Implementing the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts Classes, Tip #1

Align your lessons with the Common Core Standards.
If you teach in one of the 48 states that has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), chances are you've been looking for resources to help ensure your students are practicing the essential skills to meet the standards. And chances are you haven't found much for grades 6-12. I'd like to offer some tips that I learned as I went through this process during the 2010-2011 school year. Check back often to read my next tip (I'll have several).

1. Take advantage of the materials available to you. There are many websites and Pinterest boards that are posting resources. Utilize those! It will save you a lot of time. (Links to resources posted below.)

Sadly, I did not have any materials available to me two years ago, otherwise I would have used them.

Avoid the tedious task of re-mapping your curriculum.
When our district learned of the adoption of the standards in 2010, we were given the tedious and time-consuming chore of aligning our curriculum maps with the CCSS. It seemed like it would be an easy task, but it turns out there were many Illinois standards that just didn't seem to fit anywhere in the Common Core. It didn't take long to realize it would be easier to re-do many of my lessons than align each one.

As a result, I created my Grades 9-10 Common Core Reading Graphic Organizers. Though I had already been practicing skills like inferencing and analysis of characters, theme, the author's purpose, figurative language, and so on, the language in the CCSS was much more specific with exactly what the students should be learning. Below is an example of one I created for the reading literature anchor standard #3 (CCR.RL.3):
I had my students use the RL.3 organizer while we read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. {You can download this graphic organizer HERE free.}

Below is an example of the character analysis of Scout Finch. In one of my next posts I'll be writing about what we did after students filled out their graphic organizers.

If you are interested in the graphic organizers for other grade levels, you can find them all in my teacher store: Common Core Resources (free & priced) for English/Language Arts

I will be posting more tips every few days, so check back for tip #2!

• If you are a pin-head like me (aka Pinterest Addict), check out my Common Core resources board:
Common Core Resources for English/Language Arts

• I belong to group boards, where you can find resources from various teachers and websites:
Common Core Ideas
The Ultimate Common Core ELA Products - Must Have

• You can also find resources through Charity Preston's Common Core Reading Lessons website. Just click on the specific grade level you are looking for.

The Common Core State Standards were posted under the public license:
The NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) hereby grant a limited, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to copy, publish, distribute, and display the Common Core State Standards for purposes that support the Common Core State Standards Initiative. These uses may involve the Common Core State Standards as a whole or selected excerpts or portions.

NGA Center/CCSSO are the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.

© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.
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