[I posted this just before Thanksgiving when hardly anyone was reading the blog. So, here’s another whirl to give our fans another chance to engage in the Common Core discussion. Great implementation map at the bottom of the blog, too.] My neighbor Mindy has a great son, Ned. He’s nine years old, and his best friend is Cathy. She lives a couple blocks away from Ned, and the two of them spend a lot of time together. One evening, Cathy was at Ned’s house, and Mindy realized the two of them had shut themselves into Ned’s bedroom. She and her husband, John, panicked. “Oh my god! WHAT are they doing behind those closed doors????” Mindy and John agreed it would be wise to make an unannounced visit. And what should they discover behind those doors but two best friends reading together—and reading the same book, just like the kids in the photo above. Gotta love it!
As it turns out, Ned and Cathy have naturally fallen upon a literacy strategy advocated by some pretty amazing thinkers in the field of reading and literacy, including Professor Donna Ogle. I heard her speak at a webinar last week that focused on strategies for teaching content literacy, a key component of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Among other things, Professor Ogle was the senior consultant to the Striving Readers Program–a joint literacy project between the National College of Education at National-Louis University (where she used to teach) in Skokie, Illinois, and the Chicago Public Schools. The goal of the program was to provide a “seamless, aligned approach to reading instruction across language arts, social studies, science, and math for all readers across all grades.” To support reading comprehension of nonfiction, Professor Ogle has developed the PRC2 (partnered reading and content too) framework to help instructors develop students’ interests in and strategies for reading and comprehending informational texts that support content learning. Her book Partnering for Content Literacy outlines strategies and discusses assessment tools as well. I kind of wonder if Professor Ogle had a version of Ned and Cathy in her life to inspire her thinking about partnered reading?
As for the CCSS, below is a handy implementation map. It shows the timeframe that the various adopting states have chosen for implementing CCSS. Interesting to note the wide range of dates, and the fact that here in Minnesota, we’ve adopted only the literacy portion of the new standards. And speaking of Minnesota, how ‘bout that National Book Award for William Alexander? He and his artist wife and two children make their home right here in Minneapolis, where he teaches writing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). I’m in line for my copy of Goblin Secrets, that’s for sure!
If you’ve read Goblin, let us know what you think. In the meantime, check in again in two weeks for more from TFCB!