Monday, January 14, 2013

Reading the Common Core Way...I Think...


Warning...This is a long one----

Today I'm going to write about what my third grade team is starting to do for teaching reading.  We had a meeting a few weeks before Winter break with our BIG bosses.  They told us that we needed to start experimenting and try new things to get ready for common core.  They told us that we DID NOT need to teach the way we have been with our basal readers.

Well that took my team just a few minutes to let it sink in.  Then we started preparing.  This is what we came up with so far.

We are introducing our reading story on Monday like we always did.  We have them read the story for homework that night.  The next day we have them take the story quiz.  But we are not grading it like we used to.  Now the students have to use their book and write the page numbers for where the answers are.  We are using what the common core is saying by using the selection to cite information as a source.

On the third day, we have them read some other literature relating to the first story.  We are trying to find nonfiction pieces to go with each story, but man is it hard to find nonfiction for third graders!  They have to highlight facts that are similar to the original story and make a list of facts. 

The fourth day,they have to write an essay comparing the first story to the second story.  We started this out by giving them a paragraph frame to help them. 

And finally on the fifth day of the week, we are having them write some kind of answer to a question that they have to cite information from both texts we used during the week.

I have to say...it is HARD.  The students are freaking out with all the writing.  But they are working through it.  To hear my little kiddos saying things like:  we infer what the answer is but where is it in the story...or I know I saw that information in the selection, so let's turn to that part and reread what it said...or WOW that was fun...or taking the story quiz took us longer, but it really made us think!!!

No really...those are exact quotes of things I hard my third graders say during reading class this week.  I am such a proud little teacher!!!

I have less grades throughout the week, but our BIG bosses said that grades were not as important  (yes, they did say that and we made them repeat it many times to be sure).  We take a couple vocabulary assessments, skills of the week assessments, and writing samples each week. 

So far...so good.  We'll see how this is going a few weeks from now.  I'm sure there will be LOTS a little of tweaking!




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