Teaching is core in the ela classroom
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Teaching is Core in the ELA Classroom. http://vimeo.com/68500209. Robin Hecht Marlboro Central School District. Expectations for this session :. Review the 6 Shifts Think about how to shift your teaching practices Walk through a lesson design so can create in your district

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Teaching is core in the ela classroom

Teaching is Core in the ELA Classroom


Robin Hecht

Marlboro Central School District

Expectations for this session

Expectations for this session:

  • Review the 6 Shifts

  • Think about how to shift your teaching practices

  • Walk through a lesson design so can create in your district

  • Walk through an ELA Module

Where do we begin

Where do we begin?

Knowing the Standards

Begin with

  • A successful integration of the Standards will provide students with necessary fluency, comprehension, analytic and communication skills necessary to be on track for college- and career-readiness. 

  • The integration of the Standards into instruction will require focus on instructional shifts, with the grade level expectations stated in the Standards.

Teaching is core in the ela classroom

Instructional Shifts as Demanded by

the CCLS in ELA/Literacy

How to think of the shifts when designing lessons units

How to think of the shifts when designing lessons/units

  • Shift 1: Present informational texts that students

    aren’t yet able to read but raise their interest

  • Shift 2: Impart content knowledge important to comprehension to build background.

  • Shift 3: Allow students to hear increasingly complex vocabulary, syntax and grammar.

  • Shift 4: Provides vehicle for asking rich, text-based questions.

  • Shift 5: Provide opportunities for oral discussions about the source.

  • Shift 6: Model rich, formal language and vocabulary through differentiated activities.

Shift 1 balance of texts

Shift 1: Balance of Texts

  • “Students read a true balance of informational and literary texts.”

  • “Elementary classrooms become the place where students access the world – science, social studies, the arts and literature – through text.”

  • “At least 50% of what students read is informational.”

Ela module overview

ELA Module Overview

  • http://www.engageny.org/sites/default/files/resource/attachments/4m1.module.pdf

  • http://www.engageny.org/resource/grades-3-5-ela-curriculum-appendix-1-teaching-practices-and-protocols

Components of ela modules

Components of ELA Modules

  • Guiding Questions And Big Ideas

  • Performance task: This performance task gives students a chance to apply their understanding through: 1) collaborate with their peers and 2) independently write a paragraph

The two-part performance task centers on

NYSP12 ELA Standards W.4.2, W.4.5, W.4.9, and L.4.3.

Content connections

Content Connections

  • The modules are designed to address English Language Arts standards. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies content that may align to additional teaching during other parts of the day.

Module 1 content connection

Module 1: Content Connection

NYS Social Studies Core Curriculum

  • Native Americans—specifically the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee, People of the Longhouse) and the Algonquian—were early inhabitants of the New York region and state, and contributed to the region’s history.

  • Systems of government exist to create and enforce laws to protect people and communities.

  • Native American groups developed political practices, including a consensus model, that influenced the development of the United States democracy

www. Engageny.org

Nysp12 ccls reading


Central text

Central Text

  • 1. Selections from the Great Law of Peace, or Iroquois


  • 2. Cynthia O’Brien, “The (Really) Great Law of Peace,” in Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids(2010, Issue 33), 38–39.

  • 3. Mary Englar, The Iroquois: The Six Nations Confederacy (Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2003); ISBN: 978-0-7368-4817-6.

  • 4. Joseph Bruchac, Eagle Song (New York: Puffin Books, 1997); ISBN: 978-0-14-130169-3.

  • 5. Marilyn Cram Donahue, “Smart-Speak: How to Say What You Mean,” in Current Health1, December 2003, 12.

  • 6. Clarisel Gonzalez, “Speaking Up,”in Scholastic News (Edition 5/6, 76:14), January 28, 2008, 6.

Instructional focus for the week

Instructional Focus for the week

  • Mystery Symbol: The Iroquois Flag

  • Read “The (Really) Great Law of Peace”

  • Hearing and reading short selections from the Iroquois Constitution

  • Learn the structure of an explanatory paragraph.

  • Write explanatory paragraphs connecting class flag to texts.

Unit 1: Haudenosaunee: The Great Peacemakers

Student long term targets

Student Long Term Targets

  • I can explain what a text says using specific details from the text.

  • I can explain the main points in a historical text accurately.

  • I can effectively participate in discussion with my peers and adults.

  • I can write an informative/explanatory text.



  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Independent reading about the Iroquois Confederacy; use specific details to answer questions about the text. (RI.4.1, RI.4.3, SL.4.1)

  • End of Unit 1 Assessment: Write explanatory paragraph about class flag and how it connects to the texts they have read so far in the module. (W.4.2 and SL.4.1)



  • Grade 4: Module 1: Performance Task


  • Grade 4 ELA Module 1: Recommended Texts


  • Grade 4: Module 1: Assessments http://www.engageny.org/sites/default/files/resource/attachments/4m1.assessments.pdf

You can do this too

You can do this too….

Constitution Day

September 17th

A Close Reading of The Preamble

Begin with a

Begin with a:

Unit Summary

  • The goal of this four day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they’ve been practicing on a regular basis to write a preamble for the classroom constitution.

  • By reading and re‐reading the passage closely combined with classroom discussion about it, students will identify the ideals of the preamble

Reading task

Reading Task:

  • Students will silently read the passage, first independently,

  • and then following along with the text as the teacher and/or students read aloud.

  • The teacher will then lead students through a set of concise, text‐dependent questions

    that compel students to reread specific passages and discover the structure and

    meaning of the preamble.

