TeachersFirst's Implementing Common Core in Elementary Grades

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Teachers all over the country are taking a closer look at their units of study, trying to figure out how to integrate them with the Common Core.  The good news, of course, is that these new standards are about student outcomes or what you are working to achieve. Your judgment and expertise as a teacher is honored and valued, and the how is left up to you. The standards set forth in the Common Core are a tall order, and there is much to consider. This series shares practical strategies for implementing Common Core in elementary grades. These articles guide teachers through the steps of re-visiting or planning their teaching units to incorporate Common Core reading, writing, speaking, listening standards as well as Next Gen Science Standards.

 

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Highlighting Our History: American Revolution Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can infuse social studies content, specifically the Revolutionary Period, using the power of daily read-alouds. Practice Common...more
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can infuse social studies content, specifically the Revolutionary Period, using the power of daily read-alouds. Practice Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts while helping your students understand our history and heritage. If you fear that social studies has taken a back seat to tested content, be sure to share this collection with your students. The article includes book suggestions as well as discussion questions and writing activities connected to CCSS Standards. Don't miss our other articles on implementing Common Core in elementary. Some of the book selections may not be ones that your students can read on their own, but they will work well as read-alouds in your social students curriculum.

tag(s): american revolution (86), book lists (124), commoncore (92), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Mark this article in your Favorites and take the book suggestions with you to the school library (or search for interlibrary loans). Consider using this as part of a "Then and Now" or "Past and Present" focus in kindergarten or first grade, or with middle elementary students as part of a unit related to the Revolutionary War. Take a look at the suggestions for connecting the read-alouds to CCSS-aligned writing prompts or for short, focused research projects to include as follow-up.

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Highlighting Our History: Colonial Times Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English...more
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts while infusing some social studies content, specifically the early colonial period. If you fear that social studies has taken a back seat to tested content or that students may be losing a sense of our history and heritage, this is a way to fortify your students' knowledge of early American history and heritage together with their skills in reading and writing. The article includes book suggestions as well as discussion questions and writing activities connected to CCSS Standards. Don't miss our other articles on implementing Common Core in elementary. The book suggestions are not necessarily ones your students would read on their own, but nestle in well as read-alouds in social studies curriculum across elementary grades.

tag(s): book lists (124), colonial america (107), commoncore (92), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Mark this article in your Favorites and take the book suggestions with you to the library (or search for interlibrary loans) to help "fit" social studies into your read-alouds, making every minute count! Consider using them as part of a "Then and Now" or "Past and Present" focus in kindergarten or first grade, or with middle elementary students as part of a unit related to early settlements or the thirteen colonies. Be sure to look at the suggestions for connecting the read-alouds to CCSS-aligned writing prompts or for short, focused research projects to include as follow-up.

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Roots of STEM: Books and ideas for real world problem solving in your classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find...more
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find entry points to explore problem solving and resources to apply in your own classroom. You will find many ideas in this article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), reading lists (72), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Start with the books as part of your reading lessons, and you have already given STEM a way to take root in your class! Incorporate STEM in accordance with Common Core reading/math or Next Gen Science standards using the many suggestions here. This article will help you begin with whole group lessons and move through the entire problem-solving process. Perhaps you will want to work together on a project with your grade level team.

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Read, Tell, and Sell: CCSS through student book promotions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Promote books beyond traditional book reports and at the same time work toward Common Core Standards in Speaking and Listening. This article includes suggestions, step by step strategies,...more
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Promote books beyond traditional book reports and at the same time work toward Common Core Standards in Speaking and Listening. This article includes suggestions, step by step strategies, resources, and tips--from tech-savvy to low-tech or no tech--so your students can promote books and build CCSS skills as they contribute to their community of readers and writers. Want to know more about implementing Common Core? See the full series of articles, read-alouds, and more here.

tag(s): book reports (36), commoncore (92), listening (92), process writing (40), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Save this article in your Favorites to have it ready. Use the comprehensive tips and resources to have students create book promotions as your next (traditional or digital) writing activity as part of your usual reading activities. Let this reading and writing activity do double duty to meet speaking and listening standards, too!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Powerful Pairings: Read-Alouds for Working with the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Discover powerful pairings of books for read-alouds, books that will help you and your students delve into the Common Core State Standards for both literature and informational text....more
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Discover powerful pairings of books for read-alouds, books that will help you and your students delve into the Common Core State Standards for both literature and informational text. There are six pairings for each of the K-6 grade level bands--lower, middle, and upper elementary, with attention to all three sections of the standards: Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. By pairing the books as read-alouds, you can help students experience and understand major concepts from the CCSS.

