It’s Monday, It’s ELA Common Core Day! Today’s Tip: Step 5

It’s Monday, It’s ELA Common Core Day! Today’s Tip: Step 5: What will my students need to do, to demonstrate an understanding of this standard?  What facts should they know, what concepts should they understand, and what skills should they use?

I’ve been missing-in-action this month…  work deadlines just took over.  But now, I’m back!  

Today is a continuation of our look at Ainsworth’s (2003) work in unwrapping the standards, where we’ve focused on Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 (out of 5). Today’s tip is Unwrapping the Standards, Step 5 (the last of the 5 steps) – What will my students need to do…

Step 5 – What will my students need to do, to demonstrate an understanding of this standard? What facts should they know, what concepts should they understand, and what skills should they use? (Ainsworth)
Facts they           should know
Concepts they should understand
Skills they           should use
Try thinking of a standard in a new way.  What facts should our students know? What concepts should they understand?  And what skills should they use?
In the sample of RL.__.2, what facts should they know?  Maybe what a key detail looks like? What concepts should they understand?  Maybe how a retell is different than a summary?  and What skills should they use?  As one teacher asked, “Is listening to the story an appropriate skill they should be able to use?” Yes!  Make it personalized for your students! 

So take a moment to think about one standard – it doesn’t have to be this one below, (see more at http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf but think about what facts should our students know, what concepts should our students understand, and what skills should our students use – and that may truly assist you in your planning and instruction. 
 Sample of K-6 Standard RL.__.2:
Kindergarten Teachers: 
Standard RL.K.2: With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
1st Grade Teachers:
Standard RL.1.2: Grade 1 students will retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
2nd Grade Teachers:
Standard RL.2.2: Grade 2 students will recount stories, including fable and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
3rd Grade Teachers:
Standard RL.3.2: Grade 3 students will recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
4th Grade Teachers:
Standard RL.4.2: Grade 4 students will determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

5th Grade Teachers:
Standard RL.5.2: Grade 5 students will determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
6th Grade Teachers:
Standard RL.6.2: Grade 6 students will determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

This unwrapping the standards 5-step-process should be helpful to you and your colleagues.  Remember though, you don’t have to attempt it alone.  Sit with a group of friends/colleagues to work through these 5 steps together.  It is a ton more fun that way.  It seems like a lot of extra work to do, but front-loading this will give you an understanding that will help your teaching go even more smoothly, and the benefit is for both you and your students.
Until next time, share a literacy strategy!
Denise Gudwin, Ph.D.