Vocabulary task

Vocabulary Task:

  • Most of the meanings of words in this selection can be discovered from careful reading of the context in which they appear.

  • This practice is both called for by the standards and is vital.

  • Teachers must be prepared to reinforce it

    constantly by modeling and holding students accountable for looking in the context

  • for meaning as well.

Discussion task

Discussion Task:

  • Students will discuss the passage in depth with their teacher and their classmates,

  • performing activities that result in a close reading of the preamble text.

  • The goal is to foster student confidence when encountering complex text and

  • to reinforce the skills they have acquired regarding how to build and extend their understanding of a text.

Opportunities challenges

Opportunities & Challenges

  • In considering this shift, share with your partner:

    1. What opportunities do you see to enhance student learning?

    2. What challenges do you see for instruction?

    3. What practices do you think teachers will have to change, with regard to how they teach reading?

Writing task

Writing Task:

  • Students will paraphrase different sentences and paragraphs of the preamble and then write an explanation of the text.

Outline of lesson

Outline of Lesson:

  • This lesson can be divided by the teacher into four days of instruction and reflection on the part of students and their teachers, with the option of a written homework assignment after Day 1,

  • Can add an additional day devoted to peer review and revision of a culminating writing assignment.

  • On September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by 39 brave men who changed the course of history.

  • Now Constitution Day is a time for us to continue their legacy and develop habits of citizenship in a new generation of Americans.

Text selection

Text Selection:

  • The Preamble ties in with Constitution Day – September 17th.

    Task: Students will write their own class preamble……..




We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Teaching is core in the ela classroom

  • What is the author trying to say?What message is the author trying to give? What evidence (words or phrases) did the author use to make his point?What do you think the men who wrote the preamble wanted to change?

  • Why do you think they thought there needed to be a change?

  • Select one phrase from the Preamble and discuss with your team what it means.

  • Select one phrase from the Preamble and write what it means in your own words.

  • Write one rule that will promote tranquility (encourage peace) in our classroom.

  • Write one rule that will establish justice (create fairness) in our classroom.Write one rule that will secure liberty (give us freedom) in our classroom.

  • Write one rule that will promote general welfare (encourage safety) in our classroom.

Engaging students

Critical thinking

Higher level Questioning

Application of knowledge

Day 1 unscramble the preamble

Day 1: Unscramble the Preamble

Day Activities focus on CCSS Standards for Grade 4 RL4, RI1, RI2, L4, L3.A, L3.A, L4.A, W2.B

1. Teacher introduces the text and students read the

Preamble independently. 2. Teacher then reads the text out loud to the class

and students follow along in the text. 3. Teacher asks students to highlight vocabulary

words that are new to them.4. Teacher introduces vocabulary carousel activity.

5. Students will write the vocabulary word and

definition in notebook.

Complex text


Day 2 translate the preamble big words big ideas

Day 2: Translate the Preamble Big Words –Big Ideas

  • Day 2 Activities focus on CCSS Standards for Grade 4 RL4, RI1, RI2, L4, L3.A, L3.A, L4.A, W2.B, W9.B

    1. Students are reacquainted with the first paragraph of the constitution while rereading it independently.

    2. Teacher reads the text out loud to the class and students follow along in the text

    3. Students will translate the paragraph in their own words.

    4. Teacher asks the class a small set of guiding questions and tasks about the text.

    5. Students will rewrite their sentences of the meaning of the preamble.

Day 3 in order to form a more perfect union

Day 3: In order to form a more perfect union

Focus standards

  • Day 3 Activities focus on CCSS Standards for Grade 4 RL4, RI1, RI2, L4, L3.A, L3.A, L4.A, W1.A, W1.C, W2.B, W9.B W3

    1. Teacher will post the four categories for rules (on chart paper,

    SmartBoard, around the room). The four categories will be encourage

    peace, create fairness, give us freedom, and encourage safety.

    2. Students will choose the topic that they have ‘burning thoughts’ about

    and write it on a post-it note. Ex: “I like it when my brothers and sisters

    aren’t home because it is quiet and peaceful.”

    3. They will put the post-it notes on the chart that is labeled to match the

    category of their ‘burning thought.’ The example above would get

    posted under the category “encourage peace.”

    4. The groups will be formed based on where the students placed their

    post-it note.

    5. Students will work in cooperative groups to establish a rule based on their group topic

    that will apply to classroom and school-wide behavior.

Student activities

Day 4 we the students

Day 4: We The Students

  • Day 4 Activities focus on the CCSS Standards for Grade 4 W1.A, W1.C, W2.A, W2.B, W2.C,W3, W4, W9.B

    1. Student will share the rules with the class.

    2. The class will edit the rules to be posted in the classroom for the year.

    3. Students will use the rules, vocabulary, their translations of the preamble, and relevant information to write their own preamble for the classroom/school community.

    4. Students will share and peer edit their preambles in small groups.

Teaching is core in the ela classroom



Suggested literature for discussion

Suggested literature for discussion:

-We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States by David Catrow-The U.S. Constitution (American Symbols) by Norman Pearl-A More Perfect Union: The Story of our Constitution by Betsy Maestro and Giulio Maestro-Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz

Thank you

Thank You!

Facilitating change your role

Facilitating Change: Your Role

  • Shrink the Change

  • Script the Critical Moves

  • Build Habits and Grow Your People

  • Tweak the Environment

  • Find the Bright Spots

  • Keep the Switch Going

Source: Heath, C. & Heath, D. (2010). Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. New York: Broadway Books

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