Digging Deeper into Ohio’s Revised English Language Arts Standards Toward Curriculum Revision Marcia Barnhart Assistant Director Office of Curriculum and Assessment
Session Objectives • To promote a deeper understanding of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards by examining the instructional shifts in • Reading • Writing Curriculum Revision • Language • To provide an update on assessment
What do I need to know to revise my English language arts curriculum? • The Common Core State Standards • What the standards call for in terms of instructional shifts
Reading Shifts • A new understanding of close reading • A focus on considerations of text complexity • The inclusion of literary nonfictionat grades 6-12
Close Reading: What is it? Teach students to “Read like Detectives.” interrogatingwhat texts tell us about the way things are and why Discussion Question: What does a detective do that can be compared to a reader engaging with a text?
Close Reading: Why? By engaging students effectively with rich texts that challenge them to do increasingly more complex cognitive work, we help students become more skilled at getting more out of texts. Close reading helps students learn to analyze the world around them and look to texts for information that they can question and interpret on their own.
Close Reading: How? • Don’t summarize what the text is about; allow students the luxury of discovering this for themselves. (Make them think!) • Allow the text to reveal itself to them as readers/detectives. • Lavish time and attention on text that deserves it. • Remember: the teacher is not the expert; the text is.
Close Reading: How? • Allow them to read text to themselves. 2. Read text aloud to them so they can hear the language as it is meant to be heard. 3.Analyze text by using text-dependent discussion questions. 4. Discuss author’s use of academic vocabulary.
Close Reading: Resource Bringing Common Core to Life video • one hour demonstration by David Coleman (one of the key authors of CCSS) • video and handouts available on ODE Web site (Academic Content Standards>English Language Arts> ELA Common Core State Standards and Model Curriculum Development • highly recommended as PD for ELA departments
Curriculum Revision Reflection Reflect on your current practice for teaching students how to read complex text. On the session outline, write the changes that you may need to make to make the teaching of close reading a priority in your instruction.
Text Complexity: What? Strand:Reading Topic: Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity Standard 10: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Text Complexity: Why? • Research shows a steady decline in the level of text complexity in classroom instruction over the last half century. (Appendix A, p.2) • Research indicates that the demands of college, careers, citizenship place on readers have either held steady or increased over the last half century. (Appendix A, p. 1)
Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Task Text Complexity: How?
Quantitative Features of Text Complexity Dimensions such as • Word Frequency • Sentence Length • Word Length • Text Length • Text Cohesion
Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Dimensions such as: • Levels of meaning • Levels of purpose • Structure/Organization • Language conventionality • Language clarity • Prior knowledge demands
Reader and Task Consideration Considerations such as: • Motivation • Knowledge and experience • Purpose for reading • Complexity of task assigned regarding text • Complexity of questions asked regarding text
introducing background knowledge • immersing students in more complex language exposure and usage that makes a difference in their ability to access knowledge Scaffolding for Text Complexity • engaging students with carefully selected or constructed graphic organizers that make the structure of the text visible • modeling how to interpret the meaning of texts that use more complex approaches, like satire or rhetorical argument • engaging pairs or teams of students with more challenging texts as “buddies” and giving them opportunities to reflect on those texts through discussions with each other or through “buddy” journals making 20 percent of their class reading “stretch” texts that help them reach beyond their reading level
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Text Complexity: Practice • Read the selection Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass • Using the Text Complexity Analysis worksheet and the Text Complexity Rubric, determine the grade band placement of this text. • Discuss and justify your placement with others
Curriculum Revision Reflection Reflect on your current practice for determining the appropriate level of text complexity for your students. On the session outline, write the changes that you may need to make to make consideration of text complexity a priority in your instruction.
Literary Nonfiction: Why? Reading Informational Text Standard 10 Grade 6 & 7 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as neededat the high end of the range.
