Welcome, we are a group of fifth grade teachers sharing our thoughts and experiences while reading the book Readicide by Kelly Gallagher. Thanks so much for joining us.  

Chapter 4 Finding the Sweet Spot of Instruction

In chapter 1-3 Readicide focuses on the over teaching that has become common practice in our classrooms. We slice and dice and try to fit every standard into each novel we read. We need to stop this over teaching so that our students can get into the reading flow and love reading.

The Sweet Spot

That perfect blend of NOT over teaching or under teaching. 

In chapter 4 Gallagher tells us that the under teaching of complex text is just as harmful as the over teaching. What? Don’t over teach and don’t under teach. We need to find the sweet spot. My first reaction was, really? Really? Yes, I almost shouted the second really. But then I took a step back and calmed down.

According to Gallagher we need to set the purpose of complex text. Ok, I do that. We need to give our students the background knowledge they need, we need to frame the text. We need to teach the students strategies to help them comprehend the text. In short we need to teach.

I love the saying I don’t teach reading, I teach children to read. As I was reading this chapter I kept thinking of all the tools that we use to understand a complex book. And all the ways that we need to help the students use these tools.

Big Chunk/Little Chunk

Gallagher likes to have the students read a chapter and then he will pull a passage for close reading. Yeah! I am doing something right. This is an excellent way to find the Sweet Spot. Every year the kiddos need something just a little different. By using the close reading it allows me to focus on what they need. By giving the students the strategies they need to comprehend the difficult text we can find the Sweet Spot. 

The 50/50 rule. 

50% of the reading should be fun, enjoyable reading. 50% should be complex text to push our readers along. Yes, I know the standards are all about Informational Text. Please don't forget about the recreational reading. It is my belief that the fun reading will go a long way in creating life long readers. 

Hop on over and see what Lizzie has to say in The Big Kids' Hall.

We would love to hear your comments, And don't forget to join us next week.


  1. The 50/50 approaching is crucial. After reading this book, I will be much more aware of this in my classroom next year.

    The Organized Plan Book

  2. This book has made me realize I need to spend more time letting the students just read. Less talking/analyzing and more time to achieve the reading flow.

    Quinnessential Lessons

  3. My first reaction was, really? Really? Yes, I almost shouted the second really. But then I took a step back and calmed down.

    Your self talk is the best part of this blog. I love hearing your inner voice!

    I think the 50/50 rule has me the most excited for next year! I can't wait to read your wrap up post next week! :)

    The Whimsical Teacher