68 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2016
    1. The boys' responses were reflective of the need to move beyond individual action to looking at the civic or governmental levels of enforcing laws that already exist. They decided on a letter writing campaign to the highest level of the gov- ernment, the president

      I think this activity is absolutely amazing. You can see how reading meaningful literature created a whole new world of understanding and deep thinking for these students.

    2. As the boys began to ask the "why" rather than just the "what, who, and where," the door was open to also construct the "how." For instance, they began to ask why there are drugs in their neighborhood, which moved them toward asking more complicated questions about how we can rid the neighborhood of drugs

      This is absolutely incredible. What a teachable moment this must have been. Here, it is evident that the readers are further developing their critical thinking skills by asking deep questions relevant to the issues in the text as they appear within society.

    3. As we read and discussed the texts, it became evident that some of the boys simultaneously raised their awareness of societal issues and responded with personal, communal, and civic sensitivity, moving them to initiate and enact social action as extensions of the texts

      I think this is an important part of this reading. Reading becomes more comprehensible as the readers can infer about the issues the characters are facing.

    4. The boys often would say that a character reminded them of their moms, cousins, uncles, friends, sports figures, the man down the street, media images, and others who touched their lives. It was also apparent that sharing contemporary re- alistic fiction with these students extended their social interaction with each other as well as with me as researche

      Just reading this paragraph makes me smile. It is so wonderful to learn how reading can have such a positive impact on these students' lives. Simply within this paragraph, I can gather that these students are creating connections with the reading and the learning is being associated as an enjoyable process.

    5. The classification of realistic fiction is given to stories that are convincingly true to life and that help children see their own lives, empathize with other people, and see the complex- ity of human interaction.

      This is an awesome thematic concept for fostering perspective taking skills and analytical thinking skills.

    6. the use of contemporary realistic fiction, in which dilemmas in society are pivotal, have the potential to "open wide" the mouths of these African American male readers.

      I think this is a strong point that should be taken note of. It is critical to keep students involved and focused in learning material, especially when it concerns literacy. It is important to provide all students with material that is appropriate for their learning. If it is meaningful, students can grow intellectually.

    7. This suggested to me a need for more con- temporary themes in reading material for some readers. It moved me to explore the pedagogical implications of the selection of children's litera- ture, as well as how that literature and literary re- sponse (Rosenblatt, 1978) may be used as an instructional tool to increase literacy success and initiate social action

      While classic fairy tales and other sources of literature can still hold strong meaning within literature lessons in early childhood classrooms, I do agree that more contemporary themes need to be transcended in literautre throughout the elementary, middle, and high school years as the reader's abilities are developing and social interactions are changing. Moreover, themes in literature should be meaningful to the reader as he/she grows in school.

    1. In many instances the narrator is a child, and children do not always have access to adult conversations nor do they always realize the seriousness of the situa tions surrounding them; a child's point of view often contains an element of naivete as we

      I never realized the accuracy of this statement until I read it... Interesting! After reading this, I definitely agree. On a similar point, I feel that children better connect with and understand information when it is relatable. With a child narrator, the story now becomes extremely relatable!

    2. Accuracy and authenticity are of prime concern even if the presenta tion is fictional

      Yes, this is extraordinarily important. Even if the piece is fictional, students must be able to make concrete connections between the written material and the period in history. This will not only confirm their understanding of the time period or historical figure/event, but will also reinforce this knowledge.

    3. in first person narration, bring history to life on a more personal level than nonfiction material such as textbooks.

      I agree with this statement entirely! Journal entries by historical figures help young students better conceptualize the events and way of life that occurred in that time period. As for biographies, reading material that personally comes from the historical figure can seem like an intimate conversation between author and reader. Readers are thus able to make new connections to the material and may learn it better.

    4. For instance, in social stud ies, students may be able to pick out facts (names, places, events), but they often overlook the deeper aspects of such information

      This statement is so relevant, even with students in college. Critical thinking skills should be addressed in literacy as early as Kindergarten and first grade. It is important to help our readers become the best readers they can possibly be. Educators should encourage young students to ask questions while reading and to reread texts. By doing this, students will be able to develop analytical skills that help them better understand the text and move on to more complex readings.

