"Beginning in March, more than four million students will serve as guinea pigs for the English and math tests for the Common Core.
So far, none of the 45 states that adopted the English and math standards has dropped them (Minnesota adopted only the English standards). But several states have backed off from using the tests created by the two multi-state testing groups or ended their participation in the collaborations.
In December, Kansas withdrew from the Smarter Balanced coalition, opting instead to commission tests from the University of Kansas. Earlier this month, Alaska also announced it would withdraw from Smarter Balanced and instead use tests from the University of Kansas. In September, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, ordered the state’s education department to withdraw from PARCC and consider other test options. Utah withdrew from Smarter Balanced in 2012. Georgia and Oklahoma withdrew from PARCC last summer. Alabama, which had been a member of both Smarter Balanced and PARCC, withdrew from both groups; Pennsylvania has said it will use its own tests."
"Reading well requires much more than just decoding textual input, it is rather a process of making meaning of text using a wide range of critical and intellectual skills and drawing on different cues . Close reading is one example of a theory that explicates the intricacies surrounding effective reading. In close reading, readers need to consider a set of criteria for a better comprehension of the text. Some of the these criteria include: Language, Narrative, Syntax, and Context."
A close reading of text is a rereading of a small slice of a story (or something that is short to begin with, like a poem or an essay)—perhaps rereading it many times.Then, through careful inspection of words, sentences, paragraphs, and the way they work as parts and together as a whole, the teacher leads the students to discern the author’s meaning. Students are guided to provide “textual evidence” that the author’s meaning is what it is. They can’t guess, based only their prior knowledge and a cursory look at the words on the page, what the author intends. This means, practically, that a Cliff Note’s acquaintanceship with the text won’t cut it.
"Here are the main apps I suggest for storytelling. Some of them are actual bookmaking apps, some are apps for creating stories in various ways and others are apps I would use to help kids plan out a story. I have listed them in the order of importance for my classroom. I think the first 10 on the list are a must have for all elementary classrooms."
Answer Frames How do I do it?When asking and answering questions about literature, language learners may need support to cite the specific evidence that supports conclusions or inferences. After reading a text the laminated frames can be used...
"The Common Core Standards represent a shift in the traditional instruction of English-Language Arts in the average American public school K-12 classroom. While there are several differences in the new standards, one of the most interesting (in addition to the expectation of technology integration) is the trend from literary to non-fiction texts."
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