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

Educational Leadership:Tackling Informational Text:You Want Me to Read What?! | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

We're now in the implementation season, and things have heated up a bit, but the main arguments against the standards are more about issues like federalism, test policy, President Obama's education preferences, data mining, and so on (Strauss, 2013). Such complaints do not say much about whether these standards are any good.

 But there has been one kind of criticism leveled against the new mandates—and it targets informational text. The new standards have asked for big increases in rigor and the level of instruction in reading, added prominence to a literary canon, proposed a shift from an emphasis on personal writing to one on academic writing, expanded literacy teaching into the disciplines of history and science, promoted deeper analysis of the ideas and arguments in texts, and placed a new emphasis on inquiry and 21st century research tools (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices [NGA] & Council of Chief State Schools Officers [CCSSO], 2010). Despite all those momentous changes, the major grumbles have been aimed at the fact that the standards encourage more reading of informational text at school.
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CCSS News Curated by Core2Class
Helping teachers complement, support and extend curriculum based on the CCSS to improve educational outcomes for all students.
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More Lessons and Resources From Achieve The Core

More Lessons and Resources From Achieve The Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Common Core Reading Resource: Smithsonian Tween Tribune

Common Core Reading Resource: Smithsonian Tween Tribune | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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.
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Shanahan on Literacy: Close Reading: A Video Replay

Shanahan on Literacy: Close Reading: A Video Replay | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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.
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Engaging All Students In Common Core Math

Engaging All Students In Common Core Math | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
In this video series, see four teachers who are committed to making sure all of their students succeed in high school math. This includes their Special Education students.
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25 Common Core-Aligned Math Apps for Middle School Students

25 Common Core-Aligned Math Apps for Middle School Students | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Kentucky School News and Commentary: Gene Wilhoit on the Common Core, Part 1

Kentucky School News and Commentary: Gene Wilhoit on the Common Core, Part 1 | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Standards for incoming college students are too low

Standards for incoming college students are too low | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

“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.”

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Samuel Main's curator insight, January 20, 5:43 PM

The major concern that stands is whether or not colleges are posing high expectations or high schools are not being rigorous enough. The transition from high school to college is a big step, however not being prepared for college level classes is a problem that should be over looked with a high level of urgency. There must be a change in the curriculum of high school education so that the generation that holds the next will be able to. 

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Tennessee embraced Common Core for a reason

Tennessee embraced Common Core for a reason | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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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Three (Common Core) Justifications for Binge Listening To Serial

Three (Common Core) Justifications for Binge Listening To Serial | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

A teacher friend asked me this weekend if I had started planning for next semester, which totally interrupted my fantasy of being a woman of leisure. Truth be told, though, January 5th is fast approaching. The teenagers will expect me to be well rested and prepared for our second semester adventures in learning.

 

It’s a good thing that I, like most teachers, never really stop planning. Every conversation, book reading, TV binge watching session has the potential to yield seeds for a great lesson. Even in vacation mode, my mind is busy filing away ideas and information to bring back to my classroom.

 

Take for instance my current obsession with the NPR podcast, Serial(link is external).


Here’s a very generic synopsis: Serial is twelve part series from the creators of This American Life. Each 40-45 minute episode digs into what host Sarah Koenig feels is unresolved information about the trial of Adnan Syed. Syed, who was convicted of the first-degree murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000, is currently serving a life sentence in a correctional facility in Maryland

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Common Core in Action: Using Digital Storytelling Tools in the ELA Classroom

Common Core in Action: Using Digital Storytelling Tools in the ELA Classroom | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
A storytelling app helps students use technology to produce and publish writing, collaborate with others, and hit the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing.
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Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman: Common Core's test for states

Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman: Common Core's test for states | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

If our fellow Republicans move to embrace standards that are even higher than Common Core, they'd better have a realistic plan for putting them in place. Otherwise, such calls will be viewed as political posturing and pandering at the expense of our children. Unfortunately, states that have thus far attempted this effort — replacing Common Core with something even stronger — have found that it is quite difficult to achieve.

Starting from scratch, on the other hand, pulls the rug out from under educators who have spent almost five years implementing Common Core in their classrooms. "You just get frustrated and tired with trying to appease people who really have no idea what's going on with you day to day," one kindergarten teacher told Mississippi's Clarion-Ledger. "It's just really mind-blowing that this is something they're considering doing at this point." Teachers are all too familiar with the fad du jour.

 

Policymakers promised them that Common Core would be different, that it would have staying power. Teachers are right to be angry at those broken promises, especially because so much of the backlash to Common Core has little to do with the standards themselves.

So raise standards beyond Common Core?  Sure — but you'd better make sure it's not all talk and no action.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Go ahead, make my day - raise standards above Common Core  but make sure it's not all talk. Let's see some action, and can we do away with the political posturing?

 

I say it's time we call in Clint...

