Teaching to Exceed the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards

A Literacy Practices Approach for 6-12 Classrooms

By Richard Beach, Amanda Haertling Thein, Allen Webb

© 2012 – Routledge

306 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415808088
pub: 2012-05-16
Hardback: 9780415808071
pub: 2012-05-17

Look Inside Comp Exam Copy Companion Website

About the Book

As the new English Language Arts Common Core State Standards take hold across the United States, the need grows for pre-service and in-service teachers to be ready to develop curriculum and instruction that addresses their requirements. This timely, thoughtful, and comprehensive text directly meets this need. It delineates a literacy practices and critical engagement curriculum framework for 6-12 English language arts education that explains and illustrates how the Standards’ highest and best intentions for student success can be implemented from a critical, culturally relevant perspective that is firmly grounded in current literacy learning theory and research.

The first 6-12 English language arts methods text to be aligned with the Standards, this book also addresses their limitations — formalist assumptions about literacy learning, limited attention to media/digital literacies, lack of attention to critical literacies, and questionable assumptions about linking standards and text complexity to specific grade levels. Specific examples of teachers using the literacy practices/critical engagement curriculum framework in their classrooms shows how these limitations can be surpassed.


• Moves the CCSS framework into a view that literacy is a contextualized, social practice

• Challenges simplistic models that homogenize adolescent learners

• Adds the important element of critical literacy to English language arts classrooms

• Provides specific examples of teachers in action implementing these practices

• Interactive Companion Website with student and instructor resources. The Website is designed to foster interactivity through participation in an online teaching planning simulation with a text, video, or case on one side of the screen and a chat box for instructors and students to share their reactions and planning ideas. The Companion Website is linked to a wiki that serves as a repository for links, activities/units, and further reading.

Table of Contents

Part I. Foundations: What is Effective English Language Arts Instruction? 1. Origins and the Goals of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Instruction in Grades 6-12 2. A Literacy Practices Framework for Implementing the Common Core State Standards 3. How Can Teachers Plan Effective English Language Arts Instruction that Meets and Exceeds the Common Core State Standards? Part II. Implementing and Exceeding the Common Core State Standards 4. Reading: Interpreting Language Use, Ideas, and Aesthetic Quality 5. Reading: Critical Analysis of Texts 6. Narrative and Written Literary Response 7. Argumentative, Informational, and Explanatory Writing 8. Digital/Media Literacy 9. Implementing the Speaking and Listening Standards 10. Language Standards Part III. Evaluation, Assessment, and Reflection 11. Evaluating and Assessing Students’ Work 12. Reflective Practice

About the Authors

Richard Beach is Professor Emeritus of English Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Amanda Haertling Thein is Associate Professor of English Education at the University of Iowa.

Allen Webb is Professor of English Education and Postcolonial Studies at Western Michigan University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics

Preface/Sample Chapters