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An Impossible Mandate

Susan Notes:

Ohanian Comment: I wrote a book about how I feel about these kinds of standards: One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards The standards below prove the book is more relevant than ever. And Amazon is offering a special half-price deal.

I picked out a few standards from the mess listed below as especially amusing, outrageous, and/or abusive. In the case of English 4, the good news here is that this course is not required.

I'm not commenting on how developmentally and situationally inappropriate these standards are--from Grade 1 through Senior English--or what a mockery they make of the so-called Writing Process. As already noted, I wrote a book about this. When I think of the impact of this Standardisto vision on children, I get sick to my stomach.

First Grade
Strand: Listening & Speaking
Standard 2:
Students speak clearly and to the point. (How many corporate-politicos passing edicts about standards do you know who speak clearly and to the point?)

4th Grade

  • Identify explicit and implicit relationships among ideas in texts organized by cause-and-effect, sequence, or comparison (e.g., consider reading the Declaration of Independence, Constitutions of Texas and the United States)

  • Students compose a variety of written texts with a clear controlling idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail

  • !!!!
    7th Grade
    Recite grade-level poems (sic), using expressive gestures, clear diction and appropriate rhythm, pace, and phrasing (e.g., consider reading Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat").
    I am fascinated by the very the term "grade level poem," and then to consider "Casey at the Bat" as grade level, when in fiction the suggested readings are Solzhenitsyn and Faulkner," rather boggles the mind.

    English 1
  • consider reading Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera and Reynold Price's Long and Happy Life

  • Analyze the relevance and quality of evidence given to support an author's argument (e.g., consider excerpts from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species and examine the evidence for his inferences).

  • Write an engaging story with a well-developed conflict and resolution, interesting and believable characters, and a range of literary strategies (e.g., dialogue, suspense) and devices to enhance the plot.

  • Write a poem using a variety of poetic techniques (e.g., structural elements, figurative language) and a variety of poetic forms (e.g., sonnets, ballads).

  • Write a script with an explicit or implicit theme and details that contribute to a definite mood or tone.

  • English IV
  • Relate the theme of a literary work to the seminal ideas of its time (e.g., consider reading Milton's "Paradise Lost" and connect it to Milton's experience during the English Civil War).

  • Demonstrate familiarity with key speeches and characters in the works of key dramatists in British literary history (e.g., Elizabethan, Restoration, 20th century).

  • Analyze passages in well-known literary essays (e.g., Addison, Steele, Pope) and speeches (e.g., Winston Churchill) for the rhetorical techniques of ambiguity,
    contradiction, paradox, irony, sarcasm, and overstatement.

  • consider reading selections from Newton, Einstein, and Hawking on the nature of gravity

  • Modest Proposal: Members of the Texas State Board of Education first should demonstrate their understanding of Newton, et al. before voting on these standards.

    Thanks to Donna Garner for pulling all this information together.

    NOTE: I tried to squeeze all this in, but because of site space limitations, it cuts out toward the end. Go to Part 2 for information on when and where the Texas Education Agency holds public meetings on this offal--and for the standards for English IV.

    by Donna Garner

    Whoa! Not so fast. The Texas State Board of Education is poised to sign off on new English / Language Arts / Reading standards (Grades K-12), but nobody has taken the time to make sure that the standards can be taught in a year's time. In other words, the standards, if approved in their present form, could set up an impossible mandate for Texas teachers and their students to meet.

    A very heated debate has been occurring in Texas over the rewrite of the English / Language Arts / Reading standards (TEKS) for Grades K-12. Heretofore, two documents were being considered, the StandardsWork document and the Substitute Amendment. As of 3.19.08, a third document emerged called the TEKS ELAR Draft, and this is the one to which the public is to direct its comments at the public hearing in front of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) this Wednesday, March 26, at 1:00 P. M.

    The problem is that the TEKS ELAR Draft is posted only in strands -- Reading, Writing, Research, Listening and Speaking, Oral and Written Conventions; but I know of no one (perhaps even the writers of the document themselves) who has taken the time to put the strands into a grade-level format to make sure that there are not too many requirements to be taught at each grade level.

    After the SBOE casts its final votes on May 23, 2008, all Texas public school teachers will be mandated to follow the TEKS ELAR; and new TAKS tests, including end-of-course TAKS in high school, will be developed along with new textbooks.

    Because of the far-reaching implications of this decision, it is vitally important that the SBOE members look carefully at how much material will be required to be taught/learned at each grade level.

    The people who are to testify this Wednesday have not yet seen the TEKS ELAR Draft formatted into grade levels. This type of grade-level formatting will not occur until the document is published in the Texas Registry at the end of this week.

    It took me hours to cut/copy/paste each element in each strand to a particular grade level, and I had to choose arbitrarily only Grades 1, 4, 7, 9, and 12 because of time constraints. However, by looking at these five grade levels, teachers as well as parents and their children can get a pretty good idea of the impossible mandate that this TEKS ELAR Draft represents.

    My questions are these:
    a) How many students would be able to learn this much material in a year's time?
    b) Could teachers implement this much curriculum into their yearly lesson plans?
    c) Are these requirements simply too numerous and time consuming to be taught to a typical classroom full of students during a school year?
    d) If the TEKS ELAR (3.19.08) were adopted, would the state be setting up both students and their teachers for failure by requiring much too much to be taught/mastered in a year's time?
    e) If teachers must address each one of these numerous and very involved requirements during the school year, would teachers have time to teach skills to the mastery level; or would students simply be so rushed that they would end up with gaps in their learning experiences?
    The SBOE must give careful consideration to the answers to my questions.

