Common Core Literacy for Math, Science, and Technical Subjects - Katherine S. McKnight - E-Book

Common Core Literacy for Math, Science, and Technical Subjects E-Book

Katherine S. McKnight

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Beschreibung

Resources and guidance for the journey of Common Coreimplementation In this age of the Common Core State Standards, all content areateachers must integrate literacy standards into their curriculum.If you're like most content area educators, you'refeeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of addressing all the newstandards, or you might just need a little extra help. In this hands-on resource, Common Core literacy expert KatherineMcKnight offers secondary teachers a clear understanding of whatliteracy looks like in math, science, and technical subjects.McKnight gives educators proven teaching techniques that helpdevelop literacy skills in students. She also offers a wealth ofpractical strategies and ready-to-use activities that content areateachers can integrate seamlessly. Included are * Ideas for implementing the literacy requirements of the CommonCore across content areas * A selection of activities that support literacy skills andbuild content knowledge in math, science, and technologyclassrooms * An easy-to-use Difficulty Dial that indicates the complexity ofeach activity * Robust student samples that bring the activities to life acrossa variety of grade levels and subjects Common Core Literacy for Math, Science, and TechnicalSubjects is designed for practicality. With bonus webdownloads, a literacy resource guide, and countless ideas fordeepening content knowledge, this book provides excellent supportfor rigorous Common Core implementation. Praise for Common Core Literacy for Math, Science,and Technical Subjects "A realist with an incisive wit, Katie's robustpedagogy and trenchant analysis inspire all of us to incorporatethe CCSS meaningfully in specific content areas. For her giftedwriting, let alone her substantive and easy-to-implement ideas,this is a godsend for content area teachers. Move it to the top ofthe priority reading stack." --Rick Wormeli, veteran educator, author, andteacher trainer "McKnight eloquently dispels much of the mythologysurrounding the new standards, and explains how to help studentsfind success. You'll find this engaging book your'go-to' resource for implementing the CommonCore." --Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., educational consultant;author, Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learningfor the 21st Century

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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright

About the Author

About Staff Development for Educators

Dedication

Preface

Chapter One: Why Does Content Literacy Matter?

The Structure of the Common Core State Standards

The Need for Content Literacy

What Does This Framework Mean for Content Area Teachers?

The Biggest Changes with the Common Core

Some Final Thoughts

Chapter Two: Deepening Reading Comprehension Skills and Content Knowledge

A Look at the Interdisciplinary Standards

Building Reading Skills in a Content Area: Before, During, and After Reading

The CCSS Textual Complexity Model

Other Tips for Developing Adolescent Reading Skills

Some Final Thoughts

Chapter Three: Effective Content Area Writing Strategies

A Look at the Interdisciplinary Standards

CCSS Anchor Standards in Writing

Key Features of the Writing Standards

Strategies That Build Writing Skills in the Content Area

An Increased Focus on Research

Some Final Thoughts

Chapter Four: Speaking and Listening in the Content Area

A Look at the Speaking and Listening Standards

Technology

Small and Large Group Discussions

Developing Argumentation Skills Through Speaking and Listening

What Do the Standards Mean for Science and Mathematics Teachers?

A Few Words about English Language Learners

Some Final Thoughts

Chapter Five: Developing Academic Language

A Look at the CCSS Anchor Standards in Language

The Impact of the Language Strand on Content Instruction

Strategies to Build Language Skills in Content Areas

Why Visualization Matters

Some Final Thoughts

Chapter Six: Learning Centers and Student-Centered Activities

Learning Centers

Text Discussion Groups

Advantages of Centers and Text Circles

Science Labs and the Common Core

Some Final Thoughts

Chapter Seven: Technology Tools for Twenty-First-Century Learning

How Common Core State Standards Incorporate Technology

Some Final Thoughts

Chapter Eight: Helping Students Become College and Career Ready

Examining What You Currently Do as a Content Area Teacher

Some Final Thoughts

APPENDIX A: List of Bonus Web Downloads

APPENDIX B: Text Circles Resource Guide

What Are Text Circles?