  2. Apr 2016
    1. A second day of discussion could utilize cine- matic examples of the trickster. These range from the silent-film work of Charlie Chaplin through the Marx Brothers and The Music Man (1962) into the present where the archetype shows up in such works as Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Animal House (1978), Beetlejuice (1988),

      I think this is such an awesome approach to providing a deeper understanding of the key components of mythology to students, especially to those who are visual learners! This is an excellent unit and maybe I will incorporate it into my future teaching!

    2. And because of unfamiliarity with the subject, few teachers design units or courses with an in-depth approac

      I feel that often times, teachers are ill prepared to teach such concentrated, but undeniably valuable, lessons. I think colleges should require courses that provide future educators with a well-rounded framework, ensuring that they will be able to effectively teach concentrations in literature, math, and science.

    3. . An effective ap- proach to mythology should illustrate the connec- tion among international myths, folktales, and leg- ends that continue to be told in current literature and media, including films, songs, television, and cultural icons

      I think this is an awesome strategy on effectively teaching mythology. Incorporating mythology with forms of media that current students are well adapted to, such as films, songs, and television, is a great way to enhance comprehensions amongst connections.

    4. and mythmaking is very much alive, a multicultural expression of universal symbols and belief

      I think this is a very true and great definition of both mythmaking and mythology. As Jeff House mentioned previously, we oftentimes think of Greek tales as well as tales of other ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Romans. Mythology is a wonderful way for students to grasp an understanding of the key values of another culture, in a fun and creative way.

    1. In this way, fables provide the framework in which the concept of "it depends" can be introduced to young children

      I completely agree with this statement. I think using fables is an excellent way to help students gain perspective taking skills, reasoning skills, and problem-solving skills. Often times, answers are not cut-and-dry, and it is important that students understand this from a young age. One must think through their problems to resolve them productively and effectively. And if the problem remains unresolved after implementing a solution, the failed attempt can only help the child's understanding of the situation grow.

    2. Critical thinking is the evaluation and analysis of the differing points of view for the purpose of determining which one is "more valid."

      I think this is a very important notion to introduce to young children during mini lessons that require group participation.For example, if a teacher is doing a read aloud and frequently stops to ask her/his students questions relating to information in the book to confirm their understanding of the material, it is important for the students to additionally understand that while everyone's thoughts and answers are valued, we are collectively trying to determine which answer works best for the question concerning the story.

    1. At day's end, turn the book around (literally) for the trip home. The pictures are the same, but viewed upside-down, the result is quite different.

      I love creative, out-of-the-box-styled books like this one. These books touch upon so much meaning and symbolism through the imagery. Young children are absolutely marveled by books that challenge their mind, especially a visual challenge such as this one. I think that books like this make children think about the story and the literary elements far after the book has been read or shared. This outcome can only enhance a child's critical thinking and analytical skills, which is pretty incredible.

    2. Share a variety of books using the same medium so that the students can see the versatility possible with a single technique

      What strikes me most about the illustration technique piece in picture books is the vast room for creativity in drawing the images. Another amazing idea picture books teach young children is that there is endless possibility in visually expressing one's imagination. This idea, in and of itself, is so important with a young audience. They must never lose sight of their boundless imaginations!

    3. Picture books effectively illustrate many literary devices found in more difficult novels and should be con sidered by teachers working with students of all ages

      In middle school, high school, and college, readers should be able to identify and elaborate on the literary elements found within various texts, whether they be short stories, monologues, novels, or poems. Thus, it is key to start the informational piece about literary devices early on in a student's education. Early childhood educators can use picture books to help begin students's understanding of the literary devices they will defining and interpreting throughout their lives as critical readers.

