Curriculum, Standards, and Resources
- K-12 Recommended and Protected Reading List
- ELA Curiculum Sequence and Pacing
- Instructional Shifts in Language Arts
- TN Curriculum Standards for ELA
BUILDING KNOWLEDGE THROUGH CONTENT-RICH NONFICTION
Building knowledge through content rich non--fiction plays an essential role in literacy and in the Standards. In K--5, fulfilling the standards requires a 50--50 balance between informational and literary reading. Informational reading primarily includes content rich non--fiction in history/social studies, science and the arts; the K--5 Standards strongly recommend that students build coherent general knowledge both within each year and across years. In 6--12, ELA classes place much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary nonfiction—than has been traditional. In grades 6--12, the Standards for literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects ensure that students can independently build knowledge in these disciplines through reading and writing.
To be clear, the Standards do require substantial attention to literature throughout K--12, as half of the required work in K--5 and the core of the work of 6--12 ELA teachers
READING, WRITING AND SPEAKING GROUNDED IN EVIDENCE FROM TEXT, BOTH LITERARY AND INFORMATIONAL
The Standards place a premium on students writing to sources, i.e., using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims and clear information. Rather than asking students questions they can answer solely from their prior knowledge or experience, the Standards expect students to answer questions that depend on their having read the text or texts with care. The Standards also require the cultivation of narrative writing throughout the grades, and in later grades a command of sequence and detail will be essential for effective argumentative and informational writing.
Likewise, the reading standards focus on students’ ability to read closely and grasp information, arguments, ideas and details based on text evidence. Students should be able to answer a range of text-dependent questions, questions in which the answers require inferences based on careful attention to the text.
REGULAR PRACTICE WITH COMPLEX TEXT AND ITS ACADEMIC LANGUAGE
Rather than focusing solely on the skills of reading and writing, the Standards highlight the growing complexity of the texts students must read to be ready for the demands of college and careers. The Standards build a staircase of text complexity so that all students are ready for the demands of college- and career-level reading no later than the end of high school. Closely related to text complexity—and inextricably connected to reading comprehension—is a focus on academic vocabulary: words that appear in a variety of content areas (such as ignite and commit).
From the menu in the left column, select the curriculum standard you wish to view.
Click on the link below to view the Revised Tennessee English/Language Arts Academic Standards
ELA Revised Academic Standards
Instructional Shifts in Mathematics
think across grades, and link to major topics within grades
Thinking across grades: The Standards are designed around coherent progressions from grade to grade. Principals and teachers carefully connect the learning across grades so that students can build new understanding onto foundations built in previous years. Teachers can begin to count on deep conceptual understanding of core content and build on it. Each standard is not a new event, but an extension of previous learning.
Linking to major topics: Instead of allowing additional or supporting topics to detract from the focus of the grade, these topics can serve the grade level focus. For example, instead of data displays as an end in themselves, they support grade-level word problems.
3. Rigor: in major topics pursue:
- conceptual understanding,
- procedural skill and fluency,
with equal intensity.
Conceptual understanding: The Standards call for conceptual understanding of key concepts, such as place value and ratios. Teachers support students’ ability to access concepts from a number of perspectives so that students are able to see math as more than a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures.
Procedural skill and fluency: The Standards call for speed and accuracy in calculation. Teachers structure class time and/or homework time for students to practice core functions such as single-digit multiplication so that students have access to more complex concepts and procedures.
Application: The Standards call for students to use math flexibly for applications. Teachers provide opportunities for students to apply math in context. Teachers in content areas outside of math, particularly science, ensure that students are using math to make meaning of and access content.
Click on the following links to view the Revised Social Studies curriculum standards:
The following courses have been approved to carry the title "Advanced" and may be offered by the individual schools. Individual schools are responsible for creating master schedules and registering students for classes. Classes may not be offered each term due to student demand or other staffing issues. Students and parents are encouraged to discuss scheduling options with their counselors.
Advanced courses must incorporate at least five of the following components:
- Extended reading assignments that connect with the specified curriculum.
- Research-based writing assignments that address and extend the course curriculum
- Projects that apply course curriculum to relevant or real-world situations. These may include oral presentations, power point presentations, or other modes of sharing findings. Connection of the project to the community is encouraged.
