Welcome to the spring semester! This semester we will focus on the following four new anchor standards. We all have a shared responsibility to teach the skills outlined in the Common Core Readiness Standards. The district standard focus each semester is designed to familiarize us with these new standards.
So let’s get acquainted!
The semester’s Instructional Strategies focus continues from the spring: Differentiated Instruction & Using Technology to Enhance Instruction We continue our Deeper Learning Series to help in these areas. Google Classroom is a tool many teachers (including myself!) are using for the first time this year. I would love to see the different ways you are using Google Classroom or any other technology in the classroom. Stop by my room (F-12) and share!
On to the standards… As you read each one, consider how these four skills apply to your content area. I have added a bit to help clarify and/or illustrate the standard for you.
CCR Anchor Standards:
Reading 2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development, summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
- **Remember that “a text” is anything that can be analyzed. It may be an article in English, an infographic in P.E., a painting in art, an equation in math, a photo in history, a recipe in culinary arts, a manual in auto, a poem in French, a video in video production, data in a science class. ANYTHING that can be analyzed! Remember to specifically model how to close read in your class for your content area. Consider reminding students to “Read like _______” <insert the noun that fits your content area>. For example, “Read like scientists!” “Read like athletes!” “Read like writers!”
Writing 4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
- **The key to this standard is in the words “task, purpose, and audience.” Remember that you must either specifically provide these elements for students, or you must have the students determine them. Students must learn the specific terms, language, and organization for your content area. For example, I may want a student to use first person point of view in a narrative essay, yet Kathryn Smith may ask her students to use third person point of view in their lab reports. Make sure you discuss these differences with your students. In another example, a physical education teacher may assign a flow chart (the task) that informs (the purpose) new high school students (the audience) about the weight room routines and procedures. Have students study and discuss model examples (“mentor text”) of the product you are looking for prior to crafting the writing.
Speaking and Listening 6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
- **Like Writing Standard 6, you must also focus on “task, purpose, and audience” with Speaking and Listening 6. Using sentence frames like these (see 3rd 4th pages) for active listening and effective responding to help students with discussions in class or with Socratic Seminars. If you are assigning a presentation or speech, you will also want to spend time discussing what language and word choice would be appropriate for the task, purpose, and audience. Remember, students need a great deal of listening and speaking modeling!
Math Practice 6: Attend to precision
- **This standard is not just for math! Think about your class. When do you expect students to use precision? For instance, I won’t allow students to use the word ‘thing’ in their writing…they must identify what the “thing” is and replace it with more precise language. When they are editing and revising their work, they are attending to precision. When a student is practicing shooting a basketball over and over, he is attending to precision. And, guess what? Modeling helps with this standard, too! Seems like modeling is one of those strategies that should simply become a teacher habit in the classroom!
So there you have it, a quick and easy guide to the semester’s anchor standards. Discuss these during your next department or course-alike collaboration. What do they look like in your content area? In what ways can you build in mentor texts and modeling to help students master the outlined skills?
Please let me know if you would like a demonstration of any of these, if you would like to show off a lesson, or if you just want to bounce ideas around…that’s what I am here for!
Cheers to a great semester!