How the Common Core standards are changing reading instruction

Some of the standards’ practical shifts include more nonfiction, more text-dependent questions, and placing more attention on making sure students are focused on arguments rather than persuasion.

What will reading instruction look like under the Common Core State Standards? Much attention has been paid to the idea that the standards place more emphasis on reading informational texts, as opposed to literature—but advocates of the new standards see them as a chance to help students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for learning.

This shift will require “more complex, deeper thinking in not just what you teach, but how you teach it. How you do it is going to be significantly different,” said Jeff Williams, a reading recovery teacher leader and K-12 literacy teacher in Ohio’s Solon City Schools. Williams is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

As teachers move through the standards, Williams said, they realize that the standards are not isolated and that they relate to one another in different bands and patterns.…Read More

Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills

The shift toward online exams aligned with the Common Core standards will require much more preparation than simply making sure networks can handle the extra bandwidth constraints and that schools have enough devices for every student.

It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online.

And many observers have serious concerns about whether students will be ready to take the online exams by the 2014-15 school year.…Read More