So…the demo lesson. It didn’t exactly go as planned. The first problem was the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which I do not have a lot of experience with. I was given a very vague standard (Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims”).) and could not make sense of it. Maybe someone else with more experience with CCSS would have known what to do with this, but I didn’t.
So, I call in reinforcements- my friend Danika. She has more experience than I do. So, she gave me some ideas, told me how the teachers at her last school used to do it (pair it with a state standard), then I set about writing a lesson plan.
I paired the writing standard with a Social Studies standard about Hammurabi’s Code of Law. Problem: I totally misunderstood the standard. My goal was to use a current event (Young girl in Santa Ana, CA who lost her life chasing a suspect who stole her cell phone) and have the students act as a jury and decide whether or not to convict the suspect (who’s still at large) based on Hammurabi’s Code of Law. They were going to use Hammurabi’s Code of Law as their literary text.
Problem: This did NOT align with the standard. I confused it with another standard where the students have to Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text– CCSS:ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1.
So, my lesson plan was written according to the wrong standard. When I got my critique, I was told to remove everything regarding Hammurabi’s Code of Law and only use the article about the young girl as the piece of literature. Once I removed Hammurabi’s Code of Law, the lesson plan made absolutely no sense. Now, I had to go back to square one. When I say I wrestled with that standard, I seriously wrestled with it. I thought I had it nailed until I had my critique. After that I was so confused. I spoke with Danika’s friend, Tracy, who didn’t understand the suggestions either and she has much experience with the CCSS.
After speaking with someone with experience with the CCSS, I felt better about my confusion. She didn’t understand it either, but I knew the show must go on! I will explain how the lesson went wrong in my next post. Bye for now!