Friday, March 1, 2013

Point of View Lesson & Common Core Checklist: 5th Grade ELA, Math, and Writing

At the beginning of this year, I totally freaked out because not only was Common Core coming online soon, but our curriculum was replaced with a supplemental website that was not Common Core ready. This year has been a learning experience, to say the least.

I am starting to feel more confident in my lesson plans as of late. I had a huge confidence boost this week when one of our teachers asked me to help her identify the Arizona standards we were using for a Nonfiction lesson I wrote that included 4-5 different Reading skills. I realized as I was picking through the Arizona state standards why we're switching to Common Core: they don't blend well together, and they are way too basic! We ended up having to list the Common Core Standards because the lesson was simply better explained using them.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).

The lesson uses an informational article on Wolves that focuses on two point of view: animal activists and ranchers from the book Teaching Students to Read Nonfiction. We began with an anchor chart where students helped me brainstorm different points of view on Homework (teacher, parent, student). They wrote the chart in their notes and used it as an example during the activity. They then read through the article, underlining the point of view of each side, then placing it in a graphic organizer. After we finished, they wrote a paragraph for each point of view, using supporting evidence from the text. We had some excellent discussions, so this activity took us two separate days.

After this lesson and our standard discussion, I decided I really wanted to be "Common Core Ready". I immediately created a Common Core checklist to keep track of what I'm teaching for the rest of the school year, and next year. This will help me connect my current lessons to the Common Core standards, and also to see what lessons need to be changed or scrapped altogether. The fifth grade checklist for ELA, Math, and Writing is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

A well prepared teacher is a successful teacher. :)