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Literacy and the Common Core: Reflecting on the Research

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
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 Literacy and the Common Core: Reflecting on the Research(11/27/2012) 
10:28
Bryan Toporek: 
Good morning, and welcome to today's free live chat, "Literacy and the Common Core: Reflecting on the Research," sponsored by Mimio. I've just opened the chat for questions, so please feel free to start submitting yours below.

We'll be back at 2 p.m. ET with Timothy Shanahan and Maureen McLaughlin -- we hope you can join us!
Tuesday November 27, 2012 10:28 Bryan Toporek
1:17
Sarah Sparks: 
Before the chat starts, help us get an idea of where we should focus our conversation by taking the following quick poll.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 1:17 Sarah Sparks
1:17
What area of the common core literacy standards most interests or confuses you?
Incorporating literacy instruction in multiple disciplines.
 ( 28% )
Promoting comprehension in multiple formats, including text, images, data and interactive media.
 ( 24% )
Measuring and using texts of different complexity.
 ( 16% )
Integrating reading and writing instruction.
 ( 4% )
Age-appropriate balance of word decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
 ( 21% )
Other
 ( 7% )

Tuesday November 27, 2012 1:17 
1:27
Bryan Toporek: 
Also, if you haven't seen our latest special report on literacy and the common-core standards, check it out while you're waiting for the chat to start: http://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/standards-report-literacy-2012/index.html
Tuesday November 27, 2012 1:27 Bryan Toporek
1:54
Bryan Toporek: 
Good afternoon, folks, and thanks again for joining us for today's free live chat, "Literacy and the Common Core: Reflecting on the Research," sponsored by Mimio

We'll be getting underway in just a few minutes. Until then, please keep submitting your questions below. Thanks! 
Tuesday November 27, 2012 1:54 Bryan Toporek
1:56
Bryan Toporek: 

For anyone on Twitter, we'll be livetweeting today's chat at @EducationWeek. Please use the hashtag #EWchat if you plan on livetweeting, too!

Tuesday November 27, 2012 1:56 Bryan Toporek
2:00
Bryan Toporek: 
I'm now handing control of the chat over to Sarah, our moderator for the day. Take it away, Sarah!
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:00 Bryan Toporek
2:00
Sarah Sparks: 
Thanks, Bryan. The Common Core State Standards in literacy suggest a lot of changes to the way reading and writing should be taught across grades and subjects. Are these changes based on established research, or out on a limb? Before we get started, I'll ask our panelists to introduce themselves.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:00 Sarah Sparks
2:00
Sarah Sparks: 
Maureen, why don't you go first?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:00 Sarah Sparks
2:03
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hello Everyone!

I am Maureen McLaughlin, President-Elect of IRA, professor of reading education at Eaast Stroudsburg Univeristy of PA, and author of a variety of publications about the CCSS..
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:03 Maureen McLaughlin
2:03
Bryan Toporek: 
Sorry to interrupt, but we're getting a lot of questions about this. It's a text-based chat with no audio. As long as you can see the text scrolling, everything is working.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:03 Bryan Toporek
2:03
Sarah Sparks: 
Welcome! And Timothy?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:03 Sarah Sparks
2:03
Timothy Shanahan: 
Hi everyone, I'm Tim Shanahan. I'm a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I worked on the writing team for the Common Core Standards. I'm happy to be here today. I hope I can type fast enough to make this work.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:03 Timothy Shanahan
2:04
Sarah Sparks: 
Thank you and welcome to our panelists and guests. Let’s start with an overview question for both our panelists.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:04 Sarah Sparks
2:04
[Comment From HeyHey: ] 
1. What does the research behind the standards tell us? 2. What are some of the new instructional strategies to help students to meet the standards
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:04 Hey
2:06
Timothy Shanahan: 
Those are two big questions. Remember these are learning standards... they are our aspirational goals for our children. The kind of research that supports them are not instructional studies on how to teach the standards, but instead are studies of what is taught in other countries, or what students need to know (in terms of basic skills) when they go into the workplace or into the college. There is very clear evidence that the levels we have been getting students to are not sufficient for their success and the common core is addressing that by setting goals that are sufficiently high.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:06 Timothy Shanahan
2:08
Sarah Sparks: 
Thanks. Maureen, anything to add?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:08 Sarah Sparks
2:08
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I agree, Tim.

