Considering a thematic unit on FAILURE? I actually haven't heard many who have. :)
However, the NYT offers resources, essential questions and learning exercises to use in your Common Core aligned classroom. Lessons in tenacity, courage, grit, knowledge, collaboration and yes, even failure help students understand what comes with failure.
Think of the opps for providing choice in your classroom, drawing on evidence to state claims and write arguments, complementing print resources with multi-media, researching short projects and delivering short presentations.
Here is a list of non-fiction links that might help you find resources in support of the CCSS shift to read non-fiction materials. This list was recently archived by a few librarians from around the country.
Are you wondering where to begin to adopt the Common Core Vocabulary Standards? While there are many specific vocabulary standards clearly listed in the K-12 Language strand, it's helpful and important to look at Academic Vocabulary from the big picture view known as Shift 6.
Using educational technology and being intentional with your students about what they are learning and why they are learning offers many, many opportuntities for students to work and collaborate using Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.
It's likely that many states besides Ohio will experience what has come to be known as the "implementation dip" as new assessments created by PARCC and SBAC are used to measure student achievement in 2014-15.
It’s incumbent on these groups to acknowledge the facts—that Ohio students don’t test well even under its current, relatively-straightforward exam—while also preparing the public for the future under PARCC. Indeed, they must inform the public about the short-term pain when the 2014-15 test scores tumble.
But they must also articulate the long-term benefit of the Common Core—that these higher standards will generate a better-educated, better-prepared group of Buckeye State students, armed with the skills to succeed in the careers of the future.
In this video interview, nonfiction children's author and historian Marc Aronson talks about why he thinks the new Common Core State Standards could be transformational to teaching and learning. Aronson says that the Common Core supports close, rigorous reading of informational text and encourages students to ask "what's the evidence?" He makes the case that reading across texts to uncover a full range of facts and opinions helps strengthen critical thinking skills.
Aronson suggests ways that parents can encourage their kids to read nonfiction books. He also invites teachers to turn to librarians for their expertise in identifying really great nonfiction for the classroom.
What's the difference between persuasive and argumentative writing? What stategies can be implemented for teaching argument? How important is it that students be taught how to search, aggregate, evaluate, synthesize and incorporate information found online into their writing?
Bill Gates mentionesthe launch of LearnZillion whereby hundreds of videotaped lessons in math, English, social studies and other subjects are aligned to Common Core standards. These videos are free and posted to use "as is" or to get ideas to adapt for your own classrooms.
He also touches upon a new initiative named SLC (Shared Learning Collaborative) that will identify the most urgently needed technology resources that are likely to make a difference in student learning.
Great article that gives practical suggestions about how content area teachers in Science and Social Studies can become more focused on reading and how ELA teachers can complement fictional texts with non-fiction articles.
"Please, let's not rob students of a well-rounded education just because the Common Core seems to have added some new focal points to literacy instruction, making it seem like there's "more to cover." Collaborate across disciplines instead!"
And direct from the CCSS Initiative website:
"Myth: English teachers will be asked to teach science and social studies reading materials.
Fact: With the Common Core ELA Standards, English teachers will still teach their students literature as well as literary non-fiction. However, because college and career readiness overwhelmingly focuses on complex texts outside of literature, these standards also ensure students are being prepared to read, write, and research across the curriculum, including in history and science. These goals can be achieved by ensuring that teachers in other disciplines are also focusing on reading and writing to build knowledge within their subject areas."
This Teaching Channel video features a possible next step in helping students prepare for the writing assignment. Ms. Brewer transitions students from student-led small group discussions to a whole group discussion. In this video observe how the teacher defines the expectations and procedures to participate in the large group discussion (SL.1). Observe students listening to others, building upon others' ideas, explicitly referring to the text and asking questions.
Just so many "Common 'Coreisms'" in this video - author's viewpoint (RI.8), using illustrations to to answer questions or solve a problem (RI.7), and acurately quoting from the text (RI.1). Ms. Brewer is well planned and intentional as she facilitates the whole group discussion. And the little guy near the end of the video can hardly contain his exuberance when speaking about North America!
