A number of weeks ago, I wanted to answer a question related to the SAT Practice Tests – those tests the College Board made available for us to help teachers and students become familiar with the redesigned SAT. I personally wanted to check the alignment between the SAT questions on the Practice Test and the Common Core State Standards. As I worked through every single question on the tests, I discovered an interesting piece: Every single standard on the Language Progressive Skills list in the Common Core State Standards is tested. Every single one.
We need to make sure everyone knows this!
If you’re a curriculum type, you may want to use this information as you tweak curriculum in your district. If you’re an assessment type, maybe you’ll consider talking about this when you’re making connections between the SAT Content Dimensions and the Common Core State Standards. If you’re a principal, perhaps you’ll share this with your teachers because they are likely still learning about the redesigned SAT. If you’re an ISD/RESA person, perhaps you’ll want to include this in some of your training materials.
Download the Progression of Language Skills.
It’s up to teachers in multiple grade levels and content areas to help students learn important language skills, so I do hope you’ll consider sharing this with others.
Today’s post is Text Structures for Different Types of Writing. I designed this tool for teachers, but there are many pages that will also be good resource materials for students. In this handy guide, you’ll find a quick overview of the text types (i.e., Argumentative, Informational, Narrative) in the Common Core State Standards. AFter that, I’ve included my content cards for the following five text structures: compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution, sequence, and description.
Check these out to see if they are something you can use! Here’s the link: http://datadeb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/001_text_structures-deb-wahsltrom.pdf
You already know how important it is to teach vocabulary. You likely also know that we need to be directly teaching important vocabulary words. I’ve provided these examples to give you an idea of ways you might structure lessons to teach vocabulary. The examples are in a pdf format and ready for you to download and use.
I am a fan of Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week. His website is loaded with weekly articles you can use to give students interesting topics to which they can write.
I recently read an article in Education Week and asked the author, Anothy Cody, for permission to turn his article, Color Coded High School ID Cards Sort Students by Test Performance, into an assignment for students.
I set up the assignment in a modified version of Article of the Week. I modified the directions and numbered each of the lines in the text. The numbered lines support students in citing the text during classroom discussions.
Download the assignment: Assignment: Argumentative Paper
The assignment includes a Writing Checklist, which you can download separately.
Details and examples are one of those areas that students have struggled with when writing. Being able to cite details and examples is a skill that is valuable in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking. What are some of the things we might want to make sure students learn when we ask them to think about details and examples? We might want them to know what kinds of things are details: facts, quotes, statistics, firgurative language, the information in a visual, sensory details, and more. We also want students to know some of the things they can do with details: compare and contrast ideas, support a point of view, oppose a point of view, make a decision, describe a character, make inferences, make prediections, and more. As always, I’ve got a pdf copy for you – just print it out and share it with your students (and fellow educators).
Content Card, Details
I’ve been working on collecting ideas for content-area literacy. I began with the reading standards for science, grades 9-10 from the Common Core State Standards.
Download a pdf version of the 28-page document and see if there’s an idea or two you can use.
Informational Literacy Standards for Science – FRESH LINK, Updated September 27, 2011.
Informational Literacy Standards for Science, Updated 09.19.2011
Motor Mouth is simply an engaging strategy for students to review important vocabulary. This can be used in any class at any grade level. Did I mention that this is also fun?
I’ve included the PowerPoint with directions and a template that is ready to modify for your own use.
Click here for the Powerpoint!
Another one completed!
Click here to get the pdf. Don’t forget to run this on one sheet of paper for a one-pager (front and back) content card.
Exit slips are as tool to check for understanding and get a sense of where your kids are on just about any topic you want. They are so easy to implement.
I’ve written basic directions and examples for using exit slips in your classroom.
Don’t let this idea slip away!
Click here to download the three-page document for working with exit slips.
There are so many times we can help students learn to read for meaning – and using an advanced organizer is just one simple strategy we can use.
Here’s one way to use the technique, with a reading from the Chile mine rescue.
Download the activity which includes directions, the advanced organizer, and the reading.