The New Schools Venture Fund hosted a conference on Common Core and included a session titled, Teaching Literacy in the New World of CCSS (video linked here). At minute 4:11 Doug Lemov, managing director of Uncommon Schools and author of Teach Like a Champion, describes the “4 Common Core Imperatives” that must be addressed to boost reading achievement. They are:
- Read harder texts
- Read more nonfiction
- Do close reading and
- Writing directly from text
Harder text is described in detail at 9:56 with Lemov noting that absent opportunities to work with grade level text, students will not be prepared for work in the subsequent grades. He continues that reading has been more focused on the questions we ask rather than the books we choose. “The book matters” Lemov argues.
At minute 16:40, Lemov describes the Uncommon Schools’ emphasis on using more information text and uses a baseball example to prove his point. In short, Lemov concludes, “absorption rates” change based on how much background knowledge a child brings to a text.
Lemov finished his presentation with an overview of the implications of close reading at minute 22:10 and writing at minute 27:00. You can access the entire video here.
Bonus: Robert Pondiscio presents immediately after Lemov.
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 email@example.com