Common Core Resources - Elementary
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Election 2016: Lesson Plans and Digital Resources for Educators

Election 2016: Lesson Plans and Digital Resources for Educators | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it

Teach the 2016 U.S. presidential election with this curated collection, featuring lesson plans, multimedia, and interactive games for K-12 students.


Via Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby
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Dorothy Miller's curator insight, March 2, 2016 1:11 PM

Some excellent resources for teachers to pull our presidential election process into the classroom. Great tools for teaching information and media literacy, too. Please share this with your classroom teachers!

Cissie Bannister Burley's curator insight, March 19, 2016 12:09 PM

Some excellent resources for teachers to pull our presidential election process into the classroom. Great tools for teaching information and media literacy, too. Please share this with your classroom teachers!

Maralee Parker's curator insight, March 30, 2016 2:55 PM

Some excellent resources for teachers to pull our presidential election process into the classroom. Great tools for teaching information and media literacy, too. Please share this with your classroom teachers!

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Common Core Library - Common Core Library - New York City Department of Education

Common Core Library - Common Core Library - New York City Department of Education | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it
New York State adopted the Common Core Standards in July 2010 with the understanding that New York State could add an additional 15% of NYS-specific standards in ELA and Mathematics.

Via R.Conrath, Ed.D.
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8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language

8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it
"Change your language and you change your thoughts." -- Karl Albrecht

Understanding Academic Language

Academic language is a meta-language that helps learners acquire the 50,000 words that they are...

Via Mel Riddile, On K. Joo
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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, January 6, 2014 6:30 PM

A number of good points made in this blog. Sentence frames are great for strugglers, so that is not at the top of my list, so be sure and keep reading!!

Lucas Arnestad's curator insight, January 6, 2014 8:49 PM

Teaching academic language is very important in all grades. By teaching kids these vocabulary words it helps them solve higher level problems by understanding every part of the problem. Eventually with consistent learning of new vocabulary it makes the student have better grades, get into a better college, and then get a great job. This article introduces 8 strategies of teaching academic language. If I were a teacher I would dynamically introduce academic vocabulary. It's having your students read authentic context with vocabulary words in the text. Repeated encounters with a word can help students internalize the definition. When I was younger, unlike some kids, I didn't want to read very much. So having every student in your class read the vocabulary filled test insures that every student has a chance to learn.

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Common Core Thrusts Librarians Into Leadership Role

Common Core Thrusts Librarians Into Leadership Role | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it
Already equipped with inquiry-based skills, librarians are helping teachers acquire the instructional methods they need to adopt.
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Common Core: Now What?Making the Shifts

Common Core: Now What?Making the Shifts | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it

December 2012/January 2013 | Volume 70 | Number 4
Common Core: Now What? Pages 24-27

Making the Shifts
Sandra Alberti

Here we are at the end of 2012. Who would have thought just three years ago that education would be in the position that it is in today—that 46 states, three U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia would have voluntarily agreed to share a set of standards for English language arts and literacy and mathematics? One would be hard-pressed to identify another initiative that has a greater potential to affect the teaching and learning that take place in so many classrooms across the United States. That being said, the widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards has, to date, done little to change education. The adoption process itself was only the opening of the door.

So, here we are as U.S. educators, 46 states, thousands of districts, and millions of teachers, all with the task of implementing these standards. Over the last two years, I have talked with thousands of educators about the standards, and I have realized that one of the biggest risks we currently face is full-speed implementation without an understanding of the changes that the standards require. When a new reform initiative comes around, our instinct as teachers and education leaders is often to buy new tools to support the work. But in a time when the market is offering an enormous range of materials, educators need a secure understanding of the standards so that we can choose our resources wisely.

As we put the standards into practice, it is important to focus on a few shifts that have the most significant effect on students. These shifts should guide all aspects of implementing the standards—including professional development, assessment design, and curriculum. When educators attend to three core shifts in English language arts and literacy as well as in mathematics, the expectations for teaching and learning will be clear, consistent, and tightly aligned to the goals of the standards.

The English Language Arts and Literacy Standards
The English language arts and literacy standards include expectations in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that apply in English language arts classes as well as in science, social studies, and technical subjects. If all students are to be ready for college and career by the end of high school, it is not sufficient to solely address literacy skills; we must also consider the texts to which students apply these skills. The standards address lagging literacy performance with three key shifts.

