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Common Core State Standards. Session 6 English Language Arts. The Promise of the CCSS.

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Common Core State Standards

Session 6

English Language Arts

the promise of the ccss
The Promise of the CCSS

These Standards are not intended to be new names for old ways of doing business. They are a call to take the next step. It is time for districts to work together to build on lessons learned from two decades of standards based reforms. It is time to recognize that standards are not just promises to our children, but promises we intend to keep.

day 1 session
Day 1 – Session

OUTCOMES

Participants will increase their knowledge of:

  • the structure of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS);
  • the implications of the CCSS Anchor Standards;
  • Text complexity and close reading.
reading
Reading

Key Ideas and Details

1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

2. Determine central idea or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Evidence Standard

Main Idea Standard

Interaction Standard

reading1
Reading

Craft and Structure

4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

5. Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

Interpretation Standard

Structure Standard

reading2
Reading

Craft and Structure

6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Point of View/Purpose Standard

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Multimedia Standard

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Argument Standard

Multi-text standard

Complexity Standard

instructional shifts implementation of the common core state standards
Instructional Shifts Implementation of the Common Core State Standards

6-12, Knowledge in the Disciplines

Content area teachers outside of the ELA classroom emphasize literacy experiences in their planning and instruction. Students learn through domain-specific texts in science and social studies classrooms – rather than referring to the text, they are expected to learn from what they read.

instructional shifts implementation of the common core state standards1
Instructional Shifts Implementation of the Common Core State Standards

Staircase of Complexity

In order to prepare students for the complexity of college and career ready texts, each grade level requires a “step” of growth on the “staircase”. Students read the central, grade appropriate text around which instruction is centered. Teachers are patient, create more time and space in the curriculum for this close and careful reading, and provide appropriate and necessary scaffolding and supports so that it is possible for students reading below grade level.

instructional shifts implementation of the common core state standards2
Instructional Shifts Implementation of the Common Core State Standards

Text-based Answers

Students have rich and rigorous conversations which are dependent on a common text. Teachers insist that classroom experiences stay deeply connected to the text on the page and that students develop habits for making evidentiary arguments both in conversation, as well as in writing to assess comprehension of a text.

instructional shifts implementation of the common core state standards3
Instructional Shifts Implementation of the Common Core State Standards

Writing from Sources

Writing needs to emphasize use of evidence to inform or make an argument rather than the personal narrative and other forms of decontextualized prompts. While the narrative still has an important role, students develop skills through written arguments that respond to the ideas, events, facts, and arguments presented in the texts they read.

instructional shifts implementation of the common core state standards4
Instructional Shifts Implementation of the Common Core State Standards

Academic Vocabulary

Students constantly build the vocabulary they need to access grade level complex texts. By focusing strategically on comprehension of pivotal and commonly found words (such as “discourse,” “generation,” “theory,” and “principled”) and less on esoteric literary terms (such as “onomatopoeia” or “homonym”), teachers constantly build students’ ability to access more complex texts across the content areas.

webb s depth of knowledge and bloom s taxonomy
Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and Bloom’s Taxonomy

The CCSS standards

incorporate Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and Bloom’s Taxonomy.

The cognitive demand of the standards rises across the grades.

the demands of the standards
The “Demands” of the Standards

The cognitive demand of the standards incorporates Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge.

How is this accomplished?

The standards “ramp up” the demands made on student thinking.

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One hot summer's day a famished fox was strolling through an orchard until he came to clusters of grapes just ripening on a trellised vine. "Just the thing to quench my thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. His mouth was watering and he could feel gnawing hunger pains. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give up.

Once a fox walked through the woods. He came upon a grape orchard. There he found beautiful grapes hanging from a high branch. “Boy those sure would be tasty,” he thought to himself. He backed up and took a running start and jumped. He did not get high enough.

Simple

Complex

simplified to complex text
Simplified to Complex Text

One hot summer’s day….

Strolling…………………

Once (1 word)

Walked

(less precise language/less powerful verb).

