Top things to look for in a Common Core program
May 3, 2013
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Accomplished Teacher Special Report:
Improving literacy learning and practice (Part II)
Educators have always sought creative ways to teach, encourage and boost literacy. In this special report, we look at what teachers around the country are doing to support struggling readers, the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the reading along with applications and websites that engage young readers.

In case you missed Part I of this special report, published Feb. 20, we looked at ways to improve literacy learning and practice, including strategies and skills, engagement, and interventions and supports.

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Supporting Struggling Readers 
  • Teaching students to value words with the 6-word memoir
    Using only six words to describe yourself or another person -- the six-word memoir -- teaches students the power of word choice, history teacher Jonathan Olsen writes. In this blog post, Olsen writes about how his students described the accomplishments of historical figures in six words and then presented these memoirs through a website developed by Mozilla and the National Writing Project for six-word memoirs. "The six-word memoir teaches all of us writers a critical skill: words are valuable and have meaning -- don't waste them," Olsen writes. Edutopia.org/Jonathan Olsen's blog (4/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Reading scores improve in some Fla. schools with longer days
    Some Florida elementary schools are reporting improved reading scores in the year since they added an hour to the school day. In some of the schools with longer hours, students who took the Florida Assessment for Instruction in Reading, called FAIR, at the beginning of the year have made progress when the test was administered again, state education officials said. Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores and school grades likely will provide better data on the longer school day, education reporter Leslie Postal writes in this blog post. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model)/Sentinel School Zone blog (4/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • D.C. summer program limited to only some struggling readers
    The Washington, D.C., school district is focusing only on those struggling readers it believes will benefit the most from the summer program, which leaves out about 3,000 K-8 students whose reading scores are outside the range for the program. Some parents say they are upset by the new "invitation-only" policy for summer school, but school officials responded that the program is unable to serve all students, so it is necessary to focus on students who can most benefit from the five-week program. The Washington Post (4/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Top Things to Look for in Common Core Teacher Support
Teachers need to hit the ground running with the Common Core. Easy-to-understand lesson plans, online resources, and professional development at the point of instruction will help. Find out what other teacher-friendly features you should be looking for in a Common Core program. View the checklist.
Common Core State Standards 
  • NBCT: Why the common core isn't the end of student creativity
    Some teachers have expressed fears that the Common Core State Standards will curb students' creativity in English language arts, writes National Board Certified Teacher Nathan Sun-Kleinberger. The high-school English teacher shares ways that he has inspired students' creativity through nonfiction works, such as using essays and speeches as an introduction to satire and teaching about Thomas Jefferson's influence on American rhetoric and asking students to compare the Declaration of Independence to a breakup song. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (4/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Common core brings more reading, writing into all subjects
    Some educators are bracing for what is expected to be a major shift in teaching and learning under the Common Core State Standards. The standards call for a greater focus on nonfiction material and more reading, writing and vocabulary lessons in social studies and science courses. In social studies, that could mean reading the U.S. Constitution, Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From a Birmingham Jail and other historical documents, while science courses could include reading scientific journals. Cincinnati Enquirer, The (tiered subscription model) (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ky. teachers say common core engaging, challenging students
    Social studies teachers in Kenton County, Ky., are among the first teachers in the country to incorporate some key elements of the Common Core State Standards -- teaching literacy skills within their subjects. By incorporating historical and informational texts in their classes, social studies teachers in Kentucky, the first state to adopt the standards, have shifted focus to analysis and argumentation. Students are more informed and engaged and producing better writing on issues they care about, said Roger Stainforth, a Dixie Heights High School social studies teacher. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (4/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Why teachers love Ready® Common Core
With the Ready® Common Core Reading program, teachers have all the text they need to meet the rigor of the new standards — complex, authentic text from acclaimed authors and publications and a ton of informational text that builds core subject knowledge. All in one convenient place. See for yourself. Watch the video.
Technology Tools 
  • NBCT: How blogging can help meet multiple objectives
    After realizing she was not having her students write often enough, National Board Certified Teacher Michelle Lampinen writes in this blog post, she established weekly blogging exercises. Among other things, Lampinen, a high-school English teacher in New Jersey, writes that she asked her students to blog about topics covered in other classes -- giving them an authentic audience for their writing, helping students improve their writing skills and aligning lessons with the Common Core State Standards. Edutopia.org/Michelle Lampinen's blog (4/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
 Why teachers love Ready® Common Core
With the Ready® Common Core Reading program, teachers have all the text they need to meet the rigor of the new standards. Complex, authentic text from acclaimed authors and publications. A ton of informational text that builds core subject knowledge. All in one convenient place. See for yourself. Watch the video.
 

  
Click to see how Ready™ addresses the Common Core's demand for authentic, complex text

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