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Grade Level Analytic Writing Rubrics Aligned to Common Core and PARCC Assessments

Grade Level Analytic Writing Rubrics Aligned to Common Core and PARCC Assessments | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
These writing rubrics are offered as a tool to support grade-level evaluation of writing mastery aligned to the Common Core Standards. The rubric is adaptable to assessing argument (opinion) writing, informational writing, and/or narrative. Modeled after PARCC’s expanded scoring rubric at each grade, the rubric includes PARCC’s 5 criteria for assessment: reading comprehension; development of ideas; organization; clarity of language; and knowledge of conventions. The rubric also addresses specific grade-level language standards for expected mastery.Grade 1 Checklist Rubric w_CoverGrade 2 Checklist Rubric w_CoverGrade 3 Checklist Rubric w_CoverGrade 4 Checklist Rubric w_CoverGrade 5 Checklist Rubric w_CoverGrade 6-11 Checklist Rubric w_Cover
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56% of all teachers reported a lack of teaching materials and resources aligned with the CCSS

“Many materials we have are not aligned, online resources are not updated, and neither are materials from publishers. There is very little money to buy updated materials. I have to create a lot of my own to meet the standards.” - Intervention Specialist
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FL Proposes Changes to #CommomCore

The suggestions represent additions and minor tweaks to the national benchmarks, which have been adopted in more than 45 states and outline what students should know at each grade level. Among state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart's recommendations: adding 52 new calculus standards, requiring students to master cursive writing — a skill not included in the original Common Core standards — and introducing money concepts in first grade, instead of second.
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Educational Leadership:Common Core: Now What?:Closing in on Close Reading

