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Mind the Comprehension Iceberg: Avoiding Titanic Mistakes With the CCSS


  • Amy Feiker Hollenbeck,

  • Kara Saternus


As teachers and leaders move forward in implementing the Common Core State Standards within classrooms across 46 states, it is essential to consider the question of what knowledge is included in the English Language Arts Standards, and what knowledge is not present. The authors of the Common Core delineate an increasingly complex body of knowledge across K-5 to support their vision of developing engaged and critical readers. However, missing in this document are the cognitive and comprehension strategies that expert readers use to construct meaning of text. In this article, we review the extensive body of research supporting explicit comprehension strategy instruction, and then illustrate the limited alignment between this knowledge base and the concepts articulated within the Common Core. Implications for instruction and planning are discussed in conclusion.