Academic journal article Language Arts

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades 3-5

Academic journal article Language Arts

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades 3-5

Article excerpt

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades 3-5 by Jeff Williams, Elizabeth C. Homan, and Sarah Swofford, NCTE, 2011, 115 pp., ISBN 978-0-8141-4941-6

Williams, Homan and Swofford provide teachers with a text that "operates from the assumption that ELA teachers can use standards as a lens through which they can examine and improve the what and how of instruction" (p. 6). In the first of three sections, the authors provide a brief summary of the four basic ELA strands (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and overarching Anchor Standards, and address questions educators may have regarding the CCSS Standards. Such concerns include the relationship between CCSS and state standards, topics and genres of exemplar texts, rigor of the CCSS Standards, integrated models of literacy, and how to align instructional practices with the CCSS. The authors also highlight patterns in the CCSS, including: synthesizing across diverse texts, developing independence, transferring learning across content areas, spiraled instruction, the inclusion of nonfiction or informational texts across all content areas, and text complexity.

In the second section, readers are introduced to six teachers in grades three through five. Each vignette provides background on the teaching context and information about one teacher's journey and growth. Both rural and urban populations are featured. Collaboration among students (e. …

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