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180 Days

Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents

By Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle

180 Days represents the collaboration of two master teachers—Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle—over an entire school year: planning, teaching, and reflecting within their own and each other’s classrooms in California and New Hampshire.

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“Teaching is art—creation—and a curriculum map is only as good as the teacher who considers it, who questions it, and who revises it to meet the needs of each year’s students.” —Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle

Two teachers. Two classrooms.
One school year.

180 Days represents the collaboration of two master teachers—Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle—over an entire school year: planning, teaching, and reflecting within their own and each other’s classrooms in California and New Hampshire.  Inspired by a teacher’s question, “How do you fit it all in?” they identified and prioritized the daily, essential, belief-based practices that are worth spending time on. They asked, “Who will these students be as readers and writers after a year under our care?”

What we make time for matters: what we plan, how we revise our plans while teaching, and how we reflect and decide what’s next. The decision-making in the moment is the most essential work of teaching, and it’s the ongoing study of the adolescents in front of us that has the greatest impact on our thinking.

With both the demands of time and the complexity of diverse students in mind, Kelly and Penny mapped out a year of engaging literacy practices aligned to their core beliefs about what matters most.  They share their insights on managing time and tasks and offer teaching strategies for engaging students in both whole class and independent work.  Video clips of Kelly and Penny teaching in each other’s classrooms bring this year to life and show you what a steadfast commitment to belief-based instruction looks like in action.

180 Days.  Make every moment matter. Teach fearlessly. Empower all students to live literate lives.

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