    4. Illustrate the effect of mood by sharing Leo Lionni's Swimmy. When Swimmy is with his friends, the pictures are light and airy, but when Swimmy is left alone, the pictures turn dark and somber. Students of a

      I had never thought about how so many important literary elements can be incorporated in picture books. I think this statement is awesome because it explains how educators can use certain texts to hone in on a child's visual learning. Seeing that most children are visual learners, I feel that using picture books to help students conceptualize, and thus, internalize various literary elements is undeniably effective.

    5. word for those children who fear and distrust it. Picture books, then, are for everybody.

      In other words, I think picture books create a safe place for students that are "reluctant readers, nonreaders, and poor readers." Students who are reluctant to read due to their insecurity with personal reading levels and poor readers who feel they cannot compare with other students in reading can find comfort and security in the realm of picture books. After years of being told they are low level readers, these students can finally gain confidence in knowing that comprehension is more than possible in picture books.

    6. one popular children's book, Where the Wild Things Are, is written at about a sixth grade reading leve

      I think this statement is extremely interesting. I have always thought that Where the Wild Things Are was a complex book. There is so much raw emotion within the imagery. Even the film that was created based on the book not too long ago displayed so much adventure, complexity, and emotion. The pictures truly add another level of comprehension for readers.

  3. Mar 2016
    1. ove hearing it read, and, more important, they are unafraid to try to imitate it.

      I think this statement is extremely important in regard to how teachers are reluctant to teach poetry. This statement tells me that, as an educator, it is utterly vital to show to your students in your words, emotions, and physical demeanor that you are not only open, but also EXCITED with whatever learning material is being taught to your students. Sure, I might not have had the most wondrous experience with fractions throughout my academic career. However, if I show THAT to my students, in some way, shape, or form, then it is possible for them to develop a similar feeling of reluctance toward that subject of study. Educators model behaviors for their students. Reluctance to learning material or a new subject of study should not be one of these behaviors!

    2. his type of writing can often do more harm than good in inspiring chil dren to write poetry. Little or no original thinking is required in order to complete such scripted tasks, and students end up with no foundation

      Mad Lib, that sure does bring me back! ANYWAY, this statement in particular made me think about the question Dr. McVerry had asked in the module video about what emotions or ideas make for bad poetry. Initially, I had responded by saying there are no emotions or ideas that make for bad poetry because poetry is all about expression and interpretation for both the writer and audience. However, this statement is making me reevaluate my previous answer. In the context of teaching, I think Mad Lib and rebus make for bad poetry. Similar to what is described in the writing, both methods do not provide students with a framework in understanding creative writing. In fact, I feel these tools take away from the beauty of the true creative writing process.

    3. at happens all too often when teachers choose to only read poems with students is that the students become confused by the complexity of the poetry, which often m

      I never truly thought about this. Now that I am reading this statement, the realization is very sad to me. Poetry is such a beautiful and magical outlet for expression that every student, teacher, and person should feel comfortable with.

    4. large and ominous-looking anthology of long-dead poets.

      This actually made me cringe and laugh simultaneously, as I reflected on my AP American Literature class in high school. RIP Edgar Alan Poe

    5. ect (1999) explained why: It nurtures a love and appreciation for the sound and power of language. Poetry can help us see differently, understand ourselves and others, and validate our hu man experience. It...enhances thinking skills, and pro motes personal connections.... Such attributes deserve a closer look.

      This explanation pulled on my heart strings! I have always been so fond of poetry and I could not have elaborated on the amazing personal benefits more perfects than Perfect.

    1. Therefore, use the ap proach selectively, and only for high utility phonic elements or skills (e.g., see research on the frequency/utility of phonic generaliza tions by Bailey, 1967; Burmeister, 1968; Cly mer, 1963; and Emans, 1967). Also, use the approach discriminatingly, that is, only with children who need such instructio

      I think this is a critical take-away point from the research and literature presented. This approach may not work for every learner. Therefore, it is important to differentiate methods so that they appropriately accommodate and meet each student's learning needs.

    2. Less confident readers may benefit from choral reading of the application story in a big book format. Reading in unison from an enlarged text allows the less skilled read ers to experience fluency

      This is so true. Less confident and lower level readers can learn from students of different abilities. It also gives all students the opportunity to equally be heard and through all-inclusive participation.

