This report on literacy practices addresses five common literacy practices in U.S. schools that research suggests are not optimal use of instructional time:
1. “LOOK UP THE LIST” VOCABULARY INSTRUCTION
Students are given a list of words to look up in the dictionary. They write the definition and perhaps a sentence that uses the word.
2. GIVING STUDENTS PRIZES FOR READING
From Reading Month in March to year-long reading incentive programs, it’s common practice in the U.S. to give students prizes such as stickers, bracelets, and fast food coupons for reading.
3. WEEKLY SPELLING TESTS
Generally, all students in a class receive a single list of words on Monday and are expected to study the words for a test on Friday. Distribution of the words, in-class study time, and the test itself use class time.
4. UNSUPPORTED INDEPENDENT READING
DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), SSR (Sustained Silent Reading), and similar approaches provide a block of time in which the teacher and students read books of their choice independently.
5. TAKING AWAY RECESS AS PUNISHMENT
What is this doing on a list of literacy practices unworthy of instructional time? Well, taking away recess as a punishment likely reduces students’ ability to benefit from literacy instruction.
Duke, N. K. (2018). What doesn’t work: Literacy practices we should abandon. San Rafael, CA: George Lucas Educational Foundation. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/literacy-practices-we-should-abandon-nell-k-duke?utm_source=Edutopia+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1b0a649ed8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_032818_enews_aimingfordiscipli&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f72e8cc8c4-1b0a649ed8-79390995
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