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Research and the Common Core: Can the Romance Survive


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Title: Research and the Common Core: Can the Romance Survive

Research and the Common Core Can the Romance
  • P. David Pearson
  • UC Berkeley

Goals for Today
  • Review what is in and what underlies the CCSS
    when it comes to research foundations, especially
    for comprehension
  • Examine some emerging evidence about what
    comprehension in the Common Core might look like
  • Publishers Criteria
  • Brand new publication by the Aspen Institute
  • Close Reading in the Common Core
  • Discuss some defensible positions to take on
    curriculum and pedagogy, particularly for reading
    comprehension instruction.

Parallels with Sharon
  • Strong Content Knowledge? Both cause and
    consequence of comprehension.
  • Diamond-Gold and werewolf examples Close
    reading in the service of inference drawing
  • Close reading ? literal comprehension
  • Just plain readingBecoming a nation of readers
  • Every day, read some easy text and some
    challenging text
  • Consolidate your skills, strategies, and
  • Stretch yourself with a little help from your

Parallels with Camille
  • Live in San Francisco (not Chicago) for a better
    experience with Sports Words
  • One activity maps onto many standards
  • One standard can map onto many activities
  • Also true for assessment, especially performance
  • Close reading in the service of identifying
    character traits.
  • Close reading ? literal comprehension

Sharon is rightVowels are important
  • Please excuse Johnny from school last Friday.
  • He had loose vowels.
  • Signed, Mrs. Jackson

  • Elementary?
  • Secondary?
  • College?
  • Whats the difference

Elementary Teachers Love
  • Their kids

Secondary Teachers Love
  • Their subjects

College Teachers Love
  • Themselves

What sold me on the standards
What they said about reading
  • Students who meet the Standards readily undertake
    the close, attentive, reading that is at the
    heart of understanding and enjoying complex works
    of literature. They habitually perform the
    critical reading necessary to pick carefully
    through the staggering amount of information
    available today in print and digitally. They
    actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful
    engagement with high-quality literary and
    informational texts that builds knowledge,
    enlarges experience, and broadens world views.
    They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning
    and use of evidence essential to both private
    deliberation and responsible citizenship in a
    democratic republic. (CCSSO/NGA, 2010, p. 3)

Why I want these standards in place--grandchildren
What they said about teacher choice
  • By emphasizing required achievements, the
    Standards leave room for teachers, curriculum
    developers, and states to determine how those
    goals should be reached and what additional
    topics should be addressed. Thus, the Standards
    do not mandate such things as a particular
    writing process or the full range of
    metacognitive strategies that students may need
    to monitor and direct their thinking and
    learning. Teachers are thus free to provide
    students with whatever tools and knowledge their
    professional judgment and experience identify as
    most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the
    Standards. (CCSSO/NGA, 2010, p. 4).

Research Assumptions of the CCSS
  • We know how reading develops across levels of
  • Literacy is best developed and enacted in the
    service acquiring disciplinary expertise.
  • Standards establish ends or goals teachers and
    schools control the means
  • Students read better and learn more when they
    experience adequate challenge in the texts they
  • Comprehension involves building models of what a
    text says, what it means, and how it can be used.

Claims without evidence what I wont talk about
  • Assessment The stuff coming out of SBAC and
    PARCC is pretty encouraging
  • Text complexity
  • Read Freddys stuff (go to to see
    her text complexity modules)
  • With greater challenge comes greater
    responsibility for scaffolding access (beyond
    doing the reading for the students)
  • Will the three sides of the triangle be equitably
  • Progressions Will stand in need of revision
    based upon experience over the next two years
  • Prerogative Will we really deliver? Or will we
    take away with curriculum the degrees of freedom
    we offer with the standards?
  • Disciplinary Perspective Here to stay for
    assessment and maybe instruction.

