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

In the Best Interest of Students: Staying True to What Works in the ELA Classroom By Kelly Gallagher Cover Image

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

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In his new book, In the Best Interest of Students: Staying True to What Works in the ELA Classroom, teacher and author 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 good teaching remains grounded in proven practices that sharpen students’ literacy skills.
Instead of blindly adhering to the latest standards movement, Gallagher suggests:
  • Increasing the amount of reading and writing students are doing while giving students more choice around those activities
  • Balancing rigorous, high-quality literature and non-fiction works with student-selected titles
  • Encouraging readers to deepen their comprehension by moving beyond the “four corners of the text”
  • Planning lessons that move beyond Common Core expectations to help young writers achieve more authenticity through the blending of genres
  • Using modeling to enrich students’ writing skills in the prewriting, drafting, and revision stages
  • Resisting the de-emphasis of narrative and imaginative reading and writing

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?

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."

Product Details ISBN: 9781625310446
ISBN-10: 1625310447
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication Date: February 9th, 2015
Pages: 248
Language: English