Being able to read complex text independently, fluently, and proficiently is essential for high achievement in college and the workplace. Yet research shows that current standards, curriculum, and instructional practice have not done enough to foster the independent reading so crucial for college and career readiness, particularly in the case of informational text.
1. BALANCING LITERATURE AND INFORMATIONAL TEXT WITH THE CCSS
Learn how teachers can provide a true balance of informational and literary texts, including 50% informational text in elementary schools, while unlocking the differences among the genres.
Examine nonfiction, informational text and literary nonfiction as defined by the CCSS.
Learn how to unlock text features and structures in informational text.
Explore text exemplars and the use of shorter, challenging informational texts to read, re-read and discuss to deepen meaning.
2. BUILDING KNOWLEDGE IN THE DISCIPLINES WITH THE CCSS
Literacy is a shared responsibility. Explore how teachers outside of the ELA classroom can emphasize literacy experiences during their content-area instruction.
Explore the anchor standards for reading and writing in the content areas.
Incorporate evidence-based writing in response to informational text/narrative nonfiction.
Understand domain-specific words and academic words and learn to unlock content knowledge through both tiers of words.
3. UNLOCKING COMPLEX TEXT WITH THE CCSS
Prepare students for the complexity of college and career ready texts, by requiring steps of growth on the “staircase,” while increasing rigor, text complexity, and the range and quality of texts in ELA.
Define the three dimensions of text complexity: qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task.
Determine how to level texts along the text complexity gradient.
Explore how to provide students more rigor with a range of high-quality, increasingly demanding text.
Learn best practices to cultivate students’ ability to read complex texts independently.
4. EVIDENCE AND THE CCSS: TEXT-BASED QUESTIONS AND ANALYSIS
Understand how teachers can facilitate rigorous conversations that are centered around a common text.
Explore how teachers can increase the amount of high quality text-dependent questions and tasks they ask students.
Support students to gather evidence and insight to make valid inferences from text they read.
Learn how to create an effective set of text-dependent questions to accompany any text.
5. EVIDENCE OF CLOSE READING: WRITING FROM SOURCES FOR THE CCSS
Writing emphasizes the use of evidence to inform or make an argument, in addition to personal narrative. Explore how students develop skills through written arguments, particularly shorter, focused research projects.
Explore how teachers can support students as they draw evidence from texts to support analysis or research.
Learn how to provide students with multiple short research projects to help students develop expertise on a topic, as well as in the research process.
Discuss how to transition students from narrative writing to more argumentative and informative writing modes.
6. BUILDING ACADEMIC AND DOMAIN SPECIFIC VOCABULARY
Focus on comprehension of pivotal words, or academic- specific vocabulary, in addition to domain-specific words, to build students’ ability to access more complex texts across ELA and the content areas.
Understand the tiers of vocabulary words, Tiers 1-3, and their role in unlocking content knowledge while reading.
Explore how teachers can help students acquire knowledge of general academic vocabulary to unlock complex texts.
Develop practices to teach independent word-learning strategies for academic and domain-specific words.