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Philip Yenawine

Teaching to the (New) Tests: The Benefits of Discussion

It's no secret that many teachers are wondering how to ensure all students "read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently" by the end of high school. Similarly they are unsure of how to help all "read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text." Ditto to "integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words." And they have similar concerns for how to promote acceptance of diverse viewpoints, broadly useful oral communication skills, or the ability to listen and interact with others productively. At this point, many teachers cope with students unable to solve rote math problems and articulate how they did it, let alone find more than one solution. Yet all of these abilities (and more) are required to achieve Common Core anchor standards.

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