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 activitiesBalancing rigorous, high-quality literature and non-fiction works with student-selected titlesEncouraging 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 genresUsing modeling to enrich students' writing skills in the prewriting, drafting, and revision stagesResisting the de-emphasis of narrative and imaginative reading and writingAmid 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?

chapter Chapter 2|33 pages

Staying True to What Works in the Teaching of Reading

chapter Chapter 3|14 pages

Where the Common Core Reading Standards Fall Short

chapter Chapter 4|38 pages

Staying True to What Works in the Teaching of Writing

chapter Chapter 5|27 pages

Where the Common Core Writing Standards Fall Short

chapter Chapter 7|25 pages

Sharpening Our Students' Listening and Speaking Skills

chapter Chapter 8|26 pages

Shift Happens