other books and their usefulness for reading and English teachers at my high school. We are now doing a book study of Reading Reasons. Have seen him in person 3 times at conferences and he’s a really down to earth great guy. I am so excited and will be online both the 14th and 22nd. I have already spread the word.

  5. Mary Tedrow

    Gallagher is a great practicioner and I’ve found his lessons engaging and common sense for student centered classrooms. This year I have relied on his Reading Reasons to help students engage with reading in our 11th grade classroom. The reasons are even hanging on the wall! Even in the eleventh grade we are still struggling to make lifelong readers of our students. (When my supervisor asked me how we could get the reading scores up I suggested we give them time to read! (duh?) Testing takes up TOO MUCH TIME! If you have a workshop style reading classroom, Gallagher’s Reading Reasons are ready made mini-lessons to keep kids interested in the “why do we have to do this?” question.
    I’ll be looking forward to the preview of Readicide.

  6. Bill Ferriter

    Hey Patrick and MS_Teacher,
    Glad that this has caught your eye. Kelly is a great author—his work has really resonated with me in the past few years.
    And Readicide is no different! You’re going to enjoy it—a bit provocative, but tons of information that teachers can use to improve their own instruction and to advocate for responsible teaching and learning.
    Good stuff indeed,
    Bill

  7. ms_teacher

    Thank you for posting about this. I’m going to include in my Teacher Tip Tuesday feature next Tuesday.
    I agree with you that ALL teachers are teachers of reading and wish that more would understand that. Now to get my hands on Deeper Reading!

  8. Patrick

    Bill,
    Great stuff! I’ll be there on both days: to pick up the link and interact. I will also send the link out to the departments I work with. Also, I will get my hands on a copy of the Deeper Reading for a book study I am proposing this Spring. Excellent work as usual!