Facilitating Choice Within Curriculum ConstraintsJillian Heise, 7th & 8th grade Language Arts Teacher, Indian Community School of Milwaukee Melinda Rench, Middle School Literacy Coach, Northbrook Junior High, Northbrook, Illinois http://slideshare.net/mindi_r
Our Understandings More reading = improved skills, increased vocabulary, & higher test scores(Allington, 2001; Krashen 2001 and Stanovich, 2000 as cited in Allington, 2002; Nippold et al., 2005)• Move from teacher-chosen 4 books/year, to students actively reading more at own level. Less "stuﬀ " & more real reading every day. (Allington, 2001; Ivey & Broaddus, 2001; Miller, 2009; Worthy, Turner, & Moorman, 1998)• As students increase grade level, reading attitude decreases. Need engagement & interest to increase motivation.(Turner, 1995 as cited in Allington, 2002; McKenna, Kear, and Ellsworth, 1995; Pitcher et al., 2007; Guthrie et al., 2006)• Allow choice = meet these requirements(Allington, 2005)
Every Child, Every Day (Allington and Gabriel, 2012) Six Elements for Every Child• Books: Choice, accuracy, understanding• Talk: with peers about reading• Listens: fluent adult read aloud• Writes: personally meaningful topics
What do the CommonCore State Standards What to read and who decides:• Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective.• Given space limitations, the illustrative texts listed are meant only to show individual titles that are representative of a range of topics and genres. At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, texts need to be selected around topics or themes that generate knowledge and allow students to study those topics or themes in depth. (CCSS ELA page 58)• The standards appropriately defer the many remaining decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, and schools.
What do the CommonCore State Standards A focus on results rather than means (CCSS ELA page 4):By emphasizing required achievements, the Standards leave room for teachers, curriculumdevelopers, and states to determine how those goals should be reached and what additionaltopics should be addressed. Thus, the Standards do not mandate such things as a particularwriting process or the full range of metacognitive strategies that students may need to monitorand direct their thinking and learning. Teachers are thus free to provide students withwhatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify asmost helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Standards.Distribution of types of reading (CCSS ELA page 5): 8th grade 45% Literary & 55% Informational 12th grade 30% Literary & 70% InformationalThe percentages on the table reflect the sum of student reading, not just reading in ELAsettings. Teachers of senior English classes, for example, are not required to devote 70 percentof reading to informational texts. Rather, 70 percent of student reading across the grade shouldbe informational.
What do the CommonCore State Standards Text complexity and the growth of comprehension (CCSS ELA page 8):The Reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students readand the skill with which they read. Whatever they are reading, students must also show asteadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text, includingmaking an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts,considering a wider range of textual evidence, and becoming more sensitive toinconsistencies, ambiguities, and poor reasoning in texts.Note on range and content of student reading (CCSS ELA page 35):To become college and career ready, students must grapple with works of exceptional craftand thought whose range extends across genres, cultures, and centuries. Such works offerprofound insights into the human condition and serve as models for students’ own thinking andwriting. Along with high-quality contemporary works, these texts should be chosen fromamong seminal U.S. documents, the classics of American literature, and the timeless dramas ofShakespeare. Through wide and deep reading of literature and literary nonfiction of steadilyincreasing sophistication, students gain a reservoir of literary and cultural knowledge, references,and images; the ability to evaluate intricate arguments; and the capacity to surmount thechallenges posed by complex texts.
Moving away from the whole class novel Using individual choice & text setsin place of the whole class novel
Choices...Choicestheme, genre or topic form Text sets = Guided Choices Individual choice = students choose based on interest, ability or reccommendations.
What to do with the books• READ Get rid of the "stuff" and let them read!• Confer with Teacher• Respond in Writing• Book Talk• Share Favorites• Discussions with Classmates ◦ Students still talk about what theyve read ■ Same book groups
What am I teaching?I teach reading; I dont teach booksWhat is the curriculum? the book or the skillWhat is my goal? think like I do or think for self answering questions or critical thinkinggiving same answer as all or giving support for own answer
What the students sayabout having a choice"There was never a time this year that I read a book Iwasnt interested in. It inspires me to continue reading thissummer and throughout my time at the high school.""This year I learned so much about myself when I readbooks. It has made me a lot more interested in bookgenres that I never even knew existed. My perspective haschanged of books this year. I enjoy them so much morethan I used to.""I hope that most of the books that I read here will be in thehigh school because some of the books I read in here areseries books. And I cant get enough of them.""Finding books that I liked resulted in reading more athome & in school, therefore improving my reading habits."
