As schools shift to the Common Core, many English language arts teachers are left with questions about how their classrooms should look. Is fiction out? Can I still do strategy instruction? Does close reading mean deliberating on each word? Finally, there’s a resource with all of these answers and more. In Focus on Text, bestselling author Amy Benjamin provides practical guidance on how to realistically implement the Common Core reading standards. Part I of the book examines misconceptions about the standards and what’s really required. It also takes you inside classrooms to see how teachers are modifying their instruction. Part II tackles each reading standard for grades 4-8. You’ll learn how to teach the standards with literary and informational texts and how to use them as a springboard for instruction in writing, language, speaking, and listening.
• Defining close reading and how is it different from word-by-word reading. When and how do students need to go over a text meticulously?
• How to use scaffolding through background knowledge to help students with challenging texts
• The best instructional practices to help students increase their range of reading and level of text complexity
• Ideas for teaching key concepts such as text structure, point of view, theme, stated and implied meanings, and the progression of ideas and characters
• Tweaking your assessments to better align with the Common Core--how to create reading check quizzes, unit tests, and cold reading tests to see if students are growing as readers.
• And much, much more!
Throughout the book, you’ll find teaching tips and practical resources to use with students, such as question starters and sentence stems. You’ll also get a wide variety of classroom examples at different grade levels and with different texts. Whether you’re experienced with the Common Core or just getting started, this book will give you exciting new ideas for making them work in your own classroom so your students grow as readers!