Teaching Nonfiction Reading Skills in the Science Classroom [ACTIVITY] Posted by Bill Ferriter on Monday, 05/20/2013 I don't have a ton of time to write today -- I've spent the past week teaching and learning alongside of some really progressive thinkers in Australia -- so I figured I'd share a few handouts that I've been using in class this year to teach nonfiction reading skills in my sixth grade science classroom. Each lesson is tied directly to a standard in the Common Core Literacy in History, Science and Technical Subjects curriculum -- and each lesson is designed to be used in tandem with a current event connected to the concepts that our students study.
Defining Text Complexity "Quite extraordinary...like one of those great waves off of Hawaii that comes along every 40 years." —Roy Romer * The Common Core State Standards Initiative places a strong emphasis on the role of text complexity in evaluating student readiness for college and careers. To follow are the Common Core Standards' three equally important components of text complexity, along with how Lexile measures can support them. Qualitative dimensions of text complexity, such as levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands. Lexile codes provide more information about a book's characteristics, such as its developmental appropriateness, reading difficulty, and common or intended usage.
How one great teacher was wronged by flawed evaluation system Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York has for some time been chronicling the consequences of standardized test-driven reform in her state (here, and here and here, for example). Burris was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens.
Research: How SEL Classroom Management Techniques Build Academic Achievement Respect, responsibility, and a community-based learning atmosphere promote success at Mount Desert Elementary School, a K-8 public school in Northeast Harbor, Maine. An important aspect of the culture at Mount Desert is allowing students and teachers autonomy to determine what works best in their classrooms for promoting students' learning. Credit: Alyssa Fedele Mount Desert Elementary School is a small, K-8 public school in Northeast Harbor, Maine, that has successfully created a strong learning community that is the basis of the school's academic success.
Modeling Close Reading for Future Teachers: ELA Videos and Webinars In my previous post, I shared how I use freely available video in my reading and literacy methods course to help my preservice teachers (PTs) understand close reading instruction at a level that could not be attained through reading and discussion alone. Below is my curated collection of videos for general Common Core info, as well as videos to teach the close reading, text complexity and informational texts standards. General Information About the Common Core 1. Common Core State Standards for ELA and Literacy This 15-minute video gives a general overview of the CCSS and explains why the U.S. has moved to the Common Core.
Accelerate with Additional Resources Appendix B of the CCSS Appendix B provides text samples to "exemplify the level of complexity and quality that the Standards require all students in a given grade band to engage with." The selections provided should serve as "useful guideposts" as educators choose texts for their classrooms. Student Achievement Partners Text Complexity Microsite An additional collection of tools for measuring the quantitative and qualitative features of text complexity.
Common Core for ELLs: Resource Roundup With the beginning of the new school year, this week I’ll share some recently developed Common Core materials for English language learners that have been updated or that I have recently become aware of. If you know of others or would like to share your feedback on these materials, we’d love to hear from you! Recommended Resources
Make Your Students “Poetry Geniuses”! by Abi Frost I recently discovered a web resource called “rap genius”. This Brooklyn-based startup allows users to explore and understand the meaning behind song lyrics, poetry and literature. The long term vision is to annotate all text, including news stories and long-form works like War and Peace. Teachers have started using the platform to teach students critical reading skills, so I decided to try it out in my small seventh grade reading class for struggling readers. I saw this as one engaging way to address Common Core Standard RL.7.4: Creating Cross-Curricular Text Sets for the Middle Grades by Amanda Wall A text set is a group of texts that share a common theme. Text sets are frequently found in elementary school classrooms, and they can also be a great resource in the middle grades, across the content areas. In my own middle school classroom, I found that text sets encouraged students to explore different aspects of a topic using resources that differed in genre, format and complexity.
Differentiating Instruction for Children With Learning Disabilities There are a number of instructional interventions that will help children with learning disabilities learn social studies content and master social studies processes (Lewis & Doorlag, 2006; Sheehan & Sibit, 2005; Steele, 2005; Tomlinson, 2001; 2003; Turnbull, Turnbull, & Wehmeyer, 2007). Children with learning disabilities have difficulty in basic psychological processes as evidenced by problems with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, and mathematical calculations. The primary manifestations of a learning disability are problems with reading and any of a number of other characteristics that may include memory deficits or difficulty with fine motor coordination (Sheehan & Sibit, 2005). Our discussion is limited to children with mild disabilities who are able to function in a “general education” classroom along with children who do not have disabilities. Modifications in Curricular Content Divide material into small, manageable units
Webb's Depth of Knowledge Rigor. Text Complexity. Difficulty. What do these words all mean in the world of thinking? Teaching? Learning? Digital Reading Poses Learning Challenges for Students - Education Week Published Online: May 6, 2014 Published in Print: May 7, 2014, as Screen Reading Poses Learning Challenges Comprehension may suffer when students read on the digital devices now flooding into classrooms, an emerging body of research suggests. In response, some academics, educators, and technology vendors are pushing to minimize the distracting bells and whistles that abound in high-tech instructional materials. They're also trying to figure out how best to help students transfer tried-and-true print reading strategies into new digital learning environments. "We have to move into the 21st century, but we should do so with great care to build a 'bi-literate' brain that has the circuitry for 'deep reading' skills, and at the same time is adept with technology," said Maryanne Wolf, the director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.