ComprehensionHow we got to where we are
  • The historical pathway to our current operative
  • The one underlying the Common Core

Reading Comprehension
Most models of reading have tried to explain how
reader factors, text factors and context factors
interact when readers make meaning.
Bottom up and New Criticism Text-centric
Reading Comprehension
The bottom up cognitive models of the 60s were
very text centric, as was the new criticism
model of literature from the 40s and 50s (I.A.
Pedagogy for Bottom up and New Criticism
  • Since the meaning is in the text, we need to go
    dig it out
  • Leads to Questions that
  • Interrogate the facts of the text
  • Get to the right interpretation
  • Textual readings--exegisis

Schema and Reader Response Reader-centric
Reading Comprehension
The schema based cognitive models of the 70s and
the reader response models (Rosenblatt) of the
80s focused more on reader factors--knowledge or
interpretation mattered most
Pedagogy for Reader-centric
  • Since the meaning is largely in the reader, we
    need to go dig it out
  • Spend a lot of time on
  • Building background knowledge
  • Inferences needed to build a coherent model of
  • Readers impressions, expressions, unbridled
  • Readerly readings

A few clarifications of schema theory
  • Variation along a continuum of top-down vs
  • Kohlers (1967) Reading is only incidentially
  • Anderson (1977) specific words/ideas
    instantiate general schemata the text is the
    trigger to our knowledge stores
  • Not completely top down process

Critical literacy models Context-centric
Reading Comprehension
The sociocultural and critical literacy models
of the 90s focused on the central role of context
(purpose, situation, discourse community)
Pedagogy for Critical literacy models
  • Since the meaning is largely in the context, we
    need to go dig it out
  • Questions that get at the social, political and
    economic underbelly of the text
  • Whose interests are served by this text?
  • What is the author trying to get us to believe?
  • What features of the text contribute to the
    interpretation that money is evil?

CI Balance Reader and Text little c for
Reading Comprehension
In Kintschs model, Reader and Text factors are
balanced, and context plays a background
role--in purpose and motivation.
Pedagogical implications for CI
  • Since the meaning is in this reader text
    interface, we need to go dig it out
  • Query the accuracy of the text base.
  • What is going on in this part here where it says
  • What does it mean when it says
  • I was confused by this part
  • Ascertain the situation model.
  • So what is going on here?
  • What do you know that we didnt know before?

Kintchian Model
3 Knowledge Base
1 Text Base
2 Situation Model
Out in the world
Inside the head
The vision of comprehension in the CCSS maps on
to important theoretical and curricular research
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress
  • Four Resources Model of Freebody and Luke
  • Kintschs Construction-Integration Model

  • Key Ideas and Details
  • 1. Read closely to determine what the text says
    explicitly and to make logical inferences from
    it cite specific textual evidence when writing
    or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the
  • 2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text
    and analyze their development summarize the key
    supporting details and ideas.
  • 3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and
    ideas develop and interact over the course of a
  • Craft and Structure
  • 4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used
    in a text, including determining technical,
    connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze
    how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • 5. Analyze the structure of texts, including how
    specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger
    portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter,
    scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the
  • 6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the
    content and style of a text.
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • 7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in
    diverse media and formats, including visually and
    quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • 8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and
    specific claims in a text, including the validity
    of the reasoning as well as the relevance and
    sufficiency of the evidence.
  • 9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar
    themes or topics in order to build knowledge or
    to compare the approaches the authors take.

Common Core
  • Standards 1-3 Key ideas and details
  • Standards 4-6 Craft and structure
  • Standards 7-9 Integration of knowledge and ideas

  • Locate and Recall
  • Interpret and Integrate
  • Critique and Evaluate

  • Key ideas and details
  • Craft and structure
  • Integration of knowledge and ideas
  • Locate and Recall
  • Interpret and Integrate
  • Critique and Evaluate

Kintschs Construction-Integration Model
  • As you read, for each unit, you
  • Construct a Textbase
  • Integrate the Text and Knowledge Base to create a
    Situation Model
  • Incorporate information from the Situation Model
    back into your knowledge base
  • Use your knowledge to interact with the world.
  • Start all over again with the next bit of reading
  • C-I-C-I, anon anon

Freebody and Lukes 4 Resources
  • Reader as Decoder Get the message
  • Reader as Meaning Maker Integrate with
  • Reader as Text Analyst Whats the real message
    and how is it crafted
  • Reader as Text Critic Whats the subtext? The
    hidden agenda

Consistent with Cognitive Views of Reading
  • Kintschs Construction-Integration Model
  • Build a text base
  • Construct a situation model
  • Put the knowledge gained to work by applying it
    to novel situations.

