- an increase in reading non-fiction texts
- content area literacy
- increased text complexity
- focus on text-based questions
- focus on writing arguments
- academic vocabulary
Saturday, April 14th Mary Janzen, Fresno County Office of Education, Dr. Melissa Jordine, California State University, Fresno, and Marsha Ingrao, Tulare County Office of Education, all members of San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies, formed a successful tag team to present an awareness session to history and language arts teachers, literacy coaches and principals about the effect of the Common Core Standards in History-Social Science classes.
Administrators, college professors, and teachers wondered how the Common Core Standards will impact elementary, middle and high school history instruction.
Dr. Jordine shared the Civil War Blueprints, a California History Project document on which professors and teachers worked collaboratively for over a year to complete. This extensive resource contains lessons, primary sources, and strategies to help teachers integrate the Common Core Language Arts Standards in this Civil War unit of study. Teachers in the workshop compared the legal rights of states in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to answer the question, “Did the South have the right to secede?”
Teachers examined a Toolkit which aligns the Analysis Skills of History-Social Science to the skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking to assist teachers in crafting quality critical thinking questions in both reading and writing Marsha Ingrao explains ways to use the Toolkit to implement the Common Core Standards using existing materials in both language arts and history.
Teachers paired up to strategize how to use the Toolkit effectively in the classroom.
They also read and discussed a sample 6th grade Reading Informational Text assessment for 6th grade.
“Students trace the line of argument in Winston Churchill’s “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat” address to Parliament and evaluate his specific claims and opinions in the text, distinguishing which claims are supported by facts, reasons, and evidence, and which are not. [RI.6.8]” Common Core Standards Appendix A p. 91.
Thursday, April 12th, Mary Janzen and Marsha Ingrao also made a short presentation to student teachers in Robin Perry’s Fresno Pacific University‘ s teacher preparation class about the Common Core Standards and the Toolkit. Students were also invited to become members of the San Joaquin Council for the Social Studies.
The Common Core Standards provide justification for elementary teachers to spend more time teaching history-social studies during the language arts’ block of time. Teachers in middle and high school learn more reasons to collaborate to effectively implement the rigorous and relevant Common Core Standards.
To present effective instructional strategies specific to teaching history-social science analysis skills, additional workshops will be held May 16th at Tulare County Office of Education, then in Fresno at Literacy Conference on May 22nd. This summer, July 16-20th, Tulare County Office of Education will host a 5 day Common Core Institute featuring special presenters, as well as a complete roll out of the Toolkit, and technology training appropriate to implement the standards.