I do a lot of professional development with schools across quite a few districts. I love being able to work face to face to help teachers make sense of the Common Core standards. The number one subject that I get follow-up emails and social media messages about are additional resources to learn more about instructional practices that support the rigor of the Common Core reading standards. In response, I decided to do a post of my lucky seven resources for the Common Core.
1. The Common Core Guidebook, 6-8 (Linder) Okay–this is admittedly a biased choice! My book is really about deconstructing the informational text standards in teacher-friendly language, providing fun think-alouds, anchor charts, and step-by-step lessons for each informational text reading standard. I spend a full page deconstructing each informational text reading standard and providing several pages of instructional tips and ideas. There are hundreds of books and websites included to teach specific standards, along with work samples, and 4-6 reproducible charts and organizers for each standard. There is also an elementary version, The Common Core Guidebook, 3-5.
2. AchievetheCore.org This website has an easy to search database of lessons, assessment questions, student work samples, and resources aligned to each standard. You can search by grade level and subject. This offers support for ELA and mathematics teachers.
3. Fall in Love With Close Reading (Lehman and Roberts) Close reading has definitely become a popular buzz phrase. The new standards demand a much closer (re)read of informational text and literature. The fact is that many teachers, parents, and administrators have no idea what that even means. There are multiple interpretations and ways to teach students to use close reading. This newly released book examines what close reading is, why students should use it, and practical ideas for the classroom. The key takeaway is that you use close reading to deconstruct the text–not as an activity or end goal for reading. Close reading is a process, not an outcome.
4. Pathways to the Common Core (Calkins, Enhrenworth, Lehman) This is another book co-authored by Chris Lehman. Are you noticing a trend? Check out his infinite wisdom by following him on Twitter @iChrisLehman. This book is about the Common Core basics. What are the anchor standards about? How do teachers make sense and differentiate between the standards? How do we examine the differences in rigor and judge text complexity? This text is the overview and should be the entry point into any discussion about the standards.
5.The Teaching Channel (Common Core category) This section of The Teaching Channel is a great place to see real teachers implementing the standards into their classrooms. Organized by grade level and searchable by topic, this website is fun, engaging, and packed with supplemental resources, downloads, and discussion questions for each lesson.
6. Notice and Note (Beers and Probst) This book, developed for reading literature selections, is a great tool for grades 6-12. Beers and Probst use engaging lessons, commentary, and real work samples to provide readers with clear steps to follow to help students engage with text. The book outlines specific signposts that students can look for in the text to help them make meaning and explain that meaning. This is a fabulous companion to the rigor of the Common Core standards.
7. Edutopia (Common Core Collection) Edutopia, a nonprofit funded by the George Lucas Educational foundation, does not represent just one source. What Edutopia has done is provide a teacher-vetted portal to a wide variety of reliable sources for Common Core. Links to EngageNY and ASCD’s webinar series are just two powerful examples to begin learning about the standards and what others are doing to effectively implement them with fidelity.
What resources are you falling in love with? Let’s share some other ideas here!