Managing the overwhelm
Having just caught up on reading the group's blog entries on Deeper Reading, I 'm starting get into my own reflective mode about where this book left me. As Joan's last entry reminded me, I like how the last chapter brings together a do-able activity (the Newsweek "My Turn" lesson) and reminds us that we can't do it all. Rather than try to apply every strategy-- or use the same great tools with every text-- his "methodology" of thinking through what our students bring to texts, what we hope they'll glean, and how to scaffold to get them there seems very useful (see pg 198). And, if our students don't reflect on how they learned to read deeply with us, we've missed a crucial piece. So I guess I'm taking away an "act thoughtfully and with reflection" model of teaching from him. Or another way I might say it would be to "slow down, dig deep, and talk about the process of digging." Although Gallagher doesn't talk about it, I'm stuck by how the students I teach now are more overwhelmed by information than those I had 15 years ago, and they are tempted stay on the surface (as a way of dealing with all that information). But, when I see how engaged my students can be "unpacking" an advertisement, a painting, a poem, or a difficult article-- and what confidence it gives them-- I'm reminded why teaching reading is so important.