Mastering the Curriculum in Reading and Math


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Mastering the Curriculum in Reading and Math

  1. 1. It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. – John Wooden Looking Ahead: Making Changes to Master the Eligible Content (which is MOST of our Language Arts and Math curricula)
  2. 2. West Allegheny Language Arts & Math Curriculum <ul><li>Eligible Content </li></ul>Other Some of that “other” curriculum is taught after the PSSA tests because it does not have an effect on student performance i.e . long division (4 th grade). Other parts of the curriculum aid in student success i.e. mastering math facts, applying before/during/after reading strategies, building fluency and need to be modeled and mastered though they aren’t listed in the eligible content.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Understand the eligible content like the back of your hand. </li></ul><ul><li>Post it where it is visible to you at all times. </li></ul><ul><li>a. Math </li></ul><ul><li>i. If you do not have a practical system of viewing the EC on a regular basis that works for you, consider arranging the colored assessment anchor cards on a poster board and hand it on the wall near your desk. </li></ul><ul><li>ii. Sequencing chart: This will help bridge the eligible content to the math textbook but only if the sequencing chart is correct . Analyze it and correct it at spring grade level meetings . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Understand the eligible content like the back of your hand. <ul><ul><li>b. Reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The eligible content is organized into several categories: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding fiction appropriate to grade level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding non-fiction appropriate to grade level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding components within and between texts in fiction and non-fiction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding literary devices in fiction and non-fiction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding concepts and organization of non-fiction text. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same info. organized into BOTH FICTION AND NON-FICTION </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> NON-FICTION ONLY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ii. 3rd 4th 5th </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Understand the eligible content like the back of your hand. <ul><li>2. Verbs, Verbs, Verbs, : EC verbs are important because they reveal what the target is: </li></ul><ul><li>    </li></ul><ul><li>  Example 1: Use or develop regions and/or sets (e.g., circle graph, base ten blocks) to model fractions and mixed numbers through hundredths (may include reducing the fractions). </li></ul><ul><li>What might this look like in practice?? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Example 2 : Identify, explain, and/or describe examples of text that support the author’s intended purpose. (Identify suggests it will be from choices; explain and describe are higher level verbs and also open this up to being an open-ended....explain/describe in words.) </li></ul><ul><li>What might a student have to produce to demonstrate this? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Understand the eligible content like the back of your hand. <ul><li>3. Get down to the specifics. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Example 1: 5th grade affixes: Affixes will be limited to prefixes: pre-, dis-, mis-, non-, inter-, extra-, post-, super-, sub-; suffixes: -less, -ble, -ly, -or, -ness, -ment, -er, -ship, -tion, -en. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Example 2: Identify and/or describe properties of all types of quadrilaterals (parallelogram, rectangle, rhombus, square, trapezoid ). (It says quadrilaterals, not triangles nor all polygons.) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Example 3: Identify, explain, interpret, and/or describe examples of similes, personification, and alliteration in text. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Summary: Understanding the eligible content forwards and backwards means you can plan for more effective teaching, practicing, and assessing to help students master the majority of the curriculum.
