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Teach Reading, Not Testing

Best Practice in an Age of Accountability
By: Liz Hollingworth, Hilleary M. Drake

Foreword by W. James Popham

The authors’ even-handed approach to preparing students for high-stakes tests shows teachers how to align instruction with standards and use best practices for successful outcomes.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412997737
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2011
  • Page Count: 144
  • Publication date: November 08, 2011

Price: $31.95

Price: $31.95
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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.

Key features

  • Strategies for aligning instruction to what will be tested -- NOT the same as teaching to the test
  • Ways to use formative assessments in literacy contexts; to connect reading to real world experiences; and to motivate students
  • A clear explanation of how standardized, multiple-choice tests are developed, and of the dangers of misinterpretation
  • A review of best practice for teaching reading, including a discussion about what to do when you feel that your expertise in teaching literacy is threatened by the reading programs being implemented in your district.
  • A chapter on teaching literacy with special populations.
  • End-of-chapter quizzes, a glossary of assessment terms, and advice for school leaders


Liz Hollingworth photo

Liz Hollingworth

Liz Hollingworth is a professor in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. Her research and teaching interests are centered on curriculum, leadership, and assessment. In particular, her work explores how federal school reform policies affect classroom practice. Her other books include Organization and Administration of Iowa Public and Private Schools and Complicated Conversations: Race and Ideology in an Elementary Classroom. Dr. Hollingworth grew up in San Diego, taught in Chicago and Michigan, and now lives in Iowa City with her husband, Andrew, and teenaged daughter, Emily.
Hilleary M. Drake photo

Hilleary M. Drake

Hilleary Drake has taught fifth grade for six years in Riverton, Wyoming. Growing up in Texas during the initial wave of the “testing craze” she understands just how harmful it can be when testing drives instruction. She earned her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and her Master’s degree from the University of Iowa. While at Iowa she worked with Iowa Testing Progams as a graduate assistant, gaining behind-the-scene knowledge of the testing industry. Hilleary enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family, especially her husband Jay.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

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





Price: $31.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.