Monday, October 7, 2013

Quotes and Questions to Guide CCSS Implementation, Part 2

This post is a continuation of the one last week focused on some Common Core-inspired quotes paired with corresponding questions for reflection.

(4) "Reading, especially complex reading, doesn't occur in isolation.  [Teachers should] imagine a reading experience that is scaffolded by design, that resists reading in isolation, and welcomes a situation in which texts 'talk' to each other."  (from Sarah Brown Wessling's Supporting Students in a Time of Common Core)

How does CCSS and PARCC/SB make text relationships, text connections and research with texts more important than ever?  Might we think about texts in the same way we do about standards?  That is, could we select one text to use as a "featured text" and other texts, text excerpts and digital and print resources to use as "supporting" texts?  How do these unit texts relate to one another--so to facilitate summaries, comparisons and syntheses--and how do they bring out the best in our unit's featured standard(s)?

(5) "Asking [teachers] to require all students to read a high-Lexiled text is a complete mind shift for them...We are going to scaffold the heck out of grade-level texts, and we are going to pre-plan close readings for struggling students over essential excerpts from the book.  We are going to plan units that will provide appropriate amounts of context through differentiated pieces in preparation for the grade-level text.  This is going to be a huge challenge, but we are moving forward with an expectation of revising." (from Christina Hank's blog, MS Language Arts: Where We've Been and Where We're Going)

Teachers who have worked hard during the past decade or two to select leveled texts for their students might be struggling with the notion that all students should be reading the same text.  As Christina notes, a "one text for all" approach may constitute one element of CCSS-aligned unit planning, but let's not abandon leveled texts and differentiated reading groups.  I see the "one text for all" approach as being appropriate for the central part of the unit.  However, let's continue to utilize leveled resources as ways to support student reading, practice skills, provide background information and context, as well as facilitate text-text connections and research.  When it comes to differentiated experiences in my classroom, how can I utilize one featured text as well as leveled supporting texts to meet the featured standard(s)?

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