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Common Core Instruction for ELA & Literacy

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1 Common Core Instruction for ELA & Literacy
Understanding the Organization Audience: K-5 Teachers Materials: Participants should have a “handout” copy of the PowerPoint slides, a copy of “College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Grades K-12” provided with this session, Common Core State Standards for ELA & Literacy in the content areas for their own grade level (accessible on the ODE website at Welcome participants, and suggest they sit with a partner who teaches the same grade level. Introduce the subject for today. For instance, the facilitator might say, “Today we are going to take a look at the organization of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. As you know, Oregon adopted these Standards in 2010, and they will be phased in over the next few years. These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K–12 education careers so that they will graduate from high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. One frequent question is, Why call them ‘State’ standards when the whole point is to have common standards across the nation? Aren’t they ‘Federal’ standards?’ Great question, but the answer is No, the federal government has not been involved in the standards’ development, nor has it mandated their adoption. Rather, the Common Core State Standards Initiative was in fact a state-led effort started by governors and chief state school officers across the country. And each state will individually decide to adopt them, or not. These Standards represent a shared set of clear, high-quality goals and expectations to help our students succeed in college and careers. Let’s take a look at them. Our focus today will be to try to get a sense of the whole and how it is organized. In subsequent sessions, we will look closely at both the Standards and at Oregon resources that will help us help our students to reach these goals.”

2 Expected outcomes Understand that the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards Define cross-disciplinary literacy expectations needed for students to enter college and workforce training programs; Provide the organizational “backbone” of the grade-specific Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, except for the Foundational Skills; Are organized into four strands with subheadings under each; Depict an integrated model of literacy. Understand that grade specific CCSS Describe what all students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or grade band. Go over the expected outcomes for this session.  For instance, the facilitator might say, “Two strengths of the CCSS for ELA & Literacy in the content areas are The fact that the starting point has been college and career ready standards, which address what students are expected to have learned by the time they have graduated from high school, and The parallel organization of the grade-specific standards throughout the document for all the grades and all the content areas. For clarity and focus, the Standards are separated into four strands and organized by the same subheadings K-12. The one exception to this is the Reading Foundational Skills, which apply only to K-5 and which we will address in the second half of this session.  However, in spite of their separation into distinct strands, the Standards consistently reflect the integrated nature of literacy, as you’ll see when we take a closer look.  The bulk of the Common Core State Standards are the grade-specific English language arts and literacy standards themselves, which describe the progress students need to make, grade by grade, in order to be ready for higher education or career training by the time they finish high school.”

3 Common Core State Standards
CCSS: The big picture Common Core State Standards K-12 Mathematics K-12 ELA/Literacy K-5 6-12 English Language Arts History/ Social Studies Science & Technical Subjects Appendices A, B, C Clarify for participants that there are only two sets of Common Core State Standards: one for mathematics and one for English language arts and literacy in the content areas. There are no CCSS for science or history content, for instance. Note that in the elementary grades, the same set of standards apply to English language arts and the content areas, whereas at the secondary level, a separate set of standards specific to the content areas are included. For instance, the facilitator might say, “The state-led effort to create standards that will prepare students for college and the workplace was coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. It resulted in TWO sets of grade-specific standards: K-12 Mathematics K-12 English language arts and literacy in the content areas The Common Core State Standards comprise only these two areas. There are not, for instance, Common Core science content standards or history content standards. Oregon will continue to have separate content standards in these areas. The English Language Arts and Literacy standards are divided into an elementary section and a secondary section, with three appendices. You’ll notice that at the 6-12 level, literacy in the content areas is a separate section with separate (but parallel) standards for the content areas. However, at the elementary level, the same set of Core Standards apply to both English language arts and literacy in the content areas, reflecting the fact that most or all of the instruction students in these grades receive comes from one teacher.”

