Dear District Standards:
Yes, the SRSD approach or framework is aligned with district/state and national standards.
Aligning SRSD With Standards
The standards provide a minimum guideline for what we want students to learn. The emphasis on genre and how much is taught in various years originates from the data collected on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). The NAEP describes a progression across the grades regarding the core purposes, students and types of student writing required. The emphasis and time spent on the genres should reflect a balance based on the findings of the NAEP Assessment. The Common Core State Standards were developed to reflect these differences and align with NAEP distribution.
In the Writing to Learn online SRSD course, we have used the language of the Common Core State Standards in our rubrics and graphic organizers. Teachers may want to adapt the rubrics to make the language more student-friendly and to ensure that all teachers are in agreement as to the meaning of the element in the rubric.
Writing Anchor Standards
It’s important to note that SRSD does not teach all the content contained in the standards as framed by the CCSS. However, SRSD does work on the organizational issues by teaching the strategies of writing. SRSD presents students with cognitive routines that deal with the complexities of writing while making students more conscious of their strengths and challenges. We have also developed into the course a focus on the content included in students’ writing that is so essential for coherent writing. It’s crucial for students to be logical in their thinking and to convey their thoughts with clarity and cohesion (Harris et al, 2008). These skills are mirrored in the graphic organizers and rubrics shared throughout the course.
Language Anchor Standards
The anchor standards under “Language” reflect the need for students to have a command of standard English grammar and usage when writing. They must also demonstrate mastery of the conventions of standard English such as capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Students must use their knowledge of language to choose words and phrases for effect and exhibit a command of vocabulary usage with all of its subtleties. Language usage bleeds into the work teachers must accomplish when thinking about text types and purposes. There is a good reference chart in the language section of the CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Students, Science, and Technical Subjects that provides an overview of the language standards and the grade-levels in which they are taught. (See p.30 of the standards)
Dr. Sandra Jones is SRSD Online's Chief Academic Officer. Sandy has developed and deployed whole school literacy reform, been Lead professional development for Massachusetts Reading First; Educator for 40 years: teacher, principal, dean. Creator of the first SRSD teacher training courses. Sandy has extensive teacher training experience. Ask her your SRSD training or implementation questions.