    At the bottom of this article, I have posted the link to the TEKS ELAR (3.19.08) Draft, the link to the Substitute Amendment, the link to the Texas Education Agency's web site that gives procedures for the public hearing, and the timeline for the adoption of the final ELAR TEKS document.
    ===============================================================

    GRADE 1
    Strand: Reading

    Students read and understand a wide variety of literary and informational texts.
    Sub-Strand 1: Beginning Reading Skills (K-3)
    Standard 1: Students understand how English is written and printed.
    (a) Recognize that spoken words are represented in written English by specific sequences of letters.
    (b) Identify upper- and lower-case letters.
    (c) Sequence the letters of the alphabet.
    (d) Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., capitalization of first word, ending punctuation).
    (e) Identify the information that different parts of a book provide (e.g., title, author, illustrator, table of contents).
    Standard 2: Students display phonological awareness.
    (a) Orally generate a series of original rhyming words using a variety of phonograms (e.g., -ake, -ant, -ain) and consonant blends (e.g., bl, st, tr).
    (b) Distinguish between long- and short-vowel sounds in spoken one-syllable words (e.g., bit/bite).
    (c) Blend spoken phonemes to form one- and two-syllable words, including consonant blends (e.g., spr).
    (d) Recognize the change in a spoken word when a specified phoneme is added, changed, or removed (e.g., /b/l/o/w/ to /g/l/o/w/).
    (e) Segment spoken one-syllable words of three to five phonemes into individual phonemes (e.g., splat = /s/p/l/a/t/).
    (f) Isolate initial, medial, and final sounds in one-syllable spoken words.
    Standard 3: Students use the relationships between letters and sounds, spelling patterns, and morphological analysis to decode written English.
    (a) Read words in text and independent of context by applying common letter-sound correspondences including
    a.. single letters (consonants and vowels)
    b.. consonant blends (e.g., bl, st)
    c.. consonant digraphs (e.g., th, sh)
    d.. vowel digraphs (e.g., oo, ee) and diphthongs (e.g., oi, ow)
    (b) Combine sounds from letters and common spelling patterns (e.g., consonant blends, long- and short-vowel patterns) to create recognizable words.
    (c) Use common syllabication patterns to read words including
    a.. closed syllable (CVC) (e.g., mat, rab-bit)
    b.. open syllable (CV) (e.g., he, ba-by)
    c.. final stable syllable (e.g., ap-ple, a-ble)
    d.. vowel-consonant-silent "e" words (VCe) (e.g., kite, hide)
    e.. r-controlled vowel sounds (e.g., tar)
    (d) Read words with common spelling patterns (e.g., -ight, -ant).
    (e) Read base words with inflectional endings (e.g., plurals, past tenses).
    (f) Use knowledge of the meaning of base words to identify and read common compound words (e.g., football, popcorn, daydream).
    (g) Identify and read contractions (e.g., isn't, can't).
    (h) Identify and read at least 100 high-frequency words from a commonly used list.
    (i) Monitor accuracy of decoding using syntax and semantics.
    Standard 4: Students read grade-level text with fluency and comprehension.
    (a) Read aloud grade-level appropriate text with fluency (rate, accuracy, expression, appropriate phrasing) and comprehension.
    Sub-Strand 2: Vocabulary Development
    Standard 1: Students understand new vocabulary and use it correctly when reading and writing.
    (a) Identify words that name actions (verbs) and words that name persons, places, or things (nouns).
    (b) Identify and sort words into conceptual categories (e.g., opposites, living things).
    (c) Identify base words (e.g., look) and their inflectional forms (e.g., looks, looked, looking).
    (d) Determine what words mean from how they are used in a sentence, either heard or read.
    (e) Alphabetize a series of words to the first or second letter.
    Sub-Strand 3: Comprehension of Literary Text
    Standard 1: Students analyze theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Connect the meaning of a well-known story or fable to personal experiences.
    (b) Recognize the role of recurring phrases (e.g., "Once upon a time" or "They lived happily ever after") in traditional folk and fairy tales.
    (c) Identify similarities in plot, setting, or characters among the works of an author or illustrator (e.g., consider reading Maurice Sendak, Elsa Minarik, Beatrix Potter).
    Standard 2: Students understand the structure and elements of poetry and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Identify rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration in poetry.
    (b) Recite brief poems, rhymes, and songs, speaking clearly at an appropriate and understandable pace (e.g., consider reading poems by John Ciardi, David McCord).
    Standard 4: Students understand the structure and elements of fiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Confirm predictions about what will happen next in text by "reading the part that tells."
    (b) Visualize and describe the setting of a story.
    (c) Identify the plot (problem and solution) and retell a story's beginning, middle, and end with attention to the sequence of events (e.g., consider recounting the fairytales Goldilocks and The Three Bears).
    (d) Ask and respond to questions about characteristics of main characters in a story and discuss the reasons for their actions (e.g., consider responding to the story of Three Billy Goats Gruff).
    Standard 5: Students understand the varied structural patterns and features of literary nonfiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Determine whether a story is true or a fantasy and explain why (e.g., consider reading Ringgold's If A Bus Could Talk).
    Standard 6: Students understand how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Recognize sensory details in literary text (e.g., consider reading Myers and Roth's Tanuki's Gift).
    SUB-STRAND 4: COMPREHENSION OF INFORMATIONAL TEXT
    Standard 1: Students analyze and understand the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and respond by providing evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Identify the topic and explain the author's purpose in writing about it (e.g., consider reading Andrea and Brian Pinkney's Duke Ellington).
    Standard 2 Students analyze and understand expository text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Restate the main idea, heard or read (e.g. consider reading David Adler's and Nancy Tobin's How Tall, How Short, How Far Away).