Mini-Lessons

Reading Logs

Text Circle Roles

Scheduling

Text Circle Learning Centers

Assessment and Evaluation for Text Circles

Some Final Thoughts

APPENDIX C: Resources and References

Index

End User License Agreement

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Guide

Cover

Table of Contents

Preface

Begin Reading

List of Illustrations

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Table B.2

Common Core Literacy for Math, Science, and Technical Subjects

Strategies to Deepen Content Knowledge (Grades 6–12)

KATHERINE S. MCKNIGHT

Cover design by Wiley

Cover image: © Foodcollection RF | Getty

Copyright © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

Published by Jossey-Bass

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for and is on file with the Library of Congress.

ISBN 978-1-118-71020-3 (pbk); ISBN 978-1-118-71021-0 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-71034-0 (ebk)

FIRST EDITION

About the Author

Katherine S. McKnight, PhD, began her career as a high school English teacher in the Chicago public school system. She currently serves as a distinguished professor of research at National Louis University and travels worldwide as a professional development consultant. She lives in Chicago with her family. To learn more, go to www.katherinemcknight.com.

About Staff Development for Educators

Providing educators with sustained professional development that is research-based, rigorous, and innovative, as well as practical, motivating, and fun, Staff Development for Educators' (SDE) mission is to create meaningful improvement in student attainment, teacher fulfillment, and school success.

Dedicated to helping build classrooms where all students can succeed, SDE's foundational work in the area of Differentiated Instruction and early advocacy of Singapore Math Strategies have helped it gain recognition as one of the nation's leading providers of professional development in education. SDE's Crystal Springs Books imprint exemplifies these same attributes to deliver important and timely resources right to the educator's desk.

For Jim, Ellie, and Colin, who bring joy to my life

Preface

It was more than twenty-five years ago that I first became interested in adolescent literacy. As a college senior, I finally made the decision to become a high school English and social studies teacher. In my first position as a high school educator, I taught my subjects passionately, but I knew that I lacked the knowledge to support struggling readers in my content area. It's often assumed that English teachers know how to teach reading and remediate students who struggle; yet this is one of the greatest educational myths. My teacher education program did not require any courses on teaching reading, and I did not know how to help my students. Furthermore, I was constantly given the message and expectation that “all teachers are teachers of reading and writing.” As a high school educator I knew how to teach my content areas—English and social studies—but I was truly at a loss for strategies to support all kinds of readers.

During my years in the classroom, I earned my master's degree and eventually my PhD in reading and literacy. Both degrees broadened my professional knowledge of reading and literacy methods and of strategies that could support all kinds of learners. I learned how to use reading and writing strategies as pedagogies to develop my students' literacy skills while also developing their content knowledge.

Fast forward to twenty-five years later: I am relieved to witness the renewed interest in developing the literacy skills of our middle and high school students. I envision the Common Core State Standards as a vehicle to reemphasize the development of literacy skills and content knowledge. This book is a response to this reality.

Many teachers contributed to this book. In particular, I want to thank Bradley Berlage, Holly Young, and Androush Danielians for their mathematics content expertise. I also want to thank the following teachers from George Washington Community School, Indianapolis, Indiana; their professional input and copious student samples were invaluable to the development of this book:

Michael Anderson

Deboarah Aquino

Andrew Gatza

Rhonda Jennings

Brooke McCray

April Partee

George Simms

My teacher friends, Deanna Gallagher and Warren Thomas Rocco, read multiple versions of this text.

I am also grateful to my professional friends at Jossey-Bass: Dimi Berkner and Tracy Gallagher. My Jossey-Bass editor Margie McAneny's professional knowledge is a gift. Margie and I have worked on eight publications together. In addition to having a tremendous skill set in publishing, she is a dear friend who makes me laugh and supports me when I am plagued by those author demons.

Elaine Carlson, my unflappable assistant for her word-smithing skills and sense of humor. She keeps me organized. The designs and graphics originated from the talented Kris Lantzy—who also happens to be one of the funniest people I know.

Without the support of my husband, Jim, and my children, Ellie and Colin, these books would not have been written. Finally, I want to thank the other teachers in my family, including my sister, Mary Scruggs (1964–2011), a writing teacher at the famous Second City in Chicago, who inspired a generation of writers to find their voice and conquer their own writing demons, and my mom, Patricia Siewert (1934–2008), a Chicago public school teacher for more than thirty-five years. I can still hear her whisper to me her mantra: “Teaching is an act of love and social justice.”

Chapter OneWhy Does Content Literacy Matter?

