Framing Our Reading: Part 2 (Guided Thinking)

Text Citation or Link Rationale for Choosing Text Frame(s) Strategies Used and Resource
Guided Thinking Example Rewritable Paper: Prints with light, not ink Demonstrates application of scientific principles in developing new technologies. Springboard for lessons on redox reactions. Cause/Effect



Anticipation Guide (Buehl, pg. 59)

Students using the anticipation guides strategy are tasked to consider what they already know (or think they know) about a topic, then find evidence in the focus text to either support or reject their assertions. This strategy can be used to scaffold complex texts, and it can be used with various media types.

The anticipation guides strategy requires some front end preparation from the teacher to prepare the actual ‘guide’. The teacher must identify the concepts that the student should focus on in the text. The teacher, also, must have a grasp of the students’ prior knowledge about the concepts and the topic presented. The anticipation guide is constructed using this knowledge to develop a series of statements used to guide students in thinking about their current knowledge or beliefs.

In this example, the focus text is highlighting the development of a new technology, rewritable paper. The text makes important connections to basic scientific principles including the concept of redox reactions. Using the format described by Buehl, I created this Anticipation Guide for Rewritable Paper.

Since in this example I am both the creator and the user of the tool, I think my perspective on the efficacy of this strategy may be a little contrived. Nonetheless, I see this strategy as a valuable tool for supporting literacy growth. The strategy has a broad focus that can facilitate engagement and support frontloading or prior knowledge. It requires students to evaluate their own beliefs and present thinking and either confirm or reassess their understanding with evidenced-based arguments. The guide itself, also, helps to focus the reader on the concepts or information most relevant to their educational needs at that time.

In my Anticipation Guide for Rewritable Paper with responses, you can see that I engaged with the literacy task by evaluating my present knowledge and beliefs (checking the statements I think might be supported by scientific evidence). I then chose portions of the text to defend or rebut the statements, which forced me to self-assess my original assertions. For example, had I checked a statement that was then revealed to be rejected by the author, I would have had to process that new evidence and re-evaluate my beliefs.

Finally, by choosing to focus on the general concepts of ‘redox reactions’ and ‘scientific principles’, as the reader I was able to filter through (without getting bogged down with) the narrower science concepts such as the titanium dioxide nano-crystals, the UV light catalysts or the various other chemical reactions eluded to in the text relating to this new technology. This I found to be particularly valuable in that educators could provide flexible scaffolding with alternate anticipation guides tailored specifically to the needs of their students. A more advanced guide could  be developed by modifying the focus to the specific reactions taking place in this technology dealing with catalysts or properties of the involved molecules.

Explore this text using the KWL strategy modeled by Juanita and the Bookmark Technique modeled by Amanda.


Buehl, D. (2014). Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning (4th ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Kowalski, K. (2015). Rewritable paper: Prints with light, not ink. Retrieved from        ink?mode=topic&context=104

Framing Our Reading: Part 1 (Engagement)

Text Citation or Link Rationale for Choosing Text Frame(s) Strategies Used and Resource
Engagement Example Artificial Sweeteners: Friends or Foes? Allows students to make personal connections to self, text and others with the content while recalling background knowledge and reflecting on what they’ve read. cause/effect



Connection Stems (McLaughlin, p.63)

The connection stems strategy helps students make personal connections to the text being processed. The comprehension strategy is used to help the reader connect the focus text to themselves, the world, and other text.

The strategy can be used with both informational text and narrative type texts. It can be used at any stage (eg. pre-reading, during post-reading) during the reading activity.

The McLaughlin text (p. 63) lists these suggested connection stems:

  • That reminds me of
  • I remember when
  • I have a connection
  • An experience I have had that was similar to that
  • I felt like that person when
  • If I were that person, I would

Below, I have modeled my use of this strategy in reading our groups text, Artificial Sweeteners: Friends or Foes?

My connection stems:

I have a connection with this text, because I stopped drinking soda to reduce my sugar consumption. Para 1

I remember when we burned Doritos and measured the temperature increase in water to calculate calories in Chemistry class. Para 2

That reminds me of when I wanted to lose weight and started eating more “low fat” foods. Para 3

I were those people, I would feel very grateful to not have become ill or died from such a careless mistake. Para 4-5

An experience I have had that was similar to that is when I was eating a vegetarian diet I would experiment with different plant based proteins (eg. beans, nuts) to attempt to satiate my cravings for meat. Para 6-9

I felt like that person when I tasted the artificial sweeteners undesirable chemical aftertaste. Para 10

I have a connection with this because I like to maintain a more natural diet. Para 11

I remember when I read an article citing the same chemicals is artificial sweeteners being used as pesticides. Para 12

Explore this text using the Prereading Plan strategy modeled by Juanita and the Power Notes strategy modeled by Amanda.


Buehl, D. (2014). Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning (4th ed., pp. 155-157). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Marr, I. (2012, February 1). Artificial Sweeteners: Friends or Foes? Retrieved from

McLaughlin, M. (2015). Content Area Reading: Teaching and Learning for College and Career Readiness. (2nd ed., pp. 63-64). Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.