Key Ideas and Details
What the text says
Locate and Recall
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
What the text means
Integrate and Interpret
Meaning Maker
Craft and Structure
What the text does
Critique and Evaluate
Pearson Kintsch 4 Resources NAEP CCSS
Says Text Base Decoder Locate and Recall Key Ideas and Details
Means Situation Model Meaning Maker Interpret and Integrate Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Does Put Knowledge to Work Text Analyst Critique and Evaluate Craft and Structure
Kintchian Model
3 Knowledge Base
Reader as Text User/Analyst/Critic
1 Text Base
2 Situation Model
Reader as Decoder
Reader as Meaning Maker
Out in the world
Inside the head
New and different
  • Most important A new model of the comprehension
  • Text (what the author left on the page)
  • Text base (the version a reader creates on a
    veridical reading)
  • Knowledge (what the reader brings from prior
  • Model of meaning for a text
  • Dubbed the Situation Model (mental model)
  • A model that accounts for all the facts and
    resources available in the current situation

Whats inside the Knowledge box?
  • World knowledge (everyday stuff, including social
    and cultural norms)
  • Topical knowledge (dogs and canines)
  • Disciplinary knowledge (how history or astronomy
  • Linguistic knowledge
  • Phonology
  • Lexical and morphological
  • Syntax
  • Genre
  • Pragmatics (how language works in the world)
    Discourse, register, academic language, intention
  • Orthography (how print relates to speech)

How does a reader build a text base?
Excerpt from Chapter 8 of Hatchet
  • Some of the quills were driven in deeper than
    others and they tore when they came out. He
    breathed deeply twice, let half of the breath
    out, and went back to work. Jerk, pause, jerk
    and three more times before he lay back in the
    darkness, done. The pain filled his leg now, and
    with it came new waves of self-pity. Sitting
    alone in the dark, his leg aching, some
    mosquitoes finding him again, he started crying.
    It was all too much, just too much, and he
    couldnt take it. Not the way it was.

  • I cant take it this way, alone with no fire and
    in the dark, and next time it might be something
    worse, maybe a bear, and it wouldnt be just
    quills in the leg, it would be worse. I cant do
    this, he thought, again and again. I cant. Brian
    pulled himself up until he was sitting upright
    back in the corner of the cave. He put his head
    down on his arms across his knees, with stiffness
    taking his left leg, and cried until he was cried

Building a Text Base
  • Some of the quills were driven in (into what?
    His leg) deeper than others (other what? Quills)
    and they (the quills that were driven in deeper)
    tore when they (the deeper-in quills) came out
    (of his leg). He (Brian) breathed deeply twice,
    let half the breath out, and went back to work
    (work on what? Dont know yet. Suspense. Expect
    to find out in next sentence). Jerk, pause, jerk
    (the work is jerking quills out) and three more
    times (jerking quills out) he (Brian) lay back in
    the darkness, done (all the quills jerked out).

  • The pain filled his (Brians) leg now, and with
    it (the pain) came new waves (what were the old
    waves?) of self-pity. (Brian) Sitting alone in
    the dark, his (Brians) leg aching, some
    mosquitoes finding him (Brian) again, he (Brian)
    started crying. It (the whole situation Brian was
    in) was all too much, just too much, and he
    (Brian) couldnt take it (the situation). Not the
    way it (the situation) was. (What way was the
    situation? Dont know yet. Suspense. Expect to
    find out in the next paragraph.)

  • I (Brian) cant take it (the situation) this way
    (what way? Still dont know. Suspense), alone
    with no fire and in the dark (now we know this
    way means alone with no fire and in the dark),
    and next time it (the next situation) might be
    something worse (than this situation), maybe a
    bear, and it (the problem that will define the
    situation) wouldnt be just quills in the leg, it
    (the problem) would be worse (than quills in the
    leg). I (Brian) cant do this (deal with the
    problem situation), he (Brian) thought, again and
    again. I (Brian) cant do this (deal with the
    problem situation). Brian pulled himself (Brian)
    up until he (Brian) was sitting upright back in
    the corner of the cave. He (Brian) put his
    (Brians) head down on his (Brians) arms across
    his (Brians) knees, with stiffness taking his
    (Brians) left leg, and cried until he (Brian)
    was cried out.

