professornana (professornana) wrote,

Turn Turn Turn

"Close reading, complex text, writing from sources, and the common core are all quite new. Let's not understand them too quickly. It is a time for humility." Timothy Shanahan

To everything there is a season is the opening of one of my favorite songs and favorite scriptures. There is a time to dance, a time to mourn, a time to reap, a time to sow. However, when it comes to CCSS, there has been little time, almost no time for teacher comment, for revision (urgently needed), for professional development by folks who actually have classroom experience. In CCSS, there is a time for close reading (all the time apparently), a time for nonfiction (and one expert calls it nonliterary text for heaven's sake; other terms include narrative nonfiction, creative nonfiction, informational texts. These terms are used interchangeably and without much understanding of their differences). There is a time for challenging (frustrational) reading, but not for easy reading (just look at the ATOS and LEXILE bandwidths in the CCSS document).

So, when I see the quote from Dr. Shanahan, my first reaction is to say "YES!" It would be nice to see some stepping back, some clarification, some further revision, some professional development, some alignment. Unfortunately, it is naive to call for humility now. Now the pressure is on to address CCSS and test the living daylights out of kids according to these new standards.

My heart breaks each and every time I read another article, posting, etc. which, instead of clarifying confusing use of terms and approaches, further muddies the waters. I come back again to my post about HOPE (VISION) from a couple of days ago. I HOPE that states and districts and schools will step back a little and carefully talk to one another about terms and goals and strategies and the like. Collaborative talk is, I think, what needs to happen (it needed to have already happened, but...). If we can, as a learning community, have a shared VISION (HOPE) of how to approach CCSS, perhaps we can avoid some of the pitfalls or at least claw our way out of them before we hit rock bottom dragging the kids down with us.

Now, off to GUYS LISTEN with Jon Scieszka at TLA13.
Tags: ccss

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