Although there hasn’t been much blogging going on here lately, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any writing. I wanted to share with you some posts of mine that have appeared on other blogs lately.
Most are related to the Common Core State Standards, which I’m learning more and more about each day and which I feel demand a great deal of attention if we are going to understand and implement them effectively.
Here are the links if you’re interested:
- The Key to Unlocking the Common Core Standards in Mathematics–a post the for the Teaching Channel blog about perseverance in problem solving.
- 3 Strategies for Bringing Argument and Critique into Math Class–another Teaching Channel post about a CCSS standard of mathematical practice.
- Best Ways to Prepare Students for CCSS in ELA–part of Larry Ferlazzo’s Classroom Q & A column for Education Week
- When Poetry Meets the Common Core–a CTQ column for Education Week Teacher.
- Ways to Develop Creative Thinking in the Common Core–another of Mr. Ferlazzo’s Q & A columns.
- How Blogging Can Improve Student Writing–not specifically CCSS-related, but pretty close.
- What We Can Learn From the Atlanta Cheating Scandal–again, not CCSS-related, but it led to a great discussion.
- Your Core Concerns–I didn’t write this one, but I am quoted in the story, which ran in Scholastic Instructor magazine. That’s pretty cool…to me, at least.
Many of these were due to opportunities provided by the Center for Teaching Quality, whose new virtual community– the Collaboratory – is something you’ve absolutely got to join. So big thanks to them.
Hat tip also to the amazing Larry Ferlazzo, whose blog was the first one I ever subscribed to back when I started getting into ed tech about 5 or 6 years ago and who now emails me to ask me to contribute to his columns from time to time. He’s pretty awesome, to say the least.
Hope this bit of shameless cross-posting and self promotion helps you in some way. Stay tuned for more right here on our own blog…subscribe today!
Okay, so you understand the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts. You have wrapped your head around the instructional shifts they call for and maybe you even have a grip on the complexities of the content at your grade level(s). But I think one common (pun intended) refrain among educators who feel [...]
Okay, so you understand the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts. You have wrapped your head around the instructional shifts they call for and maybe you even have a grip on the complexities of the content at your grade level(s). But I think one common (pun intended) refrain among educators who feel they “get” the CCSS is “Yes, but what should they look like in action?” The standards themselves can be overwhelming and the task at hand can seem arduous. It’s just not that easy to visualize implementation at this time. And it’s often challenging to find solid resources and lesson plans to help you with this visualization.
Eye on Education is working to change that with their series of Common Core Literacy Lesson Plans edited by Lauren Davis. I spent some time exploring the edition for grades 9 through 12 and was left thinking that this is the kind of things teachers need: High quality, detailed and thorough plans that tie directly to the CCSS. That’s exactly what you get in this volume, and I expect you’d find more of the same in their K-5 and 6-8 editions.
Here’s what’s contained within: 35 lesson plans, each with everything you need to put them into action in the classroom. Detailed objectives, standards alignment, explicit instructions for the introduction, group activities, class discussions, and individual work. There are also sections for lesson extension ideas as well as ideas for differentiation (for both advanced students and students who need support). Assessment options and links to additional resources are included for each lesson, too. Some are designed for 1-day sessions, others for longer.
This book covers all the CCSS ELA bases: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language. And I found the lessons to be both challenging and highly engaging. It is clear that the purpose of this book is to push students’ thinking and also to develop their expression and communication skills. And you certainly don’t have to use all of these. Each stands on its own as a model of a solid lesson. There is a lot to build on and adapt here to suit your specific needs. The only thing I was left wanting more of was a bit more that deals with technology integration, but there are some tech-infused lessons in this book. Some of the standards that teachers need the most help with are those that specifically address digital technologies, but perhaps that is just a personal preference.
Overall, I think this is a great book for energizing your thinking and inspiring you to build awesome CCSS-aligned lessons of your own.
And that’s exactly what we need in the new world order of the CCSS (especially as we await the full development and complete reveal of the national assessments)–inspiration and ideas. This book provides plenty of both.
Disclosure: I reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. Also, Neil and I are under contract with Eye on Education to write a book of our own. Release date TBD.
It can be challenging to locate resources on critical thinking. Also challenging to find info on questioning and close reading. This is a good article regarding the topic of close reading.
Last week, I was lucky enough to chat with literacy consultants Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris. In one of those great 21st Century stories, Jan and Kim “met” via Twitter and combined forces to create a blog about the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts. You can read it at www.burkinsandyaris.com. It’s [...]
Last week, I was lucky enough to chat with literacy consultants Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris. In one of those great 21st Century stories, Jan and Kim “met” via Twitter and combined forces to create a blog about the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts. You can read it at www.burkinsandyaris.com. It’s a terrific source of information and insight. If you are affected by the CCSS and you teach ELA, you simply must subscribe. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
During our chat, which was recorded and broadcast as an episode of Engaging Ed Radio, we talked about the challenges teachers face and the important things teachers should keep in mind in the CCSS transition. We also spent some time talking about the hot-button issue of Common Core assessments. It really was an excellent conversation. I encourage you to take a listen. I’ve embedded a player that will allow you to listen directly from this post (although if you’re reading this via subscription, you may have to click through to the blog to do so):
Huge thanks to Jan and Kim for taking the time to talk and for sharing their tremendous knowledge! I think I need to go back to it and listen again myself…there was so much good stuff there, it was hard to keep up!
Now’s also a good time to remind you that the previous episode of Engaging Ed Radio featured Darren Burris, a math teacher and Common Core curator extraordinaire. We talked in depth about the other side of the CCSS–mathematics. His takes are brilliant, too, so if you missed it the first time around, you should listen to that one, too:
Be sure to stay tuned to our blog as we work to keep you up to date and informed with what he hope is a Common Sense approach to the Common Core. Click HERE to subscribe and HERE to follow us on Twitter.