Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Putting it in their words

Kelley Tenkely tweeted this out today, and it totally fit what I was thinking about blogging!

I also wonder why the things we expect our students to know aren't always written in words they can understand.  Students should understand what they are expected to learn, just like I am supposed to understand what I am evaluated on as a teacher. 

Yesterday, we started discussion on our first Essential Learning in reading.  This is the wording that is given on the progress report:

Use text structures to determine main idea when reading text consisting of multiple organizational patterns.
There are some big words in there that some fifth graders might struggle with, so we talked it out.  We read through it, picked out words they knew - like text and main idea - and then took words they weren't sure about - like text structure, determine, conisisting - talked about what we thought they might mean, reworded them, and rewrote the Essential Learning in our own words.

Here's what we came up with:

It's not a huge change, but it is written in words that all of my students can read and comprehend.

What are your thoughts?  Should our progress report statements and the Common Core be written in student speak?