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Teach Reading, Not Testing

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

Foreword by W. James Popham

January 2012 | 144 pages | Corwin
Finally, a responsible approach to reading instruction that does not require teachers to abandon everything they know about teaching students how to be literate and how to LOVE reading! Test preparation worksheets and drill and kill activities do not make children into life-long readers. Hollingworth and Drake provide research from the academic community to support the instructional strategies that are offered in this very practical book. In addition, they include stories from the field about the ways the accountability movement is influencing teaching practice and what can be done about it. These authors mix an insiderÆs perspective on assessment research and development with a practitionerÆs experience in achieving reading outcomes at the elementary and secondary levels. Their aim is to show how all students can be prepared for standardized tests, without ôteaching to the test.ö The key components of their approach are: 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, and 5) holding on to best practice in literacy instruction. This book affirms the professionalism of the classroom teacher without vilifying standardized tests.
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

Sample Materials & Chapters



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ISBN: 9781412997737

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