The Teaching Channel offers so many specific strategies for classroom teachers working with the Common Core. In this short video, a fifth grade teacher uses small group student-led discussions to brainstorm, make inferences and cite textual evidence in answering guiding questions as students prepare for a writing assignment. Addressing both Speaking and Listening and Reading Informational Text standards, this is also an effective strategy to facilitate collaborative learning.
The Teaching Channel demonstrates what this LOOKS and SOUNDS like. Consider using the strategy as is, or better yet, improve upon it!
The crosswalk documents the alignment between representative learning goals from Washington’s Educational Technology Standards and the Common Core State Standards for ELA. Be sure to read the Introduction to the Crosswalks document posted on the website.
More from the tri-state area as Kentucky begins analyzing their implementation of CCSS in 2011-2012. Stu Silberman again refers to the possible "implementation dip" and encourages other states to learn from Kentucky's experience. He speaks to the importance of being proactive in communicating what the CCSS are and why test scores may initially decline.
Read for Bill Ferriter's moral of the story on reading non-fiction in the classroom as he connects it to his sixth grade students and the rufous-sided towhee (not to be confused with the eastern towhee). :)
Since the Common Core State Standards were introduced, there has been much discussion about what they mean for educators and students and how they will impact teaching and learning. While the standards have been adopted by 45 states and 3 territories so far, there is a lot of concern, anxiety, and debate around what is best for students, potential challenges for teachers, and what implementation should and can look like.
The new standards are focused on two categories: English Language Arts and Mathematics. See this article on the key differences between the new ELA Common Core State Standards and many of the current educational standards in place around the country.
The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced the selection of three states—Maryland, Missouri and Nevada—to receive assistance in mapping and executing the postsecondary implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
In the spirit of collaboration, the authors of this article have put together a list of how to select best non-fiction texts and where they can be found. One of the best places for collaboration to begin is around the topic of quality nonfiction. Common Core's expectation is that 50 percent of elementary grade reading is in informational texts; at the high school level, the percentage increases to 70 percent. That’s a challenge, but it also offers educators an opportunity to launch a conversation in their school communities. Begin with these two essential questions: What is quality nonfiction? Where can I find it?
Infographics have recently become a popular way to communicate information visually both in print and online. This resource offers many strategies, examples and tools for using and creating infographics.
Although this website offers suggestions for Science and Technical Subjects, infographics are also very well suited for Social Studies.
Besides teaching literacy standards 5 and 7 in History, Social Studies and Technical Subjects, integrate NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) (#3) to teach students to use digital tools to gather, evaluate and use information.
The Teaching Channel demonstrates how Ms. Brewer, a fifth grade teacher, has moved her students from small group student-led discussion of a text, to whole group text talk, to the culiminating writing assignment that assesses two Writing Standards (W5.2b and 5.9b). Note ALL students have the same writing assignment. If a small group needs extra help, support and differentiation is provided, especially for her ELL students as shown in the clip.
Note the benefits of closely reading the text, taking notes, and discussing the text all contriubute the students' preparation to write.
Kathleen Odean recommends using this book (L1120) with the equally excellent but longer and broader book, Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl, by Albert Marrin (L1040) in working with RL.9, grades 6-8 in comparing/contrasting texts on simliar themes or topics.
Addendum: You might also consider using all or segments of the PBS video entitled "Surviving the Dust Bowl" in conjuction with one or both of the above texts as a way to incorporate multiple sources and multi media. Click below for the link:
Jane Williams recently interviewed David Coleman for an update on Common Core. Consider listening to the podcast where David answers questions on why and how schools are rolling out the standards and preparing for PARCC, teacher and parent awareness and possible political impact given the upcoming presential election. Finally, David speaks to the alignment of the College Board assessments and Common Core and his move to the College Board.
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