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!

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