CCSS-aligned instructional materials include authentic reading materials. Authentic reading materials include published works that are typically encountered by students in daily life, such as in magazines, books or newspapers. The use of authentic reading material may mean that some material is emotionally charged or may use language outside of a student's particular cultural experience.
Since the LOC places incredible primary sources at our fingertips, I've thought a lot about how to use them in conjunction with my books in order to accomplish the goals of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
In the past I myself embraced what Fountas and Pinnel called “a balanced literacy approach.” Under this model classroom reading would be made up of the following components:
independent reading (at the student’s independent reading level)guided reading of a whole-group text (at median instructional reading level for class)teacher read aloud (slightly above median instructional level).
The common core call for increased text complexity seems to fit well with the “guided reading” portion of the block.
“School libraries always have been interdisciplinary spaces deeply connected to the curriculum, instrumental in developing students' research and information literacy skills, and committed to creating an environment of free reading that supports lifelong learning and curiosity. These traditional roles and strengths are increasingly critical as society faces a deluge of digital information, and the lines between content user and content creator are blurred and even actively deconstructed.”
Common Core State Standard RL 6.4 (RI 6.4 is very similar) requires that by the end of sixth grade, students be able to: “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.”Thinkspiration™ is the Inspiration® Software blog dedicated to being an informative resource and a place to stimulate discussion around education and
"The World Digital Library is a database of more than 7,000 primary source documents and images from around the world. Sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, WDL can be searched by date, era, country, continent, topic, and type of resource. Search tools and content descriptions are available in seven languages..."
To access these resources, educators will need to go to http://nms.org/Resources/CommonCore. They will click on the “Get Free Resources” button and asked to create a profile. Educators will then have unlimited access to these resources and all new open resources developed for PARCC by NMSI, ELC state team members, and PARCC staff members. Additional, free classroom-ready lessons are also available on the NMSI website.
Released materials are organized under the following strands:
PARCC Updates (e.g., Assessment and implementation)Curricular Tools (e.g., Model Content Frameworks, Tri-State Rubric, etc.)Instructional Resources (e.g., Using literary and informational texts, moving from single to multiple standards in mathematic instruction, science and social studies literacy, etc.,)Diverse Student Populations (e.g., Strategies for English Language Learners and Gifted and Talented Students, Testing Accommodations for students with disabilities, etc.,)Higher Education (e.g., College and Career Ready Determination, Models for pre-service teacher training, etc.,)Leadership (e.g., Administrator resources, state updates, etc.,)
The Common Core offers a uniform, nationwide measure of where our students are and where they need to be, and Victor's Tools for Learning feature this month provides you with a descriptive list of companies that can help you get started.
If the issue is teaching reading, then matching text complexity with student reading levels is NOT the issue. That’s where guided reading and similar schemes go wrong.Placing students in more challenging books is a good idea because it increases opportunity to learn (there is more to figure out in challenging texts). This is important since our kids do not read effectively at high enough levels.Increases in text difficulty levels need to be coordinated with increases in the amounts and quality of scaffolding, support, encouragement, and explanation provided by the teacher.