1 TEXT COMPLEXITY IS WHAT WE ARE READING COM- PLEX ENOUGH?... 1 January CONTENT AREAS WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR LITERACY IN SOCIAL STUDIES?... 5 Common TAKING AN INITIAL LOOK AT THE COMMON CORE TIMELINE WHEN ARE THINGS GOING TO CHANGE FOR MY GRADE LEVEL?... 6 STATE STANDARDS AND K-12 ELA Now that Washington State has adopted the Common Core State Standards, it is time for Spokane Public Schools to plan for the shifts in English Language Arts. The 6 Major Shifts in Literacy OSPI has identified six areas where our state standards or content expectations have shifted from the state Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These areas will be the focus for this update. In each of the areas, Spokane Public Schools has some work already underway to ensure a smooth transition to the common core standards. Other areas will require continued work as we continue to support our district initiatives and mission for all students. In this update, each of the six major shifts will be addressed. While the transition to the CCSS has already started, it is important to remember that this transition is a process that will take a couple of years to complete. Spokane Public Schools has identified an additional shift in Literacy the Language Standards. In our work with Power Standards last spring, we began to notice that the CCSS expectations for usage, conventions and vocabulary were more specific than our state standards. A team of K-12 teachers created the Language Power Standards with specific grade level content expectations. Core SHIFT 1 Balance of Literary and Informa onal Text SHIFT 2 Literacy in the Content Areas SHIFT 3 Increased Complexity of Text SHIFT 4 Text based Ques ons and Answers SHIFT 5 Wri ng Using Evidence SHIFT 6 Academic Vocabulary NAME SHIFT Our content has been called English, Language Arts, Literacy, Reading and Writing. In an attempt to clear up any confusion and streamline our documents we will begin to call our content area English Language Arts (ELA). ELA is the title used by the Common Core State Standards. Any document referring to these standards will also have the ELA title.
2 Shift 1 : Balance of Texts Grade Level Literary Informational 4 50% 50% 8 45% 55% 12 30% 70% In Spokane Public Schools we have already started the transition to percentages listed in the CCSS. At grades K-5, grade level year-long plans direct teachers to balance literature and informational texts. With our SpringBoard instructional framework, grades 6-12 students are reading a variety of text types within a unit. For example in the first unit of grade 9, students read personal narratives, poetry, an excerpt from a novel and a memoir, a newspaper article and an independent novel. Within the year-long plan students have many opportunities to practice and master the skills to evaluate a variety of text on a theme or topic. TYPES OF TEXT As students progress through out K 12 system the type of text that they read becomes more informa onal and less literary. Shift 2 : Literacy in the Content CONTENT READING Content reading is an explicit expecta on in the CCSS for grades Standards for K 5 reading in history/ social studies, science and technical subjects are integrated into reading. Reading in content areas is a natural fit at elementary because students are with the same teacher all day. In addition, bookrooms have been provided leveled books that support social studies and science. Reading has been an important part of our social studies curriculum at the secondary level. With eight targeted reading standards that are assessed at each quarter, social studies teachers are our literacy experts in informational text. Sessions specifically designed for social studies were offered at last summer s Secondary Literacy Summer Institute. This year we plan to expand and to include sections to support literacy in science as well as social studies and English.
3 Shift 3 : Complexity of Texts INCREASED COMPLEXITY The complexity of a text is more than its Lexile or reading level. As defined by the CCSS, the complexity of a text includes many factors. A few complexity factors include the text s readability, the structure of the text, as well as the demand for background knowledge and what a reader is asked to do with the text. In reviewing the lists of exemplars provided in Appendix A of the CCSS for K- 12, many titles from our current curriculum are listed at the appropriate grade level. Next steps for secondary Social Studies include reviewing the exemplars for history and social studies literacy. With the CCSS comes a specific defini on of text complexity that includes readability, levels of meaning and complexity generated by tasks assigned with the text. Shift 4: Text-based Questions and Answers TEXT BASED EVIDENCE Using text based evidence to support claims or an analysis and that can evaluated by others. This is a shi in the need for the details in wri ng to be accurate. Using text-based evidence to support an answer, an argument or a thesis is something familiar to students in Spokane. Our work in this shift is to support students in finding the best evidence from a text to support their inferences or arguments. Typically, the state has been somewhat lenient in the details from a text that would earn students points on the state assessment. The expectations are increased in the CCSS with qualifiers like most strongly supports and relevant, well-chosen facts.