What about the tangled ordormant readers?• Ask: “What was the last thing you read that you really liked?”• Use that as your starting point to ﬁnd “read alikes” that will get the reader going.• It’s not easy, but you can’t give up!
What about reading level?• Reading levels are a guide to appropriate text, and have their uses when grouping students for small group instruction.• Students are able to read more difﬁcult and complex text when they are motivated or interested in a topic. • For example... Gaming magazines!
Okay, you’ve sold me... where do I start?• Build your classroom library. • Use the Scholastic Book Club to get free/cheap books. Also, check out their warehouse sale. • Go to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store to ﬁnd books. • Look for teacher discounts at bookstores• Read. A lot. Share your reading life with your students.
What books should I get for my library?Middle School • 13 Reasons Why (Asher) • The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Angleberger) • Perfect Chemistry (Elkeles) • The Unwanteds (McMann) • Divergent (Roth) • Runner (Deuker) • Clarity (Harrington) • Percy Jackson & the Olympians (Riordan) • Legend (Lu) • The Hunger Games (Collins) • The Rangers Apprentice series (Flanagan) • I Am Number Four (Lore) • The Alex Rider series (Horowitz) • The One and Only Ivan (Applegate) • Gordon Korman books • Wonder (Palacio) • The Fourth Stall (Rylander) • I Heart You, You Haunt Me (Schroeder) • Sidekicks (Santat) • Speak (Halse Anderson) • Zita the Space Girl (Hatke) • What My Mother Doesnt Know (Sones) • Amulet (5 book series) (Kibuishi) • Smile and Drama (Telgemeier) • The 39 Clues series • Mike Lupica sports books • Kate Messner books • Tommy Joe Jacksons Guide to Not Reading (Greenwald)•Out of My Mind (Draper)
High School • 13 Reasons Why (Asher) • Before I Fall & Delirium (Oliver) • Perfect Chemistry (Elkeles) • Jumping Off Swings (Knowles) • Divergent (Roth) • House of Night series (Cast & Cast) • The Mockingbirds (Whitney) • Tell Me a Secret (Cupula) • Clarity (Harrington) • Refresh Refresh (Percy) • Legend (Lu) • Anna Dressed in Blood (Blake) • Crank (and other Ellen Hopkins books) • Catching Jordan (Kenneally) • Living Dead Girl (Scott) • Unwind (Shusterman) • Twisted (Halse Anderson) • Hold Still (LaCour) • Hush, Hush (Fitzpatrick) • Variant (Wells) • Page by Paige (Gulledge) • Blue is for Nightmares series (Stolarz) • Right Behind You (Giles) • Gym Candy (Deuker) • Purple Heart (McCormick) • Crackback (Coy) • Swim the Fly (Calame) • Breathing Underwater (Flinn) • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Hodkin) • Hex Hall series (Hawkins) • THE DUFF (Keplinger) • Cracked Up to Be (Summers) • The Warrior Heir trilogy (Williams Chima) • Sweethearts & How to Save a Life (Zarr) • Stupid Fast (Herbach) • Twenty Boy Summer (Ockler) • Wake trilogy (McMann) • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Chbosky)•Paranoid Park (Nelson)
How do I start?• Find time in your day to let students read books of their choice. • The only way to get better at reading (and consequently writing) is by reading!• Seek out professional books and journals. Use the research that supports student-selected reading when you talk to your administration and colleagues.
Remember... you’re not inthis alone.• Find a whole community of like-minded educators on Twitter! (We’re there as @mindi_r and @heisereads• Connect on other social networks such as the English Companion Ning or Goodreads.• Contact us: Jillian: firstname.lastname@example.org Mindi: email@example.com