Before the Common Core were a twinkle in David Coleman’s eye, Kelly introduced an assignment into his classroom called article of the week.
In the assignment, students read complex informational textsand responded to them in writing. That writing was nearly always a blend of the explanatory and argumentative modes, and it often culminated with a discussion of the issues in the text.
In addition to these academic practices, students began the assignment in class and completed it outside of class, meaning Gallagher’s kids were getting a chance to develop their ability to manage their time outside of school (and thus they were developing academic self-control) with each assignment they completed.
Oh, and one more thing: this was a weekly assignment, giving Gallagher’s students 40+ chances per school year to do all of these things.
Now look at the non-freaked out framework (below) that we sometimes talk about here on Teaching the Core — circled in red, you’ll find the elements of that framework that Gallagher’s article of the week addressed:
Gallagher’s article of the week assignment basically encompassed everything I’ve been talking about at Teaching the Core — in a single assignment.
Gallagher basically created in a single assignment what it’s taken me two and half years to just start figuring out. He is a Jedi.