Category: Common Core

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Text Complexity and Network Fluidity

Education reform should not remind me of The Great War. Yet I see a vast wasteland of vitriolic trenches dug deep through the annals of reading research. Battalions of reading experts have barricaded their positions behind barbwire as toxic tweets roll across a devastated wasteland of civic engagement. On one side you have those who…
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Five Reasons Teachers Hate The Common Core

I did it. I am now swimming in self loathing as I write my first listicle.  I want to begin by saying I support the Common Core State Standards. I believe when you read the anchor standards that the lofty goals can help point our schools to a better future. Still I understand the frustration…
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Winning the Academic Writing Game

I have asked the students in my hybrid literature and literacy classes to re-imagine the writing mini-lesson. Students in my graduate classes may also choose to develop a digital text and tool learning activity. Many may, and should, post a recording of a lecture that goes through the steps: explicitly define, model, guided practice and…
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Device Agnostic Annotation with Rap Genius

When you examine the instructional shifts outlined in the Common Core State Standards (though I prefer the term better practice rather than shifts)  you will find grounding  claims in evidence as central to many of the goals outlines in the CCSS anchor standards. This often involves a series of practices labeled as analytical or close reading.…
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21st Century Skills and College and Career Ready #CCSS

Much of the focus on the Common Core State Standards revolves around the idea of college and career readiness. In fact the anchor standards describe what the few authors of the Standards believe students need when graduating high school. What if these "educational" experts got it wrong? The standards largely paid for by tech dollars…
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Creating #CCSS Aligned Writing Rubrics

Many districts, here in Connecticut, have taken on the task to realign district wide writing assessments to both the Common Core State Standards and the rubrics published by Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. (Please note earlier versions of the post did not correctly refer to SBAC. Images still list it as Smarter Balance and not the…
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Text Over Complexity and the Internet

When you read the recent reports about texts being read in the classroom you would conclude our students spend time lost in texts well below grade level. Yet do we really suffer from a lack of complexity in what students read? The CCSS Appendix A cites a slew of research indicating a sliding scale of…
comprehension reading 0

Understanding Background Knowledge and the Internet

Does the internet change the way readers use background knowledge? Can readers with greater inquiry skills or more open mindsets make up for a lack of background? These questions have perplexed me and have driven my educational research in the last few years. The internet has shifted so many of our social practices and literacy…
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Graphile- Complexity and Graphic Novels

On Monday we held the second Literacy Research Association Netcast. We put together an amazing panel on Grpahic Novels I, a novice in the world of Graphic Novels, was struck by a few salient points. First there is a general misconception about the complexity of Graphic Novels. Many teacher erroneously believe that graphic novels step…
Analytical Reading with Subtext 1

Analytical Reading with Subtext

Subtext is one of the most powerful tools to support meaning making with an iPad. Anyone who has attended my recent professional development sessions knows I believe  in three ways to building reading comprehension: increasing background knowledge, text based talk, and text based analysis. Subtext acts as a tool to teach content within the disciplines…