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With Rigor for All, Second Edition: Meeting…

With Rigor for All, Second Edition: Meeting Common Core Standards for…

by Carol Jago

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Carol Jago’s slim but powerful volume will help both preservice and in-service teachers develop and maintain robust literature instruction while meeting (and— in many cases—exceeding) Common Core Standards for reading. Although the theory and strategies Jago discusses are most relevant to works of literary fiction, much of her thinking can also be applied to informational texts or nonfiction works, which she addresses only briefly.

Throughout this highly readable and accessible text, Jago deftly blends theory, scholarship, wisdom culled from her many years of experience as a classroom teacher, and proven strategies and activities to engage secondary students in actively reading literature. Jago encourages transparency in instruction by exposing students to the processes that good readers use, including the concept of “good-enough reading”; she wisely recommends differentiating teaching strategies based on instructional contexts and students’ existing knowledge and skill levels, and her methods range from the traditional (e.g., Freytag’s pyramid) to the progressive (much of her pedagogy is informed by Vygotsky’s theory of the Zone of Proximal Development).

She samples just enough theory to support the practical strategies she advocates, but what emerges most clearly from this text is her passion for sharing her profound love of literature. Statements such as the following pepper the text: “I see it as my mission in life to turn students into readers whose way of moving in the world is somehow shaped by literature” (p. 61) and “I measure my success in the classroom by the intellectual delight my students take in their reading” (p. 79). Her zeal is infectious—after reading about the various activities she uses for teaching Crime and Punishment, I found myself wanting to read the novel myself. I highly recommend this book for both its inspirational value and for its practical value—it will be a valuable addition to any ELA teacher’s professional library. ( )
  jimrgill | Oct 29, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0325042101, Paperback)

"The stakes are high. Without artful instruction, many students will never acquire the literacy skills they need not only to meet Common Core Standards but also to meet the challenges this brave new world is sure to deal them."
-Carol Jago

Again and again the Common Core Standards state that students must read "proficiently and independently" but how do we achieve this when students are groaning about having to read demanding literature and looking for ways to pass the class without turning pages?
Carol Jago shows middle and high school teachers how to create English classrooms where students care about living literate lives and develop into proficient independent readers. With 50% new material, With Rigor for All, Second Edition features:

integration of the Common Core State Standards as teaching touchstones YA lit pairings with classic texts to aid comprehension for middle and high school students tips to motivate reluctant readers with immersion, encouragement, and small steps a study guide and guidelines for curriculum development.

Students need books that mirror their own experiences and if you teach literature that you love, your students will be more likely to love it too. Let Carol show you how to create an individually designed curriculum in which students read literary works of comparable quality, complexity, and range and enjoy doing it!


Question 1: In chapter 7 you discussed testing that teaches (also one of my favorite chapters!) You gave me some great, realistic ideas for assessment. What advice would you give to teachers that feel they must "teach to the test?" Some teachers feel if they don't assess the way their students are assessed on state exams they are not adequately preparing them. What would you say to those teachers?

Teaching to the test is a waste of time. Long term, it doesn't "take." The new Common Core assessments are going to include performance tasks that will require students to read and write extensively. I'm hoping this will help send the message that preparing students for the occasional high stakes moments is best accomplished by teaching them authentically to read and write well. And don't forget listening and speaking! If I were in charge of the world, every child would participate regularly in Socratic seminars -- critical thinking about critical texts, K-12.

Question 2: What do you think is the most important thing for teachers to understand or embrace as they move forward with implementing the Common Core State Standards?

The most important thing for teachers to understand about the Common Core is that it is a clarion call to accelerate learning in our classrooms. More is more when it comes to reading and writing. At the moment there is still too much filling out of worksheets going on in classrooms. Just calling the page a "graphic organizer" doesn't make it less of a fill-in-the-blanks task.

How to include nonfiction along with literature? Have students read twice as much over the course of the year (easier said than done, I know!)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:42 -0400)

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