Some key moves in building a text base
  • Processing words and attaching meaning to them
  • Using syntax to solidify key relations among
  • Microstructurephrase by phrase, sentence by
    sentence, connections
  • MacrostructureGenre and purpose
  • Resolving reference--things that stand for other
    things (mainly pronouns and nouns)
  • Using logical connectives (before, after,
    because, so, then, when, while, but) to figure
    out the relations among ideas
  • Inferring omitted connectives (e.g., figuring out
    that A is the cause of B) based on PK about the
  • Posing questions for short term resolution
  • Identifying ambiguities for later resolution
    (wait and see)

So how about building a situation model?
  • The knowledge-comprehension relationship
  • We use our knowledge to build a situation model
    for a text
  • The information in the situation model is now
    available to become part of our long term memory
    and store of knowledge
  • To assist in processing the next bit.

Situation Model for Hatchet Passage
  • Integrate
  • Text base
  • Knowledge Base
  • We have the text base
  • What might be in the knowledge for a 10-year-old?

The blurb from the jacket of Hatchet gives a
preview of the book
  • Thirteen-year old Brian Robeson is on his way to
    visit his father when the single engine plane in
    which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds
    himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with
    nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker
    and the hatchet his mother has given him as a
    present and the dreadful secret that has been
    tearing him apart since his parents divorce. But
    now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity or
    despair it will take all his know-how and
    determination, and more courage than he knew he
    possessed, to survive.

What a reader knows by Chapter 8
  • Brian is stranded in the Canadian wilderness
    with a hatchet and his wits as his only tools for
    survival. He already has overcome several
    obstacles, including surviving the plane crash,
    building a small shelter and finding food.
  • In chapter eight, Brian awakens in the night to
    realize that there is an animal in his shelter.
    He throws his hatchet at the animal but misses.
    The hatchet makes sparks when it hits the wall of
    the cave. Brian then feels a pain in his leg. He
    sees the creature scuttle out of his shelter.
    Brian figures out that the animal was a porcupine
    because there are quills in his leg.

Some prior knowledge that a 5th grader might bring
  • What sparks look like
  • How it feels to be scared by an animal
  • How big porcupines are
  • To survive you have to have food, water and
  • To survive you have to be strong

An actual retelling of key parts of chapter 8
from Sam, a 5th grade reader
  • The same text for which we just examined the text

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Why is this model of iteratively constructing and
integrating so important?
  • The mental (situation) model is central to
    knowledge construction
  • Building a mental model transforms new ideas and
    information into a form that can be added to
    memory, where they endure as knowledge that can
    be retrieved in the future. Unless readers build
    a mental model, the information they derive from
    the text is not likely to connect to their stored
    knowledge. The new information will be forgotten
    or lost.
  • Key role of knowledge
  • Knowledge involved in even the most literal of
  • Knowledge begets comprehension begets knowledge
  • Knowledge is available immediately dynamic

How can we help students build solid text bases
and rich and accurate situation models?
  • Do a good job of teaching subject matter in
    social studies, science, mathematics, and
  • Dont let reading remain our curricular bully!

How can we help students build rich and accurate
mental models?
  • Assist students in selecting appropriate
    knowledge frameworks to guide their construction
  • Do everything possible to build as many
    connections as possible with other texts,
    experiences, knowledge domains
  • Do lots of what does this remind you of?
  • What is this like? How is it different from what
    its like?

How can we help students build rich and accurate
mental models?
  • A different model of guided reading
  • Stop every once in a while and give the kids a
    chance to construct/revise their current mental
  • Research study
  • interview protocol proved to be very

Begin with very general probes before getting
  • So whats going on in this part?
  • What do we know now that we didnt know before?
  • Whats new?
  • What was the author trying to get us to
    understand here?
  • Well!say something!