Personal Assessment Philosophy

My distaste for traditional standardized testing is nearly matched with my affinity towards authentic assessment. Authentic assessment accounts for the evaluation of students’ “performance” during “worthy intellectual tasks”; whereas, traditional tests assess simple recall of information often out of context and not easily relatable to practical applications in students’ lives.1

Assessment reform has attended to the goal of assessment to “support the needs of learners.”1 Authentic assessments achieve this by allowing for a variety of methods used in evaluating learning that is accessible to multiple modalities and learning styles. These more meaningful assessment measures allow teachers to be more responsive to student needs by providing deeper analysis of student learning. Further, authentic assessment provides students clear, predictable expectations, increasing accountability and decreasing frustration while supporting growth toward managing their own learning. Authentic assessment, therefore, serves as both a reflective tool for teachers to analyze their practices and a tool for forward-thinking adaptation to learners’ needs.

Authentic assessment can achieve validity and reliability with standard scoring criteria.1,2 Standard scoring, even with judgement based criterion, can be aligned with standards-based outcomes in order to achieve valid and reliable measures applicable with the adoption of Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards and other progressive education reform outcomes. Further, such criterion, emphasizes a spectrum for growth in both teacher effectiveness and student achievement, rather than the yes or no assessment most often indicated in traditional assessment.

Still, a limitation in authentic assessment include their inability to easily provide broad-based, quantifiable data to either support or refute recent reform efforts. The importance of this limitation, however, hinges on other personal philosophies including my unconvinced perspective of any significant benefit from national education norms and the continued negligence of public education in building meaningful partnerships with recipient beneficiaries such as higher education and industry.

1. “The case for authentic assessment. Wiggins, Grant.” 2003. <>

2. Popham, W James. Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know. Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2005.

Grading Rubric for Gravitational Force Lab

This Gravitational Force Rubric represents a grading rubric that could be used as assessment during a lab on gravitational force. I have extracted these student outcomes from the lesson plan as the assessment criteria for this activity:

  • Students will design and perform an experiment that investigates the effect of mass and inclination on the acceleration of an object.
  • Prior to performing experiment, students must record their hypothesis and procedures including all variables and controls necessary for accurate data reporting.
  • Students will analyze their data by creating graphs to illustrate the change in acceleration due to the variables: 1) changing the angle of inclination, and 2) changing the mass or surface properties of the ‘sled’.
  • Students will work in their pairs to compile a lab report citing the use of the scientific method.
  • Students will articulate their conclusion in writing individually as a means of assessing synthesis of new concepts.

Standardized Testing Reflection

This week we began investigating the role of assessment in education through various readings including our core text for the course, Classroom assessment: what teachers need to know by James Popham. We were asked to consider, “What standardized tests have you completed? …and… Did taking any one (or all) of these help you demonstrate evidence of learning? Which one?”

In addition to the annual CTBS tests I was subjected to in my elementary years, I have taken the SAT and most recently, Praxis I to round out my experience with standardized testing. All of them provided some evidence of learning. All the tests were effective at measuring information that I had attained in the time-period prior to taking the test. However, at this point many years later, I barely can recall even the style of question from the SAT, and I am aware recent iterations look very different from the test I took in the early 1990’s. For that reason, (possibly thankfully) I don’t believe there is a convenient, direct comparison between my secondary school testing and those that students are subjected to today.

Standardized testing provides a means to quantify student and educator performance in a format accessible for common evaluation and interpretation. In one way, standardized testing can ‘level a playing field’ both for students and educators by pushing everyone through a uniform filter. However, standardized tests cannot accurately account for the diversity of learners or the inequity in educational environments.

With the adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) the ‘leveling of the playing field’ will begin to be represented nationwide. Further, CCSS brings greater rigor to nearly 2/3rd of the States who have adopted these new broadly implemented standards (Popham, 2014). However, CCSS does not resolve the issue of the varying interpretations of standards or the differences (and often unfortunate disparities) in the materials or strategies used to implement standards based instruction (D’Agostino, Welsh & Corson, 2007).

In the county where I am teaching 8th grade Science, this year my students will take both PARCC tests in addition to the MSA Science test. The MSA is a remnant of the NCLB legislation that has not yet reached its expiration. This amount of testing I believe is preposterous, especially in the context that these tests will provide limited to no direct benefit to my students achievement of their educational goals. In this context, my students will not benefit from the guided decision-making purported by Popham as a primary benefit of assessment as they will have all dispersed to various high schools with no direct relationship with their previous experience to facilitate modifications or adaptations to their learning (Popham, 2014).

D’Agostino, J.V., Welsh, M.E., & Corson, N.M. (2007). Instructional sensitivity of a state’s standards-based assessment. Educational Assessment, 12(1), 1-22.

Popham, W. James. (2014). Classroom assessment: what teachers need to know. Pearson Education, Inc.