Monthly Archives: November, 2012

Disciplinary Literacy


Educators that live and work in a state that has adopted the Common Core may have state-mandated English Language Arts (ELA) standards that cover History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects (grades 6-12).

That “content section” in Iowa also says:

“Note on range and content of student reading

 Content area literacy is critical to students’ post secondary success in higher education and the workplace. To prepare students for these challenges, literacy skills must to be developed across all content areas. Students expand their range when applying literacy skills to a variety of content areas because the academic discourses and disciplinary concepts in those require different approaches to reading, writing, speaking, viewing, and listening. It is through applying literacy skills in a number of content areas that students learn to integrate these skills and strategies into life experience. Teachers in all content areas who make literacy a priority understand that learning involves making meaning.

Although the authors of the Common Core Standards chose to articulate standards for literacy in the areas of history/social studies, science, and technical subjects, the Iowa Core extends that definition to include all secondary content areas.” ( Retrieved from http://iowacore.educateiowa.gov.  9/07/11, p.76)

 

 

  • Do you know the status of those standards in your state?  Are you looking for resources?

@Principalj (Jessica Johnson) shared this link last week on Twitter and I am in awe of the amount of work that I realize this effort has taken to be publicly available as “clickable links” attached to google sites.

After you click on the link below, you need to look for “Resources to Support Each Discipline.” There are MANY, MANY resources available!  Thank you @Principalj and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

http://standards.dpi.wi.gov/stn_disciplinaryliteracy

 

What is the Purpose?


Two books that I read this summer have changed my thinking.  They are Hattie’s Making Learning Visible, Maximizing Impact on Learning  and Moss and Brookhart’s Learning Targets.  Hattie’s book helps me craft my response when a teacher or administrator asks for help with idea/innovation/program X.  I can easily check the research for the effect size and ask questions about “possibilities” for increased learning.   Learning Targets  has been instrumental in helping me think about the “portion size” of daily lessons for students as well as the need to be crystal clear each day about the expected student learning.  A question that I frequently use is:  “Does the learning target match the student action or learning?”

Why is this important?  Well, Reading is very important now as several states have added a requirement for third graders to be reading at the third grade level or several different processes kick in for additional intervention, instruction, summer school or retention.  This post is not going to focus on those legislative mandates.  Instead it will focus on part of Reading Anchor Standard (K-12) #10 – Range of Reading.  As you read through this information, think about “HOW” you will know if students have met this standard?

CCR English Language Arts Anchor Standard 10 says:

          “Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.”

Several pages later in the Common Core document a reader finds this additional information:

“Range of Text Types for K‑5     Students in K–5 apply the Reading standards to the following range of text types, with texts selected from a broad range of cultures and periods.

Literature Informational Text
Stories Dramas Poetry Literary Nonfiction and Historical, Scientific and Technical Text
Includes children’s adventure stories, folktales, legends, fables, fantasy, realistic fiction, and myth Includes staged dialogue and brief familiar scenes Includes nursery rhymes and the subgenres of the narrative poem, limerick, and free verse poem Includes biographies and autobiographies; books about history, social studies, science, and the arts; technical texts, including directions, forms, and information displayed in graphs, charts, or maps; and digital sources on a range of topics”

“Range of Text Types for 6‑12     Students in 6‑12 apply the Reading standards to the following range of text types, with texts selected from a broad range of cultures and periods.

Literature Informational Text
Stories Dramas Poetry Literary Nonfiction
Includes the subgenres of adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, myths, science fiction, realistic fiction, allegories, parodies, satire, and graphic novels Includes one-act and multi-act plays, both in written form and on film Includes the subgenres of narrative poems, lyrical poems, free verse poems, sonnets, odes, ballads, and epics Includes the subgenres of exposition, argument, and functional text in the form of personal essays, speeches, opinion pieces, essays about art or literature, biographies, memoirs, journalism, and historical, scientific, technical, or economic accounts (including digital sources) written for a broad audience”

There is more information in the standards about the three characteristics of “complex” text.  But that is not the topic here.  A Twitter conversation today caught my eye.   It was linked to this blog:  “Reading: It’s Kind of a Big Deal.”

How will you know students have read the variety of genres listed above?

How will your students know that you have read the variety of genres listed above?  (If you are a teacher, you probably would not ask students to read genres or texts that you have never read, would you?)