    (b) Identify important facts or details in text, heard or read (e.g., consider reading biographies of Sam Houston, Thomas Edison, Clara Barton, Alexander Graham Bell).
    (c) Retell the order of events in a text by referring to the words and/or illustrations (e.g., consider reading an article on Battle of the Alamo, a biography of Davy Crockett).
    (d) Use text features (e.g., title, illustrations) to make predictions about the topic of the text.
    (e) Identify different forms of visual and electronic media (e.g., TV, film, the Internet, magazines).
    Standard 4: Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents.
    (a) Follow written multi-step directions with picture cues to assist with understanding.
    (b) Explain the meaning of specific signs and symbols (e.g., map features).
    Strand: WRITING
    Students compose a variety of written texts with a clear controlling idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.
    Standard 1: Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text.
    (a) Plan a first draft by generating ideas for writing (e.g., drawing, sharing ideas, listing key ideas).
    (b) Develop drafts by sequencing ideas through writing sentences.
    (c) Revise drafts by adding or deleting a word, phrase, or sentence.
    (d) Edit drafts for grammar, punctuation, and spelling using a teacher-developed rubric.
    (e) Publish and share writing with others.
    Standard 2: Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas.
    (a) Write brief stories that include a beginning, middle, and end.
    (b) Write short poems that convey sensory details.
    Standard 3: Students write expository and procedural or work-related texts to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences for specific purposes.
    (a) Write short letters that put ideas in a chronological or logical sequence and use appropriate conventions (e.g., date, salutation, closing).
    (b) Write brief compositions about topics of interest to the student.
    (c) Write brief comments on literary or informational texts.
    Standard 4: Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues.
    (a) Write persuasive statements about issues that are important to the student to the appropriate audience in the school, home, or local community.
    Strand: Research
    Students know how to locate a range of relevant sources and evaluate, synthesize, and present ideas and information.
    Standard 1: Students ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them.
    (with adult assistance):
    (a) Generate a list of topics of class-wide interest and formulate open-ended questions about one or two of the topics.
    (b) Decide what sources of information might be relevant.
    Standard 2: Students determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather.
    (a) Gather evidence from available sources (natural and personal) as well as from interviews with local experts.
    (b) Use text features (e.g., table of contents, alphabetized index) in age-appropriate reference works (e.g., picture dictionaries) to locate information.
    (c) Record basic information in simple visual formats (e.g., notes, charts, picture graphs, diagrams).
    Standard 3: Students clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information.
    (a) Revise the topic as a result of answers to initial research questions.
    Standard 4: Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience.
    (a) Create a visual display or dramatization to convey the results of the research.
    Strand: Listening & Speaking
    Students listen and respond to the ideas of others while contributing their own ideas in conversations and in groups.
    Standard 1: Students listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings.
    (a) Listen attentively to speakers and ask relevant questions to clarify information.
    (b) Follow, restate, and give oral instructions that involve a short related sequence of actions.
    Standard 2: Students speak clearly and to the point.
    (a) Share information and ideas about the topic under discussion, speaking clearly at an appropriate and understandable pace.
    Standard 3: Students work productively with others in teams.
    (a) Follow agreed-upon rules for discussion, including listening to others, speaking when recognized, and making appropriate contributions.
    Strand: Oral and Written Conventions
    Students learn how to use the oral and written conventions of the English language in speaking and writing.
    Standard 1: Students identify and use the grammatical conventions of academic language when speaking and writing.
    (a) Identify and use the following parts of speech in the context of reading, writing, and speaking:
    a.. verbs (past, present, and future)
    b.. nouns (singular/plural, common/proper)
    c.. adjectives (e.g., descriptive: green, tall; limiting: this, that; articles: a, an, the)
    d.. adverbs (time: before, next; manner: carefully, beautifully; frequency: usually, sometimes; intensity: almost, a lot)
    e.. prepositions (at, on, in, to, with, around)
    (b) Speak in complete sentences with correct subject-verb agreement.
    (c) Distinguish among declarative and interrogative sentences.
    Standard 2: Students write legibly and use appropriate capitalization and punctuation conventions in their compositions.
    (a) Form upper- and lowercase letters legibly using the basic conventions of print (left-to-right and top-to-bottom progression).
    (b) Write text using the basic conventions of print, including spacing between words and sentences.
    (c) Use basic capitalization for:
    a.. the beginning of sentences
    b.. the pronoun "I"
    c.. names of people
    (d) Recognize and use punctuation marks at the end of declarative, exclamatory, and interrogative sentences.
    Standard 3: Students spell correctly.
    (a) Use phonological knowledge to match sounds to letters to construct words.
    (b) Spell high-frequency words from a commonly used list.
    (c) Spell base words with inflectional endings (e.g., adding "s" to make words plurals).
    (d) Use letter-sound patterns to spell:
    a.. consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words
    b.. consonant-vowel-consonant-silent e (CVCe) words (e.g., "hope")
    c.. one-syllable words with consonant blends (e.g., "drop")
    (e) Spell unfamiliar words, using strategies such as segmenting, sounding out, and connecting words and word parts.
    (f) Use resources to find correct spellings.
    ====================================================
    GRADE 4

