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The Not This, But That Series

"By the end of each book in this series you will understand both what not to and what to do to improve student learning."
-Nell Duke and Ellin Oliver Keene, Series Editors

Much like the diet phenomenon Eat This Not That, this series aims to replace some common, existing teaching practices with approaches that are more effective—healthier, if you will—for our students. We hope to draw attention to widespread practices around important instructional topics that have little support in research or professional wisdom and offer alternatives that have greater support. Each text is collaboratively written by authors representing research and practice. By the end of each book, you will understand both what not to do, and what to do, to improve student learning.

No More Teaching a Letter a Week

Rebecca McKay, William H. Teale, Edited By Ellin Oliver Keene, Nell K Duke

“Letter-a-week” may be a ubiquitous approach to teaching alphabet knowledge,  but that doesn’t mean it’s an effective one. In No More Teaching a Letter a Week, early literacy researcher Dr. William Teale helps us understand that alphabet knowledge is more than letter recognition, and identifies research-based principles of effective alphabet instruction, which constitutes the foundation for phonics teaching and learning.  Literacy coach... more


No More Culturally Irrelevant Teaching

Mariana Souto-Manning, Carmen I. Lugo Llerena, Jessica Martell, Abigail Salas Maguire, Alicia Arce-Boardman, Edited By Nell K Duke, Ellin Oliver Keene

Every child is a cultural being with a unique history and rich cultural practices; a member of communities in and outside of school. Yet too many children spend their days inside classrooms where they rarely find their voices, values, and cultural practices reflected in curriculum materials, much less embraced and celebrated through instructional practices. Culturally relevant teaching is essential, now more than ever. If we want children... more


No More Independent Reading Without Support

Debbie Miller, Barbara Moss, Edited By Nell K Duke, Ellin Oliver Keene

"What if there was a time when things slowed down? No rotations, activities, or worksheets—just you, your kids, and books. Would you take it?" —Debbie Miller and Barbara Moss We know children learn to read by reading. Is independent reading valuable enough to use precious classroom minutes on? Yes, writes Debbie Miller and Barbara Moss, but only if that time is purposeful. DEAR and SSR aren’t enough.... more


No More Low Expectations for English Learners

Julie Nora, Jana Echevarria, Edited By Nell K Duke, Ellin Oliver Keene

Too often in classrooms, English Learners are described by what they cannot do, rather than by what they can do.  Particularly in mainstream classrooms in which teachers have little or no training in how to meet their needs, ELs are seen through a deficit lens.  In No More Low Expectations for English Learners, esteemed EL researcher Jana Echevarría argues that teacher attitude affects student achievement, and describes what best practice methods... more


No More Mindless Homework

Kathy Collins, Janine Bempechat, Edited By Nell K Duke, Ellin Oliver Keene

While schools around the nation reconsider homework policies, teachers, students, and parents continue to ride the wave of either too much, too little, too easy, or too hard homework assignments. In the expectation that children complete homework, sometimes they are assigned mindless “busy work.”  Kathy Collins and Janine Bempechat take on the stormy topic of homework by re-focusing the conversation from “to assign or not to assign” to how we can... more


No More Phonics and Spelling Worksheets

Jennifer Palmer, Marcia Invernizzi, Edited By Nell K Duke, Ellin Oliver Keene

“When we give every student worksheets to learn phonics and spelling, we miss opportunities to get our students excited about words and fail to give them the opportunity to meet the high standards represented by the Common Core Standards. Our students need instruction that makes them think and helps them apply their word knowledge to real reading and writing situations.” —Jennifer Palmer and Marcia Invernizzi We... more


No More Reading for Junk
Best Practices for Motivating Readers

Barbara A. Marinak, Linda Gambrell, Edited By Ellin Oliver Keene, Nell K Duke

Pizza. Pez dispensers. Nerf balls. When we give students “junk” to reward reading, we are focusing their intention away from the act of reading and from their own independence as readers. Instead, we can create classrooms where reading is seen as its own reward. In this book, esteemed researcher Linda Gambrell provides a research-based context for cultivating children’s intrinsic motivation to read and identifies three essential principles, the... more


No More Reading Instruction Without Differentiation

Lynn Geronemus Bigelman, Debra S. Peterson, Edited By Nell K Duke, Ellin Oliver Keene

The research is compelling: when teachers differentiate reading instruction, students learn more. But teachers are too often given the expectation of differentiation without the details on how to make it work.   In No More Reading Instruction Without Differentiation, Debra Peterson and Lynn Bigelman offer an instructional framework that adapts instruction based on individual students needs and interests. Peterson unpacks the research that supports... more


No More Sharpening Pencils During Work Time and Other Time Wasters

Elizabeth Hammond Brinkerhoff, Alysia D. Roehrig, Edited By Ellin Oliver Keene, Nell K Duke

“We need to evaluate how we spend time in our classroom by asking whether it is proportional to how valuable the activity is in fostering students’ independence and growth.”
—Elizabeth Brinkerhoff and Alysia Roehrig Time is precious, and every teacher needs more. No More Sharpening Pencils During Work Time and Other Time Wasters shows you where to find it as well as research-based... more


No More Summer-Reading Loss

Carrie Cahill, Kathy Horvath, Anne McGill-Franzen, Richard L Allington, Edited By Ellin Oliver Keene, Nell K Duke

Everyone loves summer—except reading teachers. Kids take a vacation from books and those with limited access to books lose ground to their peers. You may have thought there’s nothing you can do about it, but there is. No More Summer-Reading Loss shows how to ensure that readers continue to grow year round. School-based practitioners Carrie Cahill and Kathy Horvath join with renowned researchers Anne McGill-Franzen and Dick Allington... more


No More Taking Away Recess and Other Problematic Discipline Practices

Gianna Cassetta, Brook Sawyer, Edited By Ellin Oliver Keene, Nell K Duke

Frustrated by ongoing difficult student behavior? You’re not alone: classroom management issues are a leading cause of teacher burnout. But there is a solution. No More Taking Away Recess and Other Problematic Discipline Practices shows how to promote good behavior, address interruptions, and keep everyone moving forward. “Management and control are not the same,” write teacher and school leader Gianna Cassetta and noted researcher... more


No More

Charlene Cobb, Camille Blachowicz, Edited By Nell K Duke, Ellin Oliver Keene

“Just as word learning is incremental, so is learning about vocabulary instruction. Teachers need exposure to research, best-practice strategies, and fellow practitioners.”
—Charlene Cobb and Camille Blachowicz The way we’ve learned influences the way we teach, but the vocabulary instruction many of us received—looking up words and writing sentences or completing worksheets— just doesn’t... more


No More Telling as Teaching
Less Lecture, More Engaged Learning

Cris Tovani, Elizabeth Birr Moje, Edited By Ellin Oliver Keene, Nell K Duke

Congratulations to Cris Tovani, recipient of ILA's Adolescent Literacy Thought Leader Award 2017! The truth is, when we rely on lecture in an effort to cover content, we’re doing students a disservice.  Although lecture can be engaging and even useful, lecture alone cannot give kids real opportunities to learn, retain, and transfer the disciplinary ideas, skills, and practices we’re trying to teach. Cris Tovani... more