Invite and support clarifications of tricky parts
  • Anyone want to share something that was tricky or
  • How about this part herewhere it says?
  • I got confused by What do you think about this
    part? What was the author trying to get us to

Follow up general probes and invitations for
clarification with specific probes.
  • So which of these things happened first? Why is
    that important?
  • In this paragraph, they use a lot of pronouns.
    Lets check out our understanding of who or what
    they refer to..
  • Typical discussion questions are OK too--just to
    make sure are the tricky parts get clarified.
  • View questions as a scaffold for understanding
    the big picture not as a quiz.

The general model for guided reading
  • A set for stock-taking
  • A set for using facts (details) in the service of
    concepts (main ideas)
  • More specific probes to scaffold the construction
    of the text base and situation model
  • Results in a pretty good summary of the
    selection--story, article, etc.

Developing Text Bases and Mental Models
  • Ensure that students have a full tool box (set
    of strategies) to haul out when things dont just
    happen automaticallyfor
  • Connecting the known to the new
  • Connecting texts and parts of texts
  • Working toward coherence among potentially
    unconnected ideas
  • Recognizing and resolving ambiguities.

  • For a model of meaning to survive, it must
  • Be consistent with the current text base (square
    with the facts of the case thus far revealed)
  • Be consistent with the current knowledge base
    (square with what a reader knows to be true
    about the world)

The Vulnerabilities
  • Clumsiness with motivation
  • A nod to interest and an assumption that readers
    are motivated
  • Gloss over critical reading
  • Assumes a liberal humanist critical thinking
    perspective, not a post-modern critical
    theoretical stance

Kintchian Model
3 Knowledge Base
Reader as Text User/Analyst/Critic
1 Text Base
2 Situation Model
Reader as Decoder
Reader as Meaning Maker
Out in the world
Inside the head
These consistencies provide
  • Credibility
  • Stretch
  • Research patina

And now for something completely different
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Text dependency of questions
  • A significant percentage of tasks and questions
    are text dependentRigorous text-dependent
    questions require students to demonstrate that
    they not only can follow the details of what is
    explicitly stated but also are able to make valid
    claims that square with all the evidence in the
    text. Text-dependent questions do not require
    information or evidence from outside the text or
    texts they establish what follows and what does
    not follow from the text itself. (page 6)

Where does this concern come from?
  • One too many 45 minute prior knowledge
    activations followed by 3 minutes of eyes on
  • One too many 30 minute picture walks
  • One too many seductive experience swapping
  • Kids seduce the teacher into believing (s)he is a
    great discussion leader

Stay close to the text
  • Staying close to the text. Materials make the
    text the focus of instruction by avoiding
    features that distract from the text. Teachers
    guides or students editions of curriculum
    materials should highlight the reading
    selectionsGiven the focus of the Common Core
    State Standards, publishers should be extremely
    sparing in offering activities that are not text

My concern
  • We will operationally define text dependent as
    literal, factual questions
  • Lots of other questions are also text-reliant
  • Compare
  • What were two reasons pioneers moved west?
  • What does the author believe about the causes of
    westward expansion in the United States?
  • How valid is the claim that author X writes from
    an ideology of manifest destiny?

A short history lesson
  • Pearson and Johnson, 1978, Teaching Reading
  • Question-answer relationships
  • Text explicit (both the Q and A come from the
    text and the relationship between Q and A is
    explicitly signalled).
  • Text implicit (both the Q and A come from the
    text but the relationship has to be inferred)
  • Script implicit (Q from text, A from prior
    knowledge script, relationship has to be
  • TEXT is implicated in all three QARs.

Text before all else
The Common Core State Standards call for
students to demonstrate a careful understanding
of what they read before engaging their opinions,
appraisals, or interpretations. Aligned materials
should therefore require students to demonstrate
that they have followed the details and logic of
an authors argument before they are asked to
evaluate the thesis or compare the thesis to
others. (page 9)
My concern
  • We will view literal comprehension as a
    prerequisite to inferential or critical
  • Compare
  • Read X, Read Y, then ask for a comparison on
    criterion Z
  • Conduct a comparative reading of X and Y on how
    they stand on Z.
  • Sometimes the comparison or critique question
    better rationalizes the close reading

Close reading
  • The Common Core State Standards place a high
    priority on the close, sustained reading of
    complex text, beginning with Reading Standard 1.
    Such reading emphasizes the particular over the
    general and strives to focus on what lies within
    the four corners of the text.

