Post for the week of April 22, 2013
Welcome back to school, everyone!
I'd like to continue looking at this document that I got from this source. It's helped me understand the Common Core changes a lot.
#2 says that "texts worthy of close attention" are in, whereas "reading any 'ol text" is out.
This is how I interpret this idea: think more intelligently about the texts I teach.
Am I teaching them to get through them, or are they worthy of study? Frequently, secondary teachers teach for coverage, but we should be helping our students meet the standards, not cranking though books.
How do we know if a text is "worthy of study?" Is it in Appendix B? Does it meet the new Lexile levels? Why has your district decided to put this book at this grade level?
Are the passages I am reading worthy of a close look, or could I find better models elsewhere? Some books demonstrate such a high level of language use that they scream to be read closely, but others do not. Make sure you know why you picked a passage.
Is there any reasoning to my text selection (built around a unit or an idea), or am I just grabbing something from the book closet? Sometimes we feel stuck with the books we have, but there are lots of other texts out there--particularly poetry and informational text--on the Web or from libraries.
In short, this suggestions gives us a lot to think about in terms of picking our texts.