    Sub-Strand 2: Vocabulary Development
    Standard 1:
    Students understand new vocabulary and use it correctly when reading and writing.
    (a) Determine the meaning of grade-level academic English words derived from Latin, Greek, or other linguistic roots and affixes.
    (b) Use the context of the sentence (e.g., in-sentence example or definition) to determine the intended meaning of an unfamiliar word.
    (c) Identify antonyms, synonyms, homographs, and homophones.
    (d) Complete analogies using knowledge of antonyms and synonyms (e.g., boy:girl as male:____ or girl:woman as boy:_____ ).
    (e) Use a dictionary or glossary to determine the meanings, syllabication, and pronunciation of unknown words.
    Sub-Strand 3: Comprehension of Literary Text
    Standard 1:
    Students analyze theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Compare and contrast the themes or moral lessons of several similar folktales, fables, or myths from various cultures.
    (b) Identify the phenomena explained in origin myths (e.g., consider reading about Prometheus' fire, Pandora's box of evils).
    (c) Compare and contrast the adventures or exploits of the trickster in texts from various cultures (e.g., consider reading the Anansi tales from Africa, the Iktomi stories of the Plains Indians, the Bre'er Rabbit tales, the Merry Pranks of Til Eulenspiegel).
    (d) Describe the genre characteristics of folktales, fables, and myths.
    Standard 2: Students understand the structure and elements of poetry and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Identify the author's use of similes and metaphors to produce imagery (e.g., consider reading Josette Frank's "Snow Toward Evening: A Year in a River").
    (b) Recognize how the structural elements of poetry (e.g., rhyme, meter, stanzas, line breaks) relate to form (e.g., lyrical poetry, free verse).
    Standard 3: Students understand the structure and elements of drama and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Describe the structural elements particular to dramatic literature (e.g., scenes, acts, cast of characters).

    Standard 4:Students understand the structure and elements of fiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Visualize and describe different aspects of the setting (e.g., time, place, situation).
    (b) Sequence and identify the plot's main events and describe their influence on future actions (e.g., consider reading Grace Lin's Year of the Dog).
    (c) Describe the personality traits, motivations, and feelings of the characters using their thoughts, dialogue, and actions and other evidence from the text (e.g., consider reading E.B. White's Charlotte's Web).
    (d) Identify whether the narrator or speaker of a story is first or third person.
    (e) Read aloud grade-level stories with fluency (rate, accuracy, expression, appropriate phrasing) and comprehension.

    Standard 5: Students understand the varied structural patterns and features of literary nonfiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Identify similarities and differences between the events and characters' experiences in a fictional work and the actual events and experiences in the author's biography or autobiography (e.g., consider reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's biography and the Little House on the Prairie series).

    Standard 6: Students understand how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Evaluate the impact of sensory details and figurative language (metaphors and similes) on a story or poem (e.g., consider reading Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking).

    SUB-STRAND 4: COMPREHENSION OF INFORMATIONAL TEXT
    Standard 1:
    Students analyze and understand the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and respond by providing evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Explain the difference between a stated and an implied purpose for an expository text.

