The Common Core State Standards, which target college and career readiness, were built on four Key Considerations. According to the first consideration (a focus on results, rather than means), teachers are free to employ whatever approach and tools fit their teaching style and help their students meet all instructional standards. This gives schools a lot of flexibility, but at the same time their accountability increases. According to the second consideration (an integrated model of literacy) reading, writing, speaking, and listening must be integrated into each discipline across all grades so that all students gradually build knowledge and skills toward college and career readiness. A third consideration (research and media skills blended into the standards as a whole) talks about the need to embed technology throughout all standards as opposed to having separate standards for technology and media skills because of the nature of today’s society which is increasingly technological- truly an information age. The way we deliver instruction should reflect the reality of the society. Only by doing this, we ensure the fact that the new generation will be ready to succeed as future productive citizens who need to be active consumers and producers of content. This key consideration also points out the need for our students to be presented with both print and nonprint texts in old and new formats. The fourth consideration (shared responsibility for students’ literacy development) disseminates the fact that all teachers are language teachers. Literacy is a shared responsibility not only of the ELA teachers, but of all subject area teachers. The Common Core requires us to adopt an interdisciplinary approach.
To begin, you can watch the following video about it:
-How many of your students would take the time to look up words in a dictionary, and how often would they do it? What would you say if you had the opportunity to have instant access to definition for all words in a text?
-How often would students be allowed to annotate the books they are reading and to highlight key information? And how easy would it be for you to check out everybody’s annotations and answer the questions they might have?
-How easy is it for students to both read at their own pace and have academic conversations about their reading while reading without interrupting their peers or the instruction?
-What would you say about the possibility to supplement students’ reading with multimedia resources embedded in their passage to build background, reinforce concepts, or address all learning styles all provided at the right time according to each student’s reading pace?
-What would you say about giving the students the opportunity to get feedback in real time from you and from their peers?
-What would you think about the possibility to quickly check for understanding through polls, true/false questions, or multiple choice questions right in the middle of their reading and again tailored to their reading pace?
Today there is much talk about the impact of digital resources on learning and instruction. A good technology tool allows users to do much more than they would be able to do without it. Because of the versatility of the digital text and its various features, using Subtext is much more than just having a book on a tablet instead of on a paper book. Teachers are able to differentiate their instruction much easier and respond to each student’s needs with just the right tools helping them approach rigorous content and increasingly complex texts. Students are able to interact and collaborate in a dynamic learning environment.
You can see below what a page looks like after the students have interacted with each other, with the text, and with the teacher in Subtext.
Margareta Tripsa is a visiting international faculty teacher and has been teaching for 5 years in CMS (out of 13 years of teaching experience), currently she teaches ESL at Smithfield Elementary, CMS, NC. She earned her Master’s of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Ms. Tripsa was awarded the Global Educator Award 2013. She loves both engaging students with technology tools and helping teachers build technology fluency while working with ELLs. She is passionate about the TPACK (Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge) framework and believes that effective technology integration involves skills and knowledge of technology, pedagogy, and content taken together, not in isolation. You can connect with her, visit, or follow her educational blog, Techie Teachers’ Tricks for more resources.