We have fielded a number of questions about how teachers of history, social studies, science, and technology should incorporate the Common Core State Standards for Literacy into their classes.
This is a free resource that attempts to do the following:
- dispel myths about how the Common Core will impact content area classes
- Outline the underlying principals for addressing both content and literacy standards
- Layout (in a general way) our vision of a strategic and sustained literacy plan for a term or year in a content area class
As content area teachers of history, science, and technology, we are all facing the challenges of how to help students achieve the literacy competencies contained in the Common Core State Standards. For many of us, it seems like an overwhelming and impossible task. Perhaps it seems overwhelming because we are trying to imagine how to help students achieve these new and challenging goals by using the familiar teaching techniques and strategies that have been successful in the past. It would be like trying to imagine how to drill a hole in a board when the only tools we are familiar and comfortable with are a screwdriver, pliers, and a hammer. It stands to reason that, if the goals for students are new and challenging, the instruction to help them achieve those goals also will look different. We will have to add some new tools to our toolbox and learn how to use them. That certainly does not mean that the screwdriver, pliers, and hammer are no longer useful and should be thrown away. But it does mean that, while we may retain and continue to utilize certain parts of our current instructional approaches and strategies, we will need to learn and use strategies that are new or unfamiliar to us.
A strategic year-long (or term-long) plan for a sustained literacy approach in a content area classroom does not mean that literacy supersedes the content knowledge that is being taught and learned. Conversely, content knowledge can no longer be the sole primary driver of our plans, and literacy cannot be relegated to just being sprinkled in here and there. Instead, we must integrate a sustained year-long literacy instructional plan with our content knowledge instruction in all our chapter and/or unit plans. Download this free resource to learn how the Common Core Standards themselves suggest an order and rationale for an achievable and sensible strategic literacy plan for your content area classroom.