On Friday, December 12, sixty teachers and principals came together to learn with and from Tom Dewing of Thoughtful Education. Mr. Dewig spent the day introducing the strategies from the book; “The Core Six, Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core.” Each participant received a copy of the book, and went in-depth with two of the strategies and jig-sawed the other four strategies.
Thanks to more than 40 years of research on classroom strategies, we now know better than ever what works in classrooms. If teachers want to get results, the six strategies need to be treated as learning strategies rather than end-of-learning assessments.
The Core Six are strategies that have been refined over time with the intent of making research come to life in the classroom.
1. Reading for Meaning helps students develop the skills that proficient readers use to make sense of rigorous texts. The strategy helps build these CC skills: managing text complexity, evaluating and using evidence, and developing core reading skills.
2. Compare & Contrast teaches students to conduct a thorough comparative analysis. The strategy helps build these CC Skills: conducting comparative analysis of academic content, comparative reading of 2 or more texts, and integrating information from multiple sources.
3. Inductive Learning helps students find patterns and structures built into content through an inductive process (analyzing specifics to form generalizations). The strategy helps build these CC skills: finding patterns and making logical inferences, supporting thinking with evidence and mastering academic vocabulary.
4. Circle of Knowledge is a strategic framework for planning and conducting classroom discussions that engage all students in deeper thinking and thoughtful communication. The strategy helps build these CC skills: speaking, listening and discussing, collaborating with peers and integrating and evaluating information.
5. Write to Learn helps teachers integrate writing into daily instruction and develop student’s writing skills in the key text types associated with college and career readiness. The strategy helps build these CC skills: developing higher order thinking through writing, writing key CC text types and writing for a wide range of tasks, audiences and purposes.
6. Vocabulary’s Code is a strategic approach to vocabulary instruction that improves student’s ability to retain and use crucial vocabulary terms. The strategy helps build these CC skills: mastering academic vocabulary, improving literacy across the strands building back ground knowledge as a foundation for success.
Instructional strategies like the Core Six give teachers proven and practical way to respond to the rigorous demands of the Common Core. When used, the strategies incite students’ thinking, turn the process of learning into an active quest, and build the skills students need to be ready for college and careers.
By: Tessa Levitt, CA BOCES and Whitesville