The Instructional Shift

Currently, big shifts are necessary in teaching because of the new Common Core State Standards.  One key strategy we are honing in on in our ELA class is guided or close reading strategies with our students.  Changes made to teaching are being amplified by the new assessments that are coming. These new tests are very different from the assessments most students have taken in the past.

I did some research on the Internet to dig a little deeper into this shift and stumbled across a wonderful webinar by Dr. Timothy Shanahan.  In the webinar he focuses on how “things used to be” versus how they are “going to be.” 

Moving forward text challenge is going to increase.  According to Dr. Shanahan, in order for children to reach the CCSS career and college ready goals, the difficulty level must be raised in text for students.  The ultimate goal is for students to be reading 2-3 years higher by graduation than where current graduates are reading.

I believe one of the most interesting points on this webinar is in regards to guided reading strategies.  Dr. Shanahan claims that teachers often try to “protect” students from struggling to read text rather than ensuring they are struggling “successfully”.  To do so, teachers should anticipate areas that will be challenging for students and be prepared to guide students to deal with difficulty.  Why is the text hard?  What are the areas of difficulty?  In dealing with this, he claims teachers should not necessary teach vocabulary beforehand, but notice difficult sentence structure or tone of the text.  And so when instructing, we should ask the students a question about the difficult section in order to assess their understanding of the material.  Then, break down the text together by looking for instructional text.

This webinar was extremely helpful in allowing me to better understand how my teaching strategies will need to shift in order to better align myself with the CCSS changes ahead.  Check out the webinar below for more information!

Take Care,

Ms. Vince

No comments

Back to Top