Educational Leadership:Common Core: Now What?:Closing in on Close Reading | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
Nancy Boyles We can't wait until middle school to teach students to read closely. Three practices bring close reading to the lower grades. “ A significant body of research links the close reading of complex text—whether the student is a struggling reader or advanced—to significant gains in reading proficiency and finds close reading to be a key component of college and career readiness. (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, 2011, p. 7)” When I read this statement in the content frameworks of one of the consortia now creating assessments for the Common Core State Standards, I was frankly a little insulted. Of course I teach students to read closely—both my university students and younger students, through my literacy consultant work. But on closer examination, I realized I may not be encouraging students to read closely enough to meet the expectations set by these standards. Exactly what do the Common Core standards mean by close reading? And what principles and practices should guide us as we implement close reading in the classroom—particularly in elementary classrooms? Much of the available information about close reading centers on secondary schools, where this skill seems to fit most comfortably. By the time students are in these later grades, they are more inclined to think abstractly. They read complicated texts by great authors that beg for careful analysis. But close reading can't wait until 7th grade or junior year in high school. It needs to find its niche in kindergarten and the years just beyond if we mean to build the habits of mind that will lead all students to deep understanding of text. What Is Close Reading? Essentially, close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) supplies clarification useful for teaching with Common Core standards in mind: “ Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging students to read and reread deliberately. Directing student attention on the text itself empowers students to understand the central ideas and key supporting details. It also enables students to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold; and the development of ideas over the course of the text, which ultimately leads students to arrive at an understanding of the text as a whole. (PARCC, 2011, p. 7)” If reading closely is the most effective way to achieve deep comprehension, then that's how we should teach students to read. But that description doesn't match much of the instruction I've witnessed in recent years. Why Close Reading Now? I wear a variety of professional hats—university professor, literacy consultant to districts, author of several books related to comprehension. To keep myself honest (and humble), I spend a lot of time in classrooms watching kids and teachers at work. During the past decade, I've observed a transformation in the teaching of reading from an approach that measured readers' successful understanding of text through lengthy packets of comprehension questions to one that requires students to think about their thinking, activating their "good reader" strategies. The National Assessment of Educational Progress even made one of those strategies—making reader/text connections—a thinking strand within its framework (National Assessment Governing Board, 2002). For a long while, this approach looked ideal. What could be better than creating metacognitive readers? But the teaching of reading veered significantly off track when those personal connections (also well represented on some high-stakes state assessments) began to dominate the teaching and testing of comprehension, often leaving the text itself a distant memory. And it got even crazier. I wish I could say that the time I overheard a teacher say, "If you don't have a real connection, make one up" was an isolated incident. Although well-intentioned, the shift to teaching reading as a set of thinking strategies too often left readers with the notion that the text was simply a launching point for their musings, images that popped into their heads, and random questions that, in the end, did little to enhance their understanding of the text itself. So if responding personally to text isn't leading students to deeper understanding, then where should teachers turn to help students improve their comprehension? We should turn to the text itself. Enter close reading. Reread that PARCC definition of close reading—closely—to extract key concepts. You might identify these ideas: examining meaning thoroughly and analytically; directing attention to the text, central ideas, and supporting details; reflecting on meanings of individual words and sentences; and developing ideas over the course of the text. Notice that reader reflection is still integral to the process. But close reading goes beyond that: The best thinkers do monitor and assess their thinking, but in the context of processing the thinking of others (Paul & Elder, 2008) Great, you may be thinking. I reread that passage. I processed. I monitored. And I agree that close reading will likely produce deeper understanding. But how do I get these concepts off the page and into my elementary school classroom? Here are three fruitful practices. Use Short Texts Most teachers subscribe to the belief that when students can read longer text, that's what they should read. Although we don't want to abandon longer texts, we should recognize that studying short texts is especially helpful if we want to enable students with a wide range of reading levels to practice closely reading demanding texts (Coleman & Pimentel, 2012). The Common Core standards suggest several genres of short text, both literary and informational, that can work at the elementary level. Many kinds of traditional literature—folktales, legends, myths, fables, as well as short stories, poetry, and scenes from plays—enable and reward close reading. For informational works, try short articles, biographies, personal narratives, and even some easier primary-source materials, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, or sayings from Poor Richard's Almanac. Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards notes numerous picture books that can be used with younger readers. Because children's listening comprehension outpaces their reading comprehension in the early grades, it's important that your students build knowledge through being read to as well as through independent reading, with the balance gradually shifting to silent, independent reading. When students are learning a process, such as how to search for a recurring theme, reading short texts allows them to make more passes through the entire sequence of a text. It could take weeks or even months to read through a 100-page novel to identify a theme or concepts related to the text as a whole. A short text of a page or two can be digested in one lesson. Aim for IndependenceGo Beyond "Ho-Hum" Questions It's our responsibility as educators to build students' capacity for independently comprehending a text through close reading. There's some controversy, however, as to how we should go about doing this. One organization, Student Achievement Partners—until recently led by David Coleman, a lead author of the Common Core standards—suggests that we accomplish this through "text-dependent questions." Coleman and colleagues (Coleman & Pimentel, 2012) advocate asking a sequence of questions that will lead students more deeply into a text. As an example, the organization's website presents this series of questions for 3rd graders, referring to the equivalent of 11 very sparse pages taken from Chapters 6 and 7 of Kate DiCamillo's novel Because of Winn-Dixie (Candlewick, 2000): Why was Miss Franny so scared by Winn-Dixie? Why was she "acting all embarrassed"?How did the Herman W. Block Memorial Library get its name?Opal says, "She looked sad and old and wrinkled." What happened to cause Miss Franny to look this way?What were Opal's feelings when she realized how Miss Franny felt?Earlier in the story, Opal says that Winn-Dixie "has a large heart, too." What does Winn-Dixie do to show that he has a "large heart"?Opal and Miss Franny have three very important things in common. What are these? (Student Achievement Partners, 2012) The culminating task for this exemplar activity is to explain in writing why Because of Winn-Dixie is an appropriate title. These are decent questions, requiring both literal and inferential thinking, but they fall short in several ways. First, none of them will generate real discussion; they all have basically a right answer, even those that don't call for verbatim "facts" from the story. Second, they are fairly ho-hum as questions go, sticking closely to the kinds of things we typically ask young readers. And asking students to justify a title when they have 19 more chapters to read seems a bit premature if you're looking for deep thinking based on the best evidence. Most of these questions align only with Common Core English Language Arts and Literacy Anchor Standard 1: finding evidence in the text. A couple of the questions address characters' feelings (Standard 3); and the last question delves into the author's message (Standard 2). But we didn't need the Common Core standards to push us to ask questions like these. Teachers are already quite good at asking questions about what the author is saying. Read more....
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Rescooped by kym stewart from Close Reading and Common Core State Standards(CCSS)
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Five close reading strategies to support the Common Core

Five close reading strategies to support the Common Core | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
Here are five simple strategies to help teach students how to critically read complex texts. The best part? Highlighters are not required.
Via commoncore2014@gmail.com, Cindy Magrath, On K. Joo
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Rescooped by kym stewart from Close Reading and Common Core State Standards(CCSS)
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Report: Most Important Factor for Common Core Success Is Teacher Support - T.H.E. Journal

Report: Most Important Factor for Common Core Success Is Teacher Support - T.H.E. Journal | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ Report: Most Important Factor for Common Core Success Is Teacher Support T.H.E.”
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Rescooped by kym stewart from Close Reading and Common Core State Standards(CCSS)
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Close Reading Strategies with Informational Text by Expeditionary Learning | EngageNY

Close Reading Strategies with Informational Text by Expeditionary Learning | EngageNY | Teaching Today | Scoop.it

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8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language

8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“"Change your language and you change your thoughts." -- Karl AlbrechtUnderstanding Academic LanguageAcademic language is a meta-language that helps learners acquire the 50,000 words that they are...”
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Full Speed Ahead on Accountability, Slow on Providing Teachers with Resources


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Rescooped by kym stewart from 21st Century Learning and Teaching
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5 Better Ways To Say 'I Don't Know' In The Classroom

5 Better Ways To Say 'I Don't Know' In The Classroom | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ Do you allow students to answer a question with the response "I don't know" in the classroom? Perhaps you should consider no longer allowing that phrase and instead offering up these five other ways that might get students thinking a bit more.”
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The A-Z Guide To Improving Your Own Learning [Infographic]

The A-Z Guide To Improving Your Own Learning [Infographic] | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ Sometimes, we go about our day in a haze of habits, whether we realize it or not. From the order in which we shower and get coffee in the morning to a before bed 'ritual', we tend to do many things more automatically than we realize.”
Via Gust MEES, kym stewart
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Rescooped by kym stewart from 21st Century Learning and Teaching
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Want To Be A Better Leader? Try This In 2014

Want To Be A Better Leader? Try This In 2014 | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ Refuel your mind, body, and soul and 2014 will be your best year yet.”
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Rescooped by kym stewart from 21st Century Learning and Teaching
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How Much Freedom Should A Teacher Have?