    3. ome children may find it easier to blend phonogram

      I have a student I work with who prefers blended sounds over individual sounds. What I do with her is tap it, sing it, say it, replace it. So if we are working with the word family, "at," and sounding out the word, "cat," we would first tap out the c sound and then the at sound. "C-AT." Then, to make it more fluid, we sing it. "Caaaaat." Then, we snap and say quickly, "Cat!" Finally, I have the student replace the first letter with a letter in the word bank. (I have large and colorful felt letter that I use). So, she grabs the letter, "B," and repeats the same process,. It goes to show that each child learns sounds and words differently, and therefore, differentiated instruction is necessary.

    4. 3. Whole: Apply the new phonic skill when reading (and enjoying) another whol

      I think the repetition of this approach is awesome. It reinforces the skill being learned and then gives students the opportunity to try the skill out on their own

    5. ) recom mend engaging children in the choral read ing of a folk rhyme leading to sentence inves tigation, phonic investigation, and finally to mastery of consonant-vowel-consonant sylla ble patterns contained in the folk rhyme. The progression is whole-to-part.

      I think this is a great recommendation for a "combination program" or combined approach when teaching whole language instruction. By having students actively participate in the lesson, they can hear themselves say the sounds, and, therefore, increase word recognition and phonological awareness skills

    6. ; Holdaway, 1982; T\innell & Jacobs, 1989). Research has shown that children absorb the language they hear and read, and, in time, use that language as part of their own

      I think this statement need not be looked over. Create a language environment that will promote better language learning. A lot of what young children learn is through modeled behaviors. If educators and adults model a rich language environment, students and young learners are more likely to speak and understand language in a formal, grammatically correct, and effective manner.

    7. Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985, p. 37). Thus, there is strong support for the value of phonics instruction

      Phonological instruction is so important, especially for our young readers. It also goes to show that the younger you are, the more malleable your brain is, and therefore, the more receptive it is to learning new skill sets. I wouldn't question that comparatively, if students learn phonological awareness skills when they are younger, they will be much better off in their future careers in reading than those students who are not taught phonological awareness skills at a young age.

    8. method that presents the two as mutually supportive and taught in a manner that makes the interrelationships clear to chil dren. This approach can be achieved when phonics instruction is provided within the con text of real reading tasks and texts, especially through the use of quality children's literature

      The necessary approach is one that includes both intensive instruction in phonic analysis and assisted reading/shared-book experiences. In other words, completing reading tasks or readalongs together with the incorporation of phonics instruction can help students and readers not only read willingly, but also read independently and confidently. It is important for educators to help students understand that the story and the meaning of the story is just as important as the phonological structures within the sentences.

    1. You may however want to connect the writing to learning objective taught during a mini-lesson.

      I think this is such an important aspect of reader's and writer's workshop. By first modeling to students with guided practice what they are earning and how they can perform these tasks on their own, then connecting enjoyable and engaging assignments to the mini lesson, such as storyscape, students have the freedom of creating literary works while still working on critical skills in writing.

    2. I would have put all the words with r-controlled vowels in bold or another color

      I definitely agree with this suggestion. With young readers, especially those who are below level, highlighting a specific sound in a word that is currently being learned and explored is so helpful! It literally reinforces the sound over and over again and therefore, it promotes word recognition for whatever letter sounds are being learned.

    3. readers can activate the animations by shaking the screen or through sound.

      I think this is such a wonderful way to engage young readers. The idea of activating an animation in a story is super cool to begin with. I know if my first graders used storyscape, it would literally bring reading to life for them. Moreover, they would be more interested in the reading and enjoy the material. I think the active involvement storyscape offers forces readers to be more attentive to material, which, in turn, ensures they have a deep understanding of the material.

  4. Feb 2016
    1. tudents a choice of books that they wanted to read.

      Creating a concept of reading for students that elicits a positive reaction and not an aversive one. Reading should be enjoyable for students! We want our students to LIKE reading.

    2. stablishing and maintaining a community of learners.

