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New Common Core Language Arts ActivitiesI am a 7th grade language arts teacher in...

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vmoriarity | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 4, 2011 at 2:55 AM via web

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New Common Core Language Arts Activities

I am a 7th grade language arts teacher in Kentucky.  With the new common core standards for English/Language Arts becoming the standard for many English teachers around the country, I wondered how other teachers planned to start this year.  (This year, we are required to use them and our students will be tested using those new standards at the end of the year)

What specific standards do you intend to begin with?  What new resources have you acquired?  Have you created new curriculum maps.  I hope this discussion thread is a boon of ideas for all so that the new standards are easier for everyone to incorporate. 

I began by going to the new Gates project, www.commoncore.org.  Because their unit 1 in seventh grade deals with King Arthur, etc, I decided to use that unit later when social studies begins to cover that information as well.  To start the year off, I plan to use unit 2 - Perseverance.  We are going to create word maps for that word specifically to begin our discussion as suggested in Gates's activities.  Then I will undoubtedly review literary elements as the new standard not only expect them to identify the elements but also how they interact.  I am using some of the stories recommended by www.commoncore.org and adding some that I have used previously.  I am also focusing on excerpts to teach elements first.  I do plan to incorporate literature/reading circles as that tends to create deeper interest for the students.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas and working together as a whole to transition to these new standards. 

Sincerely,

Vickie M. Moriarity

 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 5, 2011 at 1:48 AM (Answer #2)

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My school has not adopted the standards, but when looking at revisions to my own curriculum I reviewed the standards to see what I could implement. I wanted to try to use some of the same texts. I have chosen some of those texts that complement the ones that I am using. I was actually pleased with the level of rigor that seems to be present. I had worried about dumbing down.
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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 5, 2011 at 3:09 AM (Answer #3)

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My school has adapted the new Common Core standards. Fortunately, the only changes that I have found that I am going to be using more nonfiction texts to adhere to the new standards. Luckily, many of the texts that I use can be supplemented with current topic non-fictions.

You did find some great sites to help you out though. Another one you may want to look at is: Parcconline.org  This is another site that I have found very useful.

Given that you are an English teacher, I would also recommend Kelly Gallagher's text Readicide. I read it in about an hour and a half and it changed many of the ways  that I look at reading in the classroom- it also helps with meeting the Core Standards.

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vmoriarity | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 5, 2011 at 4:15 AM (Answer #4)

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My school has adapted the new Common Core standards. Fortunately, the only changes that I have found that I am going to be using more nonfiction texts to adhere to the new standards. Luckily, many of the texts that I use can be supplemented with current topic non-fictions.

You did find some great sites to help you out though. Another one you may want to look at is: Parcconline.org  This is another site that I have found very useful.

Given that you are an English teacher, I would also recommend Kelly Gallagher's text Readicide. I read it in about an hour and a half and it changed many of the ways  that I look at reading in the classroom- it also helps with meeting the Core Standards.

  Thank you so much for your suggestion - Parcconline.org  - I will be checking that out right after this response.  I just read Gallagher's Readicide which helped me justify the retention of literature circles/reading circles in my room.  I completely agreed with that article regarding how much lit circles excite my students and engage them in the reading process.  I was so delighted to see how they help meet the new standards as well.  Thanks for your post!

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vmoriarity | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 5, 2011 at 4:19 AM (Answer #5)

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My school has not adopted the standards, but when looking at revisions to my own curriculum I reviewed the standards to see what I could implement. I wanted to try to use some of the same texts. I have chosen some of those texts that complement the ones that I am using. I was actually pleased with the level of rigor that seems to be present. I had worried about dumbing down.

I may be trying to add too many new texts all at once.  I have just started going back to the unit plans I am creating and adding in some of the texts that have used with succes when teaching the skills addressed in the standards such as "The Highwayman" and "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi".  I may need to empahsize certain things differently, however, I am beginning to see how they can be used, or at least excerpts from them.  The things I am trying to do (just like I did before these standards) is create the most effective lesson and teach the concepts to mastery in the most effective time frame possible.  Thanks for your post!

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 5, 2011 at 11:48 PM (Answer #6)

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It is encouraging to see that these new core standards are not "dumbing down" teaching and learning and that it appears existing programs of teaching can be easily adapted to fit the standards. Although I don't know much about these standards, being a teacher who was trained in the UK, from the flotilla of new core standards I have always found that the best policy is to try and tweak or adapt what you already have to fit the new standards rather than starting from scratch to re-invent the wheel. We have to look after ourselves as teachers at the end of the day!

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creativethinking | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted July 6, 2011 at 6:13 AM (Answer #7)

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My department and I met to talk about curriculum in a collaborative way... This probably would have been a great idea either way, but with the implementation of the new Common Core standards, it was definitely needed. We spent some time mapping out what we feel students should be gaining at each grade level. (I work at a high school, so it was grades 9-12.) We broke this down by course themes, main content covered, and main skills students should acquire. We then went through the giant standards binder and started correlating our current curriculum with the standards. Through this process we decided to do some rearranging/revision of our curriculum. We also identified a handful of "missing" standards that our current curriculum was not strongly addressing, and decided to make those a goal for next year's teaching. It sounds time consuming and anal... and it was... but it has prepared our department immensely for any type of accountability review/evaluation. We've got it all there on the map. Now we can focus more on our own creativity and how we're going to make the standards work for us... and our students.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 6, 2011 at 6:26 AM (Answer #8)

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Just wanted all of you to know that I am attending a conference in August on the new curriculum. Typically, I come away from these conferences with lots of material that helps. Once I go to the conference, I will let you know so that I can share any of the information I get with anyone who needs it.

On a different note, good luck to all of you when tackling the new cores. Sometimes when I read them they seem very simple. Other times, I cannot quite understand what they are telling us to do. UGGGGG

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vmoriarity | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 7, 2011 at 10:44 AM (Answer #9)

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Just wanted all of you to know that I am attending a conference in August on the new curriculum. Typically, I come away from these conferences with lots of material that helps. Once I go to the conference, I will let you know so that I can share any of the information I get with anyone who needs it.

On a different note, good luck to all of you when tackling the new cores. Sometimes when I read them they seem very simple. Other times, I cannot quite understand what they are telling us to do. UGGGGG

  That will be wonderful, and I am looking forward to the information you discover at your conference!

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rebeccablackburn | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM (Answer #11)

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I am a seventh and eighth grade ELA teacher in NC.  I recently received my CCore Mapping Guide.  I too discovered the first unit of the seventh grade deals with Medievil Times and that the social studies timeline did not correspond. My question is this......How can we CHANGE when we teach this unit if the whole reason for the COMMON Core is to ensure we are all doing the same unit at the same time for students who may transfer.  I don't think WE should change the units to suit SS.  We can teach our units and they will have prior knowledge FOR SS.  The same thing happens for me with Science as well.  My students have Science at the beginning of the year and that unit is last in our text.  REQUEST:  Please teach the units as the guide suggest....Keep the Common Core ...COMMNON! thanks for the support.

 

rblackburn

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