Monday, April 8, 2013

8 Reasons to Read in the Common Core

Read, read, read.   

It's all about reading:
The more you read, the better you read. 
The better you read, they more you comprehend. 
The more you comprehend, the greater you achieve.*
Therefore, our country's future is all linked to reading.  That, my friend, is why the Common Core say "literacy is everyone's business."
So why should kids read? Common Core states at least 8 reasons:

  1. build and present knowledge
  2. participate effectively in an evidence-based discussion
  3. build background knowledge
  4. gather facts to support a position
  5. to enrich their lives, knowledge, and build fluency (see Appendix A p.9)
  6. solve a problem
  7. prepare for a discussion
  8. increase knowledge
So, if you are planning a CCSS aligned lesson, you should consider reading.  However, close reading activities do not have to be "historical primary sources." They can be  sources that are vetted to be "quality" -- Remember the 3 legs of the stool:
(Lexile, or readability measure)
          Quality (see diagram below or see a rubric) 
          Task (What do I want the students to DO with this passage that is worth the time).


So, a teacher or librarian can find captivating articles which bring subject matter to life. If your fourth graders are studying Biomes.... then find  captivating pollution articles about biomes (one pollution for each biome?) and then the task could be further research for a  "NIMBY* Campaign" for each biome, for example.
This approach:

  1. puts kids in the center of learning
  2. makes the subject matter relevant to their lives
  3. extends the learning experience outside of the classroom to the library for additional information, READING, and synthesis beyond the teachers' chosen 2 articles
  4. requires "knowledge" evidence, synthesis or other manipulation of the facts and necessitates the NEED for the kids to read, synthesize, and apply their knowledge to the real world.  
 Now that, is aligning your instruction with the CCSS as they are... closely reading, debating, researching, writing from sources, discussing with evidence, and more.
    * = Not In MY Backyard
    * [Source: - Technically, I should cite this source, as  I contributed to this article for Expeditionary Learning, and used the same wording in this article which was published under their name:]

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