      A community, not a classroom of individuals. A community directly relates to the idea of togetherness. The mentality in the classroom is not, "Me against you", but, rather, "us, as a team." This allows for perspective taking and empathetical skills.

    3. hen we discussed all the things we had in common, which helped the students focus on the positives and similarities rather than argue about the differences. In addition, this also raised the students' awareness about group functioning and appreciating one anoth er. At

      Developing respect and gratitude for one another by initially reflecting on positive attributes, IE, what we appreciate about the student, what we feel similarly about, etc.

    4. t is important to note, however, that students need op portunities to develop necessary conversational skills; otherwise, by the time they get to the middle grades and are expected to converse in a student-led litera ture discussion they will not have the discursive com petence to be successful with this type of activity.

      As educators, it is important to consider factors outside of what is taught and expected within the classroom. In regard to this reading, the students' home-lives and their social tensions descending from their home-lives permeated their learning environment. Therefore, it would be unfair of the teacher to expect that to effectively practice literature discussion skills when this is an area that which the students struggle within due to external factors. Educators should ensure opportunities for development in such areas, guided by the teacher in a positive and productive manner that will best suit the learning needs of the students.

    5. found that is was hard to create a feeling of safety and security when outside the classroom walls students were used to solving is sues with force and threats. W

      This is interesting and very real. How can educators break through tensions existing outside the classroom to help students feel comfortable and positive within the learning space? How do we turn a classroom into a community when the community these students live within, outside of school, is so vastly different? I think at this point, educators need to take on the role of role-models. In this, educators should not only be teaching, but also modeling behaviors appropriate for school. These behaviors should also coincide with a positive trajectory of life outside of school, to help students better problem solve in scenarios existing outside the domains of the classroom. This reminds me of the other reading, Engaging African American Males in Reading.

    6. ny times the issues were rooted in racial, class, or gender ten sions.

      What are some different ways in which we can create a classroom climate where these issues can not permeate the learning environment?

    7. any educators saw the need to move away from traditional teacher centered instruction in favor of creating more student centered opportunities for learning in their classrooms.

      Allowing for more student-choice/ free-choice activities and learning helps students perceive learning more positively. Learning and literacy should not be about trapping students in confined learning structures that are implemented primarily by the teacher. Interaction between students allows for more learning opportunities.

    8. terature circles provide for great discussions about books and get students to want to read." I

      I agree with this statement entirely. I think that literature circles are a great way to foster critical discussion about the text between the children. The exchange of ideas and inferences about the text differ amongst the children, making the conversation even more meaningful. In essence, every student gets something from the conversation and can thus further develop their understanding of the literature.

    1. udent sharing time (5-10 minutes) As a daily closing activity in the RW, we recommend a sharing time where teachers and children come together for a few minutes to share with the group the activities, books, po etry, projects, etc., with which they were working. Student groups may share progress reports on their literature response projects, i.e., play practices, murals, or Readers' The atre scripts. Individual students may share the books they were reading during SSR. Others may share their responses and thoughts about the book discussed in their literature response group. Teachers may comment on individual reading conferences and commend individual children or share a part of a book the

      I think this last piece of Readers Workshop is extremely important. It brings closure to Readers Workshop by gathering students together to collectively discuss and respond to the literature. Each student can share his/her reading and the inferences they made about that reading, which is a wonderful way to ensure that everyone's thoughts and progress in learning are being appreciated, acknowledged, and respected.

    2. RGs are made up of students who come together by choice, not assignment, to read and respond to a chosen piece of literature and develop re lated projects.

      While I feel free-choice approaches to activities are awesome, I do feel there is issues with this. Students may opt to have their LRGs with close friends. When this happens, distractions and side-conversations run rampant and productive work rarely gets accomplished. I do think, however, teachers should assign mixed-level groups. There is a lot of research on how mixed-level groups are truly effective, especially when looking into Lev Vygotsky's research on learning and learning theory. Students working together from different levels of learning and understanding can better help guide each other as well as foster good conversation about the material than students working together from similar levels of learning and understanding.

