My Newest CIM: RL.7.3

For those of you who read regularly, you’ll remember that I’m working on my 7th grade line of Continuous Improvement Model mini-lesson resources. I’m making good progress and I have recently finished and posted the CCSS.ELA.RL.7.3 resource. With this, I’ve also made a bundle with RL.7.1, RL.7.2, and RL.7.3, so you can save over 15% if you are interested in all 3.

What is a CIM? The acronym “CIM” stands for “Continuous Improvement Model.” It is one name for the research-based strategy that follows the “I do,” “we do,” “you do,” teaching model. In this resource, there are 3 lessons. Lesson 1 is a teacher-modeled lesson. Lesson 2 is a collaborative lesson where the teacher leads the class. The students complete lesson 3 independently. This resource is, in and of itself, a scaffolding tool. It is designed to help students master standards in a gradual manner.

This product is a 3-5 day tool for teachers to instruct, assess, and reteach skills and concepts associated with the RL.7.3 standard: Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot). It also aligns with Florida’s standard: LAFS.7.RL.1.3, because of how Florida adapted their standards. It may also align with your state’s standards if your state doesn’t use CCSS.

The only Common Core practice I’ve been able to find is general and mixed-standards. Mine is the only one I know of that does individual standard, targeted instruction and practice. It’s low-prep and easy to implement. I use literature in the public domain from reputable authors (like Kipling, Twain, and Poe – this resource uses works by Hawthorne and Maupassant), so you’re exposing your students to quality literature with targeted standards practice. It takes out all the prep and guesswork!

If you’re looking for a quick, targeted, and easy resource for this standard, come check it out!


Football Freebie! 10/21/14

As the secondary ELA assessment coordinator for my school district (one of the ten largest in the country…I coordinate over 75 exams!), I have found that the transition from the old standards to the new CCSS (okay, so Florida has the LAFS…yes, the LAFS – but at the secondary level they’re all but identical to the CCSS) has been difficult for teachers in terms of understanding the types of questions they ask students and where those fall on the standards “spectrum,” if you will. In the old standards, students at the secondary level were responsible (largely) for questions asking them to make inferences, draw conclusions, identify devices, etc.

10-21-14 a

Old secondary questions.

Now, these teachers feel like they’re “not allowed” to ask those types of questions anymore, because they do not demonstrate mastery of the secondary standards – particularly the key ideas/details and craft/structure clusters (1-6). What I’ve been trying to impress upon them, however, is that they should still be asking those questions in class during discussions and in-class assessments. The difference is that they will not see those types of questions on the new state assessments (like PARCC, Smarter Balance, or FSA – for Florida).

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New CCSS questions.

I found it extremely helpful (and teachers have agreed) to have a document where the standards are presented vertically. So instead of seeing all the standards for grade 5, standard RL 1 is on a single page and it goes from K-12, so a teacher can see where the question they’re asking falls on the spectrum.

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Sample page from resource

I have found that the majority of the “old style” questions now hover in the grades 2-4 range. Additionally, there are certain grade levels that have very specific caveats (rhetoric, for example, makes an appearance in the upper grades, poetry is emphasized in middle school, etc.), and it is helpful to see where the more generic concepts fall – either prior to or beyond the year of focus. Therefore, I have put together a document for ELA teachers that vertically presents all the RL and RI standards. These are the CCSS (Florida teachers, Hillsborough County has a document for you already…you can search around for it or contact me directly and I can get it to you). I would ideally like to eventually have a document that includes the W, SL, and L standards, but I simply didn’t have time for that this week, and since the Reading standards are the most prevalent (from what I have found, anyway), I went with those. Please leave me feedback about 1) whether or not this document is helpful, 2) if it would be helpful to have the additional standards in a similar document, and 3) if something like this would be useful for the Math standards as well. Enjoy!

ccss vertical alignment

CCSS Vertical Alignment Resource