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Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

We want every country in the world, whether it is our friend or our enemy, to know that we will do whatever is necessary to make sure that freedom survives in the United States and around the world.

what is right with simplified text
What is right with “simplified” text?
  • Provides for scaffolding for ELL students, students with disabilities
  • They can become a foundation for understanding complex text as long as students have the opportunity to read complex texts as well.
  • Gradated Text Collection – a collection of texts on a topic that advance in degrees of complexity. Some students may read simpler texts first, then move on to complex text (a form of instructional support).
what s wrong with the simplified text approach
What’s wrong with the simplifiedtext approach?
  • Simplified usually means limited, restricted, and thin in meaning.
  • Academic vocabulary can only be learned from complex texts––by noticing how it works in texts, engaging with, thinking about, and discussing their more complex meanings with others.
  • Mature language skills needed for success in school and life can only be gained by working with demanding materials.
gradated texts
Gradated Texts

Article: Breathing and Its True Role in Our Life, Health and Longevity

A collection of texts that increase in difficulty from simple to moderate to complex, around a common topic.

text complexity act study
Text Complexity - ACT Study
  • Purpose: Determine what distinguished the reading performance of students likely to succeed in college and not.
    • Process:
      • Set benchmark score on the reading test shown to be predictive of success in college (“21” on ACT composite score).
      • Looked at results from a half million students.
slide30

Performance on the ACT Reading Test

by Textual Element

(Averaged across Seven Forms)

text complexity matters
Text Complexity Matters

Texts used in the ACT Reading Test reflect three degrees of complexity: uncomplicated, more challenging, and complex.

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Performance on the ACT Reading Test

by Degree of Text Complexity

(Averaged across Seven Forms)

In this figure, performance on questions associated with uncomplicated and more

challenging texts both above and below the ACT College Readiness Benchmark for

Reading follows a pattern similar to those in the previous analyses.

Improvement on each of the two kinds of questions is gradual and fairly uniform.

32

slide33

Text Complexity

  • Text complexity is defined by:

Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader.

Quantitative

Qualitative

Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software.

Reader and Task

Reader and Task considerations – background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks assigned often best made by educators employing their professional judgment.

recap of act findings
Recap of ACT Findings

Question type and level (main idea, word meanings, details) is NOT the chief differentiator between student scoring above and below the benchmark.

The degree of text complexity in the passages acted as the “sorters” within ACT. The findings held true for both males and females, all racial groups and was steady regardless of family income level.

What students could read, in terms of its complexity - rather than what they could do with what they read - is greatest predictor of success. FCAT has complex passages and highly cognitive demanding questions.

the common core standards three equally important components of text complexity
The Common Core Standards' three equally important components of text complexity

Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software.

Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader.

Reader and Task considerations – background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks assigned often best made by educators employing their professional judgment.

where do we find texts in the appropriate text complexity band
Where do we find texts in the appropriate text complexity band?

We could….

Choose an excerpt of text from Appendix B as a starting place:

Use available resources to determine the text complexity of other materials on our own.

or…

determining text complexity
Determining Text Complexity

A Four-step Process:

Determine the quantitative measures of the text.

Quantitative

Qualitative

Analyze the qualitative measures of the text.

Reader and Task

Reflect upon the reader and task considerations.

Recommend placement in the appropriate text complexity band.

step 1 quantitative measures
Step 1: Quantitative Measures

Quantitative Measures

  • Measures such as:
    • Word length
    • Word frequency
    • Word difficulty
    • Sentence length
    • Text length
    • Text cohesion
slide41

Step 2: Qualitative Measures

  • Measures such as:
    • Structure
    • Language Demands and Conventions
    • Knowledge Demands
    • Levels of Meaning/Purpose
common core standards qualitative features of text complexity structure
Common Core StandardsQualitative Features of Text ComplexityStructure
  • Simple  Complex
  • Explicit  Implicit
  • Conventional Unconventional
  • Events related in chronological order  Events related out of chronological order (chiefly literary texts)
  • Traits of a common genre or subgenre  Traits specific to a particular discipline (chiefly informational texts)
  • Simple graphics  Sophisticated graphics
  • Graphics unnecessary or merely supplemental to understanding the text  Graphics essential to understanding the text and may provide information not elsewhere provided
types of text structure
Types of Text Structure
  • Definition/description:

Frequently in textbook reading an entire paragraph is devoted to defining a complex term or idea. The concept is initially defined and then further expanded with examples and restatements.

  • Sequence (Chronological order):

The main idea’s supporting details are written in a specific order. Changing the order would change the meaning.

  • Cause-Effect:

Shows a relationship between the cause of something and the effect that follows as a result.

types of text structure1
Types of Text Structure
  • Cause-Effect:

Shows a relationship between the cause of something and the effect that follows as a result.

  • Comparison-Contrast:

Points out similarities and differences between two or more topics.

