Academic journal article Language Arts

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts Grades 6-8

Academic journal article Language Arts

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts Grades 6-8

Article excerpt

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts Grades 6-8 by Tonya Perry and Rebecca Manery, NCTE, 2012, 117 pp., ISBN 978-0-8141-4942-3

Perry and Manery begin by providing the reader a description of what the Common Core State Standards are and addressing many reservations teachers may have regarding them. For example, they dispel teachers' fear that CCSS will lead to mandated, scripted instruction by quoting the CCSS where it states teachers should be allowed to make curricular decisions based on the needs of the students in their classrooms. Their unifying theme is that the student should lie at the heart of all instruction. The authors emphasize that only a teacher knows exactly what a student may need instructionally and should be trusted to provide it.

In the second section of their book, Perry and Manery make connections between CCSS and classrooms via a series of vignettes featuring middle school teachers from different regions serving a variety of student populations. No two teachers choose the exact same methods of instruction, and the authors honor the individual styles of teachers, as well as the professional choices they make for their students. The vignettes provide practical ideas for teachers to try in their classrooms. My personal favorite was creating a "café" setting in which students discuss worldly issues they discover in news articles, complete with pastries and a comfortable setting conducive to authentic conversations. …

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