Build college and career readiness skills with engaging, real-world ELA, science, and social science topics for grades 4-12
ThinkCERCA’s personalized literacy platform helps teachers nurture students' critical thinking skills. Through standards-aligned close reading and academic writing lessons for English language arts, science, social studies, and math, our schoolwide approach to literacy instruction prepares students in grades 4-12 for post-secondary life by building up their analytical skills in every subject. It provides educators with an online platform to differentiate literacy instruction easily while creating engaging learning experiences for their classrooms of diverse learners.
Research suggests that discipline-specific close reading and writing practice improves students’ literacy skills while building up their critical thinking skills. As the authors of the Common Core State Standards point out, these skills are essential for 21st century success. ThinkCERCA’s evidence-based argumentation framework helps students develop strong critical literacy skills across subjects by teaching them how to make Claims, support their claims with Evidence from texts, explain their Reasoning, identify Counterarguments, and address the appropriate Audience in a given academic, professional, or personal situation. ThinkCERCA’s flexible CERCA Framework also empowers whole school teams by providing teachers, parents, administrators, and students with a common language to drive sustainable academic growth.
The ThinkCERCA program includes different types of lessons on varied themes for the development of rich argumentation skills. The main types of lessons that form the basis of the program include:
1) Independent Reading – Short lessons containing high-interest, authentic informational texts with five multiple choice questions to get students engaged with independent reading.
2) Direct Instruction – Expert introductions to CCSS-aligned key skills and concepts that include introductory ideas related to the CERCA Framework, such as how to make claims, find evidence, and explain one’s reasoning, in addition to other basic literacy skills.
3) Applied Close Reading and Writing – Using the CERCA Framework, these lessons walk students through the process of developing formal written arguments about debatable topics that get students to think critically about relevant issues.
ThinkCERCA’s instructional designs were developed based on the research and practice of master teachers and nationally recognized literacy experts. The ThinkCERCA lesson library features a curated array of direct instruction lessons, passages, and automated and constructed response assessments. Its lessons include authentic informational and literary texts from real-world sources and support 10 different levels of readiness to meet the needs of diverse learners. Close reading is activated in instructional settings through discipline-specific highlighting and summarizing practice, as well as in-text vocabulary and audio support. Writing practice is supported by ThinkCERCA’s scaffolded, interactive Argument Builder, rigorous writing prompts, and standards-aligned sentence frames. In addition, ThinkCERCA lessons are designed to support student collaboration, including classroom discussion and debate, which allows academic literacy development through social and participatory learning.