At the time, I took this as just another moderately annoying instance of edu-inanity.
But it's always worse than you think.
Reading Miss Brave, and I plan to read every last word Miss Brave has written and posted to her blog, I realize that "strategies" are yet another means of transferring responsibility from the school to the student, while also working your teachers into an early grave and providing employment for a cadre of Lucy-Calkins and/or Fountas-and-Pinnell-trained literacy specialists. Win-win.
Here is Miss Brave:
I've mentioned before that we're expected to make sure each of our students has three goals for each unit in reading, writing and math. While students are working independently after the mini lesson, we're supposed to meet with two small groups for strategy lessons to help them meet these goals.And here she is again:
Each student is supposed to have three goals in every subject and be able to articulate those goals. That's five major subjects (reading, writing, math, science and social studies), which is fifteen goals for each student. To me, that sounds like a lot of goals. I mean, hello, I have students who don't even know their own last name, let alone the goal they're working towards in reading. I don't understand why we have to start with three goals. Can't we pilot it with one and see how it goes?And again:
My reading goal is to read my books over to make sure I understand the story.Question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
My reading goal is to stop and make a prediction about what will happen next and then read on to find out if I am right.
My reading goal is to listen to myself read the story to make sure all the words sound right.
My tentative plan is to print all these goals out on big labels that I can stick right on their book baggies. Of course, all the kids break their book baggies by swinging them around, so I was considering getting them all new, durable book baggies (and by "book baggie" I mean they cram all their books into a flimsy Ziploc bag, so I was going to buy durable Ziploc bags, and between those and the labels I am looking at spending a fortune of my own money, since the copier at school is still broken and I have been using my own paper and ink to print and make copies at home on my own time, thank you very much Department of Education).
Answer: The answer is not 'strategies.'
Students need distributed practice in order to learn and progress, and it is the school's job to give them that practice, not tell them to remember 15 goals and 30 strategies when they are age seven.
Even if a child does manage to hold 3 reading goals in working memory, he's not going to have room for anything else.
* Recently I figured out that my district has had 5 assistant superintendents for curriculum, instruction, and technology in 6 years. That's a lot.