    3. ni-lessons are short, teacher instigated whole group instructional sessions for demon strating reading strategies and preparing stu dents to read new books successfully and independently. T

      I observe my main teacher's mini lessons during the very beginning of our reader's workshop everyday, and they are super effective. Each day, she teaches the students a new strategy to help them critically think about several ideas in the book, including what they might learn, the plot, the characters' feelings, the lesson, etc. For instance, today, she taught the kids a "sneak-peak" strategy, wherein she sat in front of the classroom with the main text as the students sat across from her on the carpet. She asked the class several questions about the cover and back of the book. She guided the mini-lesson by engaging in a conversation with students that went something like this:

      "Hmm I see that there is a Raccoon on the front of my non-fiction book, and the blurb on the back of my book lists different animals you can find in your backyard! So maybe this book will be about Raccoons and how they are a type of animal you can find in your backyard? Raise a quiet hand and tell me if you agree or disagree and why."

      After that conversation, she told the students to look at the Table of Contents of their own non-fiction books. Each "chapter" would hint to them what they would be reading about.

      She's done "sneak-peak" with fiction books as well. The strategy pulls the readers in entirely! They are really excited to use the strategy when they go back to their seats for independent reading time.

    4. e idea is to spark interest in various literary genres for free reading

      Sparking interest with students in their reading is a sure-fire way to make reading and literacy, in general, an enjoyable experience. If the primary educator is engaged in the text and introducing some interesting ideas that will be presented in the text, but not telling students ALL of the details, naturally, the students will be curious to read and discover exactly what the literature entails.

    5. he classroom routine should invite children to write, respond, discuss, and become throughly involved with books?not to com plete worksheets in social isolation.

      Yes!!! This is so important. Reading, whether it is completed together, as a class, or independently, should be an enjoyable process of delving into literature through several modalities. It is important that reading is not something that students interpret aversively. It should be a positive stimuli! Worksheets in place of instruction are busy work, anyhow. Let's engage the students. That's where the true learning occurs.

    6. n short, workbooks and practice books have become, in large measure, the ma jor means of managing reading instruction (Jachym, Allington, & Broikou, 1989).

      I think in middle and high school, using worksheets to guide readers during or after their reading is completed is not a terrible way to reinforce the ideas and concepts recently learned in the text. However, those are the ages when students can developmentally apply some critical thinking skills. In earlier grade levels, especially early childhood, worksheets and workbooks can become very complex for young readers. While independent reading is wonderful, I think engaging in a conversation about the reading material is a great way to foster analytical skills with the youngsters!

    7. e know that children's reading fluency and consequent enjoyment of reading are re lated to sustained encounters with interesting texts (Smith, 1985).

      In essence, higher fluency rates and rates of enjoyment/pleasure are reported when children are continually presented with books containing engaging material. Engaging material may include relevant thematic statements, relatable characters, dramatic/funny/interesting plots, imaginative scenarios, etc. Stories should be both relevant and meaningful to what is developmentally and age appropriate for students.

    1. To date, however, little empirical work has offered effective strategies for teachers who hope to implement pedagogies of gender diversity, and most research is limited to efforts to counteract bullying based on real or perceived gender variance (Meyer, 2009).

      Maybe one method could be incorporating awareness and exposure in daily lessons. Let's read more books about varying family structures and gender diversity. Let's watch documentaries in class to engage children, first hand, on the experiences of these individual, and then bring closure to such an activity by requiring an open discussion with thought provoking questions. Though my knowledge in social psychology is limited, I am aware of this: the central way of confronting negative stereotypes about minorities is exposure. Bring awareness through education!

    2. The project of this dissertation is to transform the social order with the aim of achieving increased support for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA), but it is equally about dismantling misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia so that all people, regardless of their sexual or gender identity, can be free.

      To "transform social order" is to change the current societal normative ideas about gender and sexual identity that which shape our attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors about gender and sexual identity. Moreover, the author's writing is bringing awareness to the harsh norms in our society pertaining to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual, and with that, attempting to raise support for those listed above, who are, inarguably, discriminated against.

