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180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,663 ratings  ·  251 reviews
"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
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 22nd 2018 by Heinemann Educational Books
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Average rating 4.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,663 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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Jenna Iden
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this, and I already know I need to reread this. And curl up in a ball and weep. And frantically unit plan and reimagine my classroom. And read a hundred more books and a thousand more articles to gather mentor texts. And run around talking everyone's ears off about what writing and reading instruction can really look like in a classroom. And...okay, I'll stop.

The biggest question I am left with in this book is "how do I grade?" I agree with Gallagher and Kittle's assertion that
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
If you're familiar with the authors' previous books, you'll probably feel slightly rooked by the amount of material that you've read before in earlier renditions. If you seen no other works by Gallagher/Kittle, the book is a good overview of their philosophies and beliefs as well as of the writers and educational thinkers that have influenced them.

Beginning teachers may be enthused by the plan but, as it includes a lot of writing and reading and feedback via conferencing, class control issues
Austin Hall
More detailed review to come, but just know that this book is AMAZING. If you teach (any level, but particularly high school English) you NEED to read this book. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I unabashedly spread the Gospel of Penny, and I'm yet to encounter any work from Kelly that isn't top-shelf awesome. Having checked that bias at the door, I still maintain this is a must read for educators who genuinely want to rediscover their "why" and get better at what they do.

I usually fly
Mrs.  Jones
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
180 Days is about how two very notable English teachers fit "everything" in throughout the school year. I've loved the other Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher books I've read but I honestly didn't love this one. I felt that, if you boil it all down, they were advocating for conferences for reading and writing -- but they didn't spend a second on the logistics and management of this. They talked about how it was difficult and time consuming but not how they made it work or managed it. I'm all for ...more
Kim Bahr
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Honest, insightful, thought-provoking, and inspirational! Amazing! Amazing!👍 A must read for all ELA teachers!!
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this 8,000 stars if I could. Every language arts teacher in America needs to read this.
Kim Clifton
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm so glad Gallagher and Kittle continue to value the teacher's role in creating curriculum and giving students choice and ownership in class. I'm a huge fan of their philosophy, and I enjoyed hearing them get into the minutia of why they prioritize certain things over others (namely independent reading and writing over everything else).

That said, despite the stated intention of this book, I'm still not sure how to fit it all in-- but this time it's more on my end, not in the classroom.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lots to think about and will be trying a fair amount of these ideas this year. I really like the idea of multiple laps in a writing genre rather than just one big project, giving students time to practice and build skills to a larger piece. I liked the daily routines and structure as well, giving students tons of choice in daily practice with reading and writing as well. I also really enjoyed the discussion of values at the beginning of the book, and think this is important for all teachers to ...more
Jeff Larsen
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely essential reading for high school ELA teachers. You wont find day to day lesson plans, but you will discover the essential framework for a year of reading and writing instruction. ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Typical of both Kittle and Gallagher. I became a little overwhelmed at the end. They began the book trying to answer "how doe we do it"? but I don't think that they truly answered the question. They did provide a map of the year and even a breakdown of a class period. They offered numerous activities and topics for lessons. I suppose the real point is, that we should use their expertise, and build our classrooms based on our shared belief that real reading and real writing must inform everything ...more
Cristi Julsrud
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highest praise from a teacher: We are barreling toward summer break, facing down standardized test season and spring fever, exhausted from a year of teaching, and cautiously awaiting word of structural changes, further budget restrictions, and elevated expectations from on high; but this book has me energized to start thinking and planning for next year.

I need more than five stars. There is not enough space to discuss the outstanding thinking, exemplary practice, and underlying principle that
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a Language Arts/Reading/English teacher, you need to read this book. Life changing!
Joel Devore
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Next year is going to be very different compared to this year and I'm really excited.
TJ Wilson
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for ELA teachers. So much good thinking and philosophy in here. Even if you want to do things differently, there is a lot of little tools, tidbits, and modular lessons that can be used.