I have a confession to make. When the Common Core State Standards were first introduced in 2010, I was skeptical. Actually, I was more than skeptical—I wanted to find every reason I could to hate the new standards.

I was coming from the point of view that the state standards developed ten years previously, during the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) movement, were reductive and that the corresponding overemphasis (and overspending) on standardized testing was horribly misguided. In the classrooms that I worked in as a literacy consultant all over the United States, I saw the same pattern during the NCLB decade: more focus on test prep and less focus on research-based teaching methods. As a career-long educator I found this terribly disheartening, and I shared my frustration with my teacher colleagues and students alike.

So when the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were first introduced, I was poised to attack and rip the CCSS to shreds; I felt certain that they were going to be yet another nail in the coffin of research-based, effective teaching methods. I had only made it to page 4 when I had a Jerry McGuire moment. I realized that the Common Core standards were nothing like the No Child Left Behind nonsense. Here's the part that “had me at hello”:

A focus on results rather than means. By emphasizing required achievements, the Standards leave room for teachers, curriculum developers, and states to determine how those goals should be reached and what additional topics should be addressed. Thus, the Standards do not mandate such things as a particular writing process or the full range of metacognitive strategies that students may need to monitor and direct their thinking and learning. Teachers are thus free to provide students with whatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify as most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Standards.

(CCSS 2010, p. 4)

Hallelujah! Educators were finally being acknowledged and credited for their professional knowledge. Reading this paragraph, I felt refreshed and excited that we could finally get back to what I knew, in my head and heart, great teaching and learning should look like in a middle school or high school classroom.

As I continued to read the standards, I grew increasingly “geeked out” about what this new framework could do for our students. If you've felt similarly skeptical about the Common Core State Standards, let me give you a quick overview of some CCSS basics and explain why the new standards are a great thing for our schools.

The Structure of the Common Core State Standards

For sixth through twelfth grade (at the time of press for this book) the following CCSS documents are available:

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

In this book, we are going to focus on the first document, Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts in Science and Technical Subjects (which include mathematics). Before we begin, I need to clarify a couple of things as they are articulated in the CCSS documents for interdisciplinary literacy. (If you need a full copy of the standards, the documents can be downloaded at www.corestandards.org.)

There are

four

strands in the English language arts (ELA) standards:

Reading

Writing

Speaking and listening

Language (including grammar and vocabulary)

For the literacy in science and technical subjects (and, by implication, in the mathematical standards), there are

two

strands: reading and writing. Although the speaking, listening, and language strands are not included in this set of standards, strategies for these literacies are included in this book, since both are necessary for students to learn new content and to express what they know and understand about that content.

The Need for Content Literacy

As many middle school and high school teachers already know, our teenagers are struggling with their reading skills, and there are very specific reasons why. You've no doubt heard many explanations in staff development workshops. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data shows that a majority of American eighth-grade students aren't proficient readers. This means that most students aren't able to comprehend grade-level texts when they enter high school. The 2006 ACT, Inc., report, Reading between the Lines, is cited by the CCSS authors as evidence that about half of high school students who took the ACT in the 2004–2005 academic year lacked the reading and literacy skills necessary for success in an introductory, credit-bearing college course (CCSS 2010, appendix A, p. 23). In fact, it is estimated that more than 40 percent of students entering college must take remedial courses in reading and writing before they are able to enroll in college credit courses.

To address this stark reality, the Common Core State Standards authors drew from research in the field of adolescent literacy as they identified the skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language that would prepare students in the twenty-first century for college and career readiness. In the introduction to the standards the authors identify what it means for students to be college and career ready.

As students advance to the grades and master the standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language, they are able to exhibit with increasing fullness and regularity these capacities of the literate individual.

They demonstrate independence

They build strong content knowledge.

They respond to the varying demand of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.

They comprehend as well as critique.

They value evidence.

They use technology and digital media strategically and capably.

They come to understand other perspectives and cultures.

(CCSS 2010, p. 7)

As you read through this list, I'm sure you'll agree that these literacy skills are integral to the development of content knowledge and competency.