Before I read the blog above from a parent and a child’s view, I probably would have said that a “Reading Log” would be a good indicator of texts read.  But what does a list really tell a student, parent, or teacher?

On Twitter earlier today, @CarrieGelson said, “The big issue is creating readers for life. Attaching mundane tasks to reading doesn’t make it enticing.”
  • If the goal is creating students who can and will read all their lives, how can we model, encourage and excite students to read?  Will it be teacher conversations in conferences with readers?  Will it be peer-to-peer conversations, blogs, or tweets?
  • If we consider student voice and choice, will students and parents read more than the assigned daily obligatory reading?
  • And lastly, do you keep a “required reading log?”
How can the love of reading become the focus and not an assignment of minutes or texts in specific categories to be read?  How does the love of reading become the purpose?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Parent Resources for Common Core – ELA and Math


Wow!  More and more resources are available for teachers as they develop lessons to meet the requirements of  the Common Core.   Parents and community members who would like to view some Exemplar lessons for English Language Arts at grades 3, 7, and 8 can do so at this link.

Publications designed to explain the Common Core to parents are available for each grade level at the following links provided by the Council of the Great City Schools .

Parent Roadmaps for English Language Arts – Kindergarten through 8th Grade

Parent Roadmaps for Mathematics – Kindergarten through 8th Grade

How have you informed your parents of the changes required by the Common Core?  And your school community?  How could these resources help your communication processes?

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS TO MAKE READING MORE ACCESSIBLE AND FUN!

PARCC – Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers


My last post was about Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) because my home state of Iowa will be using these in the future.  That post  included a link to some sample assessment items as they will look online and additional released SBAC test items.  Today’s post  provides a brief glimpse into the sample assessments currently available from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Item and Task prototypes can be found  for both English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics at http://www.parcconline.org/samples/item-task-prototypes

Representative Samples

Summative assessments for ELA are available at the following grade-level links.  Do click on the pdf’s below the task for additional information about teacher directions and the intent of the task.

Permissions are still pending so the entire task is NOT yet posted for any grade level. The link does describe the “type of assessment” that is included.

Grade 3  http://www.parcconline.org/samples/english-language-artsliteracy/grade-3-tecr-end-year-assessment

Grade 6  http://www.parcconline.org/samples/english-language-artsliteracy/grade-6-prose-constructed-response-narrative-writing-task

Grade 7  http://www.parcconline.org/samples/english-language-artsliteracy/grade-7-prose-constructed-response-research-simulation-task-0

Grade 10 http://www.parcconline.org/samples/english-language-artsliteracy/grade-10-prose-constructed-response%E2%80%94sample-1-literary-analysis

How could you use this information?

Discussions at your grade level could center around these questions:

Is this the text that your students are reading? Do you have common formative assessments at your grade level?

These samples could help you frame common tasks and instruction for reading, writing, and speaking!  Should you assess your students using these tasks?  ONLY, if you have provided instruction that would be aligned with the tasks! 🙂

Smarter Balanced Assessments


I just finished reading Maureen Devlin’s post about teachers taking assessments.  That is a practice that would benefit teachers of all grade levels and content areas.  Check out that post – Take the Test!  (And if you are on Twitter, you should be following her @lookforsun)

Smarter Balanced Assessments are available for preview!  Have YOU worked through any of the sample items or tasks?

Sample Items and Tasks
http://www.smarterbalanced.org/sample-items-and-performance-tasks/

Accessing the Sample Items and Tasks

The sample items and performance tasks are compatible with desktop and laptop computers with the following Internet browsers:

•       Firefox 3.6 or newer

•       Internet Explorer 8 or newer

•       Chrome 18 or newer

•       Safari 4.1 or newer

In addition, Android and iPad tablets with 9.5 inch screens (10 inch class) or larger are supported with the following Internet browsers:

•       Chrome 18 or newer (Android)

•       Safari 4.1 or newer (iPad)

Explore sample items and performance tasks:

•       English language arts/literacy

•       Mathematics

•       Frequently asked questions (PDF)

(Thanks to Deb Hindman at the Iowa Department of Education for this information about SBAC!)

Do you want to see more than one passage? Additional SBAC Sample Items

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) has released sample items that teachers and districts can use as part of their preparation in the transition to SBAC related assessments.

What did you learn from  the sample tasks?  

If the assessment task asked the reader  to identify three key ideas, is it possible to highlight more than three and increase the likelihood of a correct answer?  

Were any of the answers questionable in your own mind?

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