Read PDF Teaching the Standards: How to Blend Common Core State Standards into Secondary Instruction

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They contribute to knowledge about the American Revolution and the Constitution when they are studied as they should be in their historical and political context in a U. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: Would any normal high school science teacher delete a physics unit on gravity or a chemistry unit on the components of an atom in order to try to teach students how to read a government policy report on energy, transportation, and the environment or articles like these from Scientific American?

But the potpourri for high school history and science teachers indicates their profound misunderstanding of the purpose, content, and academic level of the entire high school curriculum. I have done so because we need to explore why so many of these exemplars are out of place not just in the subject area Common Core placed them but in a high school curriculum altogether.


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This was intentional, the standards writers indicate. But to judge from the sample titles they offer to fill the demands they make for informational reading in other subjects but in the English class especially, informational literacy seems to be something teachers are to cultivate and students to acquire independent of a coherent, sequential, and substantive curriculum in the topic of the informational text.


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I am in no way suggesting that the ELA standards writers deliberately sought to make a worse conceptual mess of the secondary English curriculum than it now is and to damage the other subjects to boot. They were acting from good intentions.

teaching the standards how to blend common core state standards into secondary instruction Manual

I believe that they truly believe that adequate college-level reading and writing comes from informational reading in K and that more informational reading instruction in K will make more students ready for college. The architects of Common Core assume that the major cause of this educational problem is the failure of our public schools to teach low-performing students in K adequately or sufficiently how to read complex texts before they graduate from high school.

That is, their English teachers have given them too heavy a diet of literary works and teachers in other subjects have deliberately or unwittingly not taught them how to read complex texts in these other subjects.

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As a result, they have not acquired the content knowledge and the vocabulary needed for reading complex textbooks in any subject. And this is despite not because of the steady decline in vocabulary difficulty in secondary school textbooks over the past half century, the huge increase of Young Adult Literature in the secondary curriculum, and the efforts of science and history teachers from the elementary grades on to make their subjects as text-free as possible.

What is Common Core math?

Educational publishers and teachers have made intensive and expensive efforts to develop curriculum materials that accommodate students who are not interested in reading much. College-level materials are written at an adult level, often by those who teach college courses. We hear almost every day of policies that urge all students to get a post-secondary degree or set quotas for college degrees in a state.

But there is no reason to expect students who read very little in or outside of class to become prepared for authentic credit-bearing courses in their first year of college if their secondary teachers spend more class time reading informational texts independent of a coherent and graduated curriculum in the topics of these informational texts. Such a requirement does not address the unwillingness of many high school students to read or write much on their own. Experience-based narrative writing has been promoted in writing workshops as a way to develop writing because children will be eager to write about what they know best—themselves—and can more easily do so in narrative form.

But this idea has led to a lot of poor though fluent writing because experience-based writing is not text-based and higher levels of writing are increasingly dependent on higher levels of reading. Students unwilling to read a lot do not advance very far as writers, even with a full diet of autobiographical writing.

The attempt to get reading into the writing process by asking students to relate something in what they read to their lives text-based autobiographical writing leads to the same limited source of ideas—personal experience sometimes fabricated —not a higher level of analytical thinking. The major casualty of little reading is the general academic vocabulary needed for both academic reading and writing.

The accumulation of a large and usable discipline-specific vocabulary often called a technical vocabulary depends on graduated reading in a coherent sequence of courses known as a curriculum in that discipline. The accumulation of a general academic vocabulary, however, depends on reading a lot of increasingly complex literary works. It is well known that 18th and 19th century writers used a far broader vocabulary than modern writers do, even when writing for young adolescents e.

The literary texts that were once staples in the secondary literature curriculum were far more challenging than the contemporary texts or the Young Adult Literature frequently assigned. Interesting plots kept them reading, and lots of reading has always been the main way the sense of most words is learned those outside of daily life.

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Planning Curriculum to Meet the Common Core State Standards

The reduction in literary study will lead to fewer opportunities for students to acquire the general academic vocabulary needed for college work, especially if English teachers give them contemporary informational texts with a simplistic vocabulary to read in place of these older staples. What is one solution to this dilemma?

Standards-based Learning - TeacherEase

Schools can establish secondary reading classes separate from the English and other subject classes. English is a subject class, and literature is its content. A better solution may be to expand the notion of choice to include what other countries do to address the needs of those young adolescents who prefer to work with their hands and do not prefer to read or write much.

Alternative high school curricula starting in grade 9 have become increasingly popular and successful in Massachusetts. There are waiting lists for most of the regional vocational technical high schools in the state. Over half of their graduates go on to a post-secondary educational institution. The occupations or trades they learn in grades motivate them sufficiently so they now pass the tests in the basic high school subjects that all students are required to take for a high school diploma. A third solution is for the Gates Foundation to provide funds for secondary English teachers to develop curriculum modules of about two-three weeks in length that supplement the literary works they choose with essays or informational excerpts from the same literary period and tradition.

And to train consultants to provide examples to English teachers that do so. Most might not have had the time to ponder the implications of the titles for informational texts across the curriculum, but all of them? Self-government cannot survive without some citizens who are able to read for themselves and who are also willing to ask informed questions in public of educational policy makers.

Intelligent people of all political persuasions need to demand a complete revision of these damaging national standards. They should also demand the selection of academic experts and well-trained teachers to do so. The CCSS assume that students already have more skills, prior knowledge, and motivation than may be real. Therefore, teachers and administrators require some assistance for helping all students reach the rigorous demands of CCSS.

Common Core Truths

This text provides specific, successful strategies that are targeted for each of the secondary content areas. This text is designed to help all educators translate the CCSS so that it can become a guiding force, not a stumbling block. About the Author Harriet D. Porton is a veteran teacher and administrator with over 45 years of experience, has taught every grade from first through graduate school.

Her primary interests include helping at-risk learners succeed and demystifying curricular plans and policies for educators. More Details Contributor: Harriet D. Free Returns We hope you are delighted with everything you buy from us. However, if you are not, we will refund or replace your order up to 30 days after purchase. Terms and exclusions apply; find out more from our Returns and Refunds Policy. Recently Viewed.