Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Common Core is for real (at least 50% of the time)

As I've read on many a teacher blog and on listservs, “Common Core is coming.” Or has already arrived in many states. If you haven't delved into the basics of the Common Core State Standards yet, check out the site. If my count is accurate, 45 American states have adopted them so it’s safe to say they are already having a big impact on education.

The headline for I.N.K. authors and readers is that the percentage of informational texts to be read by 4th graders is no less than 50% and it increases to 70% by 12th grade.(1) I haven't found good numbers on the current split between fiction and nonfiction texts in schools, but the general consensus is that fiction has been dominant (at least in in elementary schools.) In any case, things are a‘changing so why not actually read the Standards (or at least try)? Here are a few excerpts that caught my eye:

Reading Standards for Informational Text, Grade 2 students

3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

6. Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

8. Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

In recalling my 2nd grade self, it's hard to remember being as smart as these objectives require. Here is a Reading Standard for 5th graders:
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently. (3)

Sounds like something authors need to do every day, no?

How about this Writing Standard for 3rd grade:
2.a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.

I definitely do that one, often.

Grade 6 Reading Standard:

2. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments. (5)

I wish more people did that, actually.

It’s a little overwhelming to read pages and pages of the standards, but based on interacting with classroom teachers over the years, they will break them down one by one for each grade level and find ways for many (if not most) students to master them. And the plan is that authors will provide many of the resources to assist students on their way to smartness. Right?



My web site

All the standards can be found on this page:
1 Common Core English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, page 5.
2 ibid. page 13.
3 ibid. page 14.
4 ibid. page 20.
5 ibid. page 39.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Loreen for posting this. So glad you dug up the nuggets from all that verbiage in the Common Core Standards (which we have all aligned our books to in our database.) People should note that THERE IS NO PEDAGOGY in the Common Core Standards so we will be getting away from the one-size-fits-all textbooks, which are assiduously created to have NO point of view except one that is politically correct. In our pilot project with Bogert Elementary, each author is being treated as an expert in these standards, although no one has articulated that yet. Our star is rising!!!

Annalisa said...

so enlightening. thank you!

Unknown said...

You're welcome guys!