In December I got an email from a teacher who said that the concept of teaching textual evidence and having it stick was overwhelming and too much for her weaker readers. We emailed back and forth and I sent her some resources. To introduce her students to textual evidence, I told her to remove the text and just focus on the skill of supporting inferences with evidence with picture books. For one week she spent 15 minutes each day discussing what it means to make an inference and support it. Then, she modeled it with a picture book.
Today I got an email where she introduced a challenging text to her third graders and they were able to dive right in and back up claims with textual evidence. The lesson? Don’t ‘hide’ skills in the text. Model it and explain it as a skill and then teach students to apply it to text. This changes the accessibility and lets all students have access to the skill set regardless of their reading capabilities. Scaffold in the text and gradually increase the complexity then.
These are the step by step instructions I gave her as she introduced it to her class from a picture book a day for a week and built from there.
Most of the standards revolve around anchor standard 1: Textual evidence. The prototype assessments developed by PARCC have an entire category of questions devoted to students providing textual evidence. PARCC asks the students a question about the text and follows up with a second question that asks the students to identify support for whatever they inferred for the original question. To… Read more →
Analyzing text is a concept that, in the past, has been reserved for advanced students or high school students. With Common Core, this has become the domain of the primary elementary school classroom as well. Reading Standards 5, 6, 7, and 8 demand a close analysis of text. If you are getting ready to tackle this task determining how this… Read more →
The Common Core reading foundational standard (RF3) requires students to recognize words by sight. The translation of this standard has been that students need direct instruction on the Dolch sight words. In response, many districts are setting sight word goals at higher and higher levels. The most common measure is the Dolch 220 sight word list. Teachers everywhere have long… Read more →
Are you drilling your students everyday on sight words? You use the flashcards, you painted the words on the wall of your classroom, you sent home the sight words in a little baggie? The classroom television plays that sight word PowerPoint each morning? You have an incentive chart on the wall to show how many words each student knows? You… Read more →
I had a great conversation with a high school English teacher during #FYCchat about Common Core standards yesterday. As we discussed the shift to more informational text in the curriculum, he said: “I just hope we don’t throw out Baby Macbeth with the bathwater!” I thought that sentiment was captivating. As a proponent of the critical analysis shift demanded by Common… Read more →
As someone who likes what is written into the Common Core, it is often assumed that I am a fan of canonical knowledge. The fact is, I am not theoretically. I am, however, a fan of critical thinking and multiple perspectives; I think that Common Core does a good job at supporting that. As an avid consumer of informational text,. I came… Read more →
I had a long conversation with a teacher from another state last week about how she is already doing Common Core in her class and really always has. She explained how she has her students answer rigorous questions about high level text all the time. They complete packets and write to essay prompts. They know how to get at the… Read more →