Aspen Institute Report
  • Close Reading of text involves an investigation
    of a short piece of text, with multiple readings
    done over multiple instructional lessons.
  • Through text-based questions and discussion,
    students are guided to deeply analyze and
    appreciate various aspects of the text, such as
  • key vocabulary and how its meaning is shaped by
  • attention to form, tone, imagery and/or
    rhetorical devices
  • the significance of word choice and syntax and
  • the discovery of different levels of meaning as
    passages are read multiple times.

Steps in the new Aspen Institute, Brown Kappes
  1. Selection of a brief, high-quality, complex text.
  2. Individual reading of the text.
  3. Group reading aloud.
  4. Text-based questions and discussion that focus on
    discrete elements of the text.
  5. Discussion among students.
  6. Writing about the text.

How does this square with Standards 2 and 3?
My concern
  • Lots of things lie within the four corners of the
    textsome general and some specific.
  • Ignores other readings of close reading
  • Which parts of the text justify an
  • Inference??
  • Interpretation??
  • Critique???
  • The text drags prior knowledge along even if you
    dont want it to.
  • Ideas that dont connect dont last long enough
    to allow learning (assimilation or
    acccommodation) to occur
  • They drop out of memory pretty fast

My recipe for close reading
  • What do you think?
  • Text detail
  • What couldnt Brian take any more?
  • What made Brian cry?
  • Inference
  • Between text parts Why did Henry work so hard?
  • To prior knowledge Why did Henry want a new
  • Critique
  • Does this author know much about X?
  • What makes you think so?

  • How do we know that our understanding is good
  • Two standards
  • Does is jive with the model of meaning I have
    built for the text thus far in the reading?
  • Does is square with what I know to be true about
    the world?
  • What are these?
  • Text base and knowledge base combne to create the
    situation model
  • The situation model determines what I put into
    long term memory

Minimizing the role of prior knowledge
  • Can we do it?
  • Should we do it?

Can we do it?The End of Elegance
  • Business had been slow since the oil crisis
  • Nobody seemed to want anything elegant anymore.
  • Suddenly a well-dressed man burst through the
    showroom door,
  • and headed straight for the most expensive model
    on the floor.

  • John Ingham peered over the rims of his
    horn-rimmed glasses,
  • over the top of the want ad section of the
  • adjusted his loose-fitting jacket to hide the
    frayed sleeves of his shirt,
  • and rose to meet the man whose rhinestone
    stickpin and alligator boots (but were they?)
    seemed incongruous amidst the dazzling array of
  • Mercedes sedans.

  • Ill take this one, he said confidently,
    pointing to most expensive model on the floor
  • cash on the line!
  • Later, the paperwork complete, John muttered to
    himself, Im glad I didnt blow this one.
  • He added, What does he know about elegance?
    What does anyone know about elegance anymore?
  • Then he smiled wryly as he returned to his
    newfound pastime.

Back to Main Presentation
  • If John had known just how awful it would turn
    out to be, he would not have been so anxious to
    open the door to the room he had been told held
    the treasure that would change his life. If he
    suspected that the giant tarantula who guarded
    the treasure was bigger than an elephant, uglier
    than a troll, and deadlier than a cobra, he might
    never have turned that knob. But slowly,
    methodically, and purposely, he shoved, nudged,
    and wiggled it till it started to open an inch at
    a time.

  • It was furry and warm to the touch. Its eyes
    lay in deep sockets above a protruding snout that
    was itself dwarfed by the two buck teeth that
    hung suspended from that protuberance.
  • And when the rest of the kids in room 225 laughed
    at it,
  • Amy picked up her drawing of her favorite
    mastadon and huffed out into the hall.

So what about Prior Knowledge
  • Maybe we have overindulged
  • Too much Know, not enough Want to Learn and Learn
  • Too much time on the picture walk
  • Too much story swapping about our experiences
    with roadrunners
  • Lets right the wrongs
  • Need a mid course correction not a pendulum swing

But asking kids to hold their prior knowledge at
  • Is like
  • Asking dogs not to bark or
  • Leaves not to fall.
  • Its in the nature of things
  • Dogs bark.
  • Leaves fall.
  • Readers use their prior knowledge to render text
    sensible and figure out what to retain for later.