    1. expanded my library to include many texts reviewed in the project, which allowed my students to see the wonderful diversity in the world.

      Teaching and exposing children to diversity, not just in terms of race/ethnicity, but in terms of gender, religion, socioeconomic background, family structures, parents and sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., is extremely critical. "One generation plants the trees, the next gets the shade" (Chinese Proverb). If we provide our children with a diverse education, where all different backgrounds are learned about, recognized, respected, and accepted, our youthful students will develop a much richer understanding of the world. This will then help them in their future educational paths as they continue to learn, grow, and develop.

    2. Too often children of color and the poor have window books into a mostly white and middle- and-upper-class world.

      This statement is utterly powerful. Education should truly and always be kid's first. Education should be for the kids and about the kids. This is NOT kid's first education. Window books, especially for students of minority, neglect their needs in terms of learning and development.

    3. When the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were introduced in 2009—2010 , the literacy needs of half the children in the United States were neglected. Of 171 texts recommended for elementary children in Appendix B of the CCSS, there are only 18 by authors of color, and few books reflect the lives of children of color and the poor.

      These facts are as frightening as they are unnerving. How are our students supposed to understand literature, and thus, learn from the literature when the texts they are reading are not ones that which they can mentally, emotionally, or physically relate to? On the other hand, how are children, not of minority, going to obtain a full, multicultural, multi-perspective education with the lack of exposure they are getting from the texts they currently read?

    4. whether they are developmentally appropriate and whether too much emphasis has been placed on non-fiction at the cost of literature.

      These two, broad opinions about the common core standards truly resonate with me. In regard to whether they are developmentally appropriate or not, I feel that many of the standards require too many complex cognitive processes. The truth is, early childhood students have yet to develop most of these complex processes. It is almost as if the CCSS are attempting to speed natural development of children. I think this point also relates to the next statement, "whether too much emphasis has been placed on non-fiction at the cost of literature." While non-fiction is beneficial to readers, in the sense that it is both instructional and informational, I feel it takes away from the enjoyment in literacy and learning. I am not sure if I can speak on how non-fiction texts tap into the imaginative and creative processes that which fiction texts do. I fear we may be trimming our future generations of their true, expressive, and creative selves.

    1. Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

      Grade 4 students must be able to utilize the skills of drawing on the similarities and differences on how stories are narrated in text. Moreover, students must be able to identify the difference between first and third person stories, by analyzing the texts for key-words such as "I" when referring to quotations.

    2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges

      This common core standard for firth grade students could be greatly applied to the book series, The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Students will be able to identify themes such as human atonement or redemption, and relate this theme to specific character actions, like how Aslan sacrificed his own life to save that of another character's.

    3. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

      Grade 4 students must be able to pull information from both the text and from their existing knowledge to figure out the meaning of new words and phrases.

    4. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

      This common core standard for literacy for third graders reflects their knowledge on not only recounting and recalling several variations of stories, but also using what they know about different cultural practices to identify a central message or moral.

    5. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text

      Second graders must have the skill sets of both asking and answering critical questions relating to the story, specifically, who, what, when, where, and why. After identifying the answers to these questions, second graders must also support their conclusions through retrieving information from the texts. The skills used in this common core standard include asking, identifying, and supporting.

    6. demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

      An adequate story to use to convey this reading standard for Literature K-5 would be The Snitches by Dr. Seuss, for the central message is about getting along and respecting one another, despite physical differences. This should be easy for students to understand based on character emotions and major events in the story.

    7. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text

      At this point in reading, first graders should be able to make predictions and inferences, prior to, during, ad after the reading of a text. First graders will be able to do this by using key information as well as context clues from the text, such as descriptive details, punctuations denoting voice inflections, pictures, etc.

    8. With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details

      With the use of scaffolding teachers help kindergarteners further develop both their knowledge in stories kindergarteners have previously heard/read as well as their skills in retelling the key details of the familiar story. Recalling a story's major events, characters, settings, sequential details, etc. require kindergarten students to tap into their prior knowledge and skill sets in accurately retelling a story.