At the sixth through twelfth grade levels, the literacy standards for English language arts are divided into two sets. There are standards that focus on English language arts classrooms, and there are interdisciplinary literacy standards. The latter were created to address the literacy needs of adolescent students in subject areas other than English. This doesn't mean that content area teachers are English teachers! It does mean that the interdisciplinary literacy standards are designed “to complement the specific content demands of the disciplines, not replace them” (CCSS 2010, p. 60).

What Does This Framework Mean for Content Area Teachers?

The ELA standards and the literacy standards for science and technical subjects share the same anchor standards in reading and writing. The ELA standards also embody anchor standards in speaking, listening, and language. This book contains strategies for speaking, listening, and language, since these are necessary for college and career readiness, although not included in the literacy in science and technical subjects standards.

Common Core State Standards

Looking at the standards from a more macro-level view, one can see that particular emphasis is placed on reading and writing in content area classes. Students are expected to develop their literacy skills as they learn content, with a particular emphasis on reading informational texts and argumentation in writing.

The emphasis on content literacy as articulated in the CCSS is not a new idea for middle school and high school teachers. The difference is that the CCSS emphasize that all content area teachers are responsible for developing student literacy skills; this effort is not the responsibility solely of English language arts teachers. Learning and integrating literacy strategies and skills in the teaching of content are pedagogies for effective instruction. This is the focus of this book: to provide specific strategies that content area teachers can use to boost students' literacy and deepen their understanding of content area material.

A Close Reading

When students read to develop content knowledge, they're often working with complex texts. In order to develop knowledge in a specific content area, students need to be able to analyze and synthesize literary and informational texts.

Reading is critical to building knowledge in history/social studies as well as in science and technical subjects. College and career ready reading in these fields requires an appreciation of the norms and conventions of each discipline, such as the kinds of evidence used in history and science; an understanding of domain specific words and phrases; an attention to precise details; and the capacity to evaluate intricate arguments, synthesize complex information, and follow detailed description of events and concepts. In history/social studies, for example, students need to be able to analyze, evaluate, and differentiate primary and secondary sources. When reading scientific and technical texts, students need to be able to gain knowledge from challenging texts that often make extensive use of elaborate diagrams and data to convey information and illustrate concepts. Students must be able to read complex informational texts in these fields with independence and confidence because the vast majority of reading in college and workforce training programs will be sophisticated nonfiction. It is important to note that these reading standards are meant to complement the specific content demands of the disciplines, not replace them.

(CCSS 2010, p. 60)

Although these goals are embedded within the literacy standards there are clear implications to the development of content knowledge. Specifically, students need to know how to read content-specific text like charts and graphs in science, math, and technical subjects. Teaching and developing specific literacy skills facilitate content learning, including science and mathematics.

Up for Debate

Another important feature of the literacy standards is the emphasis on argumentation. For college and career readiness, students need to be able to demonstrate what they know and understand through written text. Specifically, students should be able to make a claim, provide evidence, and make counterarguments. The introduction to the interdisciplinary writing standards articulates these expectations:

For students, writing is a key means of asserting and defending claims, showing what they know about a subject, and conveying what they have experienced, imagined, thought, and felt. To be college and career ready writers, students must take task, purpose, and audience into careful consideration, choosing words, information, structures, and formats deliberately. They need to be able to use technology strategically when creating, refining, and collaborating on writing. They have to become adept at gathering information, evaluating sources, and citing material accurately, reporting findings from their research and analysis of sources in a clear and cogent manner. They must have the flexibility, concentration, and fluency to produce high-quality first-draft text under a tight deadline and the capacity to revisit and make improvements to a piece of writing over multiple drafts when circumstances encourage or require it. To meet these goals, students must devote significant time and effort to writing, producing numerous pieces over short and long time frames throughout the year.

(CCSS 2010, p. 63)

The CCSS authors identify argumentation and writing as essential skills for developing content knowledge and being able to express what a student knows and understands in any given content-based discipline.

The interdisciplinary literacy standards are consistent with the K–12 ELA anchor standards; close reading, technology integration, and text complexity are all referenced. The strategies in this book specifically address these areas to support the development of students' literacy skills while also developing content knowledge. Although there are many similarities between these sets of standards, there are a few differences to note. For example, writing anchor standard 3, which emphasizes narrative writing (“Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences”), is not included in the interdisciplinary writing standards. It is expected that narrative writing is more suited for the English content curriculum, although the CCSS authors note that students do need to develop their narrative voice in writing argumentation.