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Hands on information, lessons plans, creative ideas for implementing CCSS/ELA.
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Projects to Engage Middle School Readers

Projects to Engage Middle School Readers | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
It's my fault. I'll admit it. During my eight years in the classroom, I ruined at least two amazing literary works by assigning horrifically dull reading projects. My only hope is that those middle s
Mary Clark's insight:

I love these ideas! I almost want to skip another week of vacation so I can share them with teachers right now!

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Tackling Informational Text:You Want Me to Read What?!

Tackling Informational Text:You Want Me to Read What?! | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

"Arguments against the wide use of informational text with students lack an evidentiary foundation and ignore the reading demands that students will face in college and the workplace. The argument for informational texts is not that students should read more information and less literature but that they surely should read more of both (Jago, 2013). Righting the current imbalance will simply require increases in the reading of information."

Mary Clark's insight:

This makes me think of all those 1st and 2nd grade boys who wanted to check out stacks of nonfiction, only to be told they had to start reading chapter books.  Sweet redemption for them, if they haven't already lost all enthusiasm for reading.  Key takeaway--read, then read more!

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Close reading leads to close writing: "Falling in Love With Close Reading" in writing workshop

Close reading leads to close writing:  "Falling in Love With Close Reading" in writing workshop | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

 I have truly fallen in love with Falling in Love With Close Reading, the just-released book by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts. "   

Mary Clark's insight:

A great example of how close reading can improve writing--when modelled.

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SaraKLMS's comment, December 15, 2013 7:47 PM
ooh. I'm SO ordering this.
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Tackling Informational Text:Points of Entry

Tackling Informational Text:Points of Entry | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

"An informational text reading diet relies on both access and time. We give students access by establishing and modeling a purpose for reading; providing guided instruction through the close reading process; and encouraging collaborative, text-based conversations. We also need to give students the time to read and use such texts for the purposes of investigation and to exercise choice in how they build knowledge."

Mary Clark's insight:

I am not a classroom teacher, but fortunately heard Douglas Fisher speak at a library workshop.  His work with Nancy Frey has given me insight into reading instruction and has made me better able to assist students and teachers. This article is one that should be shared at all professional development about informational text!

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An Exploration of Text Sets: Supporting All Readers

An Exploration of Text Sets: Supporting All Readers | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
Students create text sets on a high interest topic and use the texts to practice three strategies for reading for information.
Mary Clark's insight:

Having students choose topics and attempt to become experts using this activity AND their school library - genius! Excellent opportunity for collaboration with library staff, who will be able to help students search for books, websites, use databases, and so much more!  

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Action Is Character: Exploring Character Traits with Adjectives - ReadWriteThink

Action Is Character: Exploring Character Traits with Adjectives - ReadWriteThink | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
Students must "become" a character in a novel in order to describe themselves and other characters using powerful adjectives.
Mary Clark's insight:

I've watched 6th graders struggle with determining characters' motivations.  This activity would help!  

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Common Core in the Schools: A First Look at Reading Assignments

Common Core in the Schools: A First Look at Reading Assignments | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

October 22, 2013Authors: Tim ShanahanAnn Duffett "Most teachers believe that the new standards promise better learning for their students, and an overwhelming majority of teachers say that their schools have already made significant progress toward implementing the standards, including relevant curriculum changes and professional development."


Via Mel Riddile
Mary Clark's insight:

Reading through the findings from middle school ELA teachers, I see two key issues. The first  is not whether teachers are using complex texts, but whether they're using the exemplar texts from the CCSS.  Does it matter? Do you trust teachers to choose rigorous and challenging texts that may be more current (or interesting?)

 

Second, are other departments using informational text in a way that helps students develop close reading and critical thinking skills?  If students are studying The U.S. Constitution, but doing nothing more than rote memorization of The Bill of Rights, we can't claim students are doing close reading in social studies.  I still believe collaboration is the key to successfully teaching close reading and critical thinking.  

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Mary Clark's curator insight, January 15, 9:34 AM

See my comments on an earlier scoop.  

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How English Teachers Can Easily Address the CCSS

How English Teachers Can Easily Address the CCSS | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

With many schools now taking a look at their curriculum and assessing how to best meet the needs of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) one of the most poignant realizations is the increased demand for critical thinking.

 


Via Mel Riddile, Charles Fischer
Mary Clark's insight:

An excellent post to share with teachers and administrators! Increasing the reader task to emphasize critical thinking--brilliant summary of a key element of the Common Core.

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11 Tips on Teaching Common Core Critical Vocabulary

11 Tips on Teaching Common Core Critical Vocabulary | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

Teaching vocabulary within the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an essential component of standards-based curriculum alignment. Making the critical words second nature to our students will  enhance achievement on assessments and will be useful in college and career.

Mary Clark's insight:

More hands on tips for helping students remember Tier Two and Three vocabulary.

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Common Core in Action: Writing for an Audience

Common Core in Action: Writing for an Audience | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
What's new in Common Core? When it comes to the writing standards, a heavy emphasis on audience for one thing, and this is very good news. The "audience" for student writing was once the lone teacher
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Quick tips for all grade levels on how to help students recognize and write for an audience.

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Rescooped by Mary Clark from Common Core Made Easy
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40 Things to Do with a Text

40 Things to Do with a Text | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
This article was written by Dominic Braham and Anthony Gaughan and originally appeared in English Teaching Matters, the English Language Teachers' Associations journal. Before we get started… Wait ...

Via juandoming, Lynnette Van Dyke, Roz Linder
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Great thinking skills that don't take much time, but help students learn about how many ways there are to look at text.

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Francesc clavera i riera's curator insight, September 22, 2013 11:58 AM

Interessant per al tractament de les llengües a l'aula....

