Textual evidence matters, even in elementary school!
When I talk with elementary school teachers about introducing the concept of supporting ideas with reasons and references to the text, I often get puzzled looks. This is understandable. Common Core, however, asks students to do this as young as third grade. This pedagogical shift away from just selecting a multiple choice response is daunting, but can be so rewarding for students. Teachers are thinking about how to answer the question: How do you know? Teachers need to probe students not to select the desired answer, but to add proof, support opinions, and interrogate text for how authors do the same. The Teaching Channel has a great 2 minute model that shows how to use sentence frames with elementary students.
Common Core: Now What? December 6, 2012 | Volume 8 | Issue 5
It's Complicated: Common Core State Standards Focus on Text Complexity
Researchers have learned that the ability to understand complex texts is the most crucial skill to predict long-term outcomes such as remaining in college and maintaining a high GPA. Now comes the hard part: What can educators do to make sure students can handle more difficult reading?
In her Education Update article "It's Complicated," author Laura Varlas begins by focusing on two of the areas that experts believe cause students the most difficulty: vocabulary and complicated sentences. She writes that teachers need to break down the steps to teach students how to do a close reading. As Jay McTighe says, "You can teach students to notice and understand the function of text structures like headings, bullets, bold type, sidebars, and chapter organization."
The article outlines several strategies, including having students ask questions of the text, before moving on to another crucial finding: Teachers need to stop students from constantly interjecting their personal impressions of complex texts. Varlas explains why this "text-to-self" phenomenon is not part of the Common Core State Standards and how teachers can help students refrain from doing it too often.
The common-core standards are giving new shape to curriculum and student assessment across the country. This Spotlight explains how the standards will impact curriculum development and the crafting of common assessments.
So Just What Are the Common Core Standards?Huffington Post (blog)Where once the examples set by other states only gave us the ability to compare apples to oranges, new assessments based on the Common Core will allow us to compare apples to apples.
What price for the Common Core?Stamford AdvocateCommon Core will do the same, potentially to a greater degree than the others before it. It will require all school systems to teach the same material in math and English/language arts.
In this first of a five-part series, educators Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins suggest that understanding the standards' design and focus rather than zeroing in on grade-level standards is an important first step.
My district is in the process of transitioning into the Common Core. I've noticed that in reading, ome teachers are excited. Others are worried that they won't be able to do as many poems or narratives.
Education Week NewsCommon-Core Momentum Is Still in JeopardyEducation Week NewsThe re-election of President Barack Obama has many proponents of standards-based education reform feeling a strong sense of relief.
Editor's note: This is the fourth post in a five-part series which takes a look at five big ideas for implementation of the Common Core State Standards, authored by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins (RT @edutopia: New from McTighe & Wiggins, #CommonCore...
The common core emphasizes process over content. Instead of focusing on teaching facts, we teach students how to gather, articulate, and make inferences from facts in order to create arguments and conclusions. This is a good thing, and again, validates the work of librarians (and philosophers!).
U.S. News UniversityTesting for Teachers: Moving Towards Rigorous AssessmentEducation Week News (blog)This week the American Federation of Teachers, our national union, proposed a new tool in teacher evaluation: a sort of "bar exam" for teaching...
Editor's note: This is the third post in a five-part series from authors Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins -- From Common Core Standards to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas -- which takes a look at five approaches and considerations ...
I have read a lot of blog posts, articles, and presentations framed around the idea that Common Core is forcing High School teachers to get rid of fiction. By 12th grade, Common Core does suggest that 70% of text should be informational. Some people have ignored this increased Informational text requirement by pointing out that this is for all text in school, not just within English classes. Acknowledging this as a fact somehow means that English teachers can continue teaching with majority fiction text. The flaw in this logic is that to accept this argument is to assume that prior to Common Core students were reading fiction in other content areas. The fact is that students have always read primarily informational text in other content areas. The fiction-the literature-comes from the English teachers. So if Common Core says to add more informational text, you better believe that they mean that this should happen in the English classes as well. I am not going to argue about percents here, but the fact is that English courses are not just Literature courses. They never should have been. This disconnect is because most English teachers become English teachers because they are lovers of literature. This is not appropriate and really never has been. Common Core just makes that obvious.
On Monday there was the Catalyst story on Common Core implementation in the classroom, and then that same night there was a PBS NewsHour segment on the same topic. Click below to watch. How's it going in your school ...
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