No More Fake Reading
Merging the Classics With Independent Reading to Create Joyful, Lifelong Readers
English/Language Arts (Middle/High School) | Literacy, K-12 | Reading (Middle/High School)
For middle- and high-school teachers, it’s one of today’s most vexing problems: How do you motivate students with varied interests and little appetite for classic literature to stop faking their way through texts and start advancing as skilled, engaged readers?
Independent reading is an important part of the answer, but it’s just that — a part of the whole. In this groundbreaking book, Berit Gordon offers the complete solution, a blended model that combines the benefits of classic literature with the motivational power of choice reading.
With the blended model, teachers lead close examinations of key passages from classic texts, guiding students to an understanding of important reading strategies they can transfer to their choice books. Teachers gain a platform for demonstrating the critical reading skills students so urgently require, and students thrive on reading what they want to read.
In this research-backed book, Gordon leads you step by step to classroom success with the blended model, showing:
- The basics of getting your classroom library up and running
- How to build a blended curriculum for both fiction and non-fiction units, keeping relevant standards in mind
- Tips and resources to help with day-to-day planning
- Ideas for selecting class novel passages that provide essential cultural capital and bolster students’ reading skills
- Strategies for bringing talk into your blended reading classroom
- How to reach the crucial learning goal of transfer
- A practical, user-friendly approach for assessing each student’s progress
No More Fake Reading gives you all the tools you need to put the blended model to work for your students and transform your classroom into a vibrant reading environment.
Berit Gordon coaches teachers as they nurture lifelong readers and writers. Her path as an educator began in the classroom in the Dominican Republic before teaching in New York City public schools. She also taught at the Teachers College of Columbia University in English Education. She currently works as a literacy consultant in grades 3-12 and lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and three children.
"There is so much to love about this book! Grounded in the authority of classroom practice, it makes independent reading work in new ways by actively teaching and sharing how to read, and by leveraging the social power and pleasure of reading. The approach is based on an elegant principle of cognitive apprenticeship: meet students at their current state of being with their current interests and use this as the platform to help them outgrow themselves. The approach allows for authentic and democratic differentiation – through various materials, levels of support, groupings – while all students are working in complementary ways on a common project. This approach mirrors what expert adult readers do: they put texts into conversation with each other to make global meanings."
"Berit Gordon is the best word whisperer, lighting a love for words in even the most reluctant of readers and writers. Her techniques created an atmosphere of electricity in a classroom that had lost its spark for communication. Many books that I've read only speak to the strategy and provide anchor charts. Berit goes further and explains the what, why, how, and when of the strategy in use. This is key. Berit is key. For many of us, we know what we want our students to do. We just need a little direction to get there. Berit provides the map, serves as GPS, and leads us to the place where our classrooms are now abuzz with engaged readers and inspired writers."
"While I had spent over 20 years implementing book clubs and independent reading in my Language Arts classroom, I had never quite approached it in the same way Berit Gordon outlined in No More Fake Reading. Now, my students are reading at least double the previous required amount, and they are thrilled with the large amount of choice. I found it effortless to create a curriculum where I match in-class texts with independent reading. The students find the more challenging texts enjoyable when sampling them rather than haranguing through the truly difficult ones or just reading spark notes!"
"After attending an eye-opening workshop with Berit Gordon, I followed her lead and tried something new with my Freshmen College Prep Students. I’d been teaching Great Expectations to this age group for years and it was always a challenge for them and for me. The assigned nightly reading went unread, and if they did read, they did not understand it. Every day felt exhausting, as I would re-teach the previous night’s assignment. This year, using Berit’s ideas as a guide, I opted to use the novel as an in-class text, analyzing passages to teach close reading skills while the students chose books to read on their own … Students delved into these high interest, contemporary books and made consistent, meaningful connections between Great Expectations and their independent novels. They wrote literary essays about their choice books, and took a test on Great Expectations, for which they received extremely high marks, demonstrating their mastery of a sophisticated (and previously dreaded!) text. The experiment was a huge success! Working through a complex text together with focused instruction enabled students to engage with a difficult book, and appreciate it in a way they never had before. Interestingly, they enjoyed Dickens so much that I taught more of the book than I had originally planned!"
"How can we inspire reading and critical thinking in a time of widespread student distraction and disengagement? Berit Gordon helps bridge the gap between theory and action with classroom-friendly strategies that work. Test them out, and like me, you may find your students begging for more time to read."