Text Dependent Analysis in Math, Science, Social Studies, and ELA: Part 1

As we work to help our students become college and career ready, we need to make sure we are focusing on the right things.  We need to think across our students’ day.  We need to get the biggest bang for our buck.  If we look across the common core standards, focusing on text dependent analysis throughout the student’s day may just be the ticket.

As you know, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have issued Math Practice standards as well as Math Content standards.  The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has always encouraged the teaching of math practice standards; the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) will now assess these practices.  The standards describe what mathematically proficient students should be able to do when they graduate in order to be college and career ready.

Likewise, the CCSS issued College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards for Reading and Writing and are to be considered the “backbone” of the literacy standards.  The Standards for English Language Arts, the Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects, and the Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies have all been written directly from these anchor standards.

There has been some discussion about the correlation between the Math Practice Standards and the Anchor Standards, specifically around text dependent analysis and the idea of precision.  The table below outlines the standards in each area.  The items in the table that require text dependent analysis have been highlighted.

Table of Standards.  Highlighted text requires text dependent analysis.

Table of Standards. Highlighted text requires text dependent analysis.

Notice that 90% of the reading standards, and 40% of the writing standards require text dependent analysis (cite evidence, central ideas, evaluate claims, interpret words in the text, close reading, etc).  The math practice standards follow suit with 75% of them asking students to do the same kinds of thinking.  Mathematically proficient students make sense of problems, critique the reasoning of others, look for structure in problems and regularity in reasoning, and attend to precision.

So why is this important?  Our big vision should not be the standards, but helping our students be college and career ready. We need to focus our energy on text dependent questions, asking for evidence to back up an argument.  We need to continue to place the precision of vocabulary high on our priority list.  This focus needs to happen in Math, Science, Social Studies, and ELA.  Text dependent analysis seems to be the glue that allows for coherence in the student’s day.

Stay tuned next week for some resources on text dependent analysis to use in YOUR classroom.


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