Lately I’ve devoted a lot of blog space to what I’ll refer to as “stupid Common Core tricks” that usually result from being overly attentive to the standards, and not giving enough attention to context. Burkins and Yaris, one of my favorite blogs on the actual nitty-gritty of implementing Common Core, has a really great piece on what you need to do to create a powerful Common Core lesson. Here is an excerpt:
1. Begin with the text.
Great text is central to any great literacy instruction; this is especially true with Common Core aligned instruction. The idea behind the Common Core standards is that students become increasingly more proficient in reading grade level complex text, which means that we need to be very intentional about asking students to interact with texts that are worthy of close reading. As you select texts for students, remember that Lexile level is but one measure of text complexity. You are not just looking for “hard” texts with million dollar words, but also for texts that give students something to think about and afford them opportunities to learn new ideas and content.
The humanity of their approach stands in stark contrast to the techno-scientific approach (more like pseudo-scientific) of lexile-based reading being pushed by others. These are guidelines that work, whatever your standards.