Interesting Discussions at NTI Grades 9-12 ELA Morning Session

In the morning Network Team Institute session dedicated to grades 9-12 English Language Arts, discussion focused on understanding the Core Proficiencies Units. These units have been developed in order to help students collect and communicate information that they have gathered from their reading. Teachers have to learn to adapt their teaching strategies to effectively teach these new skills to their students. These units will not make teaching the standards easy, but easier. They also serve as a direct line to helping students better understand the tasks asked of them in the new ELA Common Core Regents exam.
The Understanding Evidence-Based Claims Unit is easily customized to suit the needs of your curriculum. You can use the texts that are included with the units or choose a text that you and your students are comfortable with. Remember that the goal is not to read more texts, but to read individual texts more closely so that students have deeper understanding of the texts. The goal is to teach literacy, not to rush through your curriculum.

4 thoughts on “Interesting Discussions at NTI Grades 9-12 ELA Morning Session

  1. “The goal is to teach literacy, not to rush through your curriculum.”

    But your students will still be tested (at least in social studies) based on a curriculum that is an inch-deep, a mile-wide and demands superficial coverage. Thanks for correcting that paradox……..

  2. I agree this is paradoxical, but as we enter this transition period, we as educators can do our best to strike a balance between ensuring our students have the Common Core instruction they need in order to attain the reading and writing skills necessary to do well on the DBQ and essay portions of the social studies exam, while at the same time practicing for the multiple-choice sections of the exam. This way, students will receive quality Common Core instruction and also perform well on the social studies exam as a whole.

    • BLTowne: with all due respect, what you propose is not a solution. The thematic and DBQ essays promotes factual regurgitation – they are not CCS aligned, persuasive essays that require students to take a position and develop an argument (as APUSH essays do). 50 random, factual regurgitate questions on a broad array of topics is not what historians do nor is does it promote “college and career readiness”. I’m not interested in “striking a balance” between two unattainable ends. I want to see a master plan presented by the state (based on teacher input- no educational-industrial complex manifested plan) for aligning the social studies curriculum to the Common Core Standards. If we are going to embrace the CCS, let’s embrace the CCS! Standards and curriculum need to be in alignment – this is common sense.

      The state has not presented a master plan for CCS integration – they are building the plan as they fly, which is the perfect way to crash (not to mention the worst way to teach). I have heard nothing on how the CCS will impact Regents exams outside of ELA and Math. Common Core is a great thing for social studies teachers – it helps to build the skills that historians possess as they study history in-depth. That last word is operative. In-depth explorations of particular topics does not mean less content, it means more relevant and engaging content and is the only way that the CCS can be integrated into social studies classes. We need to narrow the curriculum so that we can spend multiple days on Letter from Birmingham Jail or What to the Slave is the 4th of July or FDR’s First Inaugural or to collaborate on a cross-disciplinary project with ELA teachers. As it stands, the current NYS US History curriculum, with its superficial and bland focus on institutional history does a injustice to an otherwise dynamic, compelling, engaging discipline.

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