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Posted on March 10, 2015 11:20 pm
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VadeQa
VadeQa
Reps: 105
Common Core dilemma
Common core and the state standards have pretty much generalized the ELA classroom to a set of critical reading, writing, and communication skills rather than any specific content. As a reaction to this, my school replaced previous assessments that tested "content" (a test over a novel or over a short story unit) with assessments that test skills. So, many tests are now made up of almost all cold reads. There is virtually no way to student for our tests now. Students have recognized this and are not valuing classroom work assigned to strengthen these skills because the content won't be tested.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted March 11, 2015 12:54 am

SyRaNy
SyRaNy
Reps: 103
I teach ELA and understand your dilemma. My solution to this would be for you to test on both a short unit story and a cold read to hold students accountable. During weekly instruction, use a basal short story to teach the skills and in small group choose cold reads that assesses the same skill. The assessment for the week could be both comprehension questions from the basal short story and contain a short cold read. This is what my team has done this year and it seems to be working. Good luck!
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Rezaty
Rezaty
Reps: 102
Thanks for sharing
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 3:55 pm

Rezaty
Rezaty
Reps: 102
Thanks for sharing
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 3:55 pm

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Solution 2
Posted March 15, 2015 2:28 pm

Kristin Doyon
Kristin Doyon
Reps: 108
It is always good to be up-front and honest with your students. I would communicate my concerns with the students as a whole class, and say that you have found that many of them are not valuing the units because they know that the assessments are made up of cold reads. I would explain to them that your instruction takes lots of planning, and each unit matches up with the cold read assessments. I have explained this to my high school ELA students, and now they understand that while plot lines are important (and it's important to thematically connect pieces in a unit), there is a method to the madness. We focus on the skills they have obtained through the novels and short stories, and I have found that my cold read assessments have improved. We should not hide anything from our students-- the more they know about how the educational system works today, the better understanding they have as to why we do what we do. I would use cold reads here-and-there throughout the week to reinforce the skills. For lower grades (middle school and below), ReadWorks.org has cold reads with multiple choice and constructed response questions. This can be sorted by content, fiction vs. non-fiction, and by Lexile number. It was great for my Reading Intervention class last year!
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Solution 3
Posted March 11, 2015 1:01 am

edyRav
edyRav
Reps: 108
I would work with your team members to embed stories that support each skill and find short reading passages that correlate with the story that week. The students can increase their knowledge of the content through the practice of the skills and apply them on the reading passages.
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Rezaty
Rezaty
Reps: 102
Thanks for sharing
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 3:55 pm

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Solution 4
Posted March 13, 2015 1:39 am

dyTuDu
dyTuDu
Reps: 103
I also teach the Common Core standards as a fifth grade Reading teacher and have faced this dilemma. I have continued to find ways to teach the standards through grade level texts and have found that students are much more willing to focus on skills when they are applied to interesting texts. I try to create assessments that assess the content of the text and that require application of the skill. For example, if we are working on inferencing, I make sure the test I create includes opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge by constructing responses that apply the skill to the text. The multiple choice and short answer questions might focus more on the content.
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unuhaj
unuhaj
Reps: 102
Thanks for the comments.
  Posted on: March 13, 2015 1:08 pm

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