  • Problem-Solution:

The text states a problem and then suggests one or more solutions.

common core standards qualitative features of text complexity
Common Core StandardsQualitative Features of Text Complexity

Language Demands: Conventionality and Clarity

  • Literal  Figurative or ironic
  • Clear  Ambiguous or purposefully misleading
  • Contemporary, familiar  Archaic or otherwise unfamiliar
  • Conversational  General Academic and domain specific
  • Light vocabulary load: few unfamiliar or academic words Many words unfamiliar and high academic vocabulary present
  • Sentence structure straightforward Complex and varied sentence structures
common core standards qualitative features of text complexity1
Common Core StandardsQualitative Features of Text Complexity

Knowledge Demands: Life Experience

  • Simple theme  Complex or sophisticated themes
  • Single theme  Multiple themes
  • Common everyday experiences or clearly fantastical situations  Experiences distinctly different from one’s own
  • Single perspective  Multiple perspectives
  • Perspective(s) like one’s own  Perspective(s) unlike or in opposition to one’s own
  • Everyday knowledge  Cultural and literary knowledge
  • Few allusions to other texts  Many allusions to other texts
  • Low intertextuality (few or no references to other texts) 

High intertextuality (many references or citations to other texts)

common core standards qualitative features of text complexity2
Common Core StandardsQualitative Features of Text Complexity

Levels of Meaning (chiefly literary texts) or

purpose (chiefly informational texts)

  • Single level of meaning Multiple levels of meaning
  • Explicitly stated purpose  Implicit purpose, may be hidden or obscure
step 2 qualitative measures
Step 2: Qualitative Measures

Qualitative factors are represented on a continua rather than discrete stages or levels, so numeric values are not associated with these rubric. Instead, six points along each continuum is identified: not suited to the band, early-mid grade level, mid-end grade level, early-mid grade level, mid-end grade level, not suited to band.

slide49

Step 3: Reader and Task

  • Considerations such as:
  • Motivation
  • Knowledge and experience
  • Purpose for reading
  • Complexity of task assigned regarding text
  • Complexity of questions asked regarding text
vocabulary and syntax
Vocabulary and Syntax

The educational implications of the measures of text difficulty include:

  • Single biggest predictor of student achievement is vocabulary and syntax.
  • Need to be addressed throughout schooling (kindergarten through 12th grade). Schools and districts should plan a coherent, intensive and systematic program for vocabulary and syntax.
  • Syntax is one of the most powerful predictors of difficulty.
  • Some features of text are more important than others—syntax and vocabulary are an example of two essential text features to pay particular attention to during instruction.
slide51

What Complex Text Demands of Readers

  • A Willingness to Pause and Probe
    • Students must be patient as they read complex texts and be willing to devote time to contemplation of the text
  • The Capacity for Uninterrupted Thinking
    • Time devoted to the text and thinking about the text exclusively - single-tasking rather than multi-tasking
  • A Receptivity to Deep Thinking
    • Contemplation of the meaning of the text and not a quick response voicing an opinion based on a shallow interpretation
  • (Mark Bauerlein, 2011)
slide52

Shorter, Challenging Texts

  • The study of short texts is useful to enable students at a wide range of reading levels to participate in the close analysis of more demanding text. 
  • Place a high priority on the close, sustained reading of complex text. Such reading emphasizes the particular over the general and strives to focus on what lies within the four corners of the text.
  • Close reading often requires compact, short, self-contained texts that students can read and re-read deliberately and slowly to probe and ponder the meanings of individual words, the order in which sentences unfold, and the development of ideas over the course of the text.
text dependent questions
Text Dependent Questions
  • What is (and isn’t) the meaning of “popular sovereignty”?

2. Why does Monk claim that this is the form of government in America?

3. Is Lucy Stone confused when she asks “Which ‘We the People’?”

4. Why does Monk say this question has “troubled the nation”?

5. What does the phrase “founding fathers” mean? Why does Marshall think the founding fathers could not have imagined a female or black Supreme Court Justice?

text dependent questions continued
Text Dependent Questions (continued)
  • Please put Marshall’s quote into your own words in a brief two or three sentence paraphrase; be prepared to be called on to share your writing.
  • What evidence is there in the final paragraph regarding Marshall’s claim about the “evolving nature of the constitution”?
preamble to the constitution
Preamble to the Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.

multi text dependent question
Multi-Text dependent Question
  • Using the text written by Monk, and the Preamble, discuss:
  • What arguments can be made that there is a changing definition of the term “people”; refer to Monk’s writing and the Preamble.