Following up with my last blog post about the Common Core State Standards I have been interested in how the new standards constantly stress using a piece of literature and a piece of informational text when teaching each reading lesson. I have challenged my student teachers to do this as they are using the CCSS lesson plan format to teach reading. I have been impressed with how successful their lessons have been when incorporating the two different types of texts. My understanding is that one of the reasons the CCSS include both types of texts in every lesson is that students graduating from high school had much weaker comprehension skills when using non-fiction texts than they did for fiction material. The emphasis is to teach children how to use different strategies for different purposes. It is appropriate that it would begin in kindergarten where comprehension strategies are being established. I have been challenging every early childhood teacher to choose a fiction and a non-fiction text, read both to their group and then discuss the differences in the text and the format of the books.
Manager of Educational Programs, Excelligence Learning Corporation
University Clinical Instructor
Credentials and Accolades:
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education
1996 Utah Teacher of the Year
1998-1999 President, Utah AEYC
2011 Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Utah
John Funk has worked in early childhood since 1979. He taught preschool, 1st and 2nd grades and kindergarten. He worked as an early childhood specialist for a large school district and managed early childhood services for Salt Lake CAP Head Start. He is past president of the Utah AEYC. As an early childhood, reading, and literacy consultant for the last decade, he has written on early childhood subjects and products for McGraw Hill and Leap Frog. He served on the editorial panel for Young Children magazine published by NAEYC.
Currently, John is the Manager of Educational Programs for Excelligence Learning Corporation, and he teaches courses in early childhood, children’s literature, classroom management, reading methods and supervises student teachers at the University of Utah.