Reading and Writing Grounded in Evidence from Text. Presented by Sara Hall and Lisa Zekanis , Peterson Elementary. Instructional Shifts From the Crosswalk of Common Core Instructional Shifts: ELA/Literacy.
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Presented by Sara Hall and Lisa Zekanis, Peterson Elementary
The Special Place of Argument in the Standards
While all three text types are important, the Standards put particular emphasis on students’ ability to write sound arguments on substantive topics and issues, as this ability is critical to college and career readiness. English and education professor Gerald Graff (2003) writes that “argument literacy” is fundamental to being educated. The university is largely an “argument culture,” Graff contends; therefore, K–12 schools should “teach the conflicts” so that students are adept at understanding and engaging in argument (both oral and written) when they enter college.
He claims that because argument is not standard in most school curricula, only 20 percent of those who enter college are prepared in this respect. Theorist and critic Neil Postman (1997) calls argument the soul of an education because argument forces a writer to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of multiple perspectives. When teachers ask students to consider two or more perspectives on a topic or issue, something far beyond surface knowledge is required: students must think critically and deeply, assess the validity of their own thinking, and anticipate counterclaims in opposition to their own assertions.
Shifts in Reading Comprehension Expectations(From www.readinga-z.com Bringing the Common Core Standards to Life in the Classroom by Dr. Catherine Thome)
Text dependent questions
What is it?
An important ELA Common Core Standard focuses on students’ ability to ask and
answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for their answers. Eighty to 90 percent of the reading standards in each grade require text dependent analysis.
The relevant reading standard requires students to “reading closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it. They must also cite pertinent textual evidence when writing/speaking to support conclusions drawn from text. They no longer can rely solely on prior knowledge or personal experience.
In the nationally developed “Publishers’ Criteria” publishers are being asked to use
…text-dependent questions [that] can only be answered by careful scrutiny of the
text...and do not require information or evidence from outside the text or texts.
Coleman & Pimentel, p. 5
What does it mean for teachers?
Questions that are text dependent require close reading of text. Students have to
demonstrate the ability to use what the text says and provide pertinent text-based
evidence to make inferences rather than just relying on their prior knowledge or personal
experience. Although using prior knowledge and personal experiences can demonstrate
students’ ability to synthesize across sources, it is equally important that students be able
to answer question by referring explicitly back to the text they are using.
Exploring Anchor Text