    Standard 2: Students analyze and understand expository text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Describe the main idea and supporting details in text (e.g., consider reading encyclopedia entries on Juan Sequin, Miriam Ferguson, Audie Murphy, Barbara Jordan).
    (b) Distinguish fact from opinion in a text and explain how to verify what is a fact (e.g., consider reading history books on Mexico's independence from Spain, the annexation of Texas by the United States).
    (c) Identify explicit and implicit relationships among ideas in texts organized by cause-and-effect, sequence, or comparison (e.g., consider reading the Declaration of Independence, Constitutions of Texas and the United States).
    (d) Identify and use text features (e.g., index, glossary) to locate information quickly and efficiently.
    (e) Describe how various media techniques (e.g., shape, line, color, pacing, close-ups, sound effects, texture in illustrations) influence the information presented.
    Standard 3: Students analyze and understand persuasive text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their analysis.
    (a) Explain how an author uses language to present information to influence the reader to think or do something (e.g., consider reading Leslie Sills' Inspirations: Stories About Women Artists).
    Standard 4: Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents.
    (a) Determine the sequence of activities needed to carry out a procedure (e.g., following a recipe).
    (b) Explain factual information presented graphically (e.g., charts, diagrams, graphs, illustrations).
    Strand: WRITING
    Students compose a variety of written texts with a clear controlling idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.
    Standard 1: Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text.
    (a) Plan a first draft by selecting a genre appropriate for conveying the intended meaning to an audience and generating ideas through a range of strategies (e.g., brainstorming, graphic organizers, logs, journals).
    (b) Develop drafts by categorizing ideas and organizing them into paragraphs.
    (c) Revise drafts for coherence, organization, simple and compound sentences, and audience.
    (d) Edit drafts for grammar, mechanics, and spelling using a teacher-developed rubric.
    (e) Revise final draft in response to feedback from peers and teacher and publish written work for a specific audience.
    Standard 2: Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas.
    (a) Write imaginative stories that build the plot to a climax and contain details about the characters and setting.
    (b) Write poems that convey sensory details using the conventions of poetry (e.g., rhyme, meter, patterns of verse).
    (c) Write about important personal experiences.
    Standard 3: Students write expository and procedural or work-related texts to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences for specific purposes.
    (a) Write paragraphs that:
    a.. establish a central idea in a topic sentence
    b.. include supporting sentences with simple facts, details, and explanations
    a.. contain a concluding statement
    (b) Write letters whose language is tailored to the audience and purpose (e.g., a thank you note to a friend) and that use appropriate conventions (e.g., date, salutation, closing).
    (c) Write brief compositions that contain a clear focus, organization, and sufficient supporting details.
    (d) Write responses to literary or expository texts and provide evidence from the text to demonstrate understanding.
    Standard 4: Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues.
    (a) Write persuasive essays to the appropriate audience that establish a position and use supporting details.
    Strand: Research
    Students know how to locate a range of relevant sources and evaluate, synthesize, and present ideas and information.
    Standard 1: Students ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them.
    (a) Generate research topics from personal interests or by brainstorming with others, narrow to one topic, and formulate open-ended questions about the major research topic.
    (b) Generate a research plan for gathering relevant information (e.g., surveys, interviews, encyclopedias) about the major research question.
    Standard 2: Students determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather.
    (a) Follow the research plan to collect information from multiple sources of information both oral and written, including
    a.. student-initiated surveys, on-site inspections, and interviews
    b.. data from experts, reference texts, and online searches
    c.. visual sources of information (e.g., maps, timelines, graphs) where appropriate
    (b) Use skimming and scanning techniques to identify data by looking at text features (e.g., bold print, italics).
    (c) Take simple notes and sort evidence into provided categories or an organizer.
    (d) Identify the author, title, publisher, and publication year of sources.
    (e) Differentiate between paraphrasing and plagiarism and identify the importance of citing valid and reliable sources.
    Standard 3: Students clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information.
    (a) Improve the focus of research as a result of consulting expert sources (e.g., reference librarians and local experts on the topic).
    Standard 4: Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience.
    (a) Draw conclusions through a brief written explanation and create a works-cited page from notes, including the author, title, publisher, and publication year for each source used.
    Strand: Listening & Speaking
    Students listen and respond to the ideas of others while contributing their own ideas in conversations and in groups.
    Standard 1: Students listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings.
    (a) Listen attentively to speakers and ask relevant questions and make pertinent comments.
    (b) Follow, restate, and give oral instructions that involve a series of related sequences of action.
    Standard 2: Students speak clearly and to the point.
    (a) Express an opinion supported by accurate information, employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, and enunciation to communicate ideas effectively.
    Standard 3: Students work productively with others in teams.
    (a) Participate in teacher- and student-led small-group discussions by posing and answering questions with appropriate detail and providing suggestions that build upon the ideas of others.
    Strand: Oral and Written Convention
    Students learn how to use the oral and written conventions of the English language in speaking and writing.
    Standard 1: Students identify and use the grammatical conventions of academic language when speaking and writing.
    (a) Identify and use the following parts of speech in the context of reading, writing, and speaking:
    a.. verbs (irregular verbs)
    b.. nouns (singular and plural)
    c.. pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    d.. comparatives and superlatives (e.g., fast, faster, fastest)
    e.. correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor)
    (b) Identify and use complete simple and compound sentences with correct subject-verb agreement and distinguish between complete and incomplete sentences.
    Standard 2: Students write legibly and use appropriate capitalization and punctuation conventions in their compositions.
    (a) Write legibly by selecting cursive script or manuscript printing as appropriate.
    (b) Use capitalization for:
    a.. historical events and documents
    b.. titles of books, stories, essays
    c.. languages, races, and nationalities
    (c) Recognize and use punctuation marks including
    a.. commas in compound sentences
    b.. apostrophes in possessives
    c.. quotation marks
    Standard 3: Students spell correctly.
    (a) Spell words with more advanced orthographic patterns and rules:
    a.. double consonants in middle of words
    b.. plural rules (e.g. words ending in f as in leaf, leaves; adding -es)
    c.. irregular plurals (e.g. man/men, foot/feet, child/children)
    d.. silent letters (e.g., knee, wring)
    e.. other ways to spell sh (e.g., -sion, -tion, -cian)
    (b) Spell base words and roots with affixes (e.g., -ion, -ment, -ly, dis-, pre-).
    (c) Spell commonly used homophones (e.g., there, they're, their; two, too, to).
    (d) Use spelling patterns and rules and print and electronic resources to determine and check correct spellings.
    ===================================================
    GRADE 7