How Much Freedom Should A Teacher Have? | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ How Much Freedom Should A Teacher Have?” Let’s finally have a proper debate, then, in staff and department meetings. Here are 4 questions to start our thinking: 1. Where should there be obligation and where should there be freedom in choice of pedagogy? 2. How much variance should be built into curricula? 3. Where is there a clear set of bona fide “best practices” that must be used and used well if one is to be called a professional educator? 4. What should we do when teachers persist in doing things that are primarily comfortable for them instead of doing what best practice demands?
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Communicating with Parents on the #CommonCore

Communicating with Parents on the #CommonCore | Teaching Today | Scoop.it

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Understanding The Common Core - With 80 Links To Important Resources


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CORE: CCSS Aligned Assessment Tools

CORE: CCSS Aligned Assessment Tools | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
A group of some of the largest school districts in California is launching an online bank of student assessment tools to help teachers measure learning as the rollout of the new Common Core curriculum gains speed this year.
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Rescooped by kym stewart from Close Reading and Common Core State Standards(CCSS)
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Close Reading Strategies to support CCSS

Close Reading Strategies to support CCSS | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ Five close reading strategies to support the Common Core (Five close reading strategies to support the Common Core http://t.co/zPb4tDF1 via @pinterest #dcs2core...)...”
Via Mary Reilley Clark, Cindy Magrath, On K. Joo
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Rescooped by kym stewart from Close Reading and Common Core State Standards(CCSS)
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What is Close Reading?

What is Close Reading? | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
Common Core State Standards TOOLBOX Doug Fisher defines close reading. "Close reading is an instructional approach that requires readers to re-read a text several times and really develop a deep understanding of the content contained in the text. The purpose is to build the habits of readers as they engage with the complex texts and to build their stamina and skills for being able to do so independently. However, close reading doesn’t mean that you simply distribute a complex reading and then exhort them to read it again and again until they understand it. As part of a close reading, students "read with a pencil" and learn to annotate as they go. In addition, they are asked text-dependent questions that require that they produce evidence from the text as part of their responses."
Via Mel Riddile, Cindy Magrath, On K. Joo
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Rescooped by kym stewart from Close Reading and Common Core State Standards(CCSS)
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Close Reading Strategies with Informational Text by Expeditionary Learning | EngageNY

Close Reading Strategies with Informational Text by Expeditionary Learning | EngageNY | Teaching Today | Scoop.it

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Rescooped by kym stewart from Close Reading and Common Core State Standards(CCSS)
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Close Reading and the CCSS, Part 1 - Common Core State Standards TOOLBOX

Close Reading and the CCSS, Part 1 - Common Core State Standards TOOLBOX | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ Dr. Douglas Fisher discusses close reading and how it relates to the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts.”
Via Cathie Cooper, On K. Joo
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Breaking Down a Common Core Math Standard

Breaking Down a Common Core Math Standard | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
The new Common Core math standards are written in a unique format, and interpreting the new standards correctly goes a long way toward understanding the required topics, concepts, and skills.

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Rescooped by kym stewart from 21st Century Learning and Teaching
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The 22 Digital Skills Every 21st Century Teacher Must Have

The 22 Digital Skills Every 21st Century Teacher Must Have | Teaching Today | Scoop.it

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The A-Z Guide To Improving Your Own Learning [Infographic]

The A-Z Guide To Improving Your Own Learning [Infographic] | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ Sometimes, we go about our day in a haze of habits, whether we realize it or not. From the order in which we shower and get coffee in the morning to a before bed 'ritual', we tend to do many things more automatically than we realize.”
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Rescooped by kym stewart from 21st Century Learning and Teaching
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Education Should Be About Preparing for Tomorrow

Education Should Be About Preparing for Tomorrow | Teaching Today | Scoop.it
“ We need to have higher expectations for ourselves as educators, parents, and policymakers; and we need to have higher expectations for our students -- they will meet the bar wherever it is set.” To address this challenge we must revolutionize what we teach, how we teach and how we measure the results. Fundamental and rapid change is necessary -- now, not sometime in the future. Solving our nation's education crisis will take commitment and investment in proven approaches to project-based learning. We have to convert our thinking from maximizing content coverage and "teaching to the test" to using methods that help students understand the applications of what they learn. ===> We must help students develop problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills -- skills that will prepare them to compete in the global economy. <===
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