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FCAT 2.0 and Florida's Common Core

Strategies for Success

To go on to the Strategy 1 click here.For a print friendly copy of all the strategies, click here.

12 Strategies for Literacy Achievement and College & Career Readiness

Essential Question (for PLCs) What factors correlate with higher achievement of students in reading?


"The skills that differentiate student ability to meet benchmarks in reading was not their relative ability in making inferences while reading or answering questions related to a particular cognitive process, such as determining main ideas or the meanings of words and phrases in context. Instead, the clearest differentiator was students’ ability to answer questions associated with complex texts.”

Source: Reading Between Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals About College Readiness in Reading (2006) Read more here

NOTE: The Strategies below are not to be implemented in order, nor do they reflect all of the research-based strategies that teachers should use to improve literacy learning in reading. They do reflect a comprehensive and integrated approach of evidenced-based instruction and best practices.


Strategy # 1: Make Complex Texts Central to Instruction

Make the close reading of complex texts central to instruction—rather than ancillary—and focus on grade-level, complex, literary and informational texts that demand close reading and re-reading for understanding. Draw from the released texts/passages from prior FCATs, the Articles of the Week, and content related literary fiction and informational texts.
- For more information on close reading, click here.


Strategy # 2: Model Close Reading of Complex Texts

Model how to read complex texts closely to determine a) what the text says explicitly, b) make logical inferences from it, and c) cite the specific textual evidence in writing and speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
- For the steps to facilitate a close reading of complex texts with students, click here.


Strategy # 3: Ask Text-dependent Questions

Ask text-dependent questions from a range of question types that require students to demonstrate that they follow the details of what is explicitly stated in the text and support their answers using evidence from the text.
- For the steps on developing text-dependent questions for a specific text or passage, click here.


Strategy # 4: Ask Why, How, and Which Questions

Ask why, how and which questions. They are simple to ask yet they require complex thinking to answer.
- To find out how these three question starters can be so powerful, click here.


Strategy # 5: Ask Moderate and High Complexity Questions Modeled from FCAT 2.0 Question Stems

Use the moderate and high complexity questions from the FCAT 2.0 Item Specifications as question stems for classroom discussion, guided literacy learning activities, and independent practice.
- For guidance on developing low, moderate and high complexity questions, click here.


Strategy # 6: Add Rigor to Instruction with Webb's Depth of Knowledge

Apply Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to planning and implementing instructional tasks. 80-90% of the questions on FCAT 2.0 are moderate to high complexity, and the majority of instructional time should be dedicated to promoting moderate to high levels of complex, higher order thinking tasks.
- For information on Webb's Depth of Knowledge, click here.
- To compare Webb's Depth of Knowledge Classifications with Bloom's Taxonomy, click here


Strategy # 7: Key Terms in the Reading Specifications Glossary

Teach students the key terms in the Reading Item Specifications Glossary. Provide explicit and systematic instruction for students to generate text-validated responses to text answering questions addressed by and with these terms.
- For information on the key terms in the FCAT 2.0 Reading Glossary by reporting category and benchmark, click here.


Strategy # 8: Text-Based Writing: Draw Evidence from Text, Make Well-Defended Claims, Logical Inferences and Analysis

Teach students text-validated writing to text sources. Provide students with daily writing activities in which they must draw evidence from texts, summarize key points, support logical inferences, and present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

- For strategies on writing to learn, click here.


Strategy # 9: Text-Based Discussion

Require students to demonstrate their comprehension and understanding of what they read before engaging their opinions, appraisals, or interpretations. Questions and learning tasks should require careful comprehension of the text before asking for further connections, evaluation, or interpretation.
- For more information, click here.


Strategy # 10: Gradual Release Model: Promoting Independence in Reading

Decrease instructional scaffolding and increase student independence. Effective instructional scaffolding enables all students to access complex texts directly without preempting or replacing a text by translating its contents for students
- To help students gain independence as literacy learners, click here.


Strategy # 11: Academic Vocabulary - More Than Context Clues

Provide explicit and systematic vocabulary instruction through word study and vocabulary routines that build student's knowledge of academic vocabulary and multiple meaning words.
- Vocabulary Instruction - It's More Than Context Clues. For more information and resources click here.


Strategy # 12: From Learning to Read to Reading to Learn: Literacy for College, Career and Life

Support students in literacy instruction that helps them progress from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”
- For resources on helping to move students from Learning to Read to Reading to Learn, click here.

To go on to the Strategy 1 click here.For a print friendly copy of all the strategies, click here.