 

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Close Reading Sample Lessons and Assessment Questions

Mary Clark's insight:

I love the lesson for Jim Murphy's The Great Fire--and most school libraries will have the book available for students who want to continue reading.  The lesson is self-contained, with all the articles and readings included.

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Write Like Crazy: A Non-Freaked Out Approach to Common Core Writing | Teaching the Core

Write Like Crazy: A Non-Freaked Out Approach to Common Core Writing | Teaching the Core | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
How do we incorporate simple yet powerful writing activities that will not only prepare our students for college/career, but also help with content acquisition?
Mary Clark's insight:

As always, Dave Stuart nails it with his humorous approach and practical suggestions!

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Alphablocks: 26 Strategies For Always-On Learning

Alphablocks: 26 Strategies For Always-On Learning | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
Alphablocks: 26 Strategies For Always-On Learning Many learning strategies come naturally. Stopping when you’re confused. Asking questions. Clarifying your understanding. Creating analogies (Oh, so it’s like when…) or paraphrasing.

Via Charles Fischer
Mary Clark's insight:

I think the infographic could just as easily be titled Improve Your Teaching from A to Z!

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Visuals and Reading

Visuals and Reading | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
Over the last few years in my seventh grade reading class, I’ve asked students to do more visual analysis and creation. This has nothing to do with the fact that my twin sister is a talented artist...
Mary Clark's insight:

Hands on insights and examples for helping students analyze and create visuals.  Such an important part of criticial thinking!

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Mary Clark's curator insight, January 15, 9:31 AM

Visual literacy is a key factor in developing critical thinking skills. Lots of great examples here.

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I.N.K.: The Joy of Exploring Book Structure with the Common Core

I.N.K.: The Joy of Exploring Book Structure with the Common Core | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

"Structure is a the-world-is-your-oyster kind of thing.  The options for structuring a piece of writing to inspire, entertain, and inform are endless. I can be creative, literary, artistic, poetic, humorous, vivid, and suspenseful. I can use metaphor, imagery, narrative arc, voice, or any other tool I’d like. When I write, I’m like a curator at a museum. I get to decide what to focus on and how to present it. So half the fun is figuring out: What is the best way to tell this story? What interesting or clever structure will make this amazing material come to life for readers?"

Mary Clark's insight:

I love the insights that Elizabeth shares here.  I haven't seen any Common Core-related articles dealing with structure, so this article will be very useful.  

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Tackling Informational Text:Invitations to Read

Tackling Informational Text:Invitations to Read | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

"... it's essential to avoid reading instruction that asks kids to pick to death texts that are meaningless to them—read a sentence, find an allusion, read another sentence, give me a synonym for the verb the author uses. This practice is deadly and extinguishes motivation to read."

 

Mary Clark's insight:

"It's teachers' job to breathe life into whatever work we ask students to dedicate themselves to—and to ensure that this work doesn't suck the life out of them, especially in reading."  I love this! Found via Larry Ferlazzo.

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Three Useful Common Core “Cheat Sheets”

Three Useful Common Core “Cheat Sheets” | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

Larry Ferlazzo has gathered some visuals to help you understand the Common Core.

Mary Clark's insight:

I especially like the infographics for students and teachers displaying ways they can prepare now for the Common Core.

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Carrie Eicher 's curator insight, January 3, 9:12 AM

Powerful visual explains what students, teachers and families need to know about the Common Core.

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Video Series Playlist: ELA Instruction for English Language Learners

Video Series Playlist: ELA Instruction for English Language Learners | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
We're excited to present this six-part video series showcasing an exemplar unit that focuses on ELA instruction for middle school English Language Learners.
Mary Clark's insight:

Great Common Core-aligned instruction that can be used to scaffold teaching for all students.

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Close Reading Infographic

Close Reading Infographic | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

Via Darren Burris, Connie Wise, Cindy Riley Klages
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beth paterno's curator insight, October 24, 2013 8:57 PM

great visual for close reading

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I.N.K.: Voila-Seven CCSS Activities You Can Do Now

I.N.K.: Voila-Seven CCSS Activities You Can Do Now | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

"Below is a link to a set of six incredible projects geared directly toward the book Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem."

Mary Clark's insight:

Activities that tie into books your library should already own!

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Text Complexity Rubric

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Rubric from NYC schools for determining text complexity

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Rescooped by Mary Clark from Common Core and Educational Technology
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Doing it Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary

Doing it Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
Every Monday, my seventh grade English teacher would have us copy a list of 25 words she'd written on the board. We'd then look up the dictionary definitions and copy those down.

Via Karen Larson
Mary Clark's insight:

It doesn't have to be drill and kill!

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Karen Larson's curator insight, September 11, 2013 10:11 PM

Great suggestions for teaching vocabulary in all curriculum areas.

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Literacy Design Collaborative | Template Tasks

Literacy Design Collaborative | Template Tasks | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it

"LDC “template tasks” provide fill-in-the-blank shells that teachers use to create powerful assignments. For example, Template Task 2 calls for student analysis that builds an argument:

 

[Insert question] After reading _____ (literature or informational texts), write _________ (essay or substitute) that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the text(s). L2 Be sure to acknowledge competing views."

Mary Clark's insight:

If you have teachers who would be more comfortable with templates, share this link. The Template Task Collection 2 has been revised in July 2013. Easier to read fill-in-the-blank shells, if that's what you're after:)

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Roz Linder's comment, September 14, 2013 7:34 AM
I think this is a great transition piece to get teachers comfortable with crafting assignments.
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Topics in Chronicling America

Topics in Chronicling America | Common Core ELA | Scoop.it
Mary Clark's insight:

Quickly search by topic for US history topics, and find primary source newspapers articles. Great resource for collaborative projects between history and language departments.

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