kelly's books


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

180 Days represents the collaboration of Kelly and master teacher 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. The results, captured in this book, include their insights on managing time and tasks, as well as their teaching strategies for engaging students in both whole class and independent work.  (Heinemann 2018)


In the Best Interest of Students

There are real strengths in the Common Core standards, and there are significant weaknesses as well. In his latest book, In the Best Interest of Students, Kelly takes the long view, reminding us that standards come and go but what remains constant is the need to stay true to what we know works in the teaching of reading, writing, speaking and listening. In addition to sharing his ideas on authentic teaching and learning, Kelly shares effective strategies for achieving meaningful results in the ELA classroom. (Stenhouse, 2015)


Write Like This

If students are to grow as writers, they need to read good writing, to study good writing and, most important, to emulate good writers.  In Write Like This, Kelly explores the importance and value of using modeling and mentor texts when teaching students to become better writers. (Stenhouse, 2011)



Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools. Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline—poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment.  In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading.  He then provides teachers, literacy coaches and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading—steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers. (Stenhouse, 2009)


Teaching Adolescent Writers

In an increasingly complex world, it is critical that students know how to write. From the demands of standardized tests to those of the wired workplace, the ability to write well, once a luxury, has become a necessity. In Teaching Adolescent Writers, Kelly shows how students can be taught to write effectively, sharing a number of classroom-tested strategies that enable teachers to motivate young writers, understand the importance of teaching writing, and assess essays in ways that drive better writing performance. (Stenhouse, 2006)


Deeper Reading

Do your students often struggle with difficult novels and other challenging texts? Do they primarily comprehend at a surface level? In Deeper Reading, Kelly shows how students can be taught to successfully read a broad range of challenging and difficult texts with deeper levels of comprehension.  In addition to sharing his insights and ideas, he provides guidance on effective lesson planning that incorporates his classroom-tested and proven strategies for deeper reading.  (Stenhouse, 2004)


Reading Reasons

Reading Reasons offers a series of mini-lessons specifically tailored to motivate middle and high school students to read, and in doing so, to help them understand the importance and relevance reading will take in their lives. Divided into nine specific "real-world" reasons why students should be readers, Reading Reasons gives teachers 40 practical, classroom-tested and reproducible mini-lessons that get to the heart of reading motivation.  Ready for immediate use in English (as well as other content-area) classrooms, these lessons help students discover the lifelong benefits of reading.  (Stenhouse, 2003)


kelly's DVDs


Improving Adolescent Writers

Improving Adolescent Writers takes you into Kelly's classroom for an in-depth look at ways to successfully teach middle and high school students to write with clarity, passion and purpose. Using a variety of methods—modeling, mid-process assessment, small-group conferring, grammar and editing mini-lessons, revision techniques, and identifying the many real-world purposes for writing—Kelly demonstrates how to teach writing so that your students will internalize the habits and skills of good writers.  In addition to learning that writing is messy, hard work, they will also come to realize that the struggle and effort are worth it, as they become better writers and, ultimately, better thinkers.


Building Adolescent Readers

In Kelly's high school classroom, students are not only learning to comprehend difficult novels and texts, he works to make sure they also develop the skills and behaviors of lifelong readers. Drawing from Reading Reasons and Deeper Reading, this video set brings effective reading strategies to life.  Presenting examples of both small- and whole-group discussions, Building Adolescent Readers demonstrates how to engage students with a variety of texts, teaching them what it means to be a good reader.


Article of the Week

Kelly knows that a student's comprehension is directly related to his/her background knowledge.  To help his students become better readers and thinkers, he developed the Article of the Week activity to address the serious knowledge gaps.  This 15-minute DVD will show you how to integrate the Article of the Week into your classrooms in a manner that provides the background knowledge that is the foundation for critical reading.


Twenty Questions Homework

Twenty Questions is an alternative to traditional high school homework assignments that fosters greater text comprehension. The simple design—students write twenty questions as they read assigned text—belies the complexity of the discussion fostered by the student-generated questions. On this day, students use the assignment to respond to George Orwell's 1984 in small-group and whole-class discussions.


classroom texts/media


Kelly is a featured author for a number of instructional resources, including Pearson's Common Core Literature series (Grades 6-12), Prentice Hall Writing Coach digital tutor, and the new digital reading intervention program, iLit.