- Open-ended investigations in which the student selects the questions and designs the research.
- Writing assignments that demonstrate a variety of modes, purposes, and styles.
- Integration of appropriate technology into the course. Deeper exploration of the culture, values, and history of the discipline.
- Extensive opportunities for problem-solving experiences through imagination, critical analysis, and application.
- Job-shadowing experiences with presentations that connect class study to the world of work.
US History & Geography
World History & Geography
Advanced courses carry the addition of three (3) rigor points to the student's grade after both terms. Advanced Placement (AP) courses carry five (5) rigor points. The student must take the AP exam for the course in order to obtain 5 points and the course be designated as Advanced Placement on the student transcript.
Creating Text-Dependent Questions
Creating Text-Dependent Questions for Close Analytic Reading of Texts
An effective set of text dependent questions delves systematically into a text to guide students toward extracting the key meanings or ideas found there. Text-dependent questions typically begin by exploring specific words, details, and arguments, and then move on to examine the impact of those specifics on the text as a whole. Along the way, they target academic vocabulary and specific sentence structures as critical focus points for gaining comprehension.
While there is no set process for generating a complete and coherent body of text-dependent questions for a text, the following process is a good guide that can serve to generate a core series of questions for close reading of any given text.
Step One: Identify the Core Understandings and Key Ideas of the Text
As in any good reverse engineering or “backwards design” process, teachers should start by reading and annotating the text, identifying the key insights they want students to understand from the text. Keeping one eye on the major points being made is crucial for fashioning an overarching stet of successful questions and critical for creating an appropriate culminating assignment.
Step Two: Start Small to Build Confidence
The opening questions should be ones that help orient students to the text. They should also be specific enough so that students gain confidence to tackle more difficult questions later on.
Step Three: Target Vocabulary and Text Structure
Locate key text structures and the most powerful words in the text that are connected to the key deans and understandings, and craft questions that draw students’ attention to these specifics so they can become aware of these connections. Vocabulary selected for focus should be academic words (Tier Two) that are abstract and like to be encountered in future reading and studies.
Step Four: Tackle Tough Sections Head-on
Find the sections of the text that will present the greatest difficulty and craft questions that support students in mastering these sections (these could be sections with difficulty syntax, particularly dense information, and trick transitions or places that offer a variety of possible inferences).
Step Five: Create Coherent Sequences of Text-dependent Questions
Text-dependent questions should follow a coherent sequence to ensure that student stay focused on the text, so that they come to a gradual understanding of its meaning.
Step Six: Identify the Standards That Are Being Assessed
Take stock of what standards are being addressed in the series of questions and decide if any other standards are suited to being a focus for this text (forming additional questions that exercise those standards).
Step Seven: Creating the Culminating Assessment
Develop a culminating activity around the key ideas or understandings identified earlier that (a) reflects mastery of one or more of the standards (b) involves writing, and (C) is structured to be completed by students independently.
Quality Feedback for Writing
Some Guidelines for Providing Quality Positive Feedback on Writing
*View on computer for best layout
|1) Align comments to the expectations in the rubric
|* Feedback touches on aspects of writing not addressed in task/rubric
|* Feedback matches aspects of writing or expectations addressed in task and/or rubric
|2) Feedback should be grade-appropriate
|*Telling an elementary student to maintain parallel structure (not addressed in CCSS until high school)
|*Helping an elementary student form grammatically complete sentences
|3) Be specific
|* "Good Job"
|* I like how you used precise words like 'illogical' and 'repetitive' to refute your opponent's argument"
|* "The construction of theis sentence makes your point unclear--think about verb placement."
|* "Need more explanation"
|* "Your point about the author's tone in paragraph three is undeveloped."
|4) Emphasize content
|* Comments focus predominately on conventions (grammar, usage, formatting)
|* Comments focus on the quality of the studne'ts ideans and his/her ability to develop, organize, and effectivley communicate those ideas.
|5) Balance feedback between positive reinforcement and suggestions for improvement
|* Provide exclusively negative comments for a bad paper or exclusively positive comments for a great paper
|*A seed of promise can be found in the worst essay; even the best writers have room to improve
|6) Don’t give it all away
|* "You need a semicolon her because this sentence has two independent clauses"
|* "What would be a more appropriate punctuation mark for this type of sentence?"