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Nathan McArthur 9/5/2013 SCED 3720 Appendix A: Summary In Appendix A of the English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core

Standards (CCS) I found research and reasoning behind the ELACCS. The research was extensive and presented in a logical progression. I felt there were many sections that were drawn out and could have been more direct and concise. I feel that the main focus of the appendix was, “pedagogy focused only on ‘higher-order’ or ‘critical’ thinking was insufficient to ensure that students were ready for college and careers.” Everything else in the document was focused on proving or providing evidence to support the concept that students need to be able to read college level texts to be able to succeed in college or careers. This seems intuitive but it seems the majority of teachers aren’t focused on reading their content text. I have never read or been exposed to anything regarding the CCS, so it is not so much how this changed my understanding but how this gave me understanding. Immediately following my extensive reading a friend on Facebook who knows I am going into education invited me to join the group “Utahns against common core.” I’m sure she meant well and to be honest there are a lot of aspects of the common core that concern me but having read the appendix I see many potential benefits to the CCS. When change comes around many people look for the negatives to emphasize their personal agenda to resist change, instead of banding together to make the changes work to the maximum extent possible. As a teacher I’m excited about the autonomy the CCS provides me. A simple, get this done by the end of the year

however you see fit, is a wonderful improvement on the rigid structure that was present before. It can also lead to disaster if the teacher fails to teach all that was necessary. In my curriculum class we have already begun an extensive study of the CCS for our content areas. In math I can see many ways to combine literacy with mathematics. I would like to have one reading assignment per quarter or at least per semester. I would assign each student an appropriate reading and ask them to write a response of some kind. Both the reading and the response would be based on the student’s level of ability. I have long felt that word problems in math are resented or treated as harder than any other problem. This is a key indicator that literacy may be a problem. Having the students read and write word problems in class and having there be small group discussion on them will drive students to higher levels of content literacy. There are many ways that I can implement the CCS in my classroom. Having read this appendix has changed the way I look at the CCS and has given me a mindset and a focus of including literacy and the CCS into my classroom.

Page numbers based on article numbering. Paragraphs will indicate sections of text independent of previous page. Pg; Article Content Personal opinion or thoughts Para 2;1 Reading, Steadily increasing complexity as There is little to no reading instruction given past 4th or 5th grade. The they progress through school. students receive assignments in reading but hardly any instruction. 2;3 Pedagogy focused only on higher order or As a math focused individual this is hard for me to take in. On further critical thinking was insufficient to ensure inspection It becomes obvious that the ability to read affects the that students were ready for college and ability to accomplish a word problem. The more complex the word careers. problem the better reading the student must possess. 2;4 Increasing text complexity. Prior to having read this, I felt this applied to English only. Have the students read harder and harder books as they get older. But increasingly complex applies to content area as well. The student may read a 12th grade novel but can’t read a 3rd grade math book. Forms of text that are increasing in When these students graduate they are considered adults who should difficulty include: college textbooks, be able to handle themselves in the real world. Ask any recent high scientific journals and magazines, school graduate to read and select the right benefits package for an workplace reading. Texts that have stayed employment situation would be near impossible. It sad that we really the same or decreased: newspaper, high are not preparing them for success. school textbooks. Rarely are students held accountable for I think it would be interesting to have the students read an article or a what they are able to read independently. book and have a test solely based on what they read at home on their own. Sources to back up their claims. The jump from 4th to 8th grade is a ton and that same jump is what they have to look forward to upon graduation. Expository vs. narrative. There is a big difference and I agree that educators should put more emphasis on expository reading and explore different motivations and purposes for the reading. Post secondary skills are hindered my This appears obvious but taking previous information from the text we reading ability. know that a large majority of high school graduates are below reading level. Decline in overall reading attributed to a To be honest I would say that the main reason for a decline in overall decline in difficulty or k-12 text, and lack reading is the technology. The cell phone games and distractions the of emphasis on independent reading of youth of today have at their fingertips it’s a wonder anyone reads complex texts. anymore. But I agree with the emphasis on independent reading as a counter to the distraction era. If they have not developed the skill, This appears true in any task not only reading. Physical or mental tasks concentration, and stamina to read such are done more frequently when any of these attributes are increased. texts, they will read less in general. Indicates the conditions are worse for low So much of what is taught needs to be reinforced in the home by income families. parents. Attentive human reader. Qualitative things would need to be measured by a human hence the word qualities. Non numeric and subjective pieces of information and therefore most variable in results. Must be done by computer. More reliable due to the nature of the science but doesn’t catch everything Reader and task is best if made by This is where student’s interest and motivation plays a role. Teachers teachers. can assess that the students do not know or care for Golf and therefore can or cannot assign a reading on golf.



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Page numbers based on article numbering. Paragraphs will indicate sections of text independent of previous page. 5;3, Qualitative means of measuring. These methods are pivotal to accurately selecting appropriate texts. 5-8 The simple raw numeric’s can be misleading giving too much weight towards big words and long sentences. A text can have multiple layers of meaning which can be elusive to readers. The structure of a text can include many flashbacks and changes in time and location making it more difficult to read. Most of the kids have discovered it is near impossible to adequately understand sarcasm in text messages let alone in textbooks. Language use can make texts much more difficult. A teacher is best equipped to assess the level of background knowledge of a student and that can and should influence the choice of texts. 6;all Diagram of qualitative dimensions I really liked the way this outlines the aspects in a concise way. 7;all Quantitative Measures of Text The premise that longer is harder is flat out not true in my opinion. Lexile is introduced with its means of Distract is longer than utopia but the later is obviously the more calculation. difficult word to read and comprehend. This seems to imply that you Coh-metrix is discussed as another form of can “label” a student with a Lexile level even though we wouldn’t as Lexile emphasizing different aspects. educators. The RAND group brought up traits that a reader brings to the table and important task related variables. 9;all Ability to read does not always develop in The rate at which we learn to read is definitely not linear. 8th grade I a linear fashion. read Ender’s Game for the first time and I haven’t stopped reading since. Motivation to read has a huge impact on ones capability to learn to read. 10,all Graph of reading ability based on grade. I agree with this chart in principle. I would like to see more emphasis on independent reading at an earlier age. The first time the word independently is used is in the 3rd grade. I feel if it is implemented earlier it may have a better chance of catching and sticking. 11-16; Examples of text difficulties. I really enjoy examples. I feel they drive home a point that may still be all elusive without something tangible to relate with. These excerpts with their corresponding explanations really helped me to understand the qualitative measurements. 17-22; Reading Foundational Skills Multiple charts and examples of the basics of reading. Incredibly all constructed and extremely informative. Educators can use these skills to assess their students reading ability and can identify the needs of the students. I feel that this information is more useful to a reading teacher specifically, and in content specific areas it should be more of an identification of problems. I doubt math teachers would teach this but they would benefit from knowing these concepts to help their students identify problem areas and skill levels and adjust their reading assignment accordingly. 23;all Three text types: Argument, Many times in content specific areas you are not assigned a writing Informational/Explanatory, Narrative. assignment at all, and if you are it is usually vague and not specific. By taking the time, explaining the areas, and assigning a specific kind of assignment a content specific teacher can incorporate literacy into their classroom. It is doubtful that a math teacher would want a narrative essay on Pythagoras. The teacher should therefore take the time to explain what an argumentative paper is and how it should look then assign the paper. 24-25; Special Place of Argument in the This seems somewhat intuitive. Arguments happen every day. If the all Standards students can learn to write an argument well, then they will hopefully be able to handle all forms of arguments well. I thought interesting that they used persuasive writing throughout their description of why argument papers were so important.