Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Common Core Workshop Resources

Thanks for everyone who attended the workshops about the Common Core today! Maybe it wasn't the most fun way to spend a summer day, but it gave us the opportunity to talk about some important new concepts and ideas that will be having a big impact on our reading instruction. Hearing different perspectives on the standards and the suggestions helped everyone to see how this will affect instruction across the grade levels.

We started out by talking about how the Common Core relates to reading strategies. It requires a bit of shifting of priorities, but we saw that there are some nice relationships between various standards and reading strategies.

In the afternoon, we explored close reading in depth. Using some of the exemplar lessons and videos, we talked about how close reading can fit into our classrooms. At the end of the workshop, teachers used a variety of texts to build a close reading experience for their students.

Here are some of the resources that we used throughout the day, as well as some additional thoughts on the matter.

The Common Core website includes the standards. Download Appendix A and B for more details on text complexity.

The Pennsylvania Common Core resources page includes eligible content, text exemplars, and student writing samples.

Close reading examplar lessons from achievethecore.org

Institute for Learning blog post about background knowledge and the Common Core. Our group had a lively discussion about the importance of background knowledge and how we should build it in our classrooms.

Guidance on prereading
Tim Shanahan's post on what is good and what is not in prereading

Common Core Publishers' Criteria
This document outlines suggestions for publishers, many of which are useful for classroom teachers as they create and plan lessons on their own.

Text Structures, the Common Core, and the New York Times
This article includes links to NYT articles with various text structures. Interestingly, many big names in literacy weigh in on the topic in the comments section.

The Art of Slow Reading
In the workshop, we used close reading methods and text dependent questions to look at Thomas Newkirk's essay "The Text Itself". To find out more about slow reading, check out this book.

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