  8. 8. Adjust Your Questioning Techniques. <ul><li>1. In class discussion   </li></ul><ul><li>Question: What are typical questions you ask when discussing fiction? Non-fiction? </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to the cardstock cards in 3 rd /5 th grades. </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to master list of questions sorted by EC. </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to released items where we sorted out the questions by EC. </li></ul><ul><li>Shall we make a poster of this information and discuss cards for the students (for reading)? </li></ul>
  9. 10. Adjust Your Questioning Techniques. <ul><li>2. Written assignments – Make the most of them. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>When selecting and creating assignments ask yourself ‘why’. Is it in line with the eligible content (which is most of our curriculum) or is it just part of your tradition? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Example 1: Identify, explain, interpret, compare, describe, and/or analyze character actions, motives, dialogue, emotions/feelings, traits, and relationships among characters within fictional or literary nonfictional text. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss: </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of assignment can you create where students can APPLY the above EC with a text the student is reading independently? </li></ul>
  10. 13. Adjust Your Questioning Techniques. <ul><li>3. Assessments </li></ul><ul><li>  If you’ve analyzed your HARCOURT selection tests and/or your math textbook tests, chances are they would not be in full alignment with the eligible content. </li></ul><ul><li>At the VERY least: Replace the short answer questions with an open-ended question (where they will be required to explain, describe, compare/contrast, etc. more). </li></ul><ul><li>Add a poem or short passage that relates somehow to the anthology selection and create additional questions that Harcourt lacks or a specific skill for that week. (Then that way, you are getting a feel for how they can apply reading skills COLD.) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 14. <ul><li>S ummary: </li></ul><ul><li>We need to be aware of the type of questions we are asking in discussions, on written assignments, and on assessments. </li></ul>
  12. 15. Written Expression = Open-Ended Questions <ul><li>Mastering Open-Ended Responses - an essential part of our reading, writing, and math curricula </li></ul><ul><li>If the EC says to ‘explain’ and/or ‘describe’, how do you practice that? How do your students show you they can do that effectively?   </li></ul><ul><li>They can orally tell us during class discussions or conferences. But that won’t help come PSSA time….  </li></ul><ul><li>They need to demonstrate it to us in writing. (OK, you can argue this is a ‘test specific thing’. But if you look at our writing curriculum….it’s in there! </li></ul>
  13. 16. Written Expression = Open-Ended Questions <ul><li>1.  Master the paragraph structure first. </li></ul><ul><li>Model, Practice, Practice, Apply, Apply, Apply, Apply, Apply, context of reading, math, science, social studies - early and often. </li></ul>Here’s a suggestion……
  14. 17. Written Expression = Open-Ended Questions <ul><li>2. Teach the paragraph structures early so they can be applied throughout the year: (essentially 4 different structures) </li></ul><ul><li>-main idea/detail </li></ul><ul><li>-description -sequence </li></ul><ul><li>-summary </li></ul><ul><li>(Summary - takes lots and lots of time to master summarizing because of the synthesis.) </li></ul><ul><li>-compare/contrast -cause/effect </li></ul><ul><li>  -problem/solution </li></ul>Very similar
  15. 22. Written Expression = Open-Ended Questions <ul><li>3. Pick a graphic organizer and stick with it. </li></ul><ul><li>Then the resource teachers have common language in which to remediate. </li></ul><ul><li>The next grade level has a point of reference in which to build. </li></ul><ul><li>The kids become confident. </li></ul><ul><li>***See the Reading Summary Resource for graphic organizers. Evaluate: Can my students recreate this as needed? Remember: You will not always be there to provide them with an organizer.*** </li></ul>
  16. 23. The advantage to this is kids can easily draw this for each and every paragraph type.
  17. 24. Written Expression = Open-Ended Questions <ul><li>Make open-ended questions a part of your regular assignments across the curriculum now that the students can write more fluently: </li></ul><ul><li>Compare/contrast the main character in your independent reading book to the one in our story. Describe two similarities and two differences. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how to regroup when you subtract… </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the causes of the Civil War. Use three examples from your SS text. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how to determine the hardness of minerals…. </li></ul>
  18. 25. <ul><li>Summary: </li></ul><ul><li>Start the year off with teaching the paragraph structures as part of your English/Writing. </li></ul><ul><li> Model Practice Apply </li></ul><ul><li>Use the same graphic organizer every time so they “own it” and become fluent writers. Eventually they won’t need it. </li></ul><ul><li>Create HW assignments across the curriculum using the verbs: explain, describe, summarize, compare/contrast, give examples of…early and often. </li></ul>
  19. 26. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>1. Appropriate materials </li></ul><ul><li>Locating good review materials that focus in on the eligible content is tricky. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the PSSA materials are based on ASSESSMENT ANCHORS which are a tad broader in nature. There’s no time to go beyond the EC. This is especially true in math. </li></ul><ul><li>If you use PSSA materials, don’t ASSUME they just focus on EC – most likely NOT. At least put an X over the ones the children aren’t responsible for to avoid mixed messages to students and parents. </li></ul>
  20. 27. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>2. Samples of Effective Teacher Created EC Spiral Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>a. Calendar Math: </li></ul><ul><li>Developed by some Donaldson teachers based on the EC. </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts are based on the date, special times, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>This takes MINIMAL effort on the teacher’s part and is copied for the WHOLE month with optional weekly quiz. </li></ul>
  21. 29. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>2. Samples of Effective Teacher Created EC Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>a. Calendar Math Samples </li></ul><ul><li>i. Third grade </li></ul>
  22. 30. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>2. Samples of Effective Teacher Created EC Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>b. Spelling Math: Words change on a weekly basis so math practice will change on a weekly basis. </li></ul><ul><li>i. Third grade </li></ul>
  23. 31. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>3. Samples of Effective Teacher Created EC Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>d. Scholastic News/Time for Kids </li></ul><ul><li>They sure do pile up! How about creating a template that can be used with (almost) any issue of these magazines to address some EC? </li></ul><ul><li>At a center </li></ul><ul><li>In partner pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Homework </li></ul>
  24. 32. Use this for a few weeks. Change it for the next several weeks.
