professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Not so smart

Somehow I agreed to get Smart Brief emailed to me regularly. I know I clicked somewhere I probably should not have done that, but there you go. Lately, I have been questioning how "smart" these briefs are. This morning, Donalyn Miller texted me to see if I had read the most recent Smart Brief. I had. She and I shared a common concern: the lead article was about required reading lists and math packets kids had to do over the summer. Here is the link:

First, I think I would transfer my child if he or she had to do math packets in the summer. I get that kids lose stuff during the summer. I get that we want to stop the "summer slide." But asking kids to work problems in a packet? No thank you. Surely there is a better approach?

Ditto asking all kids at a grade level to read a SINGLE book and then to be prepared to take a test over the book when they return to school in the fall? Let's just suck every single bit of joy from reading, OK? The article calls the reading being assigned "hobby reading." I am not sure that term is one I want to use. This assigned reading is hardly something that will lead to kids wanting to make reading a hobby. I suspect the opposite is truer.

My bigger issue is not with this district and their decision to assigned reading and math over the summer. The larger issue is WHY does the Smart Brief highlight this practice? That acts as a sort of endorsement from NCLE in my opinion. Surely, a literacy organization does NOT endorse this approach. To the editors of the Smart Brief: if you would like links to credible literacy activities, they are out there. I posted recently about what Katy ISD is doing this summer. THAT is much closer to what we would want to endorse.

Please stop giving readers links to articles that are not best practices.
Tags: idiotic recommendations, real literacy, summer reading
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