As a former teacher with a master’s degree, Laurie Levy thought she’d be able to help her seven-year-old granddaughter with her first-grade reading homework, she writes in Reading Incomprehension. But it’s a new Common Core world.
My granddaughter read a non-fiction passage about the moon from her McGraw-Hill reader, Wonders. The homework was a series of reading comprehension questions laid out in boxes labeled “cause” and “effect.” . . . She had to shorten her answers to fit the boxes.
When I tried to see if she truly comprehended the reading about why the moon waxes and wanes and how astronauts landed on the moon, she admonished me. “No, Grandma,” she said. “We just look for a sentence in the book and copy it exactly.”
After reading a fable about How The Bat Got His Wings, her granddaughter divided the story into first, next, then, and last. “Sequencing . . . did not show me that she truly comprehended the story,” writes Levy.
Levy “tried to relate the fable to her life,” but the seven-year-old would have none of it. “What you are saying is not in the story,” the granddaughter said.
Not everything that claims to be Core-aligned really is, but the “in the story” stuff is a Common Core imperative.