Concerning the instructional strategies, I would note that many existing strategies can be adapted and that new ones are being created to accommodate the standards. An example of the latter would be ideas for teaching text staructures.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:08 Maureen McLaughlin
2:09
Timothy Shanahan: 
Hey is right, however, that while the standards do not specify how to teach for the most part, the shifting of goals does imply that certain things should be taught. For example, these standards make a big deal out of writing about the ideas in text. They don't say how you need to teach that, but it is pretty clear that teachers will be focusing on the teaching of summarizing and synthesizing, etc.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:09 Timothy Shanahan
2:09
Sarah Sparks: 
Thank you, Maureen. We'll talk more about text structure in a minute. Before our chat started, we asked guests to weigh in about the areas that are of most concern; you can see the answers in the poll below. Let’s take the first question about one of your top concerns, incorporating literacy in different disciplines. This question comes from Caleb:
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:09 Sarah Sparks
2:09
[Comment From CalebCaleb: ] 
As a theatre teacher, I try to use the arts to better engage with student literacy and the Common Core. But I find that if I focus too much on the ELA shifts, then my English Language Learner students get left behind. What literacy research might help to adress these issues?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:09 Caleb
2:11
Timothy Shanahan: 
I noticed that we are getting several questions on working with English learners including this one from Caleb. Most ELL teachers are thrilled that these standards are putting so much emphasis on meaning--a very important focus with second language learners. I would encourage folks to go to this website: http://ell.stanford.edu/ for information on bringing the standards to English Learners (this is federally supported and is probably the best info out there at this time).
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:11 Timothy Shanahan
2:11
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hello Caleb!

I would suggest that you continue integrating the Arts. We know that using multiple representations of thinking are helpful to English learners.

I believe, as Tim stated, that that these are Standards. They are not a replacement for existing currucula.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:11 Maureen McLaughlin
2:12
Sarah Sparks: 
Thanks! A number of our guests are concerned about how the original “reading fundamentals” will fit into the new standards. Here’s one from Kandy.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:12 Sarah Sparks
2:12
[Comment From KandyKandy: ] 
The 2000 National Reading Panel Report suggested the "big five" for reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. I am not seeing all of these research-based areas explicitly referred to in the Common Core Reading Standards. Are we to assume that those are known areas of reading instruction that should be taught to mastery?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:12 Kandy
2:14
Timothy Shanahan: 
Kandy, what a great question. I was a member of the National Reading Panel and I assure you that the big five are all included in the common core. Look in the section on Reading Foundations and you will see fluency, phonological awareness, and phonics. Look in the Language section and you will see vocabulary (and this comes up in Reading and Writing as well). And the entire Reading section is on comprehension.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:14 Timothy Shanahan
2:14
[Comment From Ed SteinbergEd Steinberg: ] 
Students with learning/ reading disabilities typically benefit from direct and explicit instruction focused on the five components of reading instruction. How will Common Core standards impact, if at all, instructional approaches for these students?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:14 Ed Steinberg
2:14
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hello Kandy,

You will notice that in the Reading Foundational Skills section of the CCSS that phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency are included. Vocabulary is included in the Language Standards, as well as others. Comprehension is addressed in a variet of ways.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:14 Maureen McLaughlin
2:15
Sarah Sparks: 
Maureen, what about students with disabilities?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:15 Sarah Sparks
2:15
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hello Ed,

Again, the Standards should be infused - -not replace existing, effective teaching methods.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:15 Maureen McLaughlin
2:15
Timothy Shanahan: 
Ed-- The standards do not require any particular approach to teaching, but you are right, the research supports the idea of explicit skills teaching, so I would definitely do what Maureen says, stay to effective teaching methods.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:15 Timothy Shanahan
2:16
[Comment From BrianBrian: ] 
How do we avoid the mistakes of the past...going into "Readicide" An Authentic implementation of standards rather than teaching to a Smarter Balanced or PARCC test?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:16 Brian
2:18
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Thank you , Brian!

