Here is Edutopia’s guide to resources related to the Common Core State Standards. This linked article hits the highlights and goes a bit beyond. As a place to dig into the Common Core, this is a viable, central place to access information. The limitation we see here is a bias towards the Common Core. The links here are largely to sites and organizations wholeheartedly endorsing the Common Core. For wise implementations, we need critical perspectives as well. The key to implementation is identifying the dimensions of the Common Core State Standards that are truly valuable, while also considering those aspects that will likely need revision.
The New York Times as Informational Text
The New York Times wants you to think of its articles as complex, informational text and this might not be a bad idea. They offer loads of suggestions for using the New York Times to teach in ways aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Read carefully though, not everything on this exhaustive list of suggestions seems to us to fit the spirit of the Common Core (which doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad practice.)
Here is EdWeek’s article about the revisions to the publisher’s criteria for developing materials aligned to the Common Core. This piece is offers helpful links for insight into the scope of these criteria and surrounding conversations in cyberspace. The author links to the Achievement Partners homepage rather than directly to the document, however, a subtlety that may imply journalist bias. Read this with your eyes open.
Looking for texts for practicing Common Core Standards? Visit Wikijunior, where an array of children’s books are free, reproducible, and part of a creative commons that lets you revise them to suit your students.
Looking for complex text? Pull excerpts from these free e-readers, most of which are in the public domain. There are more than 29,000 books available for Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc.
List of short texts to support developing students’ stamina and proficiency in reading increasingly complex material.
User friendly library of lesson plans supported by National Endowment for Humanities.
Many of the selections place great emphasis on classics and we would recommend balancing the suggestions on this site with voices underrepresented by the classics (such as women) and contemporary selections.
Presentation resources from the Council for State School Officers. These tools are for helping teachers think beyond quantitative variables when considering text complexity. These resources will give you a real head start if you are thinking about professional learning for teachers. They includes a presentation and several handouts, and they have an official CCSS stamp of approval.
Short post and video by Tom Newkirk that cuts to the heart of limited ideas about definition of reading that suggest that “reading is decoding.”