Putting Education Reform To The Test

How Common Core Will Change The Way Schools Teach Reading

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The switch to Common Core means more teachers will become reading instructors.

The switch to Common Core State Standards will put more emphasis on reading across disciplines, experts say.

Education Week has some solid examples of how that will work, and how the new standards stress comprehension. They also will put more emphasis on writing:

Reading instruction is no longer the sole province of the language arts teacher. The standards call for teachers of science, social studies, and other subjects to teach literacy skills unique to their disciplines, such as analyzing primary- and secondary-source documents in history, and making sense of diagrams, charts, and technical terminology in science. A 4th grade teacher in Shell Rock, Iowa, for instance, had his students write science books for 2nd graders in a bid to fuse content understanding with domain-specific literacy skills.

Reading and writing are closely connected, and writing instruction is explicit. Teaching writing has often fallen by the wayside as teachers focus on reading, but the common core demands its return. And not just any kind of writing—writing studded with citations of details and evidence from students’ reading material. Even the youngest pupils are learning to do it: First graders in Vermont are listening to a Dr. Seuss tale, over and over, searching for clues that back up the central thesis of the story.


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