    Sub-Strand 2: Vocabulary Development
    Standard 1:
    Students understand new vocabulary and use it correctly when reading and writing.
    (a) Determine the meaning of grade-level academic English words derived from Latin, Greek, or other linguistic roots and affixes.
    (b) Use context to determine the differences in precise meaning among words with related meanings (e.g., irritated, angry, irate) and explain how writers and speakers use language to evoke emotions in their audiences.
    (c) Complete analogies that describe part to whole or whole to part.
    (d) Identify the meaning of foreign words commonly used in written English with emphasis on Latin and Greek words (e.g., habeus corpus, e pluribus unum, bona fide, nemesis).
    (e) Use a dictionary, a glossary, or a thesaurus (printed or electronic) to determine the meanings, syllabication, pronunciations, alternate word choices, and parts of speech of words.
    Sub-Strand 3: Comprehension of Literary Text
    Standard 1:
    Students analyze theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Recognize and describe multiple themes in a work of fiction.
    (b) Identify conventions in epic tales (e.g., extended simile, the quest, the hero's tasks, special weapons or clothing, helpers) in traditional literature (e.g., consider reading Tales from the Arabian Knights).
    (c) Describe how place and time can influence the theme or message of a literary work (e.g., consider reading Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich).
    (d) Relate a literary work to artifacts, artistic creations, or historical sites of the period of its setting (e.g., consider connecting Irene Hunt's Across Five Aprils or Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage to Matthew Brady's photographs from the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and excerpts from various soldiers' diaries and letters).
    Standard 2: Students understand the structure and elements of poetry and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Analyze the importance of graphical elements (e.g., capital letters, line length, word position) on the meaning of a poem.
    (b) Recite grade-level poems, using expressive gestures, clear diction and appropriate rhythm, pace, and phrasing (e.g., consider reading Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat").
    Standard 3: Students understand the structure and elements of drama and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Explain the similarities and differences in the setting, characters, and plot of a play and those in a film based upon the same story line (e.g., consider reading and viewing Thornton Wilder's Our Town)
    Standard 4: Students understand the structure and elements of fiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Draw conclusions about the relevance of the setting to the mood and tone of works of fiction (e.g., consider reading Rene Saldana's A Jumping Tree).
    (b) Analyze linear plot development (e.g., conflict, rising action, falling action, resolution, subplots) in a work of fiction to determine whether and how conflicts are resolved (e.g., consider reading Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer).
    (c) Make inferences about characters' motivations and conflicts (e.g., consider reading Edgar Allan Poe's, "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" or Shirley Jackson's Charles).
    (d) Analyze different forms of point of view, including first-person, third-person omniscient, and third-person limited (e.g., consider reading short stories from Moffett and McElheny's Point of View).
    (e) Explain the characteristics of mysteries, science fiction, and historical fiction as genres of fiction (e.g., consider reading Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales, Isaac Asimov's science fiction stories, and historical fiction such as Gary Paulsen's Soldier's Heart: A Novel of Civil War).
    (f) Adjust fluency when reading aloud grade-level text based on the reading purpose and the nature of the text.
    Standard 5: Students understand the varied structural patterns and features of literary nonfiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Describe the structural and substantive differences between an autobiography (e.g., Helen Keller: The Story of My Life) or a diary (e.g., Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl) and the play based on the original work of literary nonfiction (The Miracle Worker or The Diary of Anne Frank).
    (b) Outline the character in a character sketch, including the person's outward appearance, personality, interests, and beliefs (e.g., consider reading Ivan Turgenev's Sketches from a Hunter's Album).
    Standard 6: Students understand how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Analyze how an author's use of language creates imagery, appeals to the senses, and suggests mood (e.g., consider reading William Faulkner's "The Bear").
    SUB-STRAND 4: COMPREHENSION OF INFORMATIONAL TEXT
    Standard 1:
    Students analyze and understand the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and respond by providing evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Explain the difference between the theme of a literary work and the author's purpose in an expository text (e.g., consider reading books on science or history by Vivian Epstein or James Haskins and compare to the poetry of Gary Soto or Jim Murphy's The Great Fire).
    Standard 2: Students analyze and understand expository text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Summarize the main ideas, supporting details, and relationships among ideas in text succinctly in ways that maintain logical order (e.g., consider reading Joseph Bruchac's Navajo Long Walk and organize and record the information in the text in a logical fashion).
    (b) Distinguish facts from commonplace assertions and opinions (e.g., consider reading history books or encyclopedia articles on Lyndon Johnson, Michael DeBakey, Buffalo soldiers, Texas Rangers).
    (c) Use different organizational patterns as guides for summarizing different kinds of expository text (e.g., consider reading different chapters in Ronald J. Drez's Remember D-Day: The Plan, The Invasion, Survivor Stories).
    (d) Use multiple text features to answer questions and summarize ideas (e.g., footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, sidebars, and captions).
    (e) Distinguish between the purposes and other characteristics of a report and an expository essay.
    (f) Explain how multiple print techniques (e.g., layout, graphics, color) interact to produce a media message.
    (g) Evaluate how visual image-makers (e.g., documentary filmmakers, news reporters) inform their audiences.
    Standard 3: Students analyze and understand persuasive text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their analysis.
    (a) Compare and contrast the evidence presented and conclusions reached in two or more arguments on the same topic (e.g., consider comparing the kinds of arguments about caring about animals in Jane Goodall's My Life with the Chimpanzees and James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small).
    (b) Identify such rhetorical fallacies as attack ad hominem, exaggeration, stereotyping, or categorical claims in persuasive texts.
    Standard 4: Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents.
    (a) Follow multi-dimensional instructions from text to complete a task, solve a problem, or perform procedures.
    (b) Explain the function of the graphical components of a text (e.g., consider reading and analyzing the visual elements of Francesca Romei's Leonardo da Vinci: Artist, Inventor, and Scientist of the Renaissance).
    Strand: WRITING
