Hi Ms. Perlstein,
I just watched your webinar and I am a little confused about the text that students read. You mentioned that they are "authentic and whole text" but I am unsure what you said about differentiation. Are the texts leveled. I think you stated "watered down or beefed up." To what are you referring? Please clarify. Thank you!
Hi, Iesha! ThinkCERCA uses authentic texts that are never diluted or "watered down." This way, we ensure that students analyze a text that is just right for them and presents an appropriate level of challenge.
Another way to think of this is through the lens of a Shakespeare example. "Romeo and Juliet" is a 9th-grade level text. Therefore, in one of our Writing Modules, students who are reading at the 9th-grade level are assigned the prologue of "Romeo and Juliet" in its original version. Students reading at the 4th-grade level, however, would not receive the "Romeo and Juliet" prologue. They also would not receive a version of the "Romeo and Juliet" prologue that has the text changed to be "watered down" and easier to read. (That’s an inaccurate representation of Shakespeare.) Our view is that students should read and analyze real, authentic texts that are appropriate for their level. Since one class can have many different levels of learners, one ThinkCERCA ELA Writing Module includes 10 differentiated texts (from grades 3-12) that center around the same debatable class question.
In this example, for instance, the whole class would discuss the topic of “Character and Risk” and focus writing and discussions around the question, “When are tempting rewards worth the risk?” While the whole class discusses, debates, and learns about the topic together, students would analyze a text at the level that appropriately challenges them (a student reading at the 4th-grade level would read an excerpt from "The Sword in the Stone” and a student at the 9th-grade level would read an excerpt from “Romeo and Juliet.”) The whole class discussion would then include perspectives informed by the variety of texts in the class, each of which helps students think critically about the question through an authentic text that is appropriate for their level.
If you’d like to learn more, please consider booking a 30-minute call with one of our ThinkCERCA representatives. Hope this helped! https://app.hubspot.com/meetings/thinkcerca/30-minute-demo-with-thinkcercas-school-partnerships-team