tag(s): book lists (124), commoncore (92), independent reading (125), reading comprehension (114)

In the Classroom

Choose from these pairings or read the descriptions to get the idea of how books can be "pairs." Then select your own perfect pair read-alouds from your classroom or school library. ( Remember you can also borrow books via interlibrary loan if you do not have the selections on this list!) Use an Interactive Venn Diagram tool, reviewed here, to help students map out the similarities and differences in the fiction and informational texts on similar topics. After exploring some of these read-alouds together as a class, challenge your students to find and read "powerful pairs" of books on their own: one fiction, one informational.

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Common Core Connections: The Power of Poetry - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Discover ways to incorporate poetry as part of your implementation of Common Core in your elementary reading and literature curriculum. If you have set poetry aside for "informational...more
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Discover ways to incorporate poetry as part of your implementation of Common Core in your elementary reading and literature curriculum. If you have set poetry aside for "informational texts," this article explains how you CAN use poetry to address CCSS for close reading, key ideas and details, range of reading, and for the foundation skills of reading fluency. And poetry can still be just plain fun . The article includes lesson ideas and resources to give poetry a place in your curriculum.

tag(s): commoncore (92), poetry (229)

In the Classroom

Mark this as a favorite for planning your poetry lessons to run regularly throughout the school year or as a special unit during National Poetry Month (April). Share it with your colleagues to plan a schoolwide poetry event or simply to reassure them that poetry did not "disappear" with Common Core.

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Food, Glorious Food! Serving Up Common Core Connections - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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This read-aloud from TeachersFirst provides some resources and suggestions of books and activities on the theme of Foods and Nutrition. The content areas can provide rich opportunities...more
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This read-aloud from TeachersFirst provides some resources and suggestions of books and activities on the theme of Foods and Nutrition. The content areas can provide rich opportunities to integrate the CCSS English Language Arts standards as we teach science, health, and social studies. With the current focus on childhood obesity, the popularity of school gardens and farm-to-school initiatives, and the campaign to "eat local," the connection to food-related books is compelling. This installment in our Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series of ideas for implementing Common Core really gives you "food for thought."

tag(s): commoncore (92), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

When teaching science, social studies, or health content about nutrition, foods, plants, or farms, consider pairing fictional books along with informational texts to maximize the potential of every unit of study. This read-aloud is a good starting point. What a perfect way to integrate healthy eating, whether during the holiday season or spring garden planting!

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In a Manner of Speaking: Figurative Language and the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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Dive into the Common Core standards for figurative language in both reading and writing in elementary grades with this article and resource collection. The article includes book suggestions...more
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Dive into the Common Core standards for figurative language in both reading and writing in elementary grades with this article and resource collection. The article includes book suggestions for figurative language, as well. This article is part of a series about implementing Common Core. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), figurative language (16)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and learn more about the ambitious figurative language expectations of Common Core as you begin to implement the new standards. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers or with your teacher -librarian if you DO have one. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Questions and Thinking in Common Core; Part 2: Students as Questioners - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core and offers some ways ...more
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core and offers some ways to help students develop a questioning mindset to use as part of "close reading" of texts in elementary grades on up. A separate article, Part I of Questions and Thinking in Common Core, discusses Teachers as Questioners. Both articles are intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series but are easily adapted for middle and high school grades.

tag(s): commoncore (92), questioning (32), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and explore the questioning strategies suggested as you begin to implement Common Core. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the ideas will be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Questions and Thinking in Common Core; Part 1: Teachers as Questioners - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core, and offers some tips ...more
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core, and offers some tips for teachers as questioners from elementary grades and up. The ideas are easily adapted as appropriate for middle and high school grades. A separate article, Part II of Questions and Thinking in Common Core will discuss Students as Questioners. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), questioning (32), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and explore the question repertoire sources as you begin to implement Common Core. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Teachers' Common Core Planning Toolkit: A guide for elementary teachers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary guides teachers through the steps of re-visiting and planning their teaching units to incorporate...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary guides teachers through the steps of re-visiting and planning their teaching units to incorporate Common Core reading and writing. This article will guide you through the Common Core planning process and assist you in adding rigor and addressing instructional shifts as you prepare a unit of study. It presents some planning considerations and then offers an example of what this might look in one classroom's September calendar. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

This is perfect for teachers' summer reading or collaborative planning. As you face the daunting task of re-visioning your plans, find a process that you can grasp.