I would suggest that we do neither. We shouldn't be teaching to testa, but rather integrating the Standards in our curricula.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:18 Maureen McLaughlin
2:18
Sarah Sparks: 
And here's a related question from John:
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:18 Sarah Sparks
2:18
[Comment From JohnJohn: ] 
How will the research of the Reading First program be used to inform decision making for developing these best practices for teachers? For example the research revealed that second graders in RF schools actually spent less time reading than peers in schools without RF funding, for the sake of what was described as "high quality" instruction. It was unfortunate we found out six years and $6 billion later.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:18 John
2:18
Timothy Shanahan: 
Brian-- "We have met the enemy and he is ourselves." We need to focus our teaching on what we want our students to be able to do, not on a particular test or test format. I'm very excited that teachers don't know much, yet, about PARRC and Smarter Balanced, so they are focusing on teaching the students. How do we keep from teaching to the tests? Just say no. Don't do it.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:18 Timothy Shanahan
2:19
Maureen McLaughlin: 
That's right, Tim!

The problem is that so many districts are already teaching to the existing state assessments.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:19 Maureen McLaughlin
2:19
Timothy Shanahan: 
Brian--

I think you'll find that common core stresses reading to such an extent that reading will likely be a bigger part of kids' days.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:19 Timothy Shanahan
2:19
Sarah Sparks: 
Timothy, can you elaborate a bit on how you see the common core tests shaping up? As per this question:
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:19 Sarah Sparks
2:19
[Comment From Carla MancusoCarla Mancuso: ] 
What testing tools can be utilized for "benchmarking" student reading readiness in the digital age?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:19 Carla Mancuso
2:20
Timothy Shanahan: 
Maureen-- We are supposedly teaching to the tests, and we are doing it badly. Much of what teachers are doing in this regard is trying to have kids practice answering test-lke questions, which isn't working.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:20 Timothy Shanahan
2:20
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I agree! I am just noting practices will need to change.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:20 Maureen McLaughlin
2:20
[Comment From Dr. EDr. E: ] 
In a high school classroom where the emphasis is on reading to learn, can you discuss the importance of initially providing reading material that matches the reading level of the student?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:20 Dr. E
2:21
Timothy Shanahan: 
Carla--

The best measures of what we want kids to do is to see if they can do those things. If you want students to critically examine text then have them try it and judge their performance.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:21 Timothy Shanahan
2:21
Sarah Sparks: 
How solid is the research on using more complex texts with struggling readers?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:21 Sarah Sparks
2:22
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I would add that the use of multiple levels of text, including complex textm is still appropriate in the disciplines.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:22 Maureen McLaughlin
2:22
[Comment From MikiMiki: ] 
Much of the conversations I've heard around the CC informational writing standard seems to take a narrow view of informational text because of the standard specifically mentioning the introduction, topic development, and conclusion. Can you please speak to this. I am wanting to broaden the range of informational text beyond the "five paragraph essay" type format.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:22 Miki
2:22
Timothy Shanahan: 
Dr. E-- This will be one of the most controversial areas of the common core, but it is probably not that important to have students matched to text in those content classes. Students are going to need scaffolds from teachers and they are going to read texts more than once, but I think you'll find that the levels of the texts don't really make much difference if those actions are taking place around the texts.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:22 Timothy Shanahan
2:23
Sarah Sparks: 
Maureen, what are you hearing from your members about implementation of different text complexity levels?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:23 Sarah Sparks
2:24
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hello Miki!

And you should broaden writing beyond the 5-paragraph essay. Again, you are free to move beyond the requirements of the standards. Remember that the CC issued the standards. The teaching is in the hands of the educators.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:24 Maureen McLaughlin
2:24
Timothy Shanahan: 
I think the writing standards are different from what they replace in terms of what students are asked to write about, but the structural properties of writing (e.g., organization, focus, clarity, etc.) are pretty much what they have been. Teachers could focus heavily on the five-paragraph essay, but it certainly is not required by the common core.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:24 Timothy Shanahan
2:25
Sarah Sparks: 
Does this look different at different age groups? Here's a question from Becky:
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:25 Sarah Sparks
2:25
[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] 
Early educators are now being ask to "build down" existing Common Core standards to pre-K and other early childhood programs. What thoughts or recommendations do you have regarding this idea and relationship to emergent or early literacy development?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:25 Becky
2:26
Which one of the following has become one of the most common new reading policies in states implementing the common core?
A) Mandatory tutoring for any student who shows lower-than-average growth in comprehension skills.
 ( 6% )
B) Schools must ensure students read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, up to and including retaining students.
 ( 88% )
C) All teachers must pass a “common core test” before implementing the new standards.
 ( 4% )
D) High school English classes must now include a unit on blogging and online research.
 ( 2% )

Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:26 
2:27
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hello Becky!

