Monday, August 29, 2011

The Common Core Tsunami is About to Arrive

6 Fundamental Shifts for ELA in the Common CoreThe Common Core tsunami has arrived --just as Irene leaves us!  Next week, schools in the NE will open and the paradigm shift has begun.  Over the next few days, I will spotlight a few of the instructional focus fields that our area librarians and educators will need to be apprised of.  Some are great, and some will likely be met with resistance.  Hey, we didn't make the rules so don't shoot the messenger!  If librarians disseminate this news, you are  likely to be the town crier taking a midnight ride in a sea of darkness, but you'll also be a valuable resource.   Remember, Paul Revere was not shot.

Section 4 - David Coleman - 6 Paradigm shifts....
1 -Literacy begins in the earliest grades, but needs more non-fiction focus (currently is 80% literature)
2 - Literacy is a K-12 Road (not just elementary)
3 - Text Complexity matters
4 - Text-Dependent Questions (Questions that require students to pay attention to the text itself).
5 - The ability to write an argument based on evidence and complex information
6 -  Focus on Vocabulary

David Coleman claims that ..."we have evidence that in kindergarten through 5th grade kids read informational text 7% of the time."    Thus the new focus on complex text and searching for captivating articles that suck the reader in and make them want to know more.   Now, we as librarians know how to find those and could likely become the teachers' new best friend.    Take a look at EBSCO  Searchasaurus and see how easy it is to find a correctly Lexiled article for classroom use!

"... the general knowledge that you [students and teachers] develop in those [early]years plays a crucial predictive role in not only your performance in those other disciplines...."   Thus the focus back to building common knowledge.  Common Knowledge can't be built in the first two years of high school.  Elementary grades have to return to activities such as current events and non-fiction content.   Listen to an additional quote from David Coleman's presentation to the NYS Education Department:  "the elementary school’s a magnificent place for students to learn about the world through reading. Whoever thought otherwise? So the core standards for the first time demand that 50% of the text students encounter in kindergarten through 5th grade is informational text, meaning primarily text about science and history, text about the arts, the text through which students learn about the world. That is a major shift and if you think about what’s happening in this country unintentionally literature and stories dominated the elementary curriculum. And then we expanded the literacy block. So we made the literacy block 80% of the time. Guess what that meant? We destroyed history and science in the elementary school."  Once again, librarians can come to the rescue!   This is our moment... sound the bell, bring the books, show them how to find Lexiled non-fiction articles.  Yippee - bring 'em on baby. 

Read more from David Coleman's transcripts at the NYSED website: 

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