Be sure to download the free graphic organizers!
Let's just face it.... Most of us have to start implementing the Common Core standards into our science classrooms. The standards cover many skills and components, but the majority of the standards deal with the reading of informational text.
I have been contending all along, that ALL reading passages in a science class involve informational text. Our students read the textbook, current events articles, the lab manual / handouts, etc. Out class is nothing BUT informational text. So what needs to change in our science classroom?
Many of us need to change the WAY we teach our students to read science passages:
- We must move away from the memorization of large volumes of facts.
- We must teach our students how to identify the main idea, the author's purpose, etc.
- Our students must be able to cite evidence to support scientific claims.
- Students must be able to compare and contrast.
- Students must be able to summarize.
- Students must be able to identify the control and experimental variables in an experiment, citing evidence to support conclusions reached in an experiment.
- Students must be able to express quantitative information in words.
- Students must be able to express technical information in a flow chart or concept map.
To sum it up, we must do a better job in teaching critical reading, critical thinking, problem solving, and how to pull out the important information in a reading passage.
Like you, I have been looking for the best ways to accomplish all of this in my classroom. To date, the most effective tool I have is ... the graphic organizer.
What is so great about the graphic organizer? First and foremost, it gives the student a place to start. If you hand a student a reading passage and a blank sheet of paper and instruct them to "analyze the passage", most of them are overwhelmed and have no idea how to begin. A graphic organizer is not a crutch, it is a tool. It helps to guide the student through the reading passage. The graphic organizer teaches the student how to read the informational text.
Take as an example, the graphic organizer in the above photo. The instructions say: As you read the passage, identify the claims being made by the author. What evidence does the author provide to support his/her claim?" Now the student has a reason to read the text. Now the student knows what to look for while reading the text.
I have put together a bundle of different types of graphic organizers. Many graphic organizers I have seen are rather generic in nature. I have tried to make mine a bit more specific. Each is designed for a particular type of text and a particular Common Core standard. They look the best in color, but print out just fine in black and white. I am unable to make color copies at my school, and the black/white copies work just as well.
I have both free and paid graphic organizer products in my TpT store.
Here are the free ones! :)
|Click above photo to download.|
|Click above photo to download|
The paid product includes 23 different graphic organizers. They are in both color and in black and white. The bundle of 23 can be found here.
Here is a an extra bonus. Go to my facebook page and click on "Free Stuff" to get a lab report graphic organizer that can be used with any type of lab activity.
Good luck with your implementation of the Common core standards, and have a great school year!