Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Road Map for Common Core

I love gardening and this little purple flower reminds me of all the learning I look forward to this summer.
One goal for this summer is to wrap my understanding around Grade 5 Standards. I have worked with them for the past three years through my involvement in Language Arts Council. I worked with K-1 and 2-3 implementation but now it is my turn to dig deep into Grade 5. 

I saved several articles and this past Sunday it was cold and rainy so a perfect time to start digesting the big ideas.  The three articles I focused on included:
    "Closing in on" by Nancy Boyles (Educational Leadership Dec. 2012)
    "What Students Can Do When the Reading Gets Rough" by Sunday Cummins
My goal was to define what Close Reading means for me in my classroom.  I took notes on several key points and developed questions that I now will focus on:
·      Careful systematic analysis of text (What are my students’ systems that they bring to fifth grade and how will I continue to enhance the system?)
·      Students must self-monitor their own reading (What do they do when they understand and don’t understand?)
·      Helping my students to uncover the layers of meaning in the text that requires several readings of it.
·      How will I teach my students to sustain their thinking for excerpts and continue to think critically in longer text?
·      Continue to teach my students to ask questions as they read but close reading occurs with the transfer of their new knowledge to the next text.

This last bullet point was a light bulb moment for me.  Connecting texts not on what is similar, but what was the new learning that the students can take to the next text. My take away from this final point is that it is not about text-to-text connections, but text-to-text learning.  I finally have a handle on how to scaffold my summer thinking.

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