Monday, December 3, 2012

Post for the week of December 3, 2012

Post for the week of December 3, 2012

The Common Core only works if we all work together.

This is a mantra I keep repeating to myself. When teachers say that the students come unprepared for the level of work required at that grade level, I think this problem can only be solved by all teachers, Pre-K-16, working together.

The complexity of literacy skills required at each level can only be accomplished if everyone does his/her part to maintain rigor and relevance at his/her grade level.

At third grade, one standard (RI 1) is

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

At 11-12 grade, the same standard is

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

How do we get from one to the other? We have to team vertically. There are six (grades 4-10) years between these two goals! A lot has to happen during those years to make it happen, and we're all responsible.
To move from this 3rd grade standard to this 11-12 grade standard, a lot has to happen:
  • increased text complexity
  • instruction in Academic Language to be able to understand the new expectation
  • LOTS of reading practice
  • assignments that require analysis, not just retelling the plot
  • instruction in ways to find, understand, and apply textual evidence

Here are some tools to help:
This document traces the changes in the Frameworks.  If your district is in the midst of aligning, this document can help.
And this document is the new PARCC ELA Framework (August 2012).  It conveniently shows you the changes between grade levels as you work.
Sit with your literacy team and see how every year's assignments get more rigorous to meet the standards.  In a few years, you'll be seeing results at your grade level!

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