Common Core Standards: Grades 11-12 Reading Comprehension for Scientific and Technical Topics

Frustration can ensue in the final years of high school as the Common Core Standards demand that students approach even more difficult, technical texts. Students in Grades 11-12 encounter scientific and technical texts that are more complex than any they’ve previously read.

Similarly, the expectations for what they will be able to do after they’ve read these texts are also more demanding than in earlier grade levels. Make sure your child continues to progress and doesn’t get frustrated as he works to discern meaning from various texts.

One way you can check his progress is to determine whether he is struggling with the actual reading of the texts or is simply confused by some of the content. If your child seems to understand the concepts when you talk with him, there’s a pretty good chance that he is struggling with the complexity of the text.

If this becomes a pattern, take it slow and ask him to read the text aloud while identifying unfamiliar or difficult words. It’s important for your child to understand that he can dissect hard-to-read texts if he takes his time, doesn’t get stuck on unknown vocabulary, and takes advantage of resources such as a dictionary, thesaurus, or the Internet.

A few of the skills represented in these standards include:

  • Identify when a text doesn’t contain significant information or is lacking in some way.

  • Advance in demonstrating an understanding of a text by moving from providing summaries to paraphrasing what’s been read.

  • After carrying out a procedure, examine the outcome and compare it to written descriptions of what should have occurred.

  • See how a text organizes information into a specific category or in order of importance.

  • Determine places in a text where something is unclear or inconclusive.

  • Pull together and use various forms of data and information when answering a question or conducting research.

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