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Going Deep with Award Winning Books: Close reading and text-dependent questions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on close reading of texts in Caldecott award winning books. Since Caldecott winners tend...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on close reading of texts in Caldecott award winning books. Since Caldecott winners tend to be available in most libraries, what better way to start the practice of close reading and questioning a la Common Core. A major shift of the Common Core State Standards is to have reading, writing, listening and speaking grounded in evidence , from both literary and informational texts. As a result, terms like "close reading" and "text-dependent questions" are getting a lot of attention. Find ideas to implement this shift. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have a library/media specialist to partner with you, try these ideas together during read-alouds both in the library/media center and in your classroom. Mark this article in your favorites and refer back to it as you move forward with Common Core.

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For the Sake of Argument: Another Common Core Shift - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require that all students work to become independent writers of three types of texts: narrative, informational/explanatory, and opinion/argument and recommend that the time spent on each type in the elementary grades be roughly the same. Find ideas to implement this shift. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), expository writing (44), letter writing (20), persuasive writing (54), writing (355)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have a library/media specialist to partner with you, try these ideas together, including read-alouds and writing activities to follow up. Mark this article in your favorites and refer back to it for ideas to integrate writing into science or social studies activities, especially for opportunities to have students write and/or read opinion/argument pieces.

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The Common Core Shift: Short, Focused Research Projects - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 3
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This article explains the idea of short, focused research projects as emphasized by Common Core. Find out the background, the why and what, and more as you see an example ...more
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This article explains the idea of short, focused research projects as emphasized by Common Core. Find out the background, the why and what, and more as you see an example you can use when teaching about the water cycle in elementary grades. Use a readaloud of a recommended book to get your class started. This particular example is for lower elementary, but the article is useful for elementary teachers at any level. The article and the sample project are written (and field tested!) by an experienced elementary library/media specialist.

tag(s): commoncore (92), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

NO more BIG projects! Make research manageable and meaningful. Try the lesson plan as a way to incorporate Common Core reading skills into the lessons you would be teaching as part of your science curriculum. If you do not have access to the same book, check interlibrary loan or adapt the lessons to another book.

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Common Core Part 2: Moving Forward with Informational Text - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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In this second in a series about Common Core, move into lessons that address Common Core Reading standards for "informational texts." This article offers specifics about Common Core...more
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In this second in a series about Common Core, move into lessons that address Common Core Reading standards for "informational texts." This article offers specifics about Common Core Anchor Standard #5 for Reading, which deals with text structure. Find explanations of the five most common text structures and instructional approaches to help students understand and even write each type of information text. Learn how you can explicitly teach organizational patterns in reading and have students apply these patterns in their own writing. Note that the CCSS and texts also apply in science and social studies literacy, so the lessons cross into these disciplines, as well. Although the article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series, the discussion of Common Core and informational texts applies at any level.

tag(s): commoncore (92), graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and explore the suggested resources as you begin to implement Common Core. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction - TeachersFirst

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K to 6
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Delve into the Common Core Reading standards and the shift to greater emphasis on non-fiction, "informational texts." If, like many teachers, you teach in a state that has adopted the...more
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Delve into the Common Core Reading standards and the shift to greater emphasis on non-fiction, "informational texts." If, like many teachers, you teach in a state that has adopted the Common Core State Standards, this Q/A article will help you to make sense of this shift and provide you with some practical tips and resources to get started. Although the article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series, the general questions about Common Core and reading informational texts apply at any level. TeachersFirst plans to offer further articles as Common Core "rolls out" in more and more schools.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

Read the questions/answers and explore the suggested resources as background during this new challenge. Mark this article in your Favorites as you begin to implement Common Core. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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