Final Day: Readicide Conversation

It's hard to believe, but TODAY is the last day for participants to jump in to our conversation (see here) on reading instruction with Kelly Gallagher—author of Readicide: How schools are killing reading.  After three days of brilliance from dozens of commenters, I feel good about what we've learned together.

If you haven't had a chance to stop by yet, you might be interested in the following strands of conversation:

On the first slide, Attila Uregen wonders whether we can really blame Readicide completely on schools when he writes:  "Reading , as form of entertainment, enjoyment and the assimilation of knowledge is being killed by technology innovations as well as home life to a greater extennt…Don't you think?"

On the third slide, Patty McClune argues that surrounding kids with text should not be left to classroom teachers alone.  School and public libraries are perfect places for beginning the kinds of lifelong book floods that Kelly describes in Readicide.  Patty writes:  "But I also think it’s critical for students to become familiar and comfortable with the culture of libraries so they can take ownership of their book selection in and out of school. Sort of the same idea as if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish he can feed himself for life."

On the eighth slide, FlitterFly and I start to wrestle with an interesting question:  How will building principals react to the kinds of instructional practices that Kelly recommends in Readicide?  After all, without their support, we're in trouble!

On the last slide, Kelly and Alice Mercer are working through an interesting concept together:  Are students capable of reading entire novels?  Is it possible that some of the reading troubles we see in schools might just be a reading endurance issue instead of a reading comprehension issue.

So stop by Voicethread today, huh? 

Find a way to contribute to this conversation before it closes to comments tomorrow morning!  While you'll always be able to access the dialogue and share the link with colleagues, today is your last chance to lend your thoughts to the collective knowledge we're building together. 

2 thoughts on “Final Day: Readicide Conversation

  1. Bill Ferriter

    As always, you leave me blown away with your insights. Thanks—once again—for taking the time to share your thoughts with us/me and for challenging us to remember the parent perspective in any conversation about teaching and learning.
    Your insights are invaluable and much appreciated.
    Rock on,

  2. K. Borden

    Not wishing to inject parent perspective into what is a great exchange between teachers, I am commenting here.
    One comment noted a question that must be answered. “Why do you need to learn to read?” What I have shared with my daughter frankly and candidly is that reading well is one of the tickets to opportunity. I have shared with her the statistics that connect literacy and earnings potential, achievement and so forth. But then I tell her the following, “Reading lets you go places without leaving your bed on a rainy day, learn secrets others may never share, take adventures and learn to do things when you want to.”
    To Mr. Sherman, Cir Cumference and his friends including the Dragon of Pi liter our floors, shelves and beds. Another great math book series has been written by the former star of the Wonder Years…”Kiss My Math”.
    To the science teacher who teaches reading, thank you!! My daughter and most of her friends consume nonfiction. Almanacs are very popular. The “Oh Yikes!” and “Oh Yuck!” scholastic books are a treasure in our home that sparked an interest in more.
    Mr. Ferriter asked why students sometimes actually like worksheets. While middle schoolers are beginning to experiment with ambiguity, they like all of us like goals with definite conclusions. It is kinda like why people enjoy games or crosswords, sometimes filling in the blank is fun and renders a sense of accomplishment. To all things variety and moderation???
    A shout out to school librarians. I often talked with my daughter’s former school librarian for suggestions of titles or authors.
    I noticed when discussing classroom libraries a valuable resource was not mentioned…..parents. I often become frustrated when year after year I get wish lists from teachers of baggies, pencils…and never a list of books they may want in their classroom until the bookfair is happening. I now ask if there are particular books a teacher wants, but I know other parents would donate if they had a list to work from because they have when I have shared what I have been told.
    Also on pushback to resistent systems, employ parents. Perhaps some don’t care, but some deeply do and would be willing and able advocates for change.
    Final comment….the trend toward less history in schools is sad. Truth is so often stranger than fiction and great stories have been lived as well as imagined. With my daughter the beautifully illustrated books by Lynne Cheney opened a door to interest in history and biography that remains. Booktv on C-Span often features children’s writers and we enjoy those author visits in our home a great deal.
    Just a bit of input from a mom.

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