Updated: Jan 19
One of the primary goals of our education systems is to ensure that all students complete their school experience with college and career-ready skills. To thrive as a society, we need a diverse workforce filled with diverse citizens who offer diverse skillsets, diverse experiences, diverse perspectives, and diverse interests.
While opportunities for employment and engagement in the post-secondary field call for diversity, high school students in Indiana (as well as many other states) are required to demonstrate and apply their skills through a common measurement tool, the SAT. Students take the SAT during their junior year, and it is one of several graduation requirements.
To better align our 9th-10th grade ELA teaching practices to the graduation requirement of the SAT, we need to look at the SAT IAS Priority Standards Resource created by the Indiana Department of Education. This resource will provide you and your team with a quick snapshot of which standards are priority for 9th-10th grade readers.
Upon quick glance, you'll notice a far heavier focus on nonfiction reading standards, as well as vocabulary standards, than on fiction and writing application. As a HUGE proponent of spiraling writing genres throughout our curriculum, I would not advocate for cutting back on writing, as this is a critically important skill (again) for post-secondary readiness; however, it is worth our time to explore the ways writing questions are asked on practice SAT tests and questions. Check out the SAT Suite of Assessments Teacher Implementation Guide for guidance related to the SAT, as well as practice resources for student and teacher use.
For a simple, quick print out of the High Priority IAS/ELA/SAT standards, use this downloadable 1-pager I've created. Unlike the 6-8 High Priority Standards resource, I haven't included the medium-priority standards because there aren't any.
In fact, I would argue that building in adequate nonfiction and vocabulary practice will necessitate an increase of close reading of these texts, which requires increased modeling and explicit reading instruction.
For tips on how promote surface, then deep, then eventually transference of literacy skills, explore this free slide deck full of helpful links, videos, and demonstrations of the top 18 literacy techniques that growth readers, or feel free to reach out and connect with me.