The focus on the close reading of texts suggests a new idea to SLJ’s columnist—an idea that taps librarians’ expertise and offers an exciting approach to inquiry.
In adopting the Common Core State Standards, U. S. educators are part of a larger educational reform movement. From England to Japan countries around the world are debating a national curricula. Why are so many nations considering one? And where does the impetus to do so come from? Marc Aronson ponders these questions in his latest Consider the Source column.
School librarians and the Common Core (CC) have been my focus all year, and especially this fall. Sue Bartle and I have been holding one workshop after another with teachers and librarians, spreading our CC gospel and hearing their issues and concerns. The great thing about being out in the field is that I learn as much as I teach—and one spectacular example of that recently took place in Buffalo, NY.
Marc Aronson discusses a set of books that looks at the same moment in history from three different angles. Taken together, the three titles offer a more comprehensive picture of a time of invention and discovery than we’d typically get from an individual book: one title focuses on a remarkable genius; another on a breakthrough invention; and the third title, which explores a transforming theory, is really best seen as a moment in which circumstance, individuals, and technology converge to make change possible.
We always warn kids not to “pile on”—adding an extra shove when another kid is already down. But in this case, I have to add my voice to Melissa Jacobs-Israel’s. Melissa has expressed her frustration with the Common Core’s infamous Appendix B: Text Exemplars and Performance Tasks, and I couldn’t agree more.Sadly, Appendix B isn’t down.
The Known and the Uncertain: The Special Challenge of Teaching Students to Think Like a Historian or Scientist
One of the joys of reading the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), the British book review journal that arrives in my mailbox more or less on schedule four times a month, is that it periodically includes lengthy essays drawn from lectures or from introductions to new books that are aimed at that borderline place between the educated layperson and the browsing academic. TLS’s editors often group a selection of each week’s works by theme, and its July 6 issue included several interesting reviews related to medieval heresy. One sentence in the piece stopped me in my tracks: “he” (I’ll tell you whom in a moment) “frames what he is not sure of within the boundaries of what he is sure about.”