I would begin by noting that I was surprised that CC did not include pre-K standards, but, that said, states have been invited to add 15% of content to the Standards. For example, New York added its exsiting Pre-K standards to its version of the CCSS.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:27 Maureen McLaughlin
2:27
Sarah Sparks: 
Quick answers, everyone. The trivia answer : B. According to the Education Commission of the States, 32 states and the District of Columbia have passed statutes intended to improve reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade. For more on state policies, check out http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/14/12cc-policy.h32.html
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:27 Sarah Sparks
2:27
[Comment From KiraKira: ] 
Tim - Can you speak more about the research or lack of research around reading levels?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:27 Kira
2:27
Timothy Shanahan: 
Becky--in terms of an early childhood curriculum, I would encourage you to pay attention to the whole document--build students oral language skills as well as those reading fundamentals noted earlier (phonological awareness, phonics). Most preschoolers won't be "reading", but they definitely can listen to complex text and engage in all kinds of activities based on this (acting,discussing, drawing, etc.)
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:27 Timothy Shanahan
2:28
[Comment From MollyMolly: ] 
Additional question for Tim: Is there any evidence for or against the state policies about retaining students who are not yet reading at grade level by the end of grade 3?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:28 Molly
2:30
Timothy Shanahan: 
Kira-- We (including me) in the reading field have been telling teachers for many years that optimum learning would take place if students were placed at their instructional level. Those claims were made without any direct research support. Over the past decade, we have started to see studies that are suggesting either experimentally or through correlational data that students often do better in harder text. The key is not the text, but making sure that there is sufficient support for the student to make sense of the complex text.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:30 Timothy Shanahan
2:30
Sarah Sparks: 
Maureen, can you take this one?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:30 Sarah Sparks
2:30
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Where do you see the research on collaborative discussion going in the next 5 years?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:30 Guest
2:31
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I expect it will expand, particularly with the emphasis placed on it within th eCC.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:31 Maureen McLaughlin
2:31
Timothy Shanahan: 
Molly--

This retention question is not a common core issue, but I'm happy to take it anyway. There is an extensive body of research (several research summaries out there) showing that retaining kids does not improve achievement. I retained students when I was a teacher, but given how substantial the research case is against that, I wouldn't do that anymore.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:31 Timothy Shanahan
2:32
Sarah Sparks: 
And another question on text complexity -- a big issue, it seems.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:32 Sarah Sparks
2:32
[Comment From MaryMary: ] 
The topic of text complexity and its appropriate uses is of interest to many teachers in the field. Anything about that in reference to the research would be helpful.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:32 Mary
2:32
Sarah Sparks: 
And on a related note:
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:32 Sarah Sparks
2:33
[Comment From KateKate: ] 
Where can teachers get information (beyond that lesson on Lincoln's 2nd inaugural) that will help them learn how to teach close reading? When will a real variety of materials be available? (Teaching and instructional design are two different disciplines; we cannot implement CCSS if we merely rely on teachers to write curriculum materials in their spare time.)
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:33 Kate
2:33
Timothy Shanahan: 
Mary-- I'm not in a position to put specific research cites into my answer, but would encourage you to go to my blog (www,shanahanonliteracy.com). There are pieces on text complexity that have such citations and explanations.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:33 Timothy Shanahan
2:33
Sarah Sparks: 
That's www.shanahanonliteracy.com.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:33 Sarah Sparks
2:34
Sarah Sparks: 
There's been a lot of interest so far in the early grades, but the CCSS does put more emphasis on older readers, too, doesn't it?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:34 Sarah Sparks
2:34
Sarah Sparks: 
Here's one question in that vein, from Ellen:
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:34 Sarah Sparks
2:35
[Comment From EllenEllen: ] 
I am designing an interactive STEM project between UTSA and low-resource middle and high schools in San Antonio's West side where literacy is very low. What issues in literacy will I face as I ask for teacher volunteers from the Science and English departments of these schools to participate?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:35 Ellen
2:35
Timothy Shanahan: 
Kate-- I know of the examples of close reading that you referred to (that one and one on Birmingham jail). For a very different version, this one a lesson plan you can go to my blog (www.shanahanonliteracy.com) and you can see a third grade literature example. I would also encourage you to seek Doug Fisher et als., book on reading complex text (International Reading Assocation).
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:35 Timothy Shanahan
2:35
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Mary, text complexity is a complicated topic! Doug Fisher and colleagues have a book about it (IRA), but the main focus seems to be not on why complex text, but how. The need for more challenging text is supported by research, but using close reading in conjunction with it is a challenge for me. I prefer to interpret the CC phrase "reading closely," which I believe addresses deep comprehension, not lliteracy analysis.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:35 Maureen McLaughlin
2:36
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Oops! Literary analysis!
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:36 Maureen McLaughlin
2:37
[Comment From Pam GarciaPam Garcia: ] 
Do you see a shift of emphasis from many current practices of guided reading groups, literature circles, etc.... with the new standards?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:37 Pam Garcia
2:37
Timothy Shanahan: 
Ellen-

