Overview of the Instructional Shifts



Balancing Informational and Literary Text K-5

Elementary classrooms are places where students are provided opportunities to access the world through science, social studies, arts and literature. At least 50% of what students read is informational.

Knowledge in the Disciplines 6-12

Content Area teachers outside English Language Arts classrooms at the secondary level must emphasize literacy experiences in their planning and instruction so that students learn through domain-specific texts in science and social studies.

Text-Based Answers

Teachers must engage students in rich and rigorous conversations dependent on a common text. Teachers must insist that classroom experiences stay deeply connected to the text on the page and that students develop habits for citing text-evidence both in speaking and writing to assess comprehension of text.

Writing from Sources

Teachers need to emphasize use of evidence to inform or make an argument rather than the personal narrative. While narrative still has an important role, students develop skills through written arguments that respond to the context of the text.

Staircase of Complexity

Teachers must provide opportunities for students to read increasingly complex grade appropriate text throughout the year and provide appropriate and necessary scaffolding and supports for students reading below grade level.

Academic Vocabulary

Teachers need to constantly build students vocabulary so that they can access more complex texts across the content areas.