August 6, 2020

The Games Teachers Play

We are cheating our students by turning reading into a game of dodgeball.

Perhaps there are many more distractions facing children today, but great teachers continue to create environments where their students want to be and to learn. The answer to bad teaching is better teaching, not another worksheet, get tough movement or quick fix. The sad truth is that schools may be better at destroying interest in a subject than inspiring it.

Read my new article about computerized reading comprehension systems and their threat to literacy.

The Games Teachers Play
in the April 2008 issue of District Administration Magazine.

3 thoughts on “The Games Teachers Play

  1. Since I can’t comment on the parent article, I’ll laugh ironically with you here. My son is required to turn in a reading log every week with my signature indicating he’s read at least 2 hours. He and I both struggle with ADHD and doing something on a weekly basis often results in smacked foreheads and 0’s despite the fact that he’s TAG in reading and reads far more than 2 hours a week.
    So at conferences I asked if there’s a way to deal with this problem. She suggested sending a weekly email. Hallelujah! I sat down that night and wrote up the emails for the rest of the year and set each of them to send on Mondays as requested.
    If that’s not a game where reading is the intended goal but the method is ridiculous, I don’t know what is…

  2. Reminds me of a gifted/LD kid I had years ago. With a written language disability his IEP stated he could type his spelling words “5X each”, didn’t take Julian but about a day to figure out cut/paste was much faster!

  3. I have conflicting thoughts on this article. On one hand students are used to playing games and it easier for them to learn how to read this way. On the other, I do have to ask the question, “What did happen to the reading books just for fun?” Sometimes the education system does put too much emphasis on reading for points instead of for one’s personal achievement.

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