1. Join CoreStand co-founder Rich Clark as he provides an overview of the Common Core Literacy Exemplar Texts. Rich discusses the Exemplar Text framework and provides guidance for teachers as they consider core texts they currently use in their courses. Thanks for watching!


    Corestand video tutorial, Exemplar
    Texts: Challenges and

    Not a Required Reading List. The Core Standards do not specify required reading list. However, students are expected to have experience reading certain types of texts such as Classical Myth or America’s Foundational Documents.

    To guide educators toward choosing texts with the appropriate level of sophistication and complexity for each grade, a list of Exemplar Texts was created.

    Ranging from poetry, to read-aloud works, to informational texts, the list is quite comprehensive and interdisciplinary in nature. A complete list categorized by grade and type of text is available on our "Standards by Grade" page and is also available in PDF form for printing purposes.

    What’s the message? The integration of literacy skills is not the sole job of the English teacher but should be tackled by Science and History teachers as well. In fact, it’s likely that many History and Social Science teachers are using some of the informational texts already, such as Lincoln’s "Gettysburg Address" and Henry’s "Speech to the Second Virginia Convention."

    Exemplar Texts create numerous opportunities for classroom teachers. As you read through the list for your chosen grade, consider which of these texts you already use and which might fold in nicely with your current curriculum. Consider, too, if some of the texts could provide opportunities for cross-disciplinary coordination.

    For example, could you work with a colleague to create a unit of study combining informational texts such as FDR’s "State of the Union Address" and Steinbeck’s novel Grapes of Wrath?

    If you’re interested in finding instructional materials for the exemplar texts, simply type in the name of the text under "KeyWords." Or, better yet, create one yourself! Educators across the country will be looking for rich, aligned resources connected to these texts. Do you have a passion for one of the novels on the list or a great way to help ELL students connect to a text with considerable complexity? Start writing!


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  2. The Common Core Standards embody an integrated model of literacy. Drew Cramer, an educator certified in both History and English, outlines what this means for both E/LA teachers, as well as for teachers of history, social studies, science, and technology.

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  3. Get a full grasp of the Common Core State Standards Initiative by watching Common Core expert Laura Beltchenko as she engages and informs.

    In this episode, Laura shares a strategy to engage students of all reading skill levels at the start of any unit of study. The CCSS require students to master close and careful reading of the text, and Laura shows how students can be taught to "read" non-print texts, such as paintings, just as closely and thoroughly as print texts.

    We hope you enjoy Laura's energy and innovative spirit.

    The CoreStand Team

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  4. CoreStand co-founder Kate Glass examines ways in which teachers can learn to create and leverage text dependent question stems to spur student engagement, classroom discussion, and textual analysis.

    See the script of the tutorial below:

    If we want our students to make use of the text when formulating both written and oral responses, we need to make sure our questions are prompting them to do so. Text dependent questions ask students to consult the text to decipher the deeper meaning of an author’s words. For example, let’s say your students are reading a passage from Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of a Slave.

    Consider the difference between questions like this:

    Have you ever experienced prejudice?

    And this:

    “Where does Frederick Douglass’s tone change in the second paragraph?”

    Note that the first question doesn’t require students to draw from the text to support their answers, but instead from their own personal experience. However, the second question directs students to consult the text for evidence.

    You might be wondering: can we ever use questions like the first one in a discussion? Sure—but try building to the more open-ended questions. Once students truly understand an author’s words, no doubt their more personal responses will be even richer. Better yet, have students pull out a provocative quote from the text and then pen their personal response to it.

    Additionally, text dependent questions also probe at the writing , or rhetorical strategies of the author, and how these strategies ultimately serve the author’s purpose. Text dependent questions also grapple with the author’s language and structural choices.

    Here are some stems that to help spur text-dependent discussions in your classroom.

    Where does the author provide evidence of . . .

    Provide a spot in the text where the author contrasts . . .

    A example of a cause and effect relationship in the piece is . . .

    The author addresses the opposing view when he/she says . . .

    The diction changes in _______________ section, which underscores . . .

    A shift of tone occurs in the text when . . .

    Toward the end of the piece, the author underscores . . .

    How does the use of the word ________________ contribute to . . .

    The opening of the piece helps the reader see . . .

    The sentence __________ draws our attention to the author’s view of . . .

    If you’re interested in learning more, check out CoreStand’s VLC: Close reading strategies, for an ongoing discussion about engaging readers with text-dependent questions.


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