Literary Nonfiction: What? “…creative nonfiction” describes what the form is all about. The word creative simply refers to the use of literary craft in presenting nonfiction - that is, factually accurate prose about real people and events – in a compelling and vivid manner. To put it another way, creative nonfiction writers do not make things up; they make ideas and information that already exist more interesting and often more accessible.” Lee Guskind
Literary Nonfiction: NAEP’S Definition • May include elements of narration and exposition and is often referred to as mixed text • Includes essays; speeches; opinion pieces, biographies; journalism; and historical scientific or other documents written for a broad audience • It uses literary techniques usually associated with fiction or poetry and also presents information or factual material
Literary Nonfiction: How? • Make a quick list of texts that you use that would fit into the category of literary nonfiction. • Determine if you will need to increase this type of text in your curriculum revision to align to the Common Core. • Share your list and plans with a partner.
Writing Shifts • An increase in writing to sources • Emphasis on writing that marshals arguments (using evidence, evidence, evidence) • A significant increase in the amount of research writing (short and frequent projects)
Writing to Sources: What? • CCR.W.9 • draw evidence from literary or informational text to support analysis, reflection, and research • Teachers must be able to: • Create text-dependent writing prompts that require students to rely primarily on the text to support their arguments/responses • Students must be able to: • Analyze and synthesize text • Present careful analysis, well-defended claims, and clear information through their writing
Writing to Sources: How? Three practices for strengthening reading through writing: • Have students write about the text they read (taking notes, answering questions, learning logs, summaries, or extended response) • Teach students the writing skills and processes that go into creating text • Increase the amount of time students write.
Marshaling Arguments: What? • CCR.W.1 • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. • The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence
Marshaling Arguments: Why? When students consider two or more perspectives on a topic or issue, something far beyond surface knowledge is required . They must • Think critically and deeply • Assess the validity of their own thinking • Anticipate counterclaims in opposition to their own assertions
Marshaling Arguments: How? • Students must be able to effectively arrange their thoughts to support their reasoning. • Writing must reflect evidence of close analytic reading of complex text. • Writing must show evidence of either advancing an argument or explaining an idea.
Research: What? • CCR.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation • Should have a meaningful, focused connection to the text (where possible) • Should encourage students to read closely to compare concepts and synthesize ideas across multiple texts
Research as the Vehicle Research projects allow for and promote: • Close reading • Text complexity increase • Increase in literary nonfiction • Writing to sources • Exposure to academic vocabulary • Presentation skills (Speaking and Listening)
Research: Why? The new assessments will assess the research standards.
Research: How? • Students should have multiple opportunities for research (short, as well as sustained projects). • Students should utilize multiple forms of technology to produce, publish, and collaborate with others.
Writing Practice Trace the progressions of CCR.W.6-9 from K-CCR. Pay particular attention to your grade level. Consider the following: • What specific skills are needed to meet these standard statements? • What other strands should be incorporated to help support this shift? • What do these standard statements look like in your classroom? • In the standard statements that remain the same from grade to grade, how do you plan to increase the complexity?
Writing Reflection Takeaway After examining the vertical articulation document for standard statements 6-9, assess your current research practices/projects. Based on what was reviewed in the vertical articulation document, consider the following: • Where do your projects land on the grade continuum? • Which skills require an increase in complexity? • What specific strategies adequately prepare students for the skills needed in the next grade level/band?
Take away: Research Inventory To determine how well you integrate research into your instruction, take an inventory of your classroom planning and instruction. • What is your approach to teaching research? • Examine your lesson plans. Over the course of two weeks, how many opportunities are given to allow for research? • Take a look at your lessons. How often do you incorporate writing to sources into your literary or informational text selections? • How often are students given the opportunity to share their research with others? • What are the various forms of technology integrated into your research project?
Vocabulary Shift • Increased emphasis on academic vocabulary as a critical component of college and career readiness. • Information in the following slides has been taken from Isabel Beck’s book, Bringing Words to Life.
Vocabulary Shift “Vocabulary knowledge is the single greatest contributor to reading comprehension and thus a strong predictor of overall academic achievement.” --Kate Kinsella, Isabel Beck, Robert Marzano, Doug Fisher, et.al.