Guest Post by Jasmine Hall
Educators across the nation are working hard this summer to begin developing updated curricula that will fit into the new Common Core State Standards, which will be fully applied in 45 U.S. states (Texas, Alaska, Nebraska, Virginia, and Minnesota have opted out of statewide participation) by 2015. Yet despite the hubbub about the new standards, which were created as a means of better equipping students with the knowledge they need to be competitive in the modern world, many teachers still have a lot of unanswered questions about what Common Core will mean for them, their students, and their schools. Luckily, the Internet abounds with helpful resources that can explain the intricacies of Common Core, offer resources for curriculum development, and even let teachers keep up with the latest news on the subject. We’ve collected just a few of those great resources here, which are essential reads for any K-12 educator in a Common Core-adopting state.
Groups and Organizations
These links will take you to essential reading materials from the institutions and organizations behind Common Core.
- Common Core State Standards Initiative:This is the official site for the CCSSI, featuring information about the standards, news, resources, and answers to frequently asked questions.
- National Governors Association: The NGA played a major role in the development of Common Core, so their website is a great place to look for answers about the standards.
- Council of Chief State School Officers: The other major group behind Common Core is the CCSSO, an organization you can learn more about by visiting their site.
Read up on Common Core, find out more about what it will mean for your classes, and get some help from educational providers and groups by following these links.
- CCSSI Wiki:One simple way to learn more about the CCSSI is to visit the program’s Wikipedia page, which is packed with useful information on the subject.
- Common Core 360: Common Core 360 is an educational network that offers webinars, training tools, news, and more to help teachers adapt to the new Common Core standards.
- MasteryConnect: Use the MasteryConnect site to track your students’ progress under the new Common Core system.
- Pearson Education Common Core State Standards: Pearson, a major educational publisher, offers access to numerous resources on Common Core. Visitors to the site will find everything from basic explanations to informative webinars.
- McGraw Hill Common Core Solutions: Educational publisher McGraw Hill is also reaching out to teachers when it comes to Common Core, loading up their website with tools for professional and curriculum development.
- Common Core Adoptions by State: The ASCD website offers up information on which states are adopting Common Core, along with links to each Common Core state website.
- The Common Core Institute: Teachers who are unsure about their expertise on Common Core should give the Common Core Institute a try. The organization offers Black Belt certification on Common Core, as well as a wealth of other conferences and professional development opportunities for teachers.
- Common Core Standards App: This iPhone application (it is also available for Android) lets teachers keep essential information about Common Core at their fingertips.
- ASCD Common Core Webinars: ASCD is working on new webinars on Common Core for this fall, but educators can take a look at their archived resources from earlier this year in the meantime.
- Common Core Workbook: Use this workbook from Achieve and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute to help guide the Common Core implementation process at your school.
- CommonCore.org:Here you’ll find an organization dedicated to ensuring that the Common Core is about more than just reading and math, instead promoting a well-rounded education that includes reading literature, studying culture, and engaging with the arts.
These sites offer a wealth of resources for helping you develop curricula that meets Common Core standards.
- The Mathematics Common Core Toolbox: Districts and teachers alike can find support for building better math lessons that fit into new Common Core guidelines through this helpful site.
- Khan Academy Common Core Map: Those who’ve been using Khan Academy videos and lessons in the classroom can see how each relates to new Common Core standards using this map.
- Literacy Design Collaborative: The LDC offers templates, modules, and guidebooks for teachers that make it simple to develop engaging literacy lessons under Common Core.
- Illustrative Mathematics: Get some guidance on the mathematics topics covered at every grade level under Common Core.
- Teaching Channel: The Teaching Channel site offers just over 100 videos on Common Core lessons, ideas, and more.
- Achieve the Core: This website encourages teachers to steal its tools for curriculum development.
- Lexile: Is that text at grade level? Use this handy online tool to measure a text for readability.
- AASL Lesson Plan Database: The American Association of School Librarians has loads of lesson plans and checklists for teachers that fall under Common Core standards.