1. Building Knowledge Through Content-Rich Nonfiction
Reading content-rich nonfiction in history, social studies, science, and the arts in elementary school is crucial for later reading growth and achievement. Students need to be grounded in information about the world around them if they are to develop the strong general knowledge and vocabulary they need to become successful readers. Nonfiction plays an important part in building students' knowledge about content.

In today's classrooms, however, a great amount of time and energy has been invested over the years in creating extended literacy blocks that often crowd out time for learning social studies and science. During these blocks, students overwhelmingly read stories; on average, fewer than 10 percent of elementary English language arts texts are nonfiction (Duke, 2004).

The shift to building knowledge from content-rich nonfiction does not mean disregarding literature. Literature plays an essential role in building students' reading skills and developing their love of reading. The standards celebrate the role literature plays in building knowledge and creativity in students. As teachers implement the standards, our students will need to read rich literature as well as content-rich nonfiction in elementary school.

In later grades, history, social studies, and science teachers will equip students with the skills needed to read and gain information from content-specific nonfiction texts. In middle school and high school, nonfiction texts are a powerful vehicle for learning content as students build skills in the careful reading of a variety of texts, such as primary documents in a social studies class or descriptions of scientific observations in a science class.

2. Reading and Writing Grounded in Evidence
The Common Core State Standards emphasize using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Rather than asking students to respond to questions they can answer solely from prior knowledge or experience, the standards prioritize questions that require students to read texts with care. Quality text-based questions, unlike low-level "search and find" questions, require close reading and deep understanding of the text.

The standards also require narrative writing throughout the grades. Narrative writing enables students to develop a command of sequence and detail that is essential to the argumentative and informative writing emphasized in later grades. The standards' focus on evidence-based writing and speaking to inform and persuade is a significant shift from current typical practice. Today, the most popular forms of writing in K–12 draw from student experience and opinion, which alone will not prepare students for the demands of college and career.

3. Regular Practice with Complex Texts and Academic Language
The standards focus on text complexity because the ability to comprehend complex texts is the most significant factor differentiating college-ready from non-college-ready readers. To prepare students for college and career, the standards include a staircase of increasing complexity in assigned texts.

The complexity of a text is determined by a number of factors, including syntax and vocabulary. To understand complex materials, students need support in developing the key academic vocabulary common to those texts (ACT, 2008). These are words that commonly appear across genres and content areas and that are essential for understanding most informational text (for example, ignite, commit, and dedicate). This shift toward complex text requires practice, supported through deliberate close reading.

The Mathematics Standards
For years, reports about the declining U.S. performance in mathematics on international assessments have called for greater focus in mathematics education. The Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) and other international studies have concluded that mathematics education in the United States is "a mile wide and an inch deep" (Schmidt, McKnight, & Raizen, 1997). The United States has a coverage mentality in which students are exposed to a broad array of topics but rarely study a concept in depth.

In high-performing countries, the design principle for mathematics education is a deep focus on a few topics with coherent progressions between topics. Surveys suggest that postsecondary instructors value greater mastery of prerequisites over a shallow exposure to a wide swath of topics that have little obvious relevance to college-level work (Conley, Drummond, de Gonzalez, Rooseboom, & Stout, 2011).

The Common Core State Standards for mathematics incorporate recommendations for greater focus and coherence in mathematics education. Recent research by William Schmidt (see Gewertz, 2012) reveals that states that had prior standards most similar to the Common Core State Standards show significantly better results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Implementation of the mathematics standards requires much more than new names for old ways of teaching mathematics. Many well-intending educators are spending a great deal of time doing alignment studies to figure out which grade levels various topics have moved to. Quality implementation means more than shuffling topics around; it requires an understanding of three core shifts.

1. Greater Focus on Fewer Topics
Under the standards, instruction will need to go from a mile wide and an inch deep to much less wide and much more deep. Educators must significantly narrow the scope of content in each grade and deepen the time and energy spent on the following major topics:


In grades K–2, concepts, skills, and problem solving related to addition and subtraction.
In grades 3–5, concepts, skills, and problem solving related to multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions.
In grade 6, ratios and proportional relationships and early algebraic expressions and equations.
In grade 7, ratios and proportional relationships and arithmetic of rational numbers.
In grade 8, linear algebra.

