The third segment of the Common Core reading standards is Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. The standards listed here state the following:
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches authors take.
These three standards provide the firmest support for “extensive” reading yet. A prerequisite to “integrating and evaluating content presented in diverse media and formats,” would be interacting with various content which implies that students will have read, at the very least, more than one text and ideally, students will have read several. Standard 9 notes that students need to be working with “two or more texts” in order to achieve the theme/topic analysis outlined by this standard. Standards seven and nine suggest that reading a single book during a term would not suffice in meeting these standards, which support the integration of knowledge and ideas, leaving us to understand that when it comes to practice, a lot of actual reading is going to be key.
The final category of the reading standards is Range and Level of Text Complexity. There is but one standard in this category and it states:
10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
In and of itself, this standard seems to speak directly to proficiency. It aims for all students to be able to understand grade level complex text. However, how does one become proficient at anything? In order to answer this question, we return you to our yoga example as well as our examples about playing the piano and cooking. While aided by teachers, students will only achieve proficiency through practice. No amount of listening, reading, or watching helps one as much as actually DOING that which aims to be improved. How then will students “read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently?” There is only one way: PRACTICE.