    Students compose a variety of written texts with a clear controlling idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.
    Standard 1: Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text.
    (a) Plan a first draft by selecting a genre appropriate for conveying the intended meaning to an audience, determining appropriate topics through a range of strategies (e.g., discussion, background reading, personal interests, and interviews), and developing a thesis or controlling idea.
    (b) Develop drafts by choosing an appropriate organizational strategy (e.g., sequence of events, cause-effect, compare-contrast) and building on ideas to create a focused, organized, and coherent piece of writing.
    (c) Revise drafts to ensure precise word choice and vivid image, consistent point of view, use of simple, compound, and complex sentences, internal and external coherence, and the use of effective transitions.
    (d) Edit drafts for grammar, mechanics, and spelling.
    (e) Revise final draft in response to feedback from peers and teacher and publish written work for appropriate audiences.
    Standard 2: Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas.
    (a) Write an imaginative story that:
    a.. sustains reader interest
    b.. includes well-paced action and an engaging story line
    c.. develops interesting characters
    d.. uses a range of literary strategies and devices to enhance the style and tone
    (b) Write a poem using:
    a.. poetic techniques (e.g., rhyme scheme, meter)
    b.. figurative language (e.g., personification, idioms, hyperbole)
    c.. graphic elements (e.g., word position)
    Standard 3: Students write expository and procedural or work-related texts to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences for specific purposes.
    (a) Write a multi-paragraph essay that:
    a.. presents effective introductions and concluding paragraphs
    b.. contains a clearly stated purpose or controlling idea
    c.. is logically organized with appropriate facts and details and includes no extraneous information or inconsistencies
    d.. uses a variety of sentence structures, rhetorical devices, and transitions to link paragraphs
    (b) Write a letter that reflects an opinion, registers a complaint, or requests information in a business or friendly context.
    (c) Write an informational report that logically and accurately relates ideas from several sources and demonstrates the writing skills for multi-paragraph essays.
    (d) Write responses to literary or expository texts that demonstrate the writing skills for multi-paragraph essays and provide evidence from the text using quotations when appropriate.
    Standard 4: Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues.
    (a) Write a persuasive essay to the appropriate audience that:
    a.. establishes a clear controlling idea
    b.. considers and responds to the views of others and anticipates and answers reader concerns and counter-arguments
    c.. includes evidence that is logically organized to support the author's viewpoint and that differentiates between fact and opinion
    Strand: Research
    Students know how to locate a range of relevant sources and evaluate, synthesize, and present ideas and information.
    Standard 1: Students ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them.
    (a) Brainstorm, consult with others, decide upon a topic, and formulate a major research question to address the selected research topic.
    (b) Apply steps for obtaining and evaluating information from a wide variety of sources and create a written plan after preliminary research in reference works and additional text searches.
    Standard 2: Students determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather.
    (a) Follow the research plan to gather information from a range of relevant print and electronic sources using advanced search strategies.
    (b) Categorize information thematically in order to see the larger constructs inherent in the information.
    (c) Record bibliographic information (e.g., author, title, page number) for all notes and sources according to a standard format.
    (d) Differentiate between paraphrasing and plagiarism and identify the importance of citing valid and reliable sources.
    Standard 3: Students clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information.
    (a) Narrow or broaden the major research question, if necessary, based on further research and investigation.
    (b) Identify elements that demonstrate the reliability and validity of the sources used (e.g., publication date, coverage, language, point of view).
    Standard 4: Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience.
    (a) Synthesize the research into a written or oral presentation that:
    a.. draws conclusions and summarizes or paraphrases the findings in a systematic way
    b.. marshals evidence to explain the topic and gives relevant reasons for conclusions
    c.. follows accepted formats for integrating quotations and citations into the written text to maintain a flow of ideas
    Strand: Listening & Speaking
    Students listen and respond to the ideas of others while contributing their own ideas in conversations and in groups.
    Standard 1: Students listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings.
    (a) Listen to and interpret a speaker's purpose by explaining the content, evaluating the delivery of the presentation, and asking questions or making comments about the evidence that supports a speaker's claims.
    (b) Follow, restate, and give oral instructions that include multiple action steps.
    (c) Draw conclusions and make inferences about the meaning and purpose of presentations by relating a speaker's verbal communication (e.g., word choice, tone) and the nonverbal cues used (e.g., posture, gestures, facial expressions).
    Standard 2: Students speak clearly and to the point.
    (a) Present a critique of a literary work, film, or dramatic production, employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation and a variety of natural gestures to communicate ideas effectively.
    Standard 3: Students work productively with others in teams.
    (a) Know and apply rules for small-group discussions, including planning agendas, setting time limits for speakers, taking votes on key issues, and setting clear goals and deadlines.
    Strand: Oral and Written Conventions
    Students learn how to use the oral and written conventions of the English language in speaking and writing.
    Standard 1: Students identify and use the grammatical conventions of academic language when speaking and writing.
    (a) Identify and use the following parts of speech in the context of reading, writing, and speaking:
    a.. verbs (perfect and progressive tenses)
    b.. relative pronouns (e.g., whose, that, which)
    c.. subordinating conjunctions (e.g., because, since)
    d.. appositive phrases
    e.. adverbial and adjectival phrases and clauses
    (b) Write complex sentences and identify main versus subordinate clauses.
    (c) Identify and use a variety of complete sentences (e.g., simple, compound, and complex) that include properly placed modifiers, correctly identified antecedents, parallel structures, and consistent tenses.
    Standard 2: Students write legibly and use appropriate capitalization and punctuation conventions in their compositions.
    (a) Use conventions of capitalization.
    (b) Recognize and use punctuation marks including
    a.. commas after introductory structures and dependent adverbial clauses
    b.. semicolons, colons, and hyphens
    Standard 3: Students spell correctly.
    (a) Spell correctly, including using various resources to find correct spellings.
    ====================================================
    ENGLISH I

