Sunday, September 1, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
One of these presentations provides a framework for improving adolescent literacy, another sketches out what disciplinary literacy is (I have beefed up the linguistics part of this presentation and have added some sources), and the third is about teaching with multiple texts (and this includes information on the common core. Hope you find the presentations useful.
Improving adolescent literacy
Content area reading versus disciplinary literacy
Friday, September 17, 2010
When I was in elementary school, each class had one reading book (no, it was not printed on clay tablets). By the time I became a teacher, this book-a-grade system was replaced in the primary grades with two books, one per semester (and there was a lot ink spilled over whether schools could afford this innovation). Still later, the numbers of textbooks expanded even more (what did California require, 6 texts for grade 1?). Of course, when the “whole language” wave moved across the country, lots of schools stopped using textbooks altogether, and replaced them with “class sets” of novels.
The new common core standards present several new emphases, none more important than the shift towards a multiple text perspective. However, this new educational perspective has NOTHING to do with the evolution described above.
The basic idea of the new standards is that it is important that students learn to read across text boundaries: comparing and contrasting themes, characters, styles, perspectives, and so on. It means reading bigger chunks of text, remembering text longer (can’t just read something and forget about it right away), and considering multiple views and perspectives. Students not only need to know how to analyze text from multiple sources, but they need to know how to synthesize information across texts and other sources of information.
That could mean that schools will need to buy multiple books (or perhaps multiple links to some web sources), but it could also be multiple selections housed within a single textbook or anthology. The idea of multiple texts isn’t that kids necessarily need to get their hands on more books (though that isn’t a bad idea). The real idea is that kids need to learn to read and write across the boundaries of different stories and articles.
This shift is a good one… but it won’t necessarily cost any more in terms of books than current approaches for teaching reading. It will likely cost more in professional development expenses, since generally teachers have not been prepared to help children to think across multiple texts and to weigh author's perspectives and the like. This kind of content can be pursued through some exciting lessons, but such lessons will only occur if teachers understand the depth of what is expected. I'll write more about this in a later blog.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Here are many of the standards that dictate developing students abilities to read multiple texts and the grade levels that these are expected to be accomplished:
With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories. (K)
With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic. (K)
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories. (1)
Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic. (1)
Compare and contrast tow or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures. (2)
Compare and contrast the two most important points presented by two texts on the same topic. (2 and 3)
Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series). (3)
Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics and patterns of events in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures. (4)
Integrate information from two texts on the same topic to write/speak abuot the subject knowledgeably. (4-5)
Compare and contrast stories in the same genre on their approaches to similar themes and topics. (5)
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics. (6)
Integrate information presented in different media or fromats as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue. (6)
Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history. (7)
Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts. (7)
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation. (8)
Integrate visual information with other information in print and digital texts. (6-8)
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually. (6-8)
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (6-8)
Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment. (9-10)
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis with qualitative analysis in print or digital text. (9-10)
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums determining which details are emphasized in each account. (9-10)
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem, evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (11-12)
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats as well as in words to address a question or solve a problem. (11-12)
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media to address a question or solve a problem. (11-12)
That really is not all of them, but it is enough that you get the point: Multiple Text instruction is going to be at a premium in coming years (days?)... here are five guidelines to help you to think about that instruction:
1. Reading single texts is no longer sufficient in teaching reading.
2. Multiple texts need to be introduced in Kindergarten and then are to be used throughout a students' schooling.
3. Multi-text instruction is not aimed at a single type of cognitive processing, it really must require that students analyze more than one text (in terms of content, genre, accuracy, effectiveness, etc.), compare and contrast particular features of texts, synthesize the information from different texts, and to engage in comparative evaluation or judgment.
4. Multi-text instruction involves many types of texts sets: multiple texts by the same author, multiple texts on the same topic, multiple texts that can contribute different but overlapping information on the same subject, and multiple texts that differ in quality or effectiveness or perspective.
5. Multi-text instruction requires different responses by the readers, quite often this includes their own writing or oral presentation of ideas.