The common core really does push reading up through the grades and getting folks on board in a high school can be a real challenge because often teachers feel like they are being asked to do someone else's job. If you carefully examine the common core, you'll see that the reading that is pushed at these levels really requires specialized reading skills (reading science as science, rather than just applying general reading skills to science). I think getting teachers to examine that aspect of the standards will help you to get cooperation.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:37 Timothy Shanahan
2:38
Sarah Sparks: 
That brings up another point of concern: the re-balancing of narrative and informational text. Why has that become such an issue?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:38 Sarah Sparks
2:38
[Comment From DanaDana: ] 
The CCSS has such a huge emphasis on informational text. Besides the text book, what are some good resources?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:38 Dana
2:38
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I don't see a shift away from current practices, but I do see additions being implemented. For example, there has not been -- and there should have been -- emphases on such topics as asking and answering questions and knowing and using text structures.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:38 Maureen McLaughlin
2:39
[Comment From Barbara CambridgeBarbara Cambridge: ] 
Narrative writing is as important as argumentative writing, so it will be important that, as argumentative writing is stressed in implementation of the Common Core State Standards, narrative's place in science and history content areas is made clear. How can implementation strategies be developed to emphasize narrative as well as argumentative writing?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:39 Barbara Cambridge
2:39
Timothy Shanahan: 
Pam-- Guided reading groups (or any kind of small discussion group) can certainly be used with common core, but I suspect that the nature of such groups will change. For example, instead of having students read a relatively easy book once, they will likely read a harder book multiple times. Instead of the teacher spending as much time on background and stage setting, I think there'll be more close reading and analysis of text and how it was written.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:39 Timothy Shanahan
2:40
[Comment From SarahSarah: ] 
How have you seen teachers explore, integrate, and apply research as they adapt their instruction to reflect the CCSS?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:40 Sarah
2:41
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Dana, there are myriad texts to use in the disciplines, high quality websites, such as Disvovery, National Geographic, and NOAA, newspaper articles, current magazines about a range of topics from teh Civil War to wether other planets exist, quality, related literature, and more!
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:41 Maureen McLaughlin
2:41
Timothy Shanahan: 
Barbara--I agree that the common core stresses both narrative and argument. The reason there is so much attention to the argument side is because this is a relatively new development (the new stuff always gets the big attention). We need to teach students both to retell events, and to critically analyze ideas and to take positions and make arguments and counterarguments.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:41 Timothy Shanahan
2:41
[Comment From Ellen CEllen C: ] 
For ELLs, close reading involves vocabulary development. Would you recommend direct-teaching vocabulary, using vocabulary notebooks, and other strategies in use now?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:41 Ellen C
2:42
Timothy Shanahan: 
Dana--
Informational text is a very big deal in the common core. Textbooks, as you mention, is one good source. So are magazine resources like Time for Kids. Increasingly, book publishers are publishing treatments of social and scientific issues and content (many more informational texts being published for kids these days). Talk to your librarians or your publishing reps, they'll be able to show you this growing body of resources.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:42 Timothy Shanahan
2:43
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Teachers have difficulty scaffolding instruction. this skills will help with all students from those struggling to those advanced in content knowledge. What supports are available to help teachers understand how to scaffold instruction using complex text?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:43 Linda
2:43
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hello Ellen!

I would suggest using direct instruction of vocabulary, as well as context clues. For the former, I owuld also suggest incorporating graphic organizers such as the Concept of Definition Map and the Semantic Question Map.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:43 Maureen McLaughlin
2:44
[Comment From AmyAmy: ] 
Can you explain exactly what is meant by scaffolding support? I know in general terms, but what does this look like in a classroom-- are there websites we can go to to get specific examples?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:44 Amy
2:44
Timothy Shanahan: 
Sarah- With regard to the balancing of texts. This is important because American kids don't read informational text as well as literary texts and because there has been such an imbalance between literature and other kinds of materials in schools. This is not really an issue that common core created, but it is one that the reading community has been struggling with for decades.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:44 Timothy Shanahan
2:44
Sarah Sparks: 
And, similarly...
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:44 Sarah Sparks
2:44
[Comment From DeniseDenise: ] 
What should a "close read" look like in the primary grades?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:44 Denise
2:46
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Hi Amy!

