Below are some of the most common questions that I hear related to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Check them out. And if I missed a question you have, ask it in the comments, on Facebook, or via Twitter!
(For the sake of transparency, any book links below are affiliate links; in other words, if you purchase a book after clicking on these links, I receive 4% of the sale price. It’s how I try to offset the costs of hosting this blog at Bluehost.)
What is Close Reading?
- Here’s Patricia Kain’s seminal document out of Harvard: “How to do a Close Reading.”
- Here’s Tim Shanahan’s take on close reading.
- Here’s a freaking awesome Teaching the Core post and an Erica Beaton Prezi.
- An exercise that allows for frequent close reading practice and the accrual of background knowledge: Article of the Week.
What is college- and career readiness (CCR)?
- Here’s my overview of college- and career-readiness (CCR).
- And this is one state’s summary of research surrounding CCR, both in general and specific to subject areas.
Where can I find Common Core resources for world history teachers?
- For primary source documents, I recommend:
- The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Volume I: To 1500, by Andrea Overfield
- The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Volume II: Since 1500, by Andrew Overfield
- I have both of Overfield’s books, and they’re excellent, highly accessible wealths of primary source documents across world history.
- World History in Documents: A Comparative Reader, by Peter Stearns
- Stearns was one of the pioneers of the teaching of world history, and this book is one great proof of it. Although it’s primarily a book of primary source documents, Stearns does such a good job of introducing documents and providing compelling groupings of documents that it’s hard not to get sucked in to just sitting down and reading it. I’m looking forward to pulling a lot of source material from here in the coming year.
- For some controversies, try History’s Greatest Lies: The Startling Truths Behind World Events our History Books Got Wrong, by William Weir.
- This book contains some great (and not so great) examples of conflicts in the discipline of history; I’m excited to have students compare the chapter on Galileo with a chapter from their textbooks and some primary source documents from elsewhere.
- Here’s a great document-based question (DBQ) on imperialism (not made or used by me).
- Here’s a document-based question (DBQ) that I have used in my classroom.
Where can I find Common Core resources for US history teachers?
- Reading Like a Historian: Teaching Literacy in Middle and High School History Classrooms, by Sam Wineburg, Daisy Martin, and Chauncey Monte-Sano
- This book’s pedagogy applies to all areas of history, but its examples are specifically US history examples, hence why I include it here.
- Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James Loewen
- This is a great book for discovering controversy and how to handle it in US history. Obviously, there’s a boatload of argumentative writing (W.CCR.1) or informative/explanatory writing (W.CCR.2) prompts waiting to be drawn out of this book. Loewen opened my eyes to how fun and deep teaching history can be.
- A History of US: 11-Volume Set, by Joy Hakim
- No matter what level of US history you teach, you’ve got to check out Hakim’s historical writing. This set is filled with model explanatory texts, and it also makes ample use of primary documents (not to mention that it’s final book is simply a book of primary sources). In Loewen’s survey of US history textbooks (found in Lies, above), Hakim’s gets pretty glowing reviews. It’s accessible to 5th graders but engaging reading for all ages.
What are the new social studies national content standards?
- They’re called the C3 Framework, and here’s my rundown.
- Here’s my helpful guide for CCSS-related alphabet soup, including the SBAC.
Do you have any other posts that are geared toward social studies teachers?
Why yes, I do:
- “What Parts of the CCSS are Social Studies Teachers Responsible For?”
- 3 Reasons that the CCSS Should Make Content Teachers Rejoice
Where can I find Common Core resources for ELA / Content-area Teachers?
- Any book by Kelly Gallagher is going to get you driving hard towards the Common Core.
- The official document from CoreStandards.org: ELA / Content-area Literacy Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
- The Six Shifts (these are the six key shifts that the CCSS is moving toward from most previous standards documents)
- Here’s my take on the shifts.
- The CCSS Publisher’s Guide (this document is helpful for CCSS-aligned curriculum design).
- Important Links for Common Core Educators (rashidfaridi.wordpress.com)
- The English Companion’s CCSS Resource Page (membership required; it takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s free)
- Kevin Hodgson’s overview Prezi (he’s @dogtrax on Twitter)
What are your thoughts on choice reading?
- I aim for Kelly Gallagher’s 50/50 approach: 50% of our reading is shared, whole-class texts, and 50% is student chosen.
- There are some great lists at YA Love Blog, YA Books Central, and Penny Kittle’s site.
- For our shared texts, text complexity is key.
Do you have any Common Core resources for math teachers?
- Um… here’s the Math CCSS.
Where can parents go for Common Core help?
- The PTA’s Overview of the High School ELA / Content-area Literacy CCSS (a brief, helpful, proactive 4-page document)
- The PTA’s entire list of grade-specific CCSS overview documents
How / where do you host this blog?
- I host at Bluehost.com (affiliate link) — it’s an easy set-up, they have awesome customer support, and I still get to use WordPress.
Do you have any other cool resources?
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