My first CORELaborate blog post went live today! Here’s a snippet of it with a link to the actual post on the CORELaborate site:
Standards have been around since way before the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Standards are a reality for classroom teachers and personally, for me, I can teach using Standards as guidelines. I trust that people smarter than me chose the standards, taking into account what kids need to know to be successful that is developmentally appropriate. How we use standards determine how well our students learn and whether or not we are preparing for life in the 21st century. It’s up to us, the professionals, to use the standards in the best ways to support our students. Since standards are the reality of our work, let’s share ways to best use them to support our young learners!
CCSS-ELA in Particular
The CCSS for English/Language Arts (ELA) were developed with three shifts for teachers to make in their teaching. I’ve attended three trainings on these shifts, coming at it from the point of view of a Science teacher, and each time I learn more about the three shifts. Even though I teach Science and am working on aligning the way I teach to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), I also have my students read and write so I’ve been familiarizing myself with the CCSS-ELA. Looking back at my notes I want to remember to explain to my students that these shifts, or literacy, is like breathing. We need to breathe in and out to survive. In literacy breathing in, or taking in, is done by reading and listening. Breathing out is done by writing, presenting and speaking. I like that analogy. The three shifts called for in the CCSS-ELA are as follows:
- Regular practice with complex text and its academic language.
- Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational.
- Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction.
This post will focus on the first shift; I will share what I’ve learned about shifts 2 and 3 in future posts.