Scaffolding is now frequently referred to as the "gradual release of support," and I think that defines it very well. When scaffolding, we begin with the teacher taking the lead. We explain and demononstrate. We begn involving th estudents in the demonstration. Next we guide pairs of small groups of students to try. Then we invite students to practice on their own. Discussion permaeates all stages.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:46 Maureen McLaughlin
2:46
Sarah Sparks: 
Several readers are asking about pre- and in-service professional development for teachers. Given that states are just now implementing these CCSS changes, have you seen any teachers colleges changing their own preparation? What does the research say about how best to help teachers?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:46 Sarah Sparks
2:47
Timothy Shanahan: 
Amy-- You ask about the scaffolding of reading complex text. Sometimes this can be as simple as having students read particular sections of the text and then asking them questions about the text. In other cases, there might be specific things that you expect to trip kids up (vocabulary they might not know, sentence structure that is complicated or passive, cohesive links that aren't clear, etc.). A teacher can preteach some of the vocabulary, the teacher might ask questions about a really complex sentence and then (if the kids didn't make sense of it) showing them how to break the sentence down to interpret it. etc.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:47 Timothy Shanahan
2:48
Maureen McLaughlin: 
In our teacher preparation program, we have instituted CCSS workshops to parallel PA's integration of the Common Core. We have also integrated the standards in all methods classes.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:48 Maureen McLaughlin
2:49
Timothy Shanahan: 
Sarah-- There is a lot of professional development going on right now. Much of it just to bring teachers up to speed on the changes (more information than anything). Solid professional development is usually more job embedded than that. Teachers try things out and come back and try to make sense of it. Perhaps they get critiqued, perhaps they critique each other. Scaffolding complex text, teaching the literacy of the disciplines, close reading instruction, etc. are all likely to need a more thorough treatment that allows teachers to figure out how to do these things with strong support and guidance.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:49 Timothy Shanahan
2:50
Sarah Sparks: 
Several guests are also asking whether there is specific research on how the standards will work for students with disabilities. This doesn't seem to be spoken of directly much in the standards; can you speak a bit to how you think the standards will affect these students?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:50 Sarah Sparks
2:50
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I should also add that Kentucky was the first to implement the CCSS, and it involved university professors in the process. Visting the Kentucky DE website will be helpful.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:50 Maureen McLaughlin
2:52
Timothy Shanahan: 
Denise-- A close read puts most or all of the attention on figuring out the text with information in the text (less focus on background information or information that the teacher tells you about this story or article). Close reading will include questions that guide kids to think about the ideas in the text (so-called text dependent questions that can only be answered with info drawn from the selection). Close reading usually requires that you do more than just read what the text says, but that you try to understand how the text works (why the author used a particular word or structure). Close reading usually requires re-reading.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:52 Timothy Shanahan
2:53
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I would add to Tim's response that many are now uing annotating or mark the text as a technique used when enagaging in close reading. Students make connnections, question the author's purpose, focus on vocabulary, etc.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:53 Maureen McLaughlin
2:53
Timothy Shanahan: 
Sarah-- There is not very much information about working with the standards with poor learners. I was able earlier to recommend resources on second language students because the federal government had invested $15 million in developing such resources. I don't know of anything comparable for reading disabled students, etc. Perhaps Maureen does?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:53 Timothy Shanahan
2:53
Sarah Sparks: 
Maureen, is that specific to students with disabilities or all students?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:53 Sarah Sparks
2:54
Maureen McLaughlin: 
All students.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:54 Maureen McLaughlin
2:54
[Comment From CalebCaleb: ] 
A comment for Amy on scaffolding -- Doug Lemov's Teach Like A Champion has a whole chapter on those kinds of structures, and like the Common Core, it is all research-driven. I find it to be a tremendous resource.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:54 Caleb
2:54
[Comment From Cindy CarsonCindy Carson: ] 
I teach Reading in the Content Area to undergraduate college students. What do you see as the most important thing(s) for them to understand as pre-professionals? They seem to understand conceptually that reading is part of their job, but they do not see it well practiced in the field.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:54 Cindy Carson
2:55
Maureen McLaughlin: 
