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Common Core State [sic] Standards

 

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    Teaching Eight-Year-Olds to Sound Like Bankers
    by Susan Ohanian

    AFT Share My Lesson Common Core fulfillment mania strikes again, with a lesson on informative/expository writing (free registration required) that tries to make eight-year-olds sound like bankers.

    Warning: They may forever lose their voices in the process.

    We're told that this lesson satisfies this Common Core Standard:


    Students will be able to: Core Standard W.3.2b: Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details. Core Standard W.3.2c: Use linking words and phrases to connect ideas within categories of information.


    There's a handout where kids can check off that they have used these words (Tell students that linking/transition words can be used to tie all their paragraphs together.
    This helps keep the flow for readers. Share with students that linking/transition words are a lot like using glue. Using linking/transition words to connect ideas is a Review Focus Skill. . . .



    List of Linking/Transition Words

    To Show Order
    (Temporal Words)


    after
    before
    during
    first
    following
    next
    second
    since
    then
    third
    while

    To Add Information:
    additionally
    along with
    also
    another
    as well
    besides
    finally
    for example
    for instance
    furthermore
    in addition

    To Indicate a Purpose or Reason
    in hope that
    in order to
    so that
    with this in mind
    because

    To Conclude:
    all in all
    as a result
    finally
    in conclusion
    in summary
    in brief
    therefore
    lastly
    to sum up
    overall


    It is perverse to encourage eight-year-olds to write this way. I just turned in a 3,750 word essay for English Journal. I didn't use a single one of these words. I'm very serious about this comment: This is not how writers write. It may well be how bankers write, but I think it's worse than misguided to foist this on to third graders. Third graders have a wonderful sense of voice, and to deliberately set out to stifle this voice, to bury it in formalism, is worse than a mistake: it's a crime, definitely qualifying for Dante's eighth circle of hell--Fraud.

    For those who can stand it, there's more at the Share My Lesson site. They promise a writing an informative/expository lesson for first grade, but I've discovered I'm not as strong as I thought: I just can't make myself go there.

    — Susan Ohanian
    blog
    March 13, 2013


    Index of Common Core [sic] Standards

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