4 CCR ELA/Literacy strands
College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards are divided into four interrelated literacy strands. College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards Reading Writing Speaking & Listening Language Explain that the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards define general, cross-disciplinary literacy expectations that must be met for students to be prepared to enter college and workforce training programs ready to succeed. Ask participants if they notice a difference between these strands and the Oregon English Language Arts Standards. [Language is not a separate strand in Oregon’s.] For instance, the facilitator might say, “These CCR standards anchor the document and define general, cross-disciplinary literacy expectations that must be met for students to be prepared to enter college and workforce training programs ready to succeed. Within each strand, a single set of CCR anchor standards provides the basis for the Common Core State Standards at every grade level across the curriculum. For instance, the same ten CCR anchor standards for Reading apply to both literary and informational texts, including texts in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. The ten CCR anchor standards for Writing cover numerous text types and subject areas. This means that students can develop mutually reinforcing skills and exhibit mastery of standards for reading and writing across a range of texts and classrooms. Do you notice a difference in the way these CCR anchor standards are organized when compared to the current Oregon English Language Arts Standards?”

5 Subheadings divide the CCR strands.
The CCRs in each literacy strand are grouped into sections by subheadings. For example, Reading Key Ideas and Details Craft and Structure Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity Explain that each strand is divided into sections by subheadings, and that these subheadings remain consistent throughout grades K-12. Invite participants to compare these with content they recall from the current Oregon English Language Arts standards. [Both focus on comprehension of the text, include an analysis of author’s craft and text structure, etc.] For instance, the facilitator might say, “Within each strand, the Standards are grouped into sections by subheadings. These remain consistent and parallel throughout all the grades levels and bands. Here, for example, are the subheadings in the Reading strand. Although the domain is divided up somewhat differently than in the current Oregon English Language Arts Standards, the subheadings themselves probably sound like the traditional ‘bread & butter’ of English Language Arts reading and literature classes. What sounds familiar here? [comprehension of main idea, details; analysis of author’s craft, text structure, etc.] Anything sound new or unfamiliar? [Participants may equate “level of text complexity” with “grade-level text” or Lexiles; or, they may find this a new idea.] I think you will find, as we get into these standards more deeply, that the “new” part of the Common Core State Standards has much more to do with the level of rigor than with any unfamiliar notions about literacy. Though anchor standards at the college and career readiness level may seem a distant goal from the elementary perspective, it is important to keep in mind that these spell out the targets all along the way.”

6 Activity: CCRs in Reading
Read through the CCR standards for READING under each subheading. In groups, discuss how the standards under each subheading are related. How are they distinct from those under other subheadings? Jot down phrases to describe the relationships or distinctions. Draw participants’ attention to the Reading CCRs on page 1, column 1, of the Handout “College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Grades K-12.” Note the organization of the Reading CCRs: Point out the strand (“Reading”), the four subheadings (shaded), and the CCR Anchor Standards themselves (#1-10). Invite participants to read through the Reading CCR anchor standards and, in small groups or pairs, put into their own words how the CCRs under each subheading are related or distinct from those in other sections. Invite groups/pairs to share their findings. Responses might include Key Ideas and Details: Comprehending/analyzing what is actually in the text; taking a pre-critical stance; standing within the story/text; following what the author says; understanding/interpreting what the author is trying to say; looking for the meaning; “living the story”; for fiction, viewing the characters/events as real, etc. Craft and Structure: Looking at/analyzing HOW the author has created the work; how the pieces or elements relate; standing outside the story/text; taking the author into consideration; looking at the text as a work of art; for fiction, viewing the characters/events as artifice, etc. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Connecting the text to other texts and to the outside world; analyzing/evaluating the text in terms of other texts, other criteria, etc. Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity: Specifies rigor (complex texts) and skill level (proficiently)