4 Shift 5 : Balance of Writing Types NARRATIVE IN SECONDARY NARRATIVE IN SECONDARY Currently in grades K-6 students write narrative and informative texts. While students at grades 5 & 6 add in persuasive writing. Opinion writing will begin in Kindergarten and first grade starting in the school year. Grades 3 & 4 will write opinion pieces beginning in the school year. At the secondary level our state set the focus of our writing instruction with persuasive and expository. We have continued to use narrative writing as a mode to work on writing skills like elaboration and voice. With the transition to the CCSS, we will continue with the narrative units in our 7-10 curriculum. In the past, these units have been de-emphasized with assessments changed to expository. These assessments will return to their narrative purpose to support the writing expectations of the CCSS. In the CCSS Wri ng standards, narra ve con nues to be an important purpose of wri ng in the secondary level. Shift 6 : Academic Vocab- ACADEMIC VOCABULARY Academic vocabulary paired with background knowledge is an essen al element for student success with the more cogni vely complex texts expected in the CCSS. Academic vocabulary is an area where Spokane Public Schools are ready to make a more intentional transition. We already have a K-8 Academic Vocabulary list with English, Math, Science and Social Studies words that just needs some additional attention and professional development to support teachers and students in this expectation. One area where we will need some additional time to develop and support in all content areas is the Tier 2 high frequency/multiple meaning words (e.g., measure, tend) and Tier 3 content specific words (e.g., economics, igneous). For another aspect of the vocabulary acquisition expectations, word study, we generated a K-10 list for root words and affixes to complement the SPS Language Power Standards.
5 K-12 Literacy Implementation Timeline K 12 Language Standards Building Awareness of the Common Core Adding to Our Awareness: CCSS and SBGR Revised Instruc onal Materials A team of teachers created the K 12 Language Power Standards in the Spring of These language standards are a hybrid of the current state standards and the Language Standards of the CCSS. OSPI has provided mul ple opportuni es to gain knowledge of the CCSS through webinars, links on the OSPI website and regional awareness workshops. At elementary level, commi ees are crea ng curriculum guides and program guides that transi on literacy to ELA using the CCSS. Standards Based Grading and Repor ng is well established at the elementary level. Next steps include transi oning to CCSS in power standards and program guides. With a couple of secondary schools pilo ng standards based grading and repor ng, we will use this me to dig into the CCSS and iden fy new power standards. In response to the CCSS, the College Board will revise the SpringBoard curriculum. The current materials are already well aligned to the CCSS and the revisions will make explicit connec ons to the CCSS and to the Advanced Placement program. K 12 Language Standards Professional Development A bulk of the grammar usage expecta ons is now embedded in the K 6 Language Standards. At the secondary level, we are in a posi on of preparing our students for wri ng while wai ng for the students who will eventually come to us with the founda onal knowledge outlined in the language standards of the CCSS. Teaching Grammar in Context is a workshop that has been offered to all secondary teachers. This workshop provides a framework within our curriculum to teach grammar as well as great teaching resource called Mechanically Inclined. English 12 In the spring of 2012, English 12 teachers will be invited to write curriculum guides to submit to the Course Equivalency Commi ee. These guides will be built using the CCSS. Stay tuned for specific dates and mes. New power standards mean revised curriculum guides and program guides. Content Literacy Professional development and support documents will be provided to support the new expecta ons of literacy in the content areas. Assessments In an a empt to maintain the instruc onal focus on the state assessed standards, we will con nue the reading assessments in grade 7 9 social studies courses and 2 6 Benchmark Reading Assessments. Con nued Efforts to Support K 12 Language Expecta ons We will con nue to support these new standards. Addi onal help will be provided with the vocabulary acquisi on expecta ons. English 11 SpringBoard will become the instruc onal materials for English 11. This implementa on will be supported with ini al workshops and a curriculum team working to create necessary suppor ng documents like program guides and curriculum guides. A Look to the New Assessments In Washington State, we will have a dual focus right up to the new na onal assessments. Building up to these new assessments, materials will be released from the group crea ng the assessments. We will spend me and offer professional development in unpacking these released assessment materials to prepare for the na onal assessment.