What are Common Core Standards and why are they important?
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were launched in 2009 to prepare students for college and career success. They were developed by educators, content experts, and innovative thinkers. They are rigorous standards which guide k-12 language arts and math instruction. They require students to critically think and demonstrate grade level proficiency in language arts and math.
English language arts and math are the focus areas for CCSS because they are the skill sets used in other subjects such as science and history.
How does Digital Storytelling connect with CCSS?
For my Capstone project, one of the literacy exercises that my second grade students did was create digital videos by first reading informational texts and then writing summaries of what they learned. What they students read and wrote drove the digital videos that were created. The reading and writing skills that were exercised in the digital sotrytelling process were all based on 2nd grade Common Core Standards.
Before this Capstone project of creating digital stories, there was a second grade writing standard that I had never taught to my students, which was: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.6: "With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers."
I am proud to now have the technological skills to teach this standard to my students via digital storytelling. Having students digitally produce and publish stories is not only engaging for the students but it also is a standard. Digital storytelling, teaches students how to publish their writing while transcending it with audio, informational graphics, and video.
Below, are the standards addressed in my action research project. They are 2nd grade standards for reading and writing literacy skills.
Informational Reading Standards:Standards in this strand:
Key Ideas and Details:
Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
Craft and Structure:
Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Second Grade Writing Standards:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.1
Text Types and Purposes:
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g.,because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
Production and Distribution of Writing:
(W.2.4 begins in grade 3)
With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
(W.2.9 begins in grade 4)
Range of Writing:
(W.2.10 begins in grade 3)