Friday, April 5, 2013

Cook up a Common Core lesson with this easy recipe!

Recently during PD a teacher shared she was "doing"  the Common Core.  She was just treating it as a new checklist where she:  must "do" a close reading; must "do" an evidence based writing task; etc.  Teachers often think, "If we increase rigor in our current ELA novels, we'll be aligned."  

We wish the instructional paradigm shift in the CCS was so easy.  This Millennial generation needs relevance to care and to foster motivation. The rigor is to foster intelligence.  We like to tell students that these lessons will make them....smarter, richer, and more successful in life.   

The schematic below is one good little recipe to try, if you don't know where to start.  Please note the inclusion of a research task.  This is to embrace the Writing Standards 6,7,8,9, which say students should "research to build and present knowledge."  All too often, teachers stop at the close reading task, and do not follow the "read" up with a task to make it "relevant."   Why just read a primary source or "rich text," when this could be coupled with a "short or long term research" task which gives the students an opportunity to dig deeper, conclude, synthesize, form opinions linked to evidence, and other higher-level-thought tasks.  Why not try one of these Common Core pedagogy verbs, listed below, which were taken directly from the CCS...?

  • Evaluate
  • Comprehend
  • Critique
  • Analyze - think analytically
  • Address a Question
  • Solve a problem
  • Conduct a short research projects
  • Conduct sustained research projects
  • Students generate questions
  • Explore a topic
  • Draw evidence from texts
  • Support analysis
  • Research and reflection
  • Gather information from print and digital sources
  • Assess the credibility and accuracy of sources 
  • Integrate information avoiding plagiarism
  • Produce and publish writing
  • Interact and collaborate
  • Debate
  • Write arguments to support claims
  • Formulate an argument
  • Comprehend
  • Prepare and participate effectively in conversations. 
  • Build and express persuasively
  • Express information and enhance understanding 
Couple a close read together with a research task to embrace information literacy for the Information Age.   After all...30% of the PARCC assessments will be a "simulated research task."  (Or, 25% of the Smarter Balance assessments....) 

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