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Teach Reading, Not Testing

Teach Reading, Not Testing
Best Practice in an Age of Accountability

Foreword by W. James Popham

November 2011 | 144 pages | Corwin

Teaching IS rocket science—and you are the pilot!

Teach Reading, Not Testing reinforces what teachers already know—test preparation worksheets and drill-and-kill activities do not make children into lifelong readers. The authors' conscientious approach to reading instruction combines an insider perspective on the development of high-stakes tests with classroom experience in achieving successful reading outcomes at the elementary and secondary levels. Their research-based methodology, building on teachers' expertise about best practice, is based on five key components:

  1. Aligning instruction to the state or national core standards
  2. Using formative assessment
  3. Connecting units to real-world contexts
  4. Motivating students effectively
  5. Holding on to best practice in literacy instruction

Included are end-of-chapter quizzes and real-life scenarios, plus a full chapter on teaching literacy with special populations. Readers will find helpful solutions for teaching children to love reading in the midst of the accountability movement, and an approach to test preparation that doesn't require teachers to sacrifice everything they already know about teaching kids to read.

Foreword by W. James Popham
About the Authors
1. Conducting an Alignment Study
Conducting an Alignment Study  
What Is Alignment?  
Teaching to the Test: Just Say No  
Key Points to Remember  
End-of-Chapter Quiz  
2. Using Formative Assessments
What Does Formative Mean?  
How Are the Scores of Test Takers Analyzed?  
Differentiated Instruction  
Tests as a Snap Shot: The Jacuzzi Metaphor  
Test Quality and District Assessments  
End-of-Chapter Quiz  
3. Struggling Readers
Accommodations Versus Modifications  
Modifications and High-Stakes Tests: Alternative Assessments  
Accommodations and High-Stakes Tests  
Assistive Technology (AT)  
Response to Intervention (RTI)  
Differentiated Instruction (DI)
English Language Learners (ELLs)  
End-of-Chapter Quiz  
4. Attitude and Motivation
Motivation Research  
Goal Setting  
What to Do If Your Principal Wants to Use Pizza Parties to Bribe Students  
The Use of Practice Tests: Preparation or Motivation?  
Test Preparation: Analyzing Tests as a Reading Genre  
Communicaton With Stakeholders  
End-of-Chapter Quiz  
5. Engaged Independent Reading
Connect Your Reading Units to Real-World Contexts  
Teaching Students to Read for Pleasure  
Reading at Home: W.E.I.R.D.  
What's the Deal With Boys?  
Literature Circles and Book Clubs: What Is Normal in the Real World?  
Best Practice for Book Clubs  
End-of-Chapter Quiz  
6. Best Practice
What Do Quality Inservices Look Like?  
Theory and Practice at the Elementary Level: Best Practices Primer  
Know What Works for You  
End-of-Chapter Quiz  
7. Implications for Your Teaching and Beyond
Holding Your Ground  
Test Misuse in the Early Days of Testing  
The Need for a Supportive Principal  
No More Teaching to the Test  
Next Steps  
Final Thoughts  
Resource A: Answers to Quizzes
Resource B: Five Ways to Teach Vocabulary
General Glossary of Assessment Terms

"This timely book addresses issues that we all deal with on a daily basis because of NCLB and high stakes testing. Teachers are in a quandary because they are often directed to provide exercises and activities in the classroom that contradict what they know to be good literacy instruction. This book provides suggestions for maintaining excellent instructional standards which will result in improved test scores."

Janice C. Brunson, Coordinator of Elementary Literacy
Stafford County Public Schools, Stafford, VA

"This is a useful resource for teachers and administrators who aspire to ramp up their knowledge of current practices and policies driving the myriad changes swirling in the field of literacy instruction. It is a friendly overview and navigation guide by a knowledgeable author team."

Paula J. Leftwich, Senior Director, K-12 Curriculum and Instruction
Polk County Public Schools, Bartow, FL

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ISBN: 9781412997737

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