7 Other CCR strands, subheadings
Writing Text Types and Purposes Production and Distribution of Writing Research to Build and Present Knowledge Range of Writing Speaking and Listening Comprehension and Collaboration Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas Language Conventions of Standard English Knowledge of Language Vocabulary Acquisition and Use Explain that the other ELA Standards strands are also divided by subheadings. Invite participants to identify content that looks familiar, or content that may not be present in the current Oregon English Language Arts Standards. [“collaboration” may be seen as an addition to present standards] For instance, the speaker might say, “Here are the other strands, and the subheadings which organize the standards within each. Take a look at Writing. What do you recall in current Oregon ELA Standards that might be similar to ‘Text Types and Purposes’? Yes, modes: We already ask students to write narrative and expository pieces, for instance. How about ‘Production and Distribution of Writing’? Yes, sounds a lot like the writing process, doesn’t it. Research is there, as is writing in variety of forms for a variety of purposes, and audiences. Again, pretty much the ‘bread & butter’ of a traditional writing class, and certainly consistent with the types of writing tasks asked of students in social studies or science. How about the Speaking and Listening strand? Anything there sound new? Collaboration? Yes, the current Oregon ELA Content Standards focus more on formal presentations, but if we look at the Essential Skills, we find “demonstrate … teamwork skills” there. So: new to the set of standards, but certainly not new to the classroom. And the Language strand. These look familiar? The difference here, as we mentioned earlier, is that it is set out as a separate strand, which brings us to the issue of approaching literacy as an integrated process.”

8 An integrated model of literacy
“Although the Standards are divided into Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language strands for conceptual clarity, the processes of communication are closely connected, as reflected throughout the CCR and CCSS documents.” Read the slide. Explain that in the following activity, participants will be looking for those connections in the CCRs. For instance, the facilitator might say, This is one of the initiatives’ Key Design Considerations. The teachers, professional organizations, standards experts, and all the others who had input on this project intended to create sets of Standards that together depict an integrated model of literacy rather than disparate sets of skills and content. We know it is difficult to both isolate for focus and at the same time create coherence; let’s see how they did.”

9 Activity: An integrated model of literacy
Take a minute to read through the CCR anchor standards of the Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language strands. In groups, highlight or mark the CCR anchor standards in Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language that are closely connected to the Reading CCRs. Explain that the CCR anchor standards are not meant to stand alone and that interrelationships among them are both implied and explicit. Draw participants’ attention to the Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language columns of the Handout “College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Grades K-12.” Invite participants to read through the CCR anchor standards in these three strands and then, in pairs or small groups, find and mark standards that are closely connected to the Reading strand. The facilitator may want to give out highlighters, or participants can jot down numbers, make notes on the handout, etc. Invite groups to share their findings.

10 Activity: An integrated model of literacy
What interrelationships did you notice with the Language strand? Others? Research and media skills are blended into the Standards as a whole. Find examples throughout the strands. Invite participants to identify connections to the Language strand in the Writing and Speaking/Listening strands and to find examples of research and media skills within the strands. Invite participants to share their findings. Explain to participants that “Tools for Action” are posted on the ODE website. One of these “K-12 Teachers: Building Comprehension in the Common Core” includes a chapter on using an integrated model of literacy. The website address is listed on the last slide of this session. For instance, the facilitator might say, “The one big difference we identified in the CCSS when compared with the current Oregon ELA Standards was the fact that Language stands as its own strand. Many of us would be concerned if language study were actually separated from its meaningful context of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. We just looked at the connections to Reading. Let’s look at the Language standards closely to see how they are explicitly connected to Writing and Speaking and Listening. What do you find? Did you notice how media and technology are included explicitly throughout the Standards? [Reading CCR7, Writing CCR8, Speaking and Listening CCR2 and CCR5.] You can also see that Research has been addressed explicitly and implicitly in several strands. One of the ‘Tools for Action’ posted on the ODE website is ‘K-12 Teachers: Building Comprehension in the Common Core.’ It includes a chapter on using an integrated model of literacy, featuring ‘classroom snapshots’ and practical strategies. We’ll be looking more closely at these documents, but you might be interested in getting in a ‘sneak peek’ before our next session. The website address is on the last slide.”

11 Grade-specific Standards
Describe what all students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or grade band. Grade level standards at each grade K - 8 Grade band standards at high school: 9-10 and 11-12 Using a “back-mapping” design, grade-specific K-12 CCSS translate the aims of the CCR anchor standards into age- and attainment-appropriate terms. At the K-5 level only, an additional set of Foundational Skills are included in the Reading Standards. Explain the relationship between the grade-specific standards and the CCRs. For instance, the facilitator might say, “While the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards describe the literacy skills all students need when they graduate, the grade-specific Common Core Standards describe the literacy skills -- corresponding to the CCR anchor standards by number -- that all students need when they finish each grade. Keeping the college and career focus at the forefront of kindergarten through grade 12 implementation is critical to ensure rigor from grade to grade and that the end goal is attainable. The Standards at each grade were developed through a “back-mapping” design. Back-mapping considers the end result first—what we want all students to be able to do when they graduate. Then, standards for each grade level (working backward from grade 11/12, to 9/10, to 8, etc.) are identified to enable students to reach the final result—literacy skills for college and career readiness at graduation —without the need for remediation. A back-mapping design supports the preparation of all students to be successful in school, from the beginning of school, and proficient in reading, writing, and speaking and listening required for an Oregon Diploma.”

