Principal Message

Principal Message

This year our Kindergarten and 1st grade will begin using the Common Core State Standards, and we will begin the transition to these standards in grades 2 – 5. To deliver on a promise of higher student achievement for all of our students we are shifting our thinking and our practice. These new standards ask students to dive deeply in to their text, and find ‘Evidence’ to support their understanding of what they are reading. Therefore, our staff is focusing on Text-dependent questions to improve our students reading comprehension.  Using the Common Core State Standard we will focus on these 3 shifts:

                  Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction

                  Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational

                  Regular practice with complex text and its academic language

So what are Text-dependent Questions…

  • Can only be answered with evidence from the text.
  • Can be literal (checking for understanding) but must also involve analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
  • Focus on difficult portions of text in order to enhance reading proficiency.
  • Can also include prompts for writing and discussion.

 

Examples:

Not Text-Dependent

Text Dependent

In “Casey at the Bat,” Casey strikes out. Describe a time when you failed at something.

What makes Casey’s experience at bat humorous?

This question allows the student to answer the question even if he has not read the book.

This question requires that the student has read the book.

 

How can you as a parent help?

Think of the word ‘evidence’ when asking your child about what he has read. The question should require an answer directly related to a word, sentence, paragraph or chapter in a book.

Remember: this strategy works with science, social studies and even their math homework!

We believe that this shift in how we ask students to respond to the text they are reading will help them develop better comprehension and writing skills that will serve them well in their education.