“The Challenge of Challenging Text”

Writing for Educational Leadership, Dr. Timothy Shanahan, Dr. Douglas Fisher, and Dr. Nancy Frey discuss what teachers can do to assist students with gaining access to complex text. (The entire article can be found here.) They begin with breaking apart the key features of complex text followed by specific steps educators can take to appropriately scaffold for students. They write:

With this increased understanding, teachers do not have to rely on intuition to figure out which books their students can handle. Instead, teachers can select texts worthy of instruction (emphasis added) and align their instructional efforts to ensure that all their students read complex, interesting, and important texts.

The key here is “texts worthy of instruction.” Finding these texts will involve educators collaborating in PLCs and across sites. It will take time but the effort will align practice to the CCSS, the SBAC Claims and assist students in reaching College and Career Readiness.

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About Aaron Grossman

I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary. Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here). In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador. I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at coretaskproject@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Common Core State Standards, Complex Text, Core Task Project, Instructional Shifts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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