No, Tim, I am not aware of such funds being spent beyond the English learners.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:55 Maureen McLaughlin
2:56
Timothy Shanahan: 
Cindy-- Those preservice content teachers do not want to be reading teachers. They want to be math teachers, science teachers, history teachers, etc. I would stress with them the idea that they are being asked not to teach reading per se, but to teach students to engage in the uses of reading and writing that are characteristic of their field of interest. Teaching kids to read like a scientist or a historian is a job for a science teacher or a history teacher.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:56 Timothy Shanahan
2:57
[Comment From Kathy MoutonKathy Mouton: ] 
Again, this relates to states with heavy teacher evaluation programs. The fear factor often paralyzes teachers from using good teaching practices if they don't fit the rubric. Any suggestions.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:57 Kathy Mouton
2:57
Maureen McLaughlin: 
I do think this raises an interesting issue. The CC has published a file addressing the characteristics and needs of ELs and students with disabilities. It also noted that both types of students deserve the best, but no funding for the latter group has been provided.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:57 Maureen McLaughlin
2:59
[Comment From KendraKendra: ] 
Tim, I know you have done research with disciplinary literacy. How do you see that fitting in with the common core?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:59 Kendra
2:59
Timothy Shanahan: 
Kathy-- If I were teaching you to climb a mountain I would try to focus your attention on the work to be done and, for heaven's sake don't look down. I think teachers who work hard at trying to look good or obey aren't going to get up the mountain. They are going to be observed and they are going to be evaluated, and yet, they will do best if they focus on their business (easier said than done).
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:59 Timothy Shanahan
2:59
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Cindy, I would add that not every teacher is a readiing teacher, but eductors in the disciplines should view themselves as teaching their students to think through text. How they do that differs by discipline. See Shanahan and Shanahan's article in the Harvard Review.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 2:59 Maureen McLaughlin
3:00
Sarah Sparks: 
I think that's all the questions we have time for, but we will forward unanswered questions to our panelists. Any final thoughts?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:00 Sarah Sparks
3:00
Timothy Shanahan: 
Kendra-- My wife, Cyndie, and I wrote the first draft of the literacy standards for science and history and these standards are very closely allied with our work and the work of many others on disciplinary literacy. So there is strong alignment with the research findings in this area.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:00 Timothy Shanahan
3:01
Timothy Shanahan: 
Thanks everybody (I am getting cramps in my fingers). I hope you got some useful information. Keep plugging at this, common core can be a big support for kids.
Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:01 Timothy Shanahan
3:01
Sarah Sparks: 
Thank you, Timothy. Maureen, any final thoughts?
Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:01 Sarah Sparks
3:01
Maureen McLaughlin: 
Rubrics are associated with summative assessment. The Common Core, I believe, may be the first movement to focus on formative assessment. IRA has a position statement on this that wil be available in ealry 2013. See reading,org
Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:01 Maureen McLaughlin
3:02
Sarah Sparks: 
That's reading.org. Thank you, everyone!
Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:02 Sarah Sparks
3:02
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks again to all for joining us today for our free live chat, "Literacy and the Common Core: Reflecting on the Research," sponsored by Mimio. A special thanks to our two excellent guests, Tim and Maureen, and our great moderator Sarah. 

We'll be posting a transcript of today's chat on this same page within the hour. Thanks again for joining us, and have a great rest of the week.  
Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:02 Bryan Toporek
3:02
 

 
 
 

Literacy and the Common Core: Reflecting on the Research

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, 2 to 3 p.m. ET

The Common Core State Standards crystallize new ways of looking at how students read in the digital age. The standards draw on research about the different ways students read narrative and informational text, different types of writing in different disciplines, and the importance of working with texts of varied complexity and difficulty.

However, the common core deliberately leaves out specific instructional strategies to help students meet those standards, and researchers say they will have to hustle to develop best practices for teachers. Our guests—one a researcher on the committee that helped develop the literacy standards, the other leading a group to help teachers implement them—talked about the research behind the standards, and how to make sense of the changing literacy landscape.

Guests:
Timothy Shanahan, director of the Center for Literacy and chairman of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Maureen McLaughlin, president-elect of the International Reading Association and chairperson of the Reading Department at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Sarah D. Sparks, staff writer, Education Week, moderated this chat.

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