The Instructional Practice Guide includes coaching and lesson planning tools to help teachers and those who support teachers to make the Shifts in instructional practice required by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County has an excellent resource for history teachers. The UMBC Assessment Resource Center for Historyoffers sample assessments based on readings from six eras in U.S. history. The assessments include multiple choice question and performance tasks based on close reading exercises. The performance task assessments include scoring rubrics, sample responses from students, and the documents that students need in order to complete the performance tasks. Click here (link opens PDF) for a sample performance task.
A state-by-state look at the Common Core standards: ——— ALABAMA The state school board folded Common Core into the state's College and Career Ready Standards for public schools and has been defending the decision ever since. Legislators introduced bills in 2013...
Words like "explicit," "implicit," and "inference" sound like a foreign language to most students, yet the Common Core expects students to "read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it." Students must be able to identify both explicit and implicit
What I’m saying is that in the past we taught strategies—overtaught strategies???—but we then asked students to apply them to relatively easy texts (texts at the students' instructional levels). Now, the new standards are asking us to ignore strategies while assigning harder texts.
Deb Gardner's insight:
Great article on the discussion of teaching reading strategies.
Bottom line: "I would encourage you to continue to teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text. The point would be to make it possible for kids to make sense of truly challenging texts; the use of strategies could be enough to allow some kids to scaffold their own reading successfully--meaning they might be able to read frustration level texts as if they were written at their instructional level."
I’m happy to report that reviewers concluded that the PARCC states could reduce the number of test questions and passages, especially in the lower grade levels, and still provide the information that teachers, students and parents need to measure student progress and adjust instruction, and that schools and states need to be able to compare student progress. Meanwhile, the PARCC states are in the midst of a thorough review of the data on how long students spent answering questions on the field test. In a few weeks, we will be able to give school districts and schools clear information about how long tests will take so they can schedule their spring 2015 testing, a major undertaking.
Nearly all American K–12 students are exposed to it every day. It decides, in large part, what students will learn in school and how they will learn it. It is never evaluated for quality in any serious way, but when it is rigorously evaluated, its impact on student achievement is significant.
No, this isn’t another blog about teachers. I’m talking textbooks. We need good textbooks in front of kids just as badly as we need good teachers. However, from a research and policy perspective, improving textbook quality is a lot easier.
A little-noticed report last week in Education Week described a new initiative to be the Consumer Reports of textbooks. A new nonprofit called EdReports plans to post “free online reviews of major textbooks and curricula that purport to be aligned to the Common Core State Standards.” If they’re careful, credible, and diligent, this initiative could turn the lights up on a largely ignored factor in student outcomes that is ripe for analysis and improvement. And it could even blunt some of the more heated criticisms of the Common Core. Here’s why I think EdReports, and textbooks in general, matter:
The Center for Education Policy (CEP) put together this compendium, which very briefly summarizes published research on many different aspects of the Common Core. The objective is to create an accessible and readable overview of current research that can inform implementation, policy discussions, and the development of future research on the Common Core.
This is a video and lesson resource project to assist teachers and principals around the nation. The video modules on this site exemplify the key shifts that the Common Core brings to classroom pedagogy.
America Achieves released 10 new videos of great teachers, along with related lesson plans and resources. All the videos come with the cues for Deeper Learning as well as the Common Core shifts
Student Achievement Partners will introduce an updated version of the Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool, a tool designed to support educators and decision-makers as they evaluate the alignment of curricular materials to the Shifts and major features of the Common Core State Standards.Click here to edit the title
One of the highlights in PARCC's Educator Leader Cadre (ELC) meeting in July, was the "Using PARCC Practice Tests to Raise Rigor and Build Assessment Literacy Skills: Deconstructing PARCC Practice Items" presentation by Char Shryock, director of curriculum and instruction at Bay Village Schools in Ohio.
Char stressed the importance of refocusing education discussions away from "too much testing,"and back to the true goal of collecting evidence of learning -- to ensure all students are realizing their potential in the classroom and throughout their lives and careers.