  25. 33. Tweak the original one and use this for the next few weeks. Talk with your colleagues about the success/failures of the template. Make it better.
  26. 34. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>3. Samples of Effective Teacher Created EC Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>e. Morning Math </li></ul><ul><li>Example of how Fifth Grade is constantly reviewing Math EC. </li></ul>
  27. 36. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>4. Effective Vocabulary Chart - Promotes word work. </li></ul><ul><li>Words change on a nearly weekly basis; so will experience with words. </li></ul><ul><li>EC: affixes, synonyms, antonyms, </li></ul>
  28. 38. Spiral Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>5. Progressive Bulletin Board </li></ul><ul><li>Think of EC that is true of any book….author’s purpose, text structure (can get tricky with fiction), point of view (5 th only), __________ </li></ul><ul><li>Create a bulletin board where you can progressively add the book titles and this information to. Why? So we don’t wait until the last minute to teach and master this! </li></ul>
  29. 39. Think: How can students use this same concept with their own books? Electronically? Book Title Text Structure (non-fiction) Author’s Purpose Point of View (5 th ) Summary of
  30. 40. Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>Now that you are constantly reviewing EC a lot of mastery is bound to happen! But what about those kids that STILL haven’t mastered some EC? </li></ul><ul><li>6. Organized arsenal of tools ready for additional practice – about 6 weeks before the test??? </li></ul><ul><li>    a. Math: Old workbook pages/resources copied and filed by EC ready to send home as needed. </li></ul><ul><li>    b. Reading: Reading Skills Rocket; Test Tutor; worksheets; HARCOURT practice book page </li></ul>
  31. 41. Review + Formative Assessment <ul><li>7. Have a system in place for meeting individual needs: </li></ul><ul><li>a. A standard note to staple to a worksheet or direct to a website. </li></ul><ul><li>b. A folder that goes home with work (WIT folder) </li></ul>
  32. 43. Other Considerations <ul><li>Rediscovering Harcourt Making Connections Poems/Passages before & after main selections are excellent for comparing/contrasting. </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizing your Social Studies Text:   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are your study guides formatted?  To aid in them memorizing facts or to aid them in making meaning of the text?   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the ‘crack the code’ of the text structure, they will be able to find answers a lot easier.....they are becoming proficient in reading that text.   </li></ul></ul>
  33. 44. Reading: A Much Tougher Nut to Crack <ul><li>Do you love to read a variety of literature for instruction? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you find yourself in and out of Harcourt throughout the year? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you lacking structure in your reading instruction? </li></ul><ul><li>Click here for a sample structure for 5 TH GRADE. </li></ul>
  34. 45. It Ain’t Pretty <ul><li>Using so many teacher made materials and skipping lessons in the math book lacks clarity in the eyes of parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate this to them up front to be proactive rather than reactive. </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate the mindset that you need to ‘get grades’. There’s other ways to ‘get grades’. </li></ul><ul><li>If you know something you are assigning isn’t all that valuable, just stop doing it. </li></ul>
  35. 46. Summary: <ul><li>Knowing the EC inside and out, having a plan to constantly review and reinforce it from early on and having a system to help remediate students will give you the best chances at mastering the EC (which is, by the way, the majority of the Reading and Math curricula!) </li></ul>
  36. 47. Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. – John Wooden