Content Cards: Text Structures, Grades 9-12

Today’s post is Text Structures for Different Types of Writing.  I designed this tool for teachers, but there are many pages that will also be good resource materials for students.   In this handy guide, you’ll find a quick overview of the text types (i.e., Argumentative, Informational, Narrative) in the Common Core State Standards.  AFter that, I’ve included my content cards for the following five text structures: compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution, sequence, and description.

Check these out to see if they are something you can use!  Here’s the link: https://datadeb.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/001_text_structures-deb-wahsltrom.pdf

Content Card – Details, Details, Details

Details and examples are one of those areas that students have struggled with when writing.  Being able to cite details and examples is a skill that is valuable in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking.  What are some of the things we might want to make sure students learn when we ask them to think about details and examples?  We might want them to know what kinds of things are details: facts, quotes, statistics, firgurative language, the information in a visual, sensory details, and more.  We also want students to know some of the things they can do with details:  compare and contrast ideas, support a point of view, oppose a point of view, make a decision, describe a character, make inferences, make prediections, and more.  As always, I’ve got a pdf copy for you – just print it out and share it with your students (and fellow educators).

Content Card, Details

Content Card – Solving Algebraic Expressions

Another one completed!

Click here to get the pdf.  Don’t forget to run this on one sheet of paper for a one-pager (front and back) content card.

Content Card – Line Graphs, Elementary Level

This content card is for the elementary level.  The content card shows the parts of a line graph, ideas for comparing data, the definition of a line graph, and common words for describing the amounts in a graph.

Download this two-page content card for line graphs.

Content Card – Adding Fractions With LIKE Denominators

Fractions, fractions, fractions.  For so many students, these are quite the challenge to learn.  One of the first things that adults should do when students struggle with an area of the curriculum is to make sure we’ve clarified the content that students are to learn.  As you know, one of the ways to do this is through content cards.

Download a full-size pdf of the fraction content card.

As always, please let me know if there’s anything that should be added to the card.

Content Card, Parallel (Elementary Level)

Our younger students learn about parallel lines in different grade levels in different states.  But there is some key content that students need to know related to parallel lines.  This content card provides key content.  (If you see other things that need to be added, please leave a comment and I’ll update this.  All of my content cards are a work in progress.)  DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT CARD FOR PARALLEL.  I’ve included a piece that is not in most elementary programs – and that is how to write a math sentence that shows two lines are parallel.

Remember that in curriculum development world, we still need to work on things students must be able to do with this content at the elementary school level.  Do we want students to identify parallel lines in everyday things?  Do we want students to distinguish between a parallel line and a perpendicular line?  What about explaining what a parallel line is?  What about explaining why a line that is not parallel isn’t?  Do we want students to explain the difference between parallel lines and intersecting lines?  These kinds of things become objectives in your curriculum.

For those of you in charge of developing curriculum, there are a couple of questions you’ll want to answer:  What core content do you want at each grade level in relation to this concept?  What do you want students to do with the content at each grade level?  By the way, content cards are a good way to check vertical and horizontal alignment in a curriculum at the district level.

If your role is that of designing assessments, the content cards are a big plus as well.  When everyone works from the same core content – and the same objectives, you support tight alignment at the classroom level – which is where alignment really happens.

Content Card – Counting 1, 2, 3

One of the things I do to determine the quality of a curriculum is to review the actual content the curriculum will include.  This is the content card I developed for the common core’s DRAFT grade-level kindergarten standards that deal with counting.  I’ve also reviewed the the corresponding standards for the State of Michigan and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  See what you think!  DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT CARDS.

Content Cards – Money, Money, Money

1.There is a front and back side to this content card.  Even at the third-grade level, there’s a lot of information for students to learn.

2.Use this as a study card for students.  But remember that any time you have a visual for students, you want to make sure to use it as a teaching tool.  I know you know this, but don’t focus on all of the parts at once.  Draw the attention of your students to the card as you teach the different parts in your lessons.

3.Show students how to use a piece of paper to cover the parts of the chart you’re not working with. 

Click here to download the Money Content Cards.

Questions?  Just email me:  Datadeb@successlineinc.com

Content Card – Bar Graph

This content card is designed for elementary school students.  If you like this one, just let me know and I’ll add to the content for middle and high school students.

Download the bar graph content card in pdf format.

Unpacking Standards – Measuring Length

I’ve been working with a few different ways to unpack standards so that they are easily accessbile to teachers.  This is a grade-four standard for measurement.  Actually, this is PART of the standard for measurement.  For this part of the “test”, I’ve focused on just the measurement of length in U.S. customary units.  (The part of the standard dealing with the measurement of length in the metric system will be a different post.)

Download a copy of the entire document, which includes links to other documents I’ve created or found for this part of the standard.

Here’s what you’ll find:  (1) The first “cut” of unpacking the measurement standard, (2) a link to the content card I designed for this part of the standard, (3) a link to analysis questions for the content card, (4) links to downloadable rulers, (5) links to sample released test items for parts of the standard where they exist, (6) a link to a foldable for that can be started with this part of the standard, and (7) a link to a record-keeping sheet entitled, Estimate Then Measure, that I created for one of the objectives in the unpacked standard.

You’ll find my unpacking results (which I’ll continue to tweak), a set of beginning ideas for instructional strategies and assessments, and a vocabulary list with definitions/descriptions.  When you look at the vocabulary list you’ll notice that I’ve included the core terms for the whole standard – and not just what is represented in this part of the unpacked standard.  So while this document deals with U.S. customary units, I’ve included vocabulary for the metric unit as well.  My reasoning for doing this is to provide the core vocabulary in one place.

So I’ve got the idea started.  What would you suggest to improve this?  Anything goes!