This shift represents a rare occasion in education, when we talk about what we can stop doing instead of the more typical approach of adding yet one more thing to do. Unless we first create time and space for the priority areas in math, the potential to significantly improve mathematics education will pass us by.

2. Linking Topics and Thinking Across Grades
Mathematics is not a list of disconnected topics, tricks, or mnemonics; it is a coherent body of study made up of interconnected topics. The most important connections in the standards are vertical: The links from one grade to the next enable students to progress in their mathematical education.

It is crucial to think across grades and examine the progressions in the standards to see how major content develops over time. For example, in 4th grade, students must "apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number" (Standard 4.NF.4). This extends to 5th grade, when students are expected to build on that skill to "apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction" (Standard 5.NF.4).

At a single grade level, educators can improve focus by tightly linking all topics to the major work of the grade. For example, in grade 3, bar graphs are not just another topic to cover. Rather, the standard about bar graphs asks students to use information presented in bar graphs to solve word problems using the four operations of arithmetic. Instead of allowing bar graphs to detract from the focus on arithmetic, the standards show how bar graphs can support that focus.

3. Rigorous Pursuit of Conceptual Understanding, Procedural Skill, and Application
Rigor in mathematics is not defined by making math harder or by introducing topics at earlier grades, as is commonly assumed. Rather, rigorous mathematics refers to a deep, authentic command of mathematical concepts. To help students meet the standards, educators will need to pursue, with equal intensity, three aspects of rigor in the major work of each grade: conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application.

Each of these aspects of rigor has advocates. Some people like to stress fluency in computation, without acknowledging the role of conceptual understanding. Some like to stress conceptual understanding, without recognizing that fluency requires dedicated classroom work. Some people like to stress pure mathematics, without acknowledging that application can be highly motivating for students and that mathematical education should make students fit for more than just their next mathematics course. Some people like to stress application, without acknowledging that math doesn't teach itself. The standards do not take sides. Instead, they set high expectations for all three components of rigor.

Conceptual understanding. Once we have a focused set of standards, teachers and students have the time and space to develop solid conceptual understanding. There is less pressure to quickly teach students how to get the answer, which often means relying on tricks or mnemonics instead of understanding the reason an answer is correct or why a particular trick works.

For example, it is not sufficient for students to know they can find equivalent fractions by multiplying the numerator and denominator by the same number. Students also need to know why this procedure works and what the different equivalent forms mean. Attention to conceptual understanding helps students build on prior knowledge and create new knowledge to carry into future grades. It is difficult to build further math proficiency on a set of mnemonics or meaningless procedures.

Procedural skill and fluency. The standards require speed and accuracy in calculation. Teachers structure class time and homework in which students practice core functions, such as single-digit multiplication, so that they are more able to understand and manipulate more complex concepts. Developing procedural skill should not simply be memorization without understanding. It should be the outcome of a carefully planned learning progression.

We can't expect fluency to come naturally; we must address it specifically in the classroom and in our materials. Some students might require more practice than others, and there is no one way to develop speed and accuracy that will work for all students. All students, however, will need to develop a way to get there.

Application. This is the "why we learn math" piece, right? We learn it so we can use it in situations that require mathematical knowledge. There are requirements for application all the way through the grades in the standards. But correctly applying mathematical knowledge depends on solid conceptual knowledge and procedural fluency. If we attempt to get students to start solving real-world problems when they lack that knowledge and fluency, the problem will just become harder.

At the same time, we don't want to save all application for the end of the learning progression. Application can be motivational and interesting, and students at all levels need to connect the mathematics they are learning to the world around them.

Delivering on the Potential
The Common Core State Standards are built on the best of the state standards and learning expectations that preceded them. Unlike many state-level initiatives, however, the standards offer much more than a distribution of topics across the grades. They make it possible for us to deliver on a promise to our children that they will graduate prepared for college and career.

The standards cannot be seen as one more thing to put on our agenda. Instead, the standards must be integrated into our daily work in classrooms, schools, districts, and states.

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How PBS LearningMedia Can Strengthen Students' Media Literacy for Common Core | Edspace

How PBS LearningMedia Can Strengthen Students' Media Literacy for Common Core | Edspace | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it

"PBS LearningMedia, a free destination for instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital public media resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos, and lesson plans, provides core subject area resources. Included in this resource library are resources that address media literacy skills underlying the basic tenants of Common Core State Standards."