I'm really thankful for such an open and honest experience from two professional teachers. Would love to see more such examination of a teaching year from others.
Kathy Mathey
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would love to see this be required reading for teachers, literacy coaches, education students, administrators, parents ~ yea, it's that good. "Thirty-some" years into this profession and still learning ~ thanks for the invite, KG & PK.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gallagher and Kittle never disappoint. Ive learned so many things that I want to put into practice next year! #recharging ...more
Jessica Park
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This sets up a great framework for teaching. Like Sean said, its nice that they start with their values. Partially bc thats important to me, and partially because it helps me (and their students) to have a more transparent look into our agreement/disagreement with them.

I think this is a strong skeleton of a year plan. Although they say that theyre taking us through what happened, I feel as though Im still looking at a what they hoped would happen version. I guess thats okay if youre publishing
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-educators
An excellent resource for all teachers. Much of this book is a synthesis of some of their previous work. It might be redundant at times in those cases. However, it is still incredibly useful for planning and instruction.
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great inspiration for planning the year to come!
Susan Barber
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I had high expectations for this book, and it met all of them. First Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle - how could it not be great? What I love is they each detail demographics of their schools and classes and lay out unit plans, yearly curriculum, and daily tasks for both. They honestly discuss structuring classes, reading and writing instruction, and grading. I have so many pages earmarked for future lessons and know this is a book I'll return to often.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A thought-provoking collection of beliefs, strategies, and ideas. This book helped to clarify some of the things I've been trying in the classroom--both affirming and challenging, this is a book I'm glad that I own, as I will be revisiting it regularly.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-school
I loved so many of the ideas presented in this text and it is causing me to rethink so many of the current practices of my classroom (ahh- so much to work on this summer!). I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because I feel Kittle and Gallagher overlook the idea that most districts have reading and writing constraints that we must work within, and I would love more ideas about how to make this model work with, for example, required texts and restricted book lists.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Finally a book for secondary English teachers that explains how to thoughtfully map out a year of lessons. Highly recommended.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
By far the best professional book Ive read to date. Exactly what I needed to hear. So excited to start prepping for change in the next school year! ...more
Mrs. Krajewski
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book more than five stars! I have never read a research book that made me do all of the following: smile, cry, pound my fist on the table in agreement, call various teacher peers and mentors, watch a wide variety of videos, go through 2 packs of sticky notes, and most importantly, feel completely validated. This book represents all of the beliefs I have had that have been called too risky or even ineffective. Penny and Kelly prove volume, feedback, conferring, choice, ...more
Timothy Shea
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As one who has read multiple books by these authors and who has collaborated in professional contexts, I felt like this was more personal, as if we all had a window into their classrooms to see how they would create a vibrant English classroom. There was certainly overlap with other things they have written about the teaching of English but it was all put in context and made to see doable. I appreciate their humble yet authoritative voices and look forward to using some of what they taught me in ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching, nonfiction
So all the teaching blogs I was reading this summer that raved about Being the Change (which I think is pretty great) also raved about this one. There are some interesting and useful things in this book--but overall it is not as specifically useful for me and I didn't ultimately find it quite as exciting of a read, due to that mostly.

The biggest thing that made it not as useful for me is: they are very heavily concentrated on writing (versus reading). Both in terms of their daily schedules, and
Jenny Ashby
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am a librarian working with an English teacher and my reading specialist on implementing these plans this year and I love all the ideas in here. Bringing the emphasis back around to reading and writing is exactly what I've been wanting to see for years. It is all so commonsense, if overwhelming, in practice. I highlighted lots of parts of the book but this paragraph at the end really spoke to me as someone who is starting year 27 in education and who just sat in a meeting talking about "mining ...more
Robert Greenberger
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A peer I greatly respect raved about this on Facebook so I grabbed a copy.

It fills me with a great number of ideas and certainly has sparked my imagination (and admiration for their efforts). They argue for more independent reading and writing, more one-on-one conferencing with students. The first half of the book is all about reading and the second half about writing. The latter part is interesting because they breakdown the assignments as "laps", taking four laps around a piece of writing,
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking and useful for teachers of all levels and even subjects! I've just come from a one-day workshop led by Penny--also excellent. The only quibble I have is with the tone of the Afterword which denigrates "common ground" and led me to wonder why there isn't more conversation about reaching out to their own colleagues: truly, the only people they could find to collaborate with were each other? I hope that isn't true, because I know the book and its ideas are already sparking deep, ...more
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