When it comes to the Common Core, probably nothing is more important than the decisions we make about how to implement the standards. Translating all that we are learning about the Common Core into the daily work of classrooms is proving a challenge (To say the least!) for many of us. This collection offers a lot of practical advice for lessons and ideas to support instructional alignment.
How do we get students to take their thinking about reading deeper? In this post, we offer you a really practical strategy for helping children achieve this goal.
Putting the Pieces Together: Of Sticky Notes and Egg Timers
This blog offers practical suggestions for making sure your literacy instruction is complete. It recommends a strategy for using sticky notes to plan a week schedule.
The Opposite of Complex (Part 1)
In this post, we help teachers think about how to select texts that make increasingly complex text more accessible to students.
What is the Opposite of Complex? (Part 2)
In this post, we look more closely at the students’ view of complex text and begin to envision how to employ various teaching structures to bridge the gap and make seemingly irrelevant or complex text more accessible to students.
What is the Opposite of Complex? (Part 3)
In this post, we look again at making complex text more accessible to readers by working with text sets and re-purposing text for use in a variety of teaching structures.
Matching Readers to Texts: Instructional Hocus Pocus vs. Educator Common Sense (Part 1)
In this post, we enumerate the twelve step process suggested by the Common Core for determining the text complexity of a book and wonder if this process is just a bit too lengthy to be practical.
Matching Readers to Texts: Instructional Hocus Pocus vs. Educator Common Sense (Part 2)
In this post we simplify the Common Core’s suggested twelve step process for determining the complexity of a text.
Matching Readers to Texts: Instructional Hocus Pocus vs. Educator Common Sense (Part 3)
In this post, we look at our recommendations for helping children gain access to complex text in light of the different instructional contexts for making text available to students.
What vs.How & Pre-Reading Strategies (Introduction)
In this post we explore three common strategies for introducing text before reading and the ways they do (or don’t) align with the Common Core. These strategies have been challenged by the authors of the CCSS and we address this criticism.
What vs. How & Pre-Reading Strategies, Part 1: Building Background Knowledge
In this blog we explore the Common Core idea that teachers shouldn’t build background knowledge to help students understand what they are reading. We offer an alternative to this commonly practiced instructional strategy.
5 Tips for Planning Excellent Common Core Lessons
In this post, we offer five suggestions for planning instruction that will align with the Common Core standards as well as help accomplish the instructional ideals espoused by the Common Core.
A Teaching Focus vs. A Teaching Direction: Climbing Lessons
In this post, we propose the idea of helping students reach for a learning objective much the same way a child reaches for candy that’s been placed out of reach. We suggest three directions for helping students “climb higher.”
Working Smarter Not Harder: 3 Ways to Collaborate Around the Common Core (Part 1)
This blog post explores the idea of collaborative planning, particularly around the Common Core State Standards. We suggest that there may be a middle ground between planning everything with your team and planning nothing with them.
Working Smarter Not Harder: 3 Ways to Collaborate Around the Common Core (Part2)
In this second of a two-part series, we present three ways teachers can collaborate with colleagues as they are planning lessons that teach the Common Core State Standards.