"Arguments against the wide use of informational text with students lack an evidentiary foundation and ignore the reading demands that students will face in college and the workplace. The argument for informational texts is not that students should read more information and less literature but that they surely should read more of both (Jago, 2013). Righting the current imbalance will simply require increases in the reading of information."
Each New Comprehension Unit: • Is based on a superb, carefully chosen book that builds background knowledge and vocabulary, includes a compelling use of language, and instills the joy of reading. Ask your librarian to help you locate these trade books that engage students and provide rigor—including several Common Core exemplar texts.
• Includes Paired Text and Read-Aloud lessons based in the highest quality research.
• Aligns to Common Core standards. Our easy-to-use alignment tool lets you see which lessons meet which standards.
As always, ReadWorks materials are completely free and meant to be shared broadly. Please let us know what you think of our new units—and check back often, as we’re always creating new content.
"Educators are increasingly focusing on the ninth grade as the year that determines whether a young person will move on or drop out of school. According to research published in the journal Education, ninth graders have the lowest grade point average, the most missed classes, the majority of failing grades, and more misbehavior referrals than any other high-school grade level. Ninth grade has increasingly become a “bottleneck” for students..."
"Calgon, take me away!" Tracy Crow remembers watching commercials for Calgon bath products and thinking, yes, when she's an adult, shell need a soothing bubble bath to escape the stresses of daily life.
"One of the components of Close Reading is annotation, in which the students read short, complex text adding annotations as they read. Students might circle words or phrases that are powerful, underline those that are confusing, indicate big events or when a character shows strong emotion, and write questions or thoughts. They use metacognitive markers or “Thinking Notes” as a means to move beyond just highlighting..."
"Over the years, many of us have personally experienced the growth of technology in today’s classrooms. Instead of taking notes, students are now occupied by surfing the Internet, scrolling through Facebook, and messaging their friends on their smart phones, tablets, and laptops. Instead of focusing on the instruction, teachers are constantly required to interrupt class in order to remind those students again and again, that class time is for learning, not texting. However, as today’s students are using more technological devices, it is imperative that teachers have access to the resources to keep pace with the growing tech culture."
"Wonderville http://bit.ly/IYJzzb is a great website for kids developed by the Science Alberta Foundation http://sciencealberta.org/ . On Wonderville students can find games, videos, comics, and hands-on activities for learning about science and technology. The gallery of activities, games, videos, and comics is divided into three categories; fun science, awesome tech, and cool jobs."
The Common Core, however, will necessarily generate thousands of examples of high quality student work. If we are able to share these examples, teachers, students and parents will be able to see what both “off” and “on goal” work looks like.
New York Daily News Why I believe in the Common Core New York Daily News This week, I'll be attending a New York City town hall meeting in support of the Common Core standards on behalf of the 5,000 children at the 20 public charter schools in...
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have determined the precise anatomical coordinates of a brain “hot spot,” measuring only about one-fifth of an inch across, that is preferentially activated when people view the ordinary numerals we learn early on in elementary school, like “6” or “38.”
Activity in this spot relative to neighboring sites drops off substantially when people are presented with numbers that are spelled out (“one” instead of “1”), homophones (“won” instead of “1”) or “false fonts,” in which a numeral or letter has been altered.
“This is the first-ever study to show the existence of a cluster of nerve cells in the human brain that specializes in processing numerals,” said Josef Parvizi, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences and director of Stanford’s Human Intracranial Cognitive Electrophysiology Program. “In this small nerve-cell population, we saw a much bigger response to numerals than to very similar-looking, similar-sounding and similar-meaning symbols.
“It’s a dramatic demonstration of our brain circuitry’s capacity to change in response to education,” he added. “No one is born with the innate ability to recognize numerals.”The finding pries open the door to further discoveries delineating the flow of math-focused information processing in the brain. It also could have direct clinical ramifications for patients with dyslexia for numbers and with dyscalculia: the inability to process numerical information.
Interestingly, said Parvizi, that numeral-processing nerve-cell cluster is parked within a larger group of neurons that is activated by visual symbols that have lines with angles and curves. “These neuronal populations showed a preference for numerals compared with words that denote or sound like those numerals,” he said. “But in many cases, these sites actually responded strongly to scrambled letters or scrambled numerals. Still, within this larger pool of generic neurons, the ‘visual numeral area’ preferred real numerals to the false fonts and to same-meaning or similar-sounding words.”
It seems, Parvizi said, that “evolution has designed this brain region to detect visual stimuli such as lines intersecting at various angles — the kind of intersections a monkey has to make sense of quickly when swinging from branch to branch in a dense jungle.” The adaptation of one part of this region in service of numeracy is a beautiful intersection of culture and neurobiology, he said.
Having nailed down a specifically numeral-oriented spot in the brain, Parvizi’s lab is looking to use it in tracing the pathways described by the brain’s number-processing circuitry. “Neurons that fire together wire together,” said Shum. “We want to see how this particular area connects with and communicates with other parts of the brain.”