Thursday, June 21, 2012

Post for the week of June 18, 2012

Three Ways to Read the Standards (Part I)
The summer is a great time to study the new Common Core standards.  I would suggest that we study them three ways:

1.  Follow a standard
2.  Read the whole thing
3.  Compile a list by grade level

1.  Following a standard from Pre-K to 12 is a good way to see how the standard evolves over time.  See this example of Writing Standard #1.  What do you notice about how the standard changes over time?


Pre-Kindergarten  MA.1.    
Dictate words to express a preference or opinion about a topic (e.g., “ I would like to go to the fire station to see the truck and meet the firemen.”).

Kindergarten                        
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is . . .).

Grade 1                                 
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.

Grade 2                                 
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

Grade 3                                 
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.  a. Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.

Grade 4                                 
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.  a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.

Grade 5                                 
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.  a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.

Grade 6                                 
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. a. Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.

Grade 7                                 
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

Grade 8                                 
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

Grade 9-10                           
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

Grade 11-12                         
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

See how "opinion" becomes "argument"?  When do students need to spend time considering "alternate or opposing claims"?  How does structure become more important as students get older?
I'd suggest cutting and pasting out a standard or two from Pre-K to 12 and discussing it with the whole faculty or district when planning.  If teachers from different levels discuss, it will become more clear who is covering what and when and why and how.  It's easier and fairer to hold each other and ourselves accountable when we have a clear path and agreed responsibility.

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