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Critical Thinking Questions Students Should Be Able to Ask

Critical Thinking Questions Students Should Be Able to Ask | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Critical thinking requires a special set of questions that have the ability to activate higher order thinking skills and therefore enable students to evaluate, synthesize, apply, analyze and interpret information. These questions are usually open in nature and tend to foster divergent thinking. Prince George’s County provides a very good explanation of each of these kinds of questions with examples of each category. 


Via Dennis T OConnor, Jim Lerman, Mel Riddile
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, December 22, 2014 12:09 PM

This infographic sits on top of a powerful set of questions that will help any reader/thinker of any age ... get critical!

Stuart Schwartz's curator insight, January 4, 3:57 PM

EAP teachers take notice.

Sarah McElrath's curator insight, January 7, 12:35 PM

These questions aren't just useful for reading, but they do help understand text as well.

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Infographic: Technology maximizes Common Core success

Infographic: Technology maximizes Common Core success | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The Common Core’s increased emphasis on using digital tools will help update U.S. classrooms. But to achieve improved learning outcomes, we must implement that technology with pedagogy in mind. 

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5 Ways to Keep Creativity Alive in Your Common Core English Class

5 Ways to Keep Creativity Alive in Your Common Core English Class | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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.
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The Prodigy Math Game: Game-Based Learning for the Common Core

The Prodigy Math Game: Game-Based Learning for the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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!

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New York school beats the odds by “going rogue” on Common Core

New York school beats the odds by “going rogue” on Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.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.

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Planning Instruction with PARCC Tools: Overview

Planning Instruction with PARCC Tools: Overview | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Learn about PARCC and how it is a powerful tool for teachers teaching to the Common Core State Standards. You'll get info on the different tools and how they support classroom instruction.
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Common Core facts, not fiction

Common Core facts, not fiction | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

“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.”

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Better Standards Are the First Step Toward Better Schools in Hawaii

Better Standards Are the First Step Toward Better Schools in Hawaii | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

“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.”

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Why Reading Strategies Usually Don't Help the Better Readers

Why Reading Strategies Usually Don't Help the Better Readers | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Yes, we should teach reading comprehension strategies, even to good readers. But we should do so in an environment that emphasizes the value of knowledge and understanding, and that requires students to confront genuine intellectual challenges. Those disciplinary literacy strategies touted in my last entry seem to have motivation built in: trying to connect the graphics and the prose in science to figure out how a process works; or judging the veracity of multiple documents in history; or determining which protagonist an author is most sympathetic to in literature tend to be more purposeful and intellectually engaging than turning headers into questions or summarizing the author’s message.
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ReadWorks Now Offers Poems and Question Sets for K-12 Classrooms

ReadWorks Now Offers Poems and Question Sets for K-12 Classrooms | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

ReadWorks is a free service that I have been recommending for about a year now. It provides teachers with hundreds of lesson plans and more than two thousand reading non-fiction and fiction passages aligned to Common Core standards. Recently, ReadWorks expanded again. The latest expansion includes poems and question sets. The collection is organized by grade level. In the collection you will find poems by Frost, Dickinson, Stevenson, and other notable poets. 


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It's working: A teacher's report on the Common Core

It's working: A teacher's report on the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
By Pat Sprinkle

A recent Gallup Poll reveals our nation’s teachers are divided on the Common Core State Standards.
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UDL & the Common Core State Standards | National Center On Universal Design for Learning

UDL & the Common Core State Standards | National Center On Universal Design for Learning | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is included in the application to students with disabilities section of the CCSS. Although this reference to UDL may give the impression that UDL is just for students with disabilities, all students can benefit from applying UDL to curriculum design and instructional practice.

 

The CCSS can be considered the "What" in education, i.e., the goals and expectations. It is the destination we wish our students to reach. In light of that, UDL can be considered the "How" in education, i.e., the curriculum and instructional framework teachers use to plan their lessons. In other words, UDL and the CCSS are complementary: the UDL framework provides educators with the means to maximize student attainment of the CCSS.

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Who was behind the Common Core math standards, and will they survive? - The Hechinger Report

Who was behind the Common Core math standards, and will they survive? - The Hechinger Report | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

NEW YORK – Every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., Jason Zimba begins a math tutoring session for his two young daughters with the same ritual. His youngest, Claire, 4, draws on a worksheet while his oldest, Abigail, 7, pulls math problems written on strips of paper out of an old Kleenex box, decorated like a piggy bank with a pink snout on one end and a curly-cue tail on the other, and adds the numbers as fast as she can. If she gets the answer “lickety-split,” as her dad says, she can check them off. If she doesn’t, the problem goes back in the box, to try the following week.

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Veteran Teacher Punctures Myths Around Common Core

Veteran Teacher Punctures Myths Around Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Linda Gojak is tired of hearing adults and children alike lament, “I’m just not good at math.” She wants to put an end to teaching through rote understanding and memorized rules.

Gojak — who has four decades of experience as a classroom teacher, mathematics professor, and national education leader promoting quality math instruction — believes the new Common Core State Standards will awaken a rich appreciation for the subject among the most math-averse students.
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