- Surveys of Enacted Curriculum: Use reliable data to develop, plan, and compare your curriculum when you visit this site’s archive of PDF reports.
You can get regular reading material on the subject of CCSS by following any or all of these blogs.
- Common Core:Head to this blog to read updates about Common Core news and other educational topics on a regular basis.
- Pearson Common Core Blog: Part of the Common Core resources offered by Pearson is a blog, full of articles on a range of educational topics.
- Tools for the Common Core Standards: This blog is an excellent resource for learning about new tools that help support Common Core implementation in schools.
- Common Core Blog: Offering links to Common Core tools, news, articles, and more, this blog is a great resource for learning about Common Core.
- The Core Knowledge Blog: Find a wealth of high-quality articles on teaching topics (especially Common Core) on this blog on the Core Knowledge Foundation’s site.
- Core Commons: Follow this blog to read more about emerging strategies and issues in implementing the Common Core standards.
- The Learning Network: The Learning Network blog, part of the New York Times‘ website, regularly publishes articles on Common Core.
- Common Core Facts: Get an opposing view on Common Core by reading this blog.
- All Things Common Core: Educators can learn from fellow teachers about the challenges of applying Common Core in their district from this blog.
Some states have created helpful websites for teachers all about Common Core. Here, we share a few that can be useful to teachers all over the United States.
- Resources for Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Indiana Department of Education offers a number of CCSS resources on their website, including a number of informative articles and videos.
- NC Common Core Support Tools: North Carolina is making it easier for teachers in the state (and in others) to apply Common Core by collecting this incredibly useful set of tools.
- NYC Common Core Library: Any lingering questions you have about Common Core will undoubtedly be answered by this comprehensive site from the NYC Department of Education.
- TNCore: Tennessee has built an entire website to help teachers with Common Core, with resources on Math, English, and other disciplines.
- CDE Implementation Toolkit: Here, the Colorado Department of Education has a number of design tools teachers can use to move into the new standards.
- Engage NY: From a Common Core toolkit to curriculum exemplars, the New York Common Core website has loads of great resources teachers can use.
- ODE Model Curriculum: Head to this Ohio Department of Education site to find model curriculum resources for all Common Core subjects.
Articles and Presentations
These articles and videos offer different perspectives on Common Core, some supporting it while others doubt it, essential reading for any educator looking for a well-rounded perspective on the matter.
- A First Look at the Common Core and College and Career Readiness: In this report, ACT takes a look at how Common Core standards will help to better prepare students for college and the working world.
- Common Core standards drive wedge in education circles: Not all teachers support Common Core, and as this article from USA Today points out, it’s creating a rift between some educators.
- Embracing the Common Core: Helping Students Thrive: Download this presentation by Stan Heffner and Michael Cohen on what Common Core means for today’s students.
- Putting a Price Tag on the Common Core: How Much Will Smart Implementation Cost?:With school districts already strapped for cash, it makes sense to consider the financial impact of Common Core, which you can learn more about from this Fordham Institute read.
- Why Common Core standards will fail:Well-known Washington Post education columnist Jay Matthews doesn’t think Common Core is the answer. Check out this editorial to see why.
- Research Finds 97% of Teachers are Now Favorable Towards Common Core Standards: Are you among the 97% of teachers who support Common Core? Learn about the battle to get teachers on board, here.
- For CCSS Math Education Some Problems are Elementary: Stuart Singer brings up some pretty important points when it comes to how Common Core will affect math education.
- Common Core won’t likely boost student achievement, analysis says: The Brookings Institution believes that Common Core won’t help students improve their achievement. Their study is discussed in detail here by Valerie Strauss.
- No Need to Fear the Common Core Standards: This New York Times article assures teachers that Common Core standards are nothing to fear, and are actually already having benefits in schools.
- Primer on Common Core State Standards: Head to this site for a helpful primer on the basics of Common Core Standards.
- The Impact of Common Core State Standards on Your Student:Have you had parents asking you about Common Core? Not sure what to tell them? This article can help, by explaining the new system in an easily understandable way.
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