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Beth Dichter's curator insight, May 28, 2013 9:16 PM

The Common Core standards state: 

"To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new."

This post shares a few of the many resources available at PBS LearningMedia (at no cost). The focus here is on strengthening media literacy. Clicking through to PBS will provide you with access to over 30,000 resources.

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Six Traits for Identifying Complex Texts > Eye On Education

Six Traits for Identifying Complex Texts > Eye On Education | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it

The Common Core State Standards for Reading call upon students in grades K-12 to read and comprehend complex literary and information texts independently and proficiently.  Teachers must be able to identify texts that meet this challenge.  Here are six features of complex texts.


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The Common Core Oral Language Standards and Accountable Talk Read Aloud

The Common Core Oral Language Standards and Accountable Talk Read Aloud | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it

For me, oral language has always seemed like the bedrock of my ELL students’ language development.  Often it develops before literacy and when students have strong speaking and listening skills you can use them to develop literacy skills.

 

This school year, oral language has become a focus for my whole elementary school because the Common Core devotes a whole strand of English Language Arts standards to “Speaking and Listening.”  These standards build on each other so that all students will have effective academic conversation and presentation skills by the time they leave high school.

 

This new focus on oral language for all students will benefit ELLs because it gives classroom teachers a way to look at teaching oral language, something that may at times seem confusing or imposing to mainstream teachers.  Many teachers are very comfortable teaching content that they know well, but the idea of teaching the language of that content seems foreign to them.


Via Deb Gardner
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Accountable Talk Read Aloud or Interactive Read Aloud is a great way for young students to participate in class discussions.

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Powerful Pairings: Read-Alouds for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Powerful Pairings: Read-Alouds for the Common Core - TeachersFirst | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it
Find a sampler of powerful pairs of books for read-alouds in elementary classrooms implementing the Common Core State Standards. These books will help you and your students delve into pairs of books, addressing standards for both literature and informational text.

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Anita Vance's curator insight, February 9, 2014 11:37 AM

A great resource for ideas and examples of literature in support of curriculum.  It even includes links to the standards and guidelines for planning!

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48 Common Core Standards-aligned Teaching Tools From edshelf

48 Common Core Standards-aligned Teaching Tools From edshelf | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it
A collection of websites & mobile apps that are aligned to the Common Core Standards and can be used in the classroom by K-12 teachers.

Via Susan Gingras Fitzell
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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 | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it

Dr. Douglas Fisher discusses close reading and how it relates to the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts.


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5 Steps Needed To Master The Common Core - Edudemic

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) can be a little overwhelming if you look at them as a whole. But here's a useful set of skills needed to master the common core.
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5 Major Benefits of Media Literacy and its Relationship to the Common Core State Standards

5 Major Benefits of Media Literacy and its Relationship to the Common Core State Standards | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it

5 major benefits of media literacy as it relates to the Common Core State Standards

Thoughtful media consumption becomes a stimulus for better student comprehension.Differentiated learning models are available for all students.Easily accessible and free technologies can improve or enhance curriculum.Innovative media creation leads to increased student engagement and a real-world experience.Improved overall literacy is achieved through research, digital reading, interdisciplinary writing and personal written reflection.


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Suggested readings about the Common Core controversy, pro and con

Suggested readings about the Common Core controversy, pro and con | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it
Suggested readings about the Common Core controversy, pro and con Lawrence Journal World (blog) There was plenty of vitriol and hyperbole going around the statehouse in the final few days of the session as conservatives made a last-minute attempt...

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Education Is My Life | Not Just a Teacher…a Learning Designer

Education Is My Life | Not Just a Teacher…a Learning Designer | Common Core Resources - Elementary | Scoop.it
Robyn has taught both junior high and elementary Science and English Language Arts as well as worked in an Instructional Technology role in Katy ISD and Lamar CISD. She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Master Trainer, ...

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"Teacher" is one-dimensional.

Our role is much more than that.

In this 21st century, we teach our students to be college and career ready.  We are Instructional designers, facilitators, coaches, tutors, storytellers, instructional partners, program administrators, information specialists...

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