Today in order to help your students meet state ELA standards, it is essential that all teachers to be strong teachers of reading and writing. This is true no matter what discipline you teach.
No longer can we leave “teaching reading and writing” to the English or Language Arts teacher. In order to meet college and career expectations, students need to understand how to read and write in all content areas.
As a team, each content discipline will need to identify the texts (literary, expository/informational, functional) and writing types that belong to their subject area. Teachers must work together and be responsible for weaving foundational understandings and experiences into their own curriculum.
Students must be taught to become deep thinkers and processors of knowledge. We must go beyond asking our students to seek the “right” answer. We must require our students to question, reflect and create new thoughts and ideas about what they are learning.
Curriculum That Helps Students Meet ELA Standards
For years, teachers across the United States have complained that American Content Standards are a “mile wide and an inch deep.”
Today, American students are now expected to learn less content but they are now required to learn this material to deeper and more profound levels.
Teachers need to be asking all students – not just the “gifted” or “Honors” level students – to read and reflect on text written at higher levels. We must also ask students to read a variety of texts and for more sustained periods of time.
The wisest and most competent teachers among our ranks quietly continue doing what they have been doing – setting the bar high and immersing their students in print of all types.
Here’s to you – those of you who have led the charge and demanded so much of your students – your students will thank you for pushing them to new levels of competency.
Learn more about helping students improve their reading skills in my book: Literacy Strategies for Grades 4-12: Reinforcing the Threads of Reading.
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