Liven up your math class with a quick Annotated Task. Available for every grade, these mathematic tasks exemplify the focus, coherence, and rigor of the Standards. For more Common Core-aligned tasks and lesson ideas, check out Illustrative Mathematics.
Explore the ELA/Literacy Bank. Here you will find a library of hundreds of free, teacher-developed Common Core-aligned lessons to use alongside the popular stories, nonfiction texts, basal readers, and anthologies you’re already using in your classroom.
Achievethecore.org materials are all free and designed for you to download and adapt to meet the needs of your students.
I grab a lot of texts online to use with students. I often wonder, “How challenging is this text? Will my students have trouble reading this text?” In the past, I’d rely on Google’s Advanced Search option that allowed me to search by reading level. Unfortunately, Google dumped this feature, so I’ve been on the hunt for a new way to assess online texts.
Technology is in every room at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn — it’s even in the hallways. Scan the QR code with your phone outside of the fourth-grade classroom of co-teachers Vanessa Desiano and Jamie Coccia and a video will pop up of a student giving a history presentation on early explorers. Step inside, and fourth-grade students are working together to discover the themes of chapter 13 in their latest book, The Birchbark House, and typing what they find on iPads.
“People have this fear that if you put technology into a classroom, kids will just be staring at computers,” said Principal Gregg Korrol. “But this class is using technology to engage each other directly in learning.”
Educators often wonder how they are going to meet all the demands of Common Core. One important point is that the standards require more depth and less breadth. Meeting these standards can be done by doing less, not more. In this post, we’ll look at three effective ways to do this: integrating curriculum, combining test prep into daily learning, and cutting topics.
However, there are many ways to work within the constraints of the Common Core standards and still foster creativity in your classroom. The key can be summed up in one, Common Core-friendly term: synthesis, or combining ideas from multiple sources and creating a new theory or system of ideas. Let’s take a look at some ways that working with your students on synthesizing can promote creativity in your English class.
Game-based learning is a topic we have revisited numerous times on EmergingEdTech. The implications it has on student engagement and learning are powerful and cannot be overstated. If you have not already experimented with game-based learning with your class, make 2015 the year you do!
Deb Gardner's insight:
I haven't personally given this a test drive yet, but apparently several teachers and students like it!
But something remarkable happened last spring. The close-knit school located across from a potato field in Wyoming County was one of a dozen in the state to go from floundering on state tests in 2012 to scoring better than most on the more difficult exams administered in 2014. They did it, in part, by ignoring Albany and the dictates of the state education department.
“The Core also seeks to ensure that students graduating from high school are consistently prepared to enter two- and four-year colleges. What’s important to note is that states and school districts are on their own in designing curriculum to meet these standards. The standards establish what students need to learn but do not dictate how teachers should teach. Schools and teachers are to decide how best to help students meet set goals.”
“The goal is to build knowledge through content-rich materials that will enable students to answer verbally or in writing questions calling for careful analysis, resulting in well-defended claims and clear information. The focus on real-world application is the same in math.
“The Common Core gives our schools an opportunity to improve and to become more of a results-oriented system.”
“Why did we raise the standards for our teachers and students? Simply put, existing standards — in Hawaii and across the U.S. — were no longer preparing students for the requirements of college or the workforce.
“For example, more than one-third of our public school graduates enroll in remedial college math or English at the University of Hawaii.
Nationally, the picture is not any better. More than half of graduates entering two-year colleges face remediation, according to data from 33 states analyzed by a 2012 Complete College America report.”
Teacher question: Our school district is going wild over Lexiles because they are in the Common Core standards. I think they are overdoing it and don’t feel comfortable with some of the decisions that we are making. What are the weaknesses of Lexiles? First, Lexiles is only one of several readability measures included in the CCSS. They started with that one, but as studies were completed they added ATOS, SourceRater, and several others.
You are a congresswoman’s chief-of-staff and she needs your help coming up with a position on whether a nuclear power plant should be built in the district. These are the kinds of prompts students across the country are being presented with during the first round of Common Core testing this spring. In this example — …
Educators today are facing two major shifts in education–a move to the Common Core Standards and increasing pressure to teach students with the technology they’ll be expected to use in their lives beyond high school. Both seasoned educators and those new to the teaching profession must confront
BERKELEY, Calif. — On a sunny January afternoon, the heaviest things in six-year-old Miriam Foster’s backpack were her lunch box and her jacket, making it manageable for the kindergartener’s walk home. “She does it herself from here to home, and home to here,” said Miriam’s mom, Tawankon Foster, 31. Her light load was not unique. …
When The Common Core State Standards initiative was first announced there was a collective eye roll amongst veteran teachers. There have been so many shifts in pedagogical theory and practice over the years that nobody really thought these national learning goals would come to fruition. And then they did.
While leading a training in Alaska this weekend, a participant mentioned The Smithsonian Tween (& Teen) Tribune. This free resource is a great place to grab informational and nonfiction texts written at various Lexile levels to support a wide range of reading abilities.
Last week I dinged that video for claiming that close reading is a teaching technique (it's an approach to reading). I was critical of the idea that close reading helps students “conquer complex text,” if that includes language complexity as measured by Lexiles. I didn’t like the idea of reading the book to the kids; I’m a fan of reading texts to kids (see recent NewYork Times article on this), but not the texts the kids are supposed to be reading. Finally, I didn’t like how rereading was being approached. Here is the rest of my thinking about this lesson. Hope it’s useful to you.
Not all educational apps are created equal. Some are more fun than others. Some are more pedagogically sound than others. And some are better for certain age groups than others.
In the App Store, it is difficult to find out which apps are best for a particular age group, like, say, middle school students. Fortunately, technologists like South Carolina math and engineering teacher Chris Beyerle actively curate collections of apps. Here is his collection of math apps that are appropriate for middle school students. They all fit within the Common Core Standards of Mathematical Practices as well.
There is, of course, an irony in this. Even though we were very diligent about not involving the federal government in the development of the standards, and even though we warned the federal government against doing anything that might imply federal government pressure to adopt them, the federal government still, in the Race to the Top program, created very strong incentives for the states to adopt the Common Core, and that has turned out to be enough to turn the Common Core into a political football.
“About 70 percent of the high school graduates who enter our colleges across the state aren’t prepared for college-level work. These students must complete additional remedial studies before they can begin earning college credit, so they are much less likely to graduate from college or complete their education goals.”
“It’s not because students can’t learn or teachers aren’t effective. The problem is our expectations have been too low. Setting a higher bar for children in elementary and secondary school will ultimately result in better prepared high school graduates.
“We’re already seeing improvements from the education standards put in place four years ago. Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the nation on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Tennessee has also made dramatic improvements in student ACT test scores. It all starts with high standards.
“When Tennessee’s higher standards were put in place, educators from our state helped develop the standards and assessments that would appropriately gauge readiness for college and career. We opted in on higher standards because it was a process Tennesseans could influence and we could ultimately compare our progress with other states.”
I am a supporter of the Common Core State Standards, which we have adopted as our own state standards and are taught in classrooms across the state. I am ill at the thought that these standards could be repealed.
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