What are the “complex texts” mentioned in the Common Core?
In the School Library Journal/The Digital Shift blog Library Counselor Christopher Harris shares three tips for finding those texts quickly, including starting with known sources, rather than with a general search, and exploring online course materials to see what resources experts are using.
Especially important is Harris’ suggestion to begin with known sources. Too many times, students (and educators) begin with a Google search and are immediately overwhelmed by the vast number of items returned from their search. They often are also sent in red herring type directions that distill emphasis away from the topic. Targetted searching, beginning with trusted sources and academic content is the most scholarly approach. This approach also meets the Common Core emphasis on close reading of texts. In my work with teachers, close reading of texts has created the most confusion and questions of how to implement.
Equally important for students is a research process I encourage called 4-to-1. Breaking this down, for every four digital sources a student cites, a corresponding one hardcopy book, magazine, newspaper source needs to be researched and included. Of course, the numbers themselves are arbitrary; it is the process of including multiple sources in research that is necessary.
Harris encourages other librarians to enrich others by sharing their tips. What would you include>
Please visit the School Library Journal/The Digital Shift blog