Using the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts with Gifted and Advanced Learners by Joyce L. VanTassel-Baska
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The main goal of this book as stated in the first lines of the introduction is to provide classroom teachers and administrators with some examples and strategies to implement the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts for advanced learners at all stages of development in K-12 schools.
The Common Core State Standards illustrate the curriculum emphases that are needed for students to develop the skills and concepts required for the 21st Century. There are currently 45 states that have adopted the CCSS and this gave cause for gifted education as a field to reflect on supporting gifted and advanced learners appropriately in all of the content areas. Some people feel that gifted education is not needed now because these new standards are already at such a high level. However, although these standards are strong, they will not be sufficient to accommodate the needs of many gifted learners. There will be students that have completed all of the CCSS standards prior to reaching the end of high and this will require educators to provide advanced content for them.
The 21st Century skills that receive major emphasis in this book are: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Technology literacy, Information media literacy, and Cross-Cultural skills.
Differentiation is the key to unlock the potential of the gifted and advanced learners within the CCSS. The book lays out four major strategies for accomplishing this. We must, (1) provide pathways to accelerate the CCSS for gifted learners;(2)provide examples of differentiated tasks to address specific standards; (3) create interdisciplinary products/units to increase the learning for gifted students and to efficiently address multiple standards at once; and (4) create different assessments to demonstrate authentic learning has taken place.
The booklet has provided us with quite a few different specific standards with examples of how to differentiate for gifted and advanced learners. In order to sufficiently address the curricular needs of gifted and advanced learners, teachers will need to differentiate curriculum by posing progressively more complex issues, using texts according to each student's reading level and interest, modification of mathematical processes according to what has previously been mastered, and the pace of instruction.
The contributors to this booklet also gave a chapter devoted to resources to use when implementing the CCSS with gifted and advanced learners.
This is a book that I purchased to help integrate the CCSS into my own classroom while continuing to challenge my gifted students at a level that will help them grow and be ready for college and the workplace.
I am looking forward to digging much deeper and finding out just how challenging these standards can be made for those students that are highly gifted or advanced.
Here is an example of one of the standards with differentiation for gifted learners. This is for:
Grade 3 CCSS RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Typical Learners: Students will ask and answer student-and teacher created questions regarding the plot of Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall, explicitly referring to the text to form the basis of their answers.
Advanced Learners: Advanced students will ask and answer student and teacher created questions regarding what the p lot of Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall says about courage and the life of women in the 19th century, using textual references. They will create a multimedia project that characterizes Sarah as a person of courage.
In my part I post, I stated that many times I feel that I haven't challenged my students as much as I should. After reading this book, I am certain that I have fallen far from the mark on most occasions. However, I will pick myself up and dust myself off and read and study more about CCSS to make sure that my future lessons/units are more in line with where they need to be to challenge my students adequately.
Looks like I know what I will be doing this summer.
If you have any comments, suggestions....please leave a comment. I need feedback on this. I need to know what others are doing....and is it working or not?
Toodles for now!!