This coming school year, a majority of states will implement the Common Core State Standards and corresponding assessments from either the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. To prepare for the new assessments, both consortia field-tested thousands of test items this spring. AACTE asked each consortium to provide our members with an update on its progress. This post addresses Smarter Balanced; find the PARCC update here. The views in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Deb Gardner's insight:
The scale and scope of this “practice run” of new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards was truly unprecedented; 4.2 million students participated, making this field test the largest online assessment in the nation’s history.
EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products)is an initiative of the American Diploma Project (ADP) Network designed to identify high-quality materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
The objectives are two-fold:
Increase the supply of high quality lessons and units aligned to the CCSS that are available to elementary, middle, and high school teachers as soon as possible; andBuild the capacity of educators to evaluate and improve the quality of instructional materials for use in their classrooms and schools.
ReadWorks is a free service that has cataloged hundreds of lesson plans and nearly two thousand reading non-fiction and fiction passages aligned to Common Core standards. Vocabulary lists and lessons are the latest addition to ReadWorks. Now when you select a passage and a lesson in ReadWorks you can find a list of key vocabulary words to go with the passage. Click on a word in one of the vocabulary lists to find its definition and a list of sample uses of the word. At the bottom of the vocabulary list you will find PDF of practice exercises to give to students.
As many states move to full adoption of PARCC this Spring, Massachusetts is in the second year of its “Test Drive” with about 60% of 3-8 schoolschoosing to give PARCC rather than MCAS. To support schools, teaches, and families as they implement the new assessment system, PARCC has released two of five virtual professional development modules. The following is a short description of the two released professional development modules with links to them:
As part of the field test administration this past spring, the PARCC states collected feedback from participants, including students, test administrators, test coordinators and classroom teachers. This is the third in a series of articles that will culminate in a release of a complete “Lessons Learned” in September.
Dr. Leslie Suter and Dr. Melissa Comer are faculty members in the College of Education’s Curriculum & Instruction Department at Tennessee Tech University. They will be co-presenting the session “Common Core Literacy Integration with App Flows” at the 2014 Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference this November in Raleigh, NC.
At a time when many teachers and parents (and students!) can feel overwhelmed by the seeming overabundance of standardized tests and educational standards more generally, it falls to the teacher to help the students and parents understand how all of this fits into the larger picture of what students will need to know and be able to do to be successful in the future. This means helping them understand how educational standards fit into 21st century learning, a concept that to many seems contradictory.
The Common Core identifies six instructional shifts needed to effectively implement the standards in ELA/Literacy. Shift 6 suggests an instructional change in the teaching of Academic Vocabulary. While there are many specific vocabulary standards in the K-12 Language strand, it’s helpful and important to look at Academic Vocabulary from the big picture view known as Shift 6.
Like me, you’ve probably noticed that almost every educational website or email you read is talking about Common Core State Standards resources. And rightly so. These standards have and will continue to have an impact on our schools and classrooms. So with all the choices available, whom should you trust? And which resources really offer the guidance you’re looking for?
To begin with, I always want to know the purpose of the resource. Is it to sell, to inform, or to teach? Although there will certainly be times when purchasing materials or resources may be important to me, right now I’m still convinced that I need to be a student of the standards. I need resources that expose the gaps in the standards, put them into plain language, and unpack the technical terms. I also appreciate the sources that address the myths that are often perpetuated by the standards: in other words, knowing what they aren’t is just as powerful as knowing what they are.
So how can teacher educators prepare for the assessments? Just as I’ve written in ASCD’s “Inservice” blog in previous months (see here and here), teacher educators can use the same resources that teachers have been using in the professional learning communities in their schools and districts to connect good assessment with good instruction. PARCC states have produced a number of sample items and documents, from the Model Content Frameworks to evidence statements to scoring rubrics to performance-level descriptors, that demystify the process of assessment construction and provide a bridge from the assessment to classroom practice.