What are the Common Core Standards?
Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.
Four Creative Ways to Teach the Common Core with Public Media
Reading: Range, Complexity and Quality
August 31, 2012, 10:02 am • Posted by Matthew Green
Here are four central components of the CCSS for English-Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, and examples of how KQED media can be used to to address them.
1. Emphasis on informational text
The CCSS places a heavy emphasis on reading nonfiction and informational text. Students are required to "integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually." From regularly updated radio and TV-based news coverage and analysis to in-depth scientific, artistic, and historical explorations, KQED and PBS LearningMedia's multi-platform digital library provides an abundant supply of compelling multimedia and writing examples that directly align to these standards. Let's say, for instance, you're teaching Shakespeare's Macbeth. Why not use a video clip and article from PBS LearningMedia about a school where actors go to brush up on their contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare's works?
2. The focus on argument
The CCSS requires that students read to "delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text" as well as to write their own arguments to "support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or text." KQED News is chock full of provocative issues likely to inspire student reactions and perspectives. For instance, you could use video clips, audio, and transcripts from Prison Break - a recently aired KQED-produced radio and TV series about California's troubled prison system. Students can then examine different viewpoints presented by key figures in the stories, and form their own arguments and opinions about how best to reform California's criminal justice system. Background explanatory material, additional multimedia exploratory resources, and an educator guide are also available on the topic as part of our news education project.
3. The push for media literacy
The CCSS stresses digital fluency and media savvy. The diverse viewpoints and voices represented in KQED's programming provide ample opportunity for students to analyze the impact of various media formats and presentations. PBS's comprehensive coverage of the 2012 Election, for instance, is an excellent way to examine various media techniques and the huge influence they have in shaping public opinion. One approach is to compare political ads and have students analyze the candidates' contrasting media strategies in conveying messages to the public. Visit our teaching media literacy section for more ideas.
4. Encouraging online collaboration and exchange of ideas
This is key to the CCSS. Inherent in its set of highlighted 21st Century skills is the ability for students to use and become part of diverse online communities to digitally interact and engage, and to share and express ideas and knowledge without geographical restrictions. KQED Education recently launched it's Do Now project, which encourages just that: getting students to express and share their ideas - via social media - on a range of academically and socially relevant themes. Each week we ask a new question, accompanied by a brief description of the topic and a piece of embedded media. Students can respond via Twitter and other social media platforms. Their replies appear instantly on our site and are visible to other students in other schools, who can submit their own ideas to the discussion. It results in an ongoing, inclusive conversation among students who might never have had the opportunity to converse in person. The process is an impetus for students to explore topics in greater depth, understand diverse perspectives, and research relevant issues in real time.
Range of literature with texts selected from a broad range of cultures and periods
Stories: includes the sub-genres of adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, myths, science fiction, allegories, parodies, satire, and graphic novels.
Drama: includes classical through contemporary one-act and multi-act plays, both in written form and on film, and works by writers representing a broad range of literary periods and cultures.
Poetry: include classical through contemporary works and the sub-genres of narrative poems, typical poems, free-verse poems, sonnets, odes, ballads, and epic writers representing a broad range of literary periods and cultures.
Literary Non-Fiction (Informational Text): Includes the sub-genres of exposition, argument, and functional text in the form of personal essays, speeches, opinion pieces, essays about art or literature, biographies, memoirs, journalism, and historical, scientific, technical, or economic accounts (including digital sources) written for a broad audience.
Parents please note: Given space limitations, the illustrative texts listed below are meant only to show individual titles that are representative of a range of topics and genres. At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, texts need to be selected around topics or themes that generate knowledge and allow students to study those topics or themes in depth.
Samples of other noteworthy literature, drama, poetry, and non-fiction informational texts