Oh it is that time of year where the March Madness crazy starts to over take the world. I tend to love seeing the different brackets on books, poetry and other worthy endeavours to help tap into some of that excitement. I admire the teachers that present their students with wonderful short stories, picture books, novels and poems. I think it gives such a great opportunity to read and write as we personally evaluate the text in front of us to determine what we liked the most.
Today I was shown a post from instagram. The teacher is smiling and pointing to their March Madness bracket. The description below talks about all the different ways teachers use these brackets and then we get to the truly mad part of this, or at least the part that made me instantly open up the blog and write. The teacher in the picture had set up March Madness for iReady a computer based program similar to my nemesis AR in which students with the most points would move on each week in their bracket. So first public displays of students points on a program for all to see and then instead of celebrating beautiful text we are using some awful computer program to put our students in to reading competition.
THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!
What would motivate a teacher to take an idea that is fun and engages students with wonderful literature and turn towards a program? What would possess them to think it is a great idea to publicly display the short falls of students who do not pass enough tests?
I know this post will likely get me accused by some for teacher shaming. I am good with that. Why do we need one more thing ruined by quest to support computer programs over real books. And while I am at it why have we turned instagram into some kind of showroom for terrible practices in a quest for enough likes to become an "influencer". Clearly that is a topic for another day.
Today I am going to set up a few different brackets. Short Stories, Picture Books and Poems and we are going to work on skills and celebrate beautiful books and there sure as heck will not be a test in iReady or AR after.
If you read this and feel the need to defend those programs please move on because I am not interested :)