So whats a body to do?
  • Embrace the construct of close reading
  • But make sure that it applies to several purposes
    for reading
  • Reading to get the flow of ideas in the piece
  • Reading to enhance our knowledge base!!!!
  • Reading to compare (with another text or body of
    experience or knowledge
  • Reading to critique
  • how good is the argument or the craft or
  • what is his bias/slant/perspective)
  • All of these approaches interrogate the text as
    an eviidentiary base.

More a body can do
  • Stay closer to the standards than to the
    interpretations of the standards we have seen
    thus far.
  • Pay more attention to the anchor standards than
    to the grade level instantiations of them.
  • Why?
  • Im not convinced that they got the sequencing
  • But thats another story (see the paper I gave

Inadequate examination
  • Vocabulary
  • Between Reading Standard 4 and Language
    Standards 4-6, we can continue to emphasize all
    of the good stuff we have learned to do in
    vocabulary development
  • Conceptually based vocabulary development
  • Where do words fit in the big schema things?
  • Contextually driven vocabulary development
  • Between word and within word contexts

Words are Concepts
If we wish to maintain a terrarium in our
classrooms, we should establish conditions that
are consistent with the organisms natural
Habitat the place where an organism gets the
food, water, light, and shelter that it needs to
A habitat has everything an animal needs to
survive. The grassland habitat is windy with few
All living things exist within habitats and have
adaptations that allow them to survive in those
habitats. No one habitat can support all living
Habit Habituate
Inadequate examination
  • What do we do about strategy instruction?
  • In one sense, the CCSS are moot on the topic
  • Thus, the Standards do not mandate such things as
    a particular writing process or the full range of
    metacognitive strategies that students may need
    to monitor and direct their thinking and
    learning. (p. 4)
  • Silence PLUS the post standards emphasis on close
    reading and the primacy of the text and
    text-based questions? this inference
  • Champion talk over explicit instruction as a way
    of enhancing comprehension and metacognitive
    strategy instruction

What to do about strategies?
  • We need to take the explicit and implicit
    critiques of strategy instruction seriously.
  • McKeown, Beck, Blake (RRQ, 2008)
  • Wilkinson Sun, HRR-4 (2011)

Current Critique
  • Not sure when it starts circa 2002-now
  • Strategies have become rigid and reified
  • Like phonics skills, rigid (i.e., curricularized)
    strategy instruction has become
  • An end unto itself,
  • Rather than
  • A means to an end

Possible remedies
  • Post explicit strategies approach
  • Questioning the author
  • Rich talk about text
  • Close reading
  • Encounter opportunities to apply strategies on
    the fly
  • Name it when it happens
  • Make understanding the text at hand the real goal
  • Invoke the strategies when we need them when we
    cant build a textbase or a situation model with
  • Avoid decontextualized enactment of strategies
  • But do NOT fail to teach them
  • Equity issue
  • Some kids get them for free
  • Others require us to share our metacognitive
  • Make our thinking public

My hope for the strategies
  • Something in between explicit lessons,
    opportunistic teaching, and mini-lessons
  • Examples should ALWAYS be authentic
  • Lots of group problem solving with genuinely
    puzzling examples
  • Sharons examples from this morning
  • Dont know how to do this yet, but we need to
    help students distinguish between
  • Nike Reading
  • Just do it!
  • Sherlock Holmes Reading
  • Deliberate puzzle resolution
  • Reading Like a DetectiveBlachowicz then Coleman

What do I want for readers in terms of their
comprehension dossier
  • Flexible Thoughtful Readers
  • Direct their attention to
  • Text qua text textual readings
  • Text-knowledge readerly readings
  • Text-using knowledge worldly readings
  • Many ways to do close reading
  • Teach
  • Rich talk about text
  • Strategies
  • Vocabulary

Hopes for the CCSS
  • Im hangin in there for the near term.
  • They are still the best game in town
  • They are moving in the right direction in terms
    of reading theory and research
  • Hoping they prove to be a living document
  • Regularly revised with advances in
  • our knowledge of reading
  • research on their consequences