Raison d’etre

Raison d’etre


Deep down isn’t this a compelling reason for why we do what we do?  The hope, the prospect for change, the creativity, the spark, the magic, the feeling, the soul, the meaning.


… What would it mean to live
in a city whose people were changing
each other’s despair into hope?

You yourself must change it.

… Though your life felt arduous
new and unmapped and strange
what would it mean to stand on the first
page of the end of despair?

        -Adrienne Rich




Hurt no living thing…


Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless worms that creep.

Nor Trayvon Martin, Nor George Zimmerman, Nor kids at Sandy Hook Elementary, Nor…

Christina Georgina Rossetti. All rights reserved

Photo HT to Viewminder



A “Knotty” Problem


Ever have a problem like this?  Yes, where to begin.  I was talking with another teacher the other day about books for the upcoming year and it got me thinking.  I remembered that another teacher had used Alice in Wonderland last year.  I also remembered that it was one of the exemplar texts in Appendix B of the CCSS.  So, I started there.  Not so easy, there are very few exemplar texts, one reason I came upon was that it would have been prohibitively costly for the writers of the CCSS to gain the necessary permissions for a large body of texts.  As I dug deeper, or in this case dove further into the untangling,  I discovered that the choosing of text fell under the heading of “Text Complexity”; complexity an appropriate word.  What you have here are the fruits of those labors thus far.  I do hope you find these resources helpful.  If you should happen to run across any other helpful resources, please share and I will post them here.

Simplifying Text Complexity


Think Aloud’s; Unpacking Standards


Tech Tools to Aid in Measuring Text Complexity


Text Matters—7 Actions That Teachers Can Take Right Now: Text Complexity
 New Research on Multiple Measures of Text Complexity (has a nice chart)
“Districts and states can develop their own complex text playlists of evaluated texts that exemplify the process of assessing text complexity using all three measures.” (Is this being done?)
PowerPoint on Text Complexity - above quote came from this PowerPoint; question is mine
Actually here is an example of some text “playlists” out of Wisconsin ==>  Common Core Bibliography
Intro. to Text Complexity  (Video from the NYC Common Core Library)
 Literary Text Qualitative Rubric
 Informational Text Qualitative Rubric
Informational Lesson PowerPoint
 ELA Organizational Chart



Happy New Year!

I was about to send off an email with a one off resource for a beginning of the year survey when I thought, “Why don’t I make a collection here on my blog?”  So, here it is subject to updating of course.

More B.O.Y. Forms  VIA

Parent Questionnaire  VIA

Student Self-Evaluation - Created by Paula Naugle 

B.O.Y. Questionnaire VIA

Mathography - Created by Paula Naugle (adapted from Kathryn Laster)

Math Reasoning Inventory (MRI)

Saving Fred




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