Fifty Shades of the Common Core - Part 2: Stretching ALL Readers

Fifty Shades of the Common Core - Part 2: Stretching All Readers from Jennifer Jones

I wanted to share with you the presentation I did for my own staff last week on one of our workdays before we tracked back in for the 3rd quarter.   You may remember back in the fall when I presented the famous Fifty Shades of the Common Core...we'll you can say this is the follow-up.  I actually have had the opportunity to present much of this content to other staff outside my district lately, but do to timing and availability of workdays, the Text Complexity piece of the Common Core puzzle had not been shared with the Lake Myra staff before....quite like this.   I feel fortunate to be able to work with two groups of students every day....this is a golden opportunity for the students and ME because when I present the topic of Text Complexity to teachers, I'm able to share real stories from our reading groups and anecdotal examples with teachers of comments and remarks that real students have said during these "close readings" of complex text.  Without committing a Common Core sin, and telling you what the slideshow is about before you see it, let's just let the slides speak for themselves.

Since several of you have asked, when I begin guided "stretch" reading next week with my 2nd and 3rd grade groups, I will begin to Flip my lessons and upload them to YouTube.  My current guided reading videos are bit outdated now, so I will attempt to "capture" what my guided reading "stretch" lessons with complex text will look and sound like now that Common Core is here to stay.   Also, I have included a link to the Reading Level Correlation Chart shown on the last two slides of the slideshow for anyone that would like to download it.  It's free.

Download my Reading Level Correlation Chart {Aligned to Common Core} HERE

Text Complexity Collaborative Coaching Cycle Opportunity - THAT'S YOU! 

I am also working on a Text Complexity mini coaching cycle with the 2nd grade team...teaching them how to write a "close reading" lesson plan with texts in the 2/3 stretch band using text dependent questions and keeping track anecdotally on my Anecdotal Formative Assessment Sheets.  If you like to take a peek into the lesson plan so far...and join the journey with us, I'd love to have you come along on a collaborative journey together.   Here's what you'll need to do:  

1. Secure the book, Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco - enough copies for you and your students.  If necessary, photocopy the first 4-5 pages of the book, so everyone has a copy and can actually read it themselves. It's a lexile level 770L, in the 2/3 stretch band.  Remember that in a Stretch Scoop you are providing more scaffolding and backing off if they don't need it vs. a tradtional guided reading group where you provide less scaffolding and provide more when they need it.  

2. If you don't have enough copies of the text for everyone in your group, then photocopy the first several pages of the book for students to read from during your guided "stretch" reading sessions.   Make enough copies for everyone in your group.  

3. Download the Lesson Plan that I have started creating for the team.  During our PLT tomorrow morning, I will share with them what I have done so far...remember, last week they got the presentation above so they're mind is in the right place and they are ready to roll. 

4. Leave a comment and let me know, "I'm in!"  

I've uploaded the lesson plan draft to Google Drive.  Go HERE to access it.    Read through it and as you use it with your students, make notes and add your own questions to it.  Go back to the document and add your comments.  I have changed the settings so anyone with the link can access AND everyone that has the link has access to EDIT.  So, let's learn how to do this together, and let me know what you think of this collaborative process!  

Happy Monday! -Jen

P.S. Comment link has been fixed.  Sorry for the technical difficulties.  :-)

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Fran Kramer said...

Do you have a close read for kindergarten? What books do you suggest? I have some idea of what it looks like in other grades but kindergarten is a bit different! Thanks for any help you can offer!
What should I be reading for PD?

Jennifer Jones said...

Fran...although the text complexity piece doesn't really begin until 2nd grade, you could begin the modeling of close reading in Kindergarten through interactive discussion based read-alouds (that might take you several days to read and re-read) and or Text Talk lessons. Close readings are not about getting through one book in one day with no interaction. You can check out Notice and Note:Strategies for Close Reading and Bringing Words to Life.

Fran Kramer said...

You are amazing and I am fascinated by the content on this blog because you live in the real world of the classroom. I will purchase the book (it was already on my list but now I am all over it) Diane Lapp has been to our meetings several times and her book on Text Complexity is also great. I am trying to wrap my head around all of this and understand how it looks in the primary grades.I will faithfully follow your conversations to deepen my understandings. Thanks so much!

Wendy Phillips said...

I love the chart. Did you know that Fountas & Pinnell changed the end of K to a level D now?

Jennifer Jones said...

I did read their White Paper where they recommended that 5/6 be the new benchmark for K and 17/18 be the new benchmark for 1st grade. Our district will be officially expecting that in the 13-14 school year.

Jessika said...

I wanted to share your chart with my team but the link is broken. Can you link me to where I can print the correlation chart? Thanks! And great work!

Jennifer Jones said...

If you email me, I will email it to you.

Brittany Snyder said...

I'm sorry, I may be reposting this! Have you made a new correlation chart to reflect the above mentioned changes for the 13-14 school year, if so I would love a copy! Thanks in advance.

Shawna Davoren said...

Can you e-mail me a copy of the chart as well? Thanks, Shawna

Jessica Beck said...


I love the chart and want to share it with my ela person at school. I tried the link and got a RTi menu packet that is fabulous. My email is Thanks so much!!

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