12 ELA/Literacy CCSS Strands
K-5 ELA History/SS Science & Tech Subj Reading Foundational Skills Literature Informational Text Writing Speaking & Listening Language 6-12 ELA 6-12 History/SS 6-12 Science & Technical Subjects Show the slide and point out the parallel organization of the strands and standards. Explain that, at each grade level/band, there is a set of ELA CCSS for Reading Literature and a set for Reading Informational Text. Point out that at Elementary only, there is a set of Foundational Skills as well, which do not correspond to CCRs. Explain that in ELA, informational text is defined as literary nonfiction, which includes biographies, essays, speeches, memoirs, etc. In science and social studies, it includes articles, texts, etc. Explain that at the secondary level, the content areas have separate sets of standards from ELA, and point out that these standards include only the Reading and Writing strands. For example, the facilitator might say, “This slide illustrates the parallel organization of the strands in the various areas. Note that at the secondary level, the content areas have their own sets of standards, but they are limited to Reading Informational Text and Writing. K-5 and 6-12 ELA are identical except for the presence of the Foundational Skills at K-5, which do not have corresponding CCRs. Notice that Reading has two separate sets of standards for literature (stories, drama, poetry) and for informational text (literary nonfiction in ELA; articles and texts in science and social studies.) Let’s take a closer look at the parallel organization within the Reading Strand across the levels and content areas.”

13 CCRs provide a parallel “backbone” Reading strand example
CCR READING Key Ideas & Details Craft & Structure Integration of Knowledge & Ideas Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity 10. K-5 ELA & History/SS Science & Tech 6-12 ELA 6-12 History/SS 6-12 Science & Technical Subj Show the slide and point out that the subheadings and numbering system are parallel throughout all the elementary grades, secondary English Language Arts and content area grade bands. For instance, the facilitator might say, “Here’s another graphic representation of the Reading strand. It shows the parallel organization that extends through the grades and through the subjects, based on the CCRs. When we look closely, we see exactly the same subheadings and numbering system in the strands as in the CCRs. Reading CCR #5, for instance, is about examining the structure of texts. So, we would expect to find grade-level standards at kindergarten, first grade, second grade, etc. right up through 11-12th grade – in the content areas as well as English Language Arts -- that create a steady progression of increasingly complex levels of structural analysis. Let’s take a look at a sampling of these grade-specific standards at a couple of grade levels.”

14 Example of “back mapping” design
Reading CCR #5: Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text … relate to each other and the whole. 9-10.RI.5: Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text …. 6-8.H.5: (History/Social Studies) Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally). 4.RI.5: Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text. K.RI.5: Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book. Show the specific examples from Reading Informational Text of how “back-mapping” creates parallel standards at each grade level. They describe what students need to know and be able to do at each grade level/band in order to reach the College and Career Readiness level by the end of 12th grade. (Note that these four levels have been selected as examples, and that parallel standards exist at each of the other grades —1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and )  Point out that it is important to note that, from one grade level to the next, each “step up” in the task description is matched by a “step up” in the level of text difficulty.  For instance, the facilitator might say, “Here we have four examples of grade-specific standards from Reading Informational Text that build in complexity. The result of this ‘back-mapping’ strategy is a series of parallel standards at each grade level or band and in each content area that describes a steady learning progression from kindergarten to graduation. They describe what all students need to know and be able to do in order to be ready for the next level without remediation. It is important to remember that in Reading, each ‘step up’ in the task difficulty is matched by a ‘step up’ in the level of text difficulty. So, at each grade level, all students are expected to perform increasingly more advanced tasks (in this case, analyses) with increasingly more challenging texts. Note that Oregon is using a number system that has the grade or grade band first, then initials for the subject, then the CCR number. RI is Reading Informational Text; RL Reading Literature; RH Reading History/Social Studies; and RST Reading Science and Technological Subjects.”

