Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Unpacking the Common Core Reading Standards

I love my blog makeover! Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs did a wonderful job! If you are looking for a new blog design, be sure to check out her stuff!

Yesterday I spent the day co-leading at a workshop on Unpacking the Common Core Reading Standards. We started the day having the participants talk about what they think is the purpose of teaching reading. It is always interesting to me how different responses to that question can be in a group of 40 people.

Next, we talked through the myths of an article called, The Common Core Ate my Baby and Other Urban Legends. If you haven't read it, it is enjoyable and helps to get some of the common concerns out in the open.

We spent the day talking about the key ten anchors. Those of you that are familiar with the standards know that they are the same for literature and informational texts. We used this book to help guide our thinking.
Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement

One thing that really helped us picture the way the anchor standards work was this graphic that my co-teacher Lindsey made:
It shows that Anchor 1 and Anchor 10 are the basis for the other anchors. They go hand-in-hand. As you work on the other Anchors (2-9 for informational, or 2-7, 9 for literature) you will notice that you are using Anchors 1 and 10. For example, if you have students reading to determine the theme of a story you should be asking them to read closely giving text evidence to support the theme they thought of.

Today we are teaching them about Reading Workshop. Most of them do not run a workshop so it will be a lot of the basics, what it is, how it is run, ways to assess etc.

Which makes me wonder, how do you teach reading? 
Workshop, Guided Reading, Whole-Class? 
Why do you teach that way, is it your choice or does your administrator decide the way you teach reading?


  1. We are pretty lucky at my school to kind of have free reign. We have a basal to guide us (some follow religiously). We do a little whole class lesson and guided reading. My teammate and I are going to try our version of Daily 5, so I hope it goes well! Your workshop sounds great!

  2. Love the new blog design, Bethany! This book has been on my "must read" pile for awhile now...I really need to just order it and read it...I'm guessing since you used it for your presentation that you'd recommend it? :) In our reading blocks, we are really focusing on guided reading and including as much "eyes on print" time as we can for all our students.
    Hope your workshop went well today!
    Learning to the Core

  3. Love the new blog design! Super cute! I also really like the visual of the anchor standards that your colleague made...super easy to understand.

    Mind Sparks

  4. I've taught all three models depending on the year. Currently, I usually start with a whole-class mini-lesson and then divide my students into centers for the remainder of the period. I don't use Daily 5 in middle school, but I guess you could say I use Daily 3! :) I always have a writing, reading, and word work center. Depending on the skill we learned that day, that center will become the "workshop" of the day, which is where I work with students in smaller groups or individually to confer with them about their progress. It's kinda a hodge-podge teaching model, but it worked well for me last year!

  5. Love the new blog design!! :)

  6. Bethany, I got so much out of the workshop! After grappling with the standards for two years, I feel that I am finally getting a handle on teaching reading with the CCSS. Thank you for a very worthwhile professional development experience!
    Trish Morris
    4th grade teacher
    Nativity of Our Lord School

    1. Thanks Trish, I'm so glad the workshop was helpful! Let me know if I can do anything to help you as you work though them this year!

  7. Love that article. I'm on the Common Core Leadership Team at my school and we shared that article with everyone this year.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  8. Your blog looks great. Megan did mine too. She is awesome!

    I teach reading with a workshop format. I am super lucky to have an administrator who supports this and a partner teacher who gets as excited about it as I do!


  9. I am reading that book with our literacy coach this year. Our admin encourages reading workshop and Daily 5. For writing we teach mini lessons via video and all the kids watch together. Then the teachers follow up in the classroom. That week we focus on the same mini lesson with all our writing samples. Since each teacher only plans a few video lessons they put a lot in to it which benefits the kids. The kids like seeing all of the teachers teach and everyone is held accountable, and teaches the curriculum.

  10. LOVE your new blog design! It looks great! I can't wait to read that article and the ladder visual is perfect! Thanks for sharing! How did you feel about your professional reading?
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  11. I like the ladder. We do workshop for reading, writing, and math. I like it. :-)