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).
Imagine giving more than 5,000 students an e-mail address, access to 30 GB of cloud storage and the ability to collaborate with each other. This is what the Pascagoula School District (MS) did during the 2013-2014 school year. When Mississippi adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2010, Pascagoula saw that there would be a growing requirement for increased levels of student collaboration, and students and teachers would need to master technical skills such as keyboarding and online research. The district began preparing by adding thumb drives to the supply lists, but we needed a way for students to connect and collaborate with fellow students as well as teachers. Students also needed a way to share and store documents and class presentations. The solution was Google Apps for Education (GAFE).
ReadWorks is a great non-profit service that offers hundreds of lesson plans and more than two thousand reading non-fiction and fiction passages aligned to Common Core standards. Recently, ReadWorks added a new batch of science passages with accompanying question sets to use in high school classrooms.
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.
This example of leveling—adjusting the difficulty of text to suit the ability of the reader—comes courtesy of Newsela, an online reading program for students in grade three through high school that offers stories about current events “written to multiple levels of complexity.” Although Newsela went live less than 18 months ago, the notion of leveling students’ reading material goes back more than six decades. Today, technology is changing the nature of this long-established pedagogical practice. At the same time, proponents of the Common Core are raising new questions about the educational value of leveling, seconding the standards’ emphasis on having all students grapple with the same “complex texts.”
About two-thirds of district superintendents say states should stick with their common-core testing consortia, while 16 percent remain on the fence over the issue, according to results from a new survey.
My father, who had no more than an eighth grade education, wrote in a beautiful Palmer hand. His one-room schoolhouse education did not promise to take him far, but it did allow him to place words on paper in an elegant and readable manner. And, this skill had practical utility beyond its aesthetic beauty, since he worked for many years as a bookkeeper. But the public value of handwriting has diminished during the ensuing century. In fact, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) don’t even mention handwriting, cursive, or manuscript printing. Nevertheless, It is evident that the standards writers expect kids to learn some form of these—since the standards explicitly call for students to engage in written composition; and this would be hard to do if one had no way of getting words on paper.
While I understand the purpose of close-reading I don't understand why you should take the time to read deeper into a document. Some things were written simply and what we now interpret as a symbol, may not have been intended to be a symbol. How can we as readers determine what is meant to be read into and what is to be left alone?
16 Common Core Technology Tools For Speaking & Listening by Dr. Melissa Comer and Dr. Leslie Suters, Presenters at the 2014 Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference The Speaking and Listening strand of the Common...
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