15 K-5 Foundational Skills
Grade Levels 1. Print Concepts K 1 2. Phonological Awareness 3. Phonics & Word Recognition 2 3 4 5 4. Fluency Show the slide, explaining that there are Foundational Skills Standards in #1 and #2 for kindergarten and first grade only. The other two have a progression of standards through grade 5. Ask participants to compare these with the current Oregon Reading Standards. [first two are very similar; Oregon’s use the term “decode” instead of “phonics”; fluency is blended into the other strands in Oregon’s.] For instance, the facilitator might say, “The reading Foundational Skills standards are directed toward fostering students’ understanding and working knowledge of concepts of print, the alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions of the English writing system. These foundational skills are not an end in and of themselves, and ‘drop away’ as students master them. They are necessary and important early components of an effective, comprehensive reading program designed to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of types and disciplines.”

16 Activity: Grade-specific standards
Examine the Common Core State Standards at your own grade level Compare the Reading Literature standards with the Reading Informational Text standards. Find connections among the Reading standards and those in the other three strands. How might teachers at your level integrate standards from two or more strands into small units or complex tasks? Draw participants’ attention to their copies of the grade-specific Common Core State Standards at their own grade level. Suggest that partners work together at their own grade level to address the questions. Allow about 5-10 minutes for participants to work with partners. Invite participants to share what they have found. For instance, the facilitator might say, “Your turn to look at the Standards at your own grade level. Look for similarities and differences between the Reading Standards for Literature and those for Informational Text. You might want to mark ones that seem new or puzzling to you; in subsequent sessions, we will be looking more specifically at them. Also, look for those explicit connections between the Reading Standards and the other three strands. Remember that each standard need not be a separate focus for instruction and assessment. As you find these connections, think about how a single rich task might address several standards. We’ll take a few minutes to share some that you come up with.”

17 How did we do? Decode the alphabet soup.
ELA, RL/RI/RF, CCSS, CCR How are the CCR and the grade-specific Common Core State Standards related? Different? Recall the four strands in the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in the content areas. Briefly explain how one Language standard could be integrated into a reading, writing, or speaking/ listening task. Invite participants to turn to their partners and Say what the initials stand for, Say one way the CCR and the CCSS are related or the same, [both have the same strands, number of standards, subheadings, numbering is parallel, etc.] Say one way the CCR and the CCSS are different, [CCRs describe only one proficiency level; CCSS describe different levels of proficiency for each grade level/band] Recall the four strands of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in the content areas, and Select one standard from the Language strand and explain how they might incorporate it within a complex task. For instance, the facilitator might say, “So, how did we do? Why don’t you turn to your partners and practice a little ‘active learning’ before we finish. This is a lot of information to get into that long-term memory, but if we can, then having a grasp of the whole and moving easily within the organizational structure of these Common Core State Standards will make the next steps easier.”

18 What’s next? “What” & “how”
The Common Core State Standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do. The Oregon Literacy Plan addresses in detail how comprehensive reading programs can support student success. Subsequent sessions will address instructional implications of the CCSS for Oregon teachers and highlight resources in K-12 Teachers: Building Comprehension in the Common Core. Sneak a peek: “Using an Integrated Model of Literacy” classroom snapshots, p R-39 to R-46 g/literacy/have-you-ever.pdf Show the slide and explain that subsequent sessions will address many of the instructional implications of the Standards as well as resources for teachers and administrators to use as they approach implementation. For instance, the facilitator might say, “The Common Core State Standards represent an informed consensus on how best to prepare this country’s young people for college and careers. The standards describe “the what” that students need to learn; however, they do not spell out “the how” for teachers. In subsequent sessions, we will look at instructional implications of the CCSS, as well as resources in the Oregon Literacy Plan that will help us get there. For those who want to jump ahead, you might want to look at the section on using an integrated model of literacy; you will find several ‘classroom snapshots’ and specific suggestions.”


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