Mastery of the Common Core State Standards

Minds in Bloom presents Brenda of Teaching…Seriously with this post jam-packed with information on Common Core standards mastery!

 

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

Sprinkling standards into my existing literature program just didn’t work. Then realization struck. My students needed direct instruction, modeling, guided practice, and independent practice for each standard. This required a paradigm shift. Instead of teaching multiple standards with each story, I had to use multiple stories to teach each standard. I’ve made the shift, and I love it!Let’s take a look at how to develop standards-based unit plans. We’ll use RL.4.3 as an example.

 

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Step 1: Consider the standard’s intent.

 

Think about what your students must know and be able to do, as well as your instructional plan. (To learn more about deconstructing standards, check out “Unwrapping” the Standardsby Larry Ainsworth.)

 

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

Step 2: Create a summative assessment.

As Wiggins and McTighe explain in Understanding by Design, unit planning begins at the end. Writing an assessment is the next step. For this standard, students must simply describe a character, setting, or event.

 

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

How will this be assessed? I looked back to the standard (and its intent) to develop a rubric.

 

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

Instruction, practice, and assessment must all match. Using the rubric as a guide, I wrote a set of steps for students. To keep kids focused on their mission, I created posters and student sheets featuring those steps.

 

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

Step 3: Choose high quality materials.

 

At this point, you can reach back and grab some of the great materials you’ve used in your classroom for years or select something new. I chose Just So Storiesby Rudyard Kipling as my literature component. These classic “pourquoi” stories feature well-developed characters, intrigue my students, and support narrative writing strategies in my classroom. As an added bonus, the book is now in the public domain, so it may be freely copied.

 

I chose four stories and adapted each for three reading levels. Instant differentiation!

 

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

Step 4: Develop a thorough instructional plan.

It’s finally time to write those lesson plans! Using the classic and complete lesson design pioneered by Madeline Hunterwe can rest assured that students will master the standard.

 

  • Direct Instruction/Modeling – Delivering a clear, consistent set of strategies was important to me, so I created a PowerPoint presentation based on my rubric. After my students had read the first piece, “How the Camel Got His Hump,” I modeled the step-by-step method we would use to analyze and describe a character.
Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!
Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!
Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!
Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!
Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

  • Guided Practice – Once students know the steps, it’s time for guided practice. We read “The Beginning of the Armadillo” and constructed the response together.
Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

 

  • Independent Practice – My students were ready to analyze characters on their own. The most famous story in this collection, “The Elephant’s Child,” provided three wonderfully developed characters.  They described the elephant, the crocodile, and the snake.

 

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!
  • Assessment – At this point my students had participated in analysis and description of five characters: one as an active listener during direct instruction, one as a contributor during guided practice, and three as independent workers. They were ready to show what they could do! I gave them the final piece, “How the Leopard Got His Spots,” as a summative assessment.
Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!
So, what’s the recipe for a great standards-based unit?

 

  1. Carefully consider the standard.
  2. Create a summative assessment.
  3. Select high quality materials. (For literature units, I suggest six stories – one for direct instruction, one for guided practice, three for independent practice, and one for assessment.)
  4. Write lesson plans that ask students to do tasks that directly prepare them for the summative assessment.
  5. Enjoy your students’ success!

Interdisciplinary Studies

Because you are now picking and choosing materials that match the standards, creating interdisciplinary units is easier than ever! This unit, for example, provides the perfect springboard for narrative writing (especially focused on character development and voice). It could also tie to animal research or to the study of biodiversity. The sky is the limit!

* Minds in Bloom, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.


Teaching...SeriouslyBrenda Kovich, NBCT, has taught high ability fourth grade students in Indiana for over 30 years. She has worked on curriculum mapping and writing for the state of Indiana, created video lessons for LearnZillion, and currently develops intermediate-level materials for Teachers Pay Teachers. Brenda loves to share ideas, insights, and resources in her blog,Teaching…Seriously.

2 thoughts on “Mastery of the Common Core State Standards”

  1. Since you posted this, I've been reading Brenda's blog and I have tried out some of her resources in my classroom and they are making a humongous difference. My kids loved "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and "How the Camel Got His Hump," which we started this week. We have had some great conversations and it is so much easier to guide them having a set of steps that goes right along with how I've guided them to write a paragraph. I am so glad you brought Brenda in to write a post. She has literally changed my teaching…

  2. Pingback: Plan Instruction Thoughtfully to Enjoy Teaching - Enjoy Teaching

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