    Sub-Strand 2: Vocabulary Development
    Standard 1:
    Students understand new vocabulary and use it correctly when reading and writing.
    (a) Determine the meaning of grade-level academic English words derived from Latin, Greek, or other linguistic roots and affixes.
    (b) Analyze the context to distinguish between the denotative and connotative meanings of words.
    (c) Produce analogies that describe a function of an object or its description.
    (d) Describe the origins and meaning of foreign words or phrases used frequently in written English (e.g., caveat emptor, carte blanche, tete a tete, pas de deux, bon appetit, quid pro quo).
    (e) Use a dictionary, a glossary, or a thesaurus (printed or electronic) to determine or confirm the meanings of words and phrases, including their connotations and denotations, and their etymology.
    Sub-Strand 3: Comprehension of Literary Text
    Standard 1:
    Students analyze theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Compare similar themes across cultures (e.g., consider reading Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera and Reynold Price's Long and Happy Life).
    (b) Analyze the characters, structure, and themes of classical and traditional literature and trace their influence on 20th century works (e.g., consider reading Sophocles' Antigone, Jean Anoulh's Antigone, Robert Bolt's Man for all Seasons).
    Standard 2: Students understand the structure and elements of poetry and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Analyze and evaluate the appropriateness of diction and imagery (controlling images, figurative language, understatement, overstatement, irony, paradox) (e.g., consider reading poems by William Yeats, Pablo Neruda, Japanese Haiku).
    Standard 3: Students understand the structure and elements of drama and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Analyze how archetypes and motifs in drama affect the dramatic plot of plays (e.g., consider examining Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun for motifs and archetypes).
    Standard 4: Students understand the structure and elements of fiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Compare and contrast the role of a similar setting in two different works of fiction (e.g., consider reading John Knowles' A Separate Peace, J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye).
    (b) Identify and analyze the effects of non-linear plot development (e.g., flashbacks, sub-plots, and parallel plot structures).
    (c) Analyze how authors develop complex yet believable characters in works of fiction through a range of literary devices, including character foils (e.g., consider reading Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart).
    (d) Analyze the way in which a work of fiction is shaped by the narrator's point of view. (e.g., consider reading Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird).
    (e) Explain the characteristics of different genres of prose with emphasis on short stories, novels, and novellas
    Standard 5: Students understand the varied structural patterns and features of literary nonfiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Analyze how classical essays interweave personal examples and ideas with factual information to explain, present a perspective, or describe a situation or event.
    (b) Analyze the role of syntax and diction in the overall effectiveness of a literary essay or speech (e.g., consider reading Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address").
    Standard 6: Students understand how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Explain the function of symbolism, allegory, and hyperbole in literary works (e.g., consider reading Anton Chekhov's "The Lady and the Dog").
    SUB-STRAND 4: COMPREHENSION OF INFORMATIONAL TEXT
    Standard 1:
    Students analyze and understand the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and respond by providing evidence from the text to support their understanding.
    (a) Explain the controlling idea and specific purpose of an expository text and distinguish the most important from the less important details that support the author's purpose (e.g., consider reading books or essays on history, science, or contemporary culture by Carl Sagan, Shelby Steele, David McCullough, Loren Eiseley, Russell Baker, Chet Raymo, Richard Rodriguez).
    Standard 2: Students analyze and understand expository text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.
    (a) Compare and contrast the central ideas and details in several texts selected to reflect a range of viewpoints on the same topic (e.g., read essays on foreign policy).
    (b) Draw conclusions about the logic and credibility of evidence used to support an argument.
    (c) Analyze how the organizational pattern of a text influences the relationships among the ideas in the text (e.g., consider reading The Mathematical Tourist by Ivars Peterson and examine his chapters and subsections).
    (d) Explain how sentence variety, word choice, and other text features affect the clarity and coherence of an expository essay (e.g., consider reading essays by Joyce Carol Oates on boxing).
    (e) Describe the structure and features of a nonfiction work of science or history for a general audience (e.g., consider reading Dava Sobel's The Planets or Longitude).
    (f) Distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning.
    (g) Interpret how visual and sound techniques (e.g., special effects, camera angles, lighting, and music in television or film) used in different types of media influence the information presented.
    (h) Compare and contrast coverage of the same news event in various types of media (e.g., newspapers, television, documentaries, Internet).
    Standard 3: Students analyze and understand persuasive text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their analysis.
    (a) Distinguish facts from simple assertions and opinions and evaluate inferences for their logic in text.
    (b) Analyze the relevance and quality of evidence given to support an author's argument (e.g., consider excerpts from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species and examine the evidence for his inferences).
    (c) Analyze recent campaign speeches by candidates of both major political parties and identify the rhetorical structure and devices used to convince the reader of the authors' propositions.
    Standard 4: Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents.
    (a) Analyze the clarity of the objective(s) of text (e.g., consider reading instructions for software, warranties, consumer publications).
    (b) Analyze the clarity of the factual, quantitative, or technical data presented in multiple graphical sources to complete a task, solve a problem, or perform procedures.

    Students compose a variety of written texts with a clear controlling idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.

    Standard 1 Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text.

    (a) Plan a first draft by selecting the correct genre for conveying the intended meaning to multiple audiences, determining appropriate topics through a range of strategies (e.g., discussion, background reading, personal interests, and interviews), and developing a thesis or controlling idea.
    (b) Develop drafts in timed and open-ended situations that structure ideas in a sustained and persuasive way (e.g., using outlines, note taking, graphic organizers, lists) and include transitions and the rhetorical devices used to convey meaning.
    (c) Revise drafts to improve style, word choice, figurative language, sentence variety, and subtlety of meaning after rethinking how well questions of purpose, audience, and genre have been addressed.
    (d) Edit drafts to correct grammar, mechanics, and spelling.

    — Donna Garner

    2008-03-24


    INDEX OF RESEARCH THAT COUNTS


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