By Nancy Boyles
As Nancy began her presentation, she reminded us that, “All we have are the standards.” She continued with, “What are the promises? To get the students college ready, not ready for life. Not based on research (yet).”
I took notes as quickly as possible. I was thankful for her willingness to share her thinking about the CCSS.
These are the notes on guiding principles #1 and #2. Hopefully, I will write about #3 and #4 in the future.
We need to consider four guiding principles …
2. Text Complexity
*Standards – what we teach
*Text Complexity – what we teach with
*Focus on comprehension Scaffolds – how we teach
*The Task – how we measure what we teach
Comprehension Standards – What’s new? NOT the same cake with different frosting.
The standards started at grade 12 (preparation for college) and worked backwards to kindergarten. Sometimes looks (reads) funky at kindergarten level. Each standard is better understood if read as a staircase standard. Every standard is applied at every grade level with rigor.
The keys to unlocking standards are to understand what we have, understand what we have to add, and to understand what we can teach better. Building on our prior knowledge
Key ideas and details – what is author saying
Craft and Structure – How is the author saying it
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas – Why is the author saying it
Text Complexity and Range
NEW ADDITIONS to think about when thinking about the CCSS
1. More on character development (characters who change from beginning to end)
2. Summary includes theme
4. Vocabulary: tier2, tier3, figurative language (simile, personification, idioms), TONE (where did the character have a bad attitude, a good attitude, change attitude)
5. Genre, text structure
6. Text to text connections
7. Broader definition of text (digital, live, video)
8.Illustrations part of message (picture shows mood of character)
9. Point of view / perspectives (values and belief systems)
NO LONGER TEACHING in CCSS:
text to self connections because it takes students away from the texts
Concepts We Teach
Summarizing with theme
Point of View
Using nonprint texts
Text to text connections
Read complex texts
By the way, the standards work is being driven by two groups of people. 45/46 states joined PARCC or SBAC. It is helpful for the teacher/school/district to know if your CCSS is being driven the PARCC group or the SBAC group. However, both will give the teacher/school/district helpful information since the CCSS are the same for the 45/46 states.
Standard 10 is the hardest to pin down. It is like hugging jello.
Standard 10: Complex Texts – what we teach with. Do NOT believe the publishers that there is a set of complex texts required by the CCSS. Texts are mentioned, but that does not mean they are required.
A significant body of research links the CLOSE reading of COMPLEX text – whether the student is a struggling reader or advanced – to significant gains in reading proficiency and finds close reading to be a key component of college and career readiness.
Two essential components are range of text and difficulty of text.
What we teach: literature and informational text.
Follow traditional problem-solution format. Short text. Honors diff cultural traditions.
Traditional literature: fairytales, folk tales, legends, fables, myths, stories (adventures, fantasy, realistic fiction)
Dramas: staged dialogue, brief familiar scenes
Poetry: nursery rhymes, narrative poems, limerick, free verse
Literary nonfiction, biographies, autobiographies, essays, personal narratives, nonfiction stories (Bat loves the Night by Nicola Davies), digital sources, textbooks, directions, forms, maps, graphs, charts, historical significant pieces, technical texts,scientific texts, speeches, addresses, etc.
For helpful links for informational text, see:
7 Actions to take NOW!
Look at appendex b exemplars non-exemplars which are based on lexile system. Lexile system is on internet. Lexiles – use caution – tend to over estimate the difficulty of narrative and overestimate expository text. Every time a word is mentioned, it is counted as a hard word. Does not take into consideration text features or background knowledge.
There are many factors to consider when thinking about complex text.
*high knowledge demand
*no prior knowledge
*no helpful text features
Accelerating Student Reading
1. Build stamina. When considering the recommendations for increased lexile levels, students need to read for longer amounts of time. Probably assessments will be longer (4th grade will move from 2 pages to 4 pages).
2.Build automaticity with the goal of increasing comprehension based silent reading
3.Build vocabulary – by providing text complexity 20% of the time with scaffolding, vocabulary will increase.
WE DO with grade level complex text
We need more disciplinary texts, more traditional literature, more structures to engage with age/grade appropriate material for exposure to structure, content, vocabulary at least 20% of the time with SERIOUS SCAFFOLDING.
WE DO with instructional level text / materials. (Allow students guided practice with ccss and building reading stamina.)
YOU DO with independent level text / materials that allow students to practice (productive independent reading).