Readicide Blog Hop - Chapter 3

Happy Tuesday folks!  Welcome back to another edition of our Readicide book study!  In Chapter 3, we learn about the reading tsunami.  The idea that students are faced with the over analysis of literature and nonfiction.  Our students are essentially drowning in too many close reading strategies.  Young readers are not being given the opportunity to enjoy what Gallagher calls the "book flow...that place where readers get lost in the story....when before you know it, four hours have flown by and you are just a few short pages away from finishing that captivating story.  My fellow teachers, we need to reduce the amount of "chopping" (as Gallagher calls it) we do to reading and let young students just read.

Gallagher also provides some excellent strategies for helping our students become more excited about academic text.  Take a look at some of his suggestions:

Teach your students to understand the value of academic text.  Help your students understand how a particular piece of academic material can provide sound advice.  Pull out lessons and bits of information that can help students navigate in the real world.

Have your students connect the academic text to real-world situations.  Gallagher gives an example where he had his students analyze a speech from Hamlet.  After the students analyzed the speech...they needed to come up with real-world examples of where they could apply the advice given in the speech.  This strategy helped students become excited and engaged about Shakespeare...classic literature that is extremely challenging for even the most literate adult.

Ease students into challenging academic pieces.  Gallagher calls this the guided tour versus the budget tour.  Meaning, in the guided tour model how you would go about reading and analyzing the text.  Then, halfway through, start to pull back and let the students take over for the "budget tour".  Modeling behaviors and guiding students through the text sets them up for reading success.  This strategy helps children build confidence and independence when tackling challenging pieces of work.

Topic floods are where you not only connect your novels to real-world situations, but you flood students with information on a specific topic from various media types.  For example, Gallagher mentions that when California decided to legalize same-sex marriage, he found a plethora of articles and reports about the controversial topic from a number of different media sources.  Through this strategy, students are given the opportunity to experience different writing styles, opinions, and media types, ultimately creating a generation of readers who can tackle various types of reading material.

Which of these strategies is most appealing to you?  What are some ways you make academic text easier for students in your classroom.  Leave your comments below.  Then, hop on over to Kim's blog to learn what she is saying about Chapter 3.

We are more than halfway done with our book study!  Be sure not to miss out on our last two upcoming weeks!

Happy Teaching,
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  1. I loved his guided tour of Hamlet before they even started reading. It was such a great way to make a difficult text relevant before they even started reading. Every teacher needs to read this book.
    The Research Based Classroom

  2. I think connecting some text to the real world is the hardest part of teaching reading sometimes. Students come from all walks of life just like adults and it is difficults to know what they need background in sometimes. Last year, I was shocked that my students didn't really know what a tornado is because we don't get them in Nevada.

    Great graphics, again! :) Looking forward to next week! (even though I'll be on my way to Vegas!!! :)!!!!

    The Whimsical Teacher

  3. It really is all about making connections. Without connections, what we teach is just random pieces of knowledge that leave students wondering "why do I need to know this?". When we help them make connections to their world, they own that knowledge.

    Quinnessential Lessons

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