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Kelly Gallagher, a "baseballoholic" and a self-described expert at negotiating airports, is in his thirty-third 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."
In Write Like This: Teaching Real World Writing Through Modeling and Mentor Texts, author and teacher Kelly Gallagher recognizes that writing well starts with teaching students WHY they should write. He believes we need to move beyond the state standards by introducing young writers to real-world discourses and provide them with authentic texts to influence and develop life-long skills.
Each chapter focuses on a specific writing purpose:
Express and Reflect: View life experiences in reverse to move forward
Inform and Explain: State a point and purpose with information to support it
Evaluate and Judge: Focus on the worth of an object, idea, or person and present it as “bad” or “good”
Inquire and Explore: Propose a problem or question
Analyze and Interpret: Examine phenomena that are difficult to understand or explain
Take a Stand/Propose a Solution: Persuade audience to particular position and provide justification
In teaching these lessons, Gallagher provides mentor texts (professional samples as well as models he has written in front of his students), student writing samples, and numerous assignments and strategies proven to elevate student writing.
By helping teachers bring effective modeling practices into their classrooms, Write Like This enables students to become better adolescent writers. More important, the practices found in this book will help our students develop the writing skills they will need to become adult writers in the real world.
In the Best Interest of Students
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?
Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.
Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline—poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. In this provocative book Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It, author and teacher Kelly Gallagher suggests it is time to recognize a new and significant contributor to the death of reading: our schools.
In Readicide, Gallagher argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. Specifically, he contends that the standard instructional practices used in most schools are killing reading by:
Valuing standardized testing over the development of lifelong readers
Mandating breadth over depth in instruction
Requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support and insisting students focus on academic texts
Ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading
Losing sight of authentic instruction in the looming shadow of political pressures
Readicide provides teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading—steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers.
Do your students often struggle with difficult novels and other challenging texts? Do you feel that you are doing more work teaching the novel than they are reading it?
Building on twenty years of teaching language arts, Kelly Gallagher shows how students can be taught to successfully read a broad range of challenging and difficult texts with deeper levels of comprehension. In Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts, 4-12, he shares effective, classroom-tested strategies that enable your students to:
Accept the challenge of reading difficult books and move beyond a "first draft" understanding
Consciously monitor their comprehension as they read and employ effective "fix-it" strategies when comprehension starts to falter
Use meaningful collaboration and metaphorical thinking to achieve deeper understanding of texts
Reflect on the relevance the book holds for themselves and their peers by using critical thinking skills to analyze real-world issues
Gallagher also provides guidance on effective lesson planning that incorporates strategies for deeper reading.
Funny, poignant, and packed with practical ideas that work in real classrooms, Deeper Reading is a valuable resource for any teacher whose students need new tools to uncover the riches found in complex texts.
Teaching Adolescent Writers
In an increasingly demanding world of literacy, it has become critical that students know how to write effectively. From the requirements of standardized tests to those of the wired workplace, the ability to write well, once a luxury, has become a necessity. Many students are leaving school without the necessary writing practice and skills needed to compete in a complex and fast-moving Information Age. Unless we teach them how to run with it, they are in danger of being run over by a stampede—a literacy stampede.
InTeaching Adolescent Writers, Kelly Gallagher shows how students can be taught to write effectively. Gallagher shares a number of classroom-tested strategies that enable teachers to:
Understand the importance of teaching writing and how to motivate young writers
Show how modeling from both the teacher and real-world texts builds young writers
Provide choice of what to write, which helps elevate adolescent writing, and how to fit it into a rigorous curriculum
Help students recognize the importance of purpose and audience
Assess essays in ways that drive better writing performance.
Infused with humor and illuminating anecdotes, Gallagher draws on his classroom experiences and work as co-director of a regional writing project to offer teachers both practical ways to incorporate writing instruction into their day and compelling reasons to do so.
In Reading Reasons: Motivational Mini-Lessons for Middle and High School, author and teacher Kelly Gallagher offers a series of mini-lessons specifically tailored to motivate middle and high school students to read, and in doing so, to help them understand the importance and relevance reading will take in their lives. This book introduces and explains in detail nine specific "real-world" reasons why students should be readers.
The book contains 40 practical, classroom-tested and reproducible mini-lessons that get to the heart of reading motivation and that can be used immediately in English and other content-area classrooms. These easy-to-use motivational lessons serve as weekly reading "booster shots" that help maintain reading enthusiasm in your classroom from September through June. The mini-lessons, ranging from 5-20 minutes in length, hit home with adolescents, and in turn, enable them to internalize the importance reading will play in their lives. Rather than telling students reading is good for them, the lessons in this book show them the benefits of reading.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion