Director, Teaching & Learning
Common Core State Standards
The CCSS System of Professional Learning is a state funded effort to provide Connecticut’s districts and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with blended learning experiences in CCSS and Smarter Balanced Assessments. This professional development is designed for 1800-2000 district coaches across Connecticut. The learning series will extend over 18 months and includes face–to-face sessions and opportunities for virtual learning in between sessions through webinars and a discussion/resource platform.
CCSS System of Professional Learning - Frequently Asked Questions
WELCOME TO CCSS:
THE UNITED STATES AS YOUR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY
Adapted from COLLEGE READINESS PARTNERSHIP
CCSSO, The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) are currently working with state leadership teams from Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin in the College Readiness Partnership. The Partnership is a collaborative to promote broad implementation of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English Language Arts, with a strong focus on those issues at the intersection of K-12 and higher education systems.
System Alignment and Systems Change
Title: Tennessee Common Core Leadership Council (added August 2012)
In February 2012, Tennessee announced the formation of a Common Core Leadership Council to give districts a voice in the statewide transition to the Common Core. The council membership includes thirteen directors, supervisors, and an assistant principal, hailing from across the state. The council is tasked with advising department officials on formal and informal assessments and professional development resources; shaping the framework for all Common Core pilot programs; and becoming regional experts and leaders in the importance and concrete expectations of the standards. The council also selected and trained exemplary educators to facilitate summer training on the Common Core.
The Common Core does not dictate how teachers should teach; those decisions will remain at the local level. Therefore, educators need the tools, guidance, and professional learning experiences that help them understand the standards deeply; develop curricula, lessons and units, and aligned assessments; and, locate and evaluate if instructional materials are aligned to the Common Core. It is vital to the implementation of the Common Core that educators teach rich, engaging lessons that foster students’ love of learning while challenging them to meet the high expectations in literacy and mathematics outlined in the Common Core.
MODEL CURRICULUM AND CURRICULUM FRAMEWORKS
These are frameworks that “unpack” the CCSS and identify the essential skills and knowledge that a student would need in order to master the grade specific standards. These frameworks were developed with the input of educators across the state, who identified the essential skills and knowledge connected with each standard. The statements are intended to help teachers develop common understandings and valuable insights into what a student must know and be able to do to demonstrate proficiency with the standard. The draft frameworks will be introduced to teachers and administrators at the state’s Educator Effectiveness Academies this summer. Maryland also plans to develop an online toolkit to support these frameworks over the next few years. Together, the toolkit and frameworks will become the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum.
Title: Indiana Curriculum Maps
This website has links with information about the process Indiana has developed to provide curriculum maps for the new standards to support local implementation.
Title: Ohio Model Curriculum
In 2011, Ohio adopted model curriculum for each grade in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. The model curriculum was written by Ohio educators to support the implementation of the Common Core Standards. In addition to the model curriculum, Ohio provides transition and implementation tools for educators. Local control states may want to consider these kinds of models when determining how to support educators while honoring the right of school district to set curriculum.
In addition, Ohio presents strategies for diverse learners, drawing specific connections between Universal Design for Learning principles, the CCSS, and the model curricula. This is of particular importance because the CCSS are explicitly intended for all students, whether they are students with disabilities, gifted learners, or English language learners.
Title: Models of Curriculum – Resources for Diverse Learners (Ohio)
This document presents strategies for meeting the needs of all learners including gifted students, English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities. Resources are based on the Universal Design for Learning principles.
State: North Carolina
The purpose of this toolkit is to support teachers in understanding CCSS by demonstrating “at a granular level the knowledge and skills students are expected to master at a particular grade.” It unpacks the standards for all grades in both ELA and Math.
Title: Delaware English Language Arts Know, Understand, Do (KUD) Organizer
This document describes unpacking a Common Core State Standard to describe what the students will Know, Understand, and Do. The KUD organizers are intended to be used as a springboard to inform decisions about curriculum and instruction and include CCSS Reading Literary and Informational Standards 1-9 for all grades.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO DISTRICTS
Title: ASCD Article: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education focusing on technical assistance
A July 2012 article posted to ASCD’s Core Connections highlights Missouri’s efforts to develop close working relationships with districts. A local school district, in conjunction with the department, developed a professional development series around the Common Core State Standards, with the focus on ELA at the elementary level and math and ELA at the high school level. The work that they developed has been modified as needed for a statewide audience and is being delivered through a series of train-the-trainer events.
BLUEPRINT FOR LOCAL IMPLEMENTATION
Title: Getting the Common Core into the Classroom
This presentation lays out a district’s “blueprint” for implementation focusing on urgency, vision, system, and staff. It was developed at Limestone Community High School 2011, but contains broad ideas applicable to any state. The blueprint provides a framework for thinking about implementation of the standards in the larger context of education delivery that can help districts and schools see that Common Core implementation is not just another reform to tack on to existing work.
DISTRICT TOOLKITS AND TEMPLATES
Title: Idaho Common Core State Standards Tool Box (added August 2012)
Idaho has developed Common Core tool boxes for ELA and math. Each tool box provides an overview of the standards, instructional materials and resources, professional development resources, and information on the new assessments.
Title: Colorado Standards Implementation Toolkit
This comprehensive toolkit provides a timeline and resources related to transitioning to the Colorado Academic Standards, including updating local standards, design curricula, comparison tools, and design tools. It identifies four stages of implementation and provides a corresponding toolkit for districts to use in each stage. Each area includes a description and list of suggested action steps and resources needed to move forward with implementation. Colorado is a local control state that cannot develop a state-mandated curriculum due to constitutional provisions that leave curriculum development to local school districts. States that have similar constraints might look to this toolkit as a way to support districts while respecting their authority to develop curriculum.
Title: Oregon Common Core State Standards Toolkits
Oregon created customized CCSS implementation toolkits for administrators, teachers, early childhood educators, and parents and students. The toolkits are divided into phases of implementation: Awareness and Dissemination, Transition, Implementation, Evaluate and Refine. Oregon’s toolkit is a good reminder of the importance of reaching out to the early childhood community to ensure it is aware of the new standards and what children will be expected to learn in Kindergarten. Included is the toolkit is a one-page document that Oregon has developed that succinctly explains why it is important for early childhood educators to be familiar with the CCSS.
Title: Iowa Core Self Study & Implementation Handbook
This document provides a process to facilitate local planning and a protocol for meeting the requirements to develop an Implementation Plan for the Iowa Core, which includes the Common Core State Standards as well as standards in social studies, science and 21st century skills. Six outcomes are identified for districts: 1) Leadership; 2) Community; 3) Schools; 4) Content- Instruction-Assessment (CIA) Alignment; 5) (CIA) Professional Development; and 6) (CIA) Instruction. One particularly helpful aspect of this handbook is the video tutorials that accompany the handbook which walk through the self-study and implementation plan applications.
Title: Oklahoma District Implementation Plan (Template, Timeline, and Guiding Questions) Oklahoma provides templates for districts to use as they plan transition to CCSS. Two blank templates, a timeline, and a set of guiding questions to support planning are also available.
This one-page timeline outlines Delaware’s transition from adoption to implementation in four phases. While more detailed implementation plans are essential for internal state education agency planning, distilling your implementation plan into its essential elements is an important tool for educating the public about the transition to the new standards. Developing a document such as this from your plan will allow you to succinctly communicate your state’s transition plan to educators, parents, students, legislators, and the business community. For states that need an outline for establishing a plan, the phases outlined here could serve as the basis for writing a transition plan.
Title: Common Core Instructional Shifts (New York)
This resource describes in detail the Common Core shifts needed to effectively implement the standards in ELA/literacy and math.
Title: New York State Common Core Sample Questions (added August 2012)
The New York State Education Department has developed a teaching tool for educators in the form of a series of sample questions that demonstrate the instructional shifts in the ELA and math Common Core Standards. These samples are also a good resource to aid students and parents in understanding what the new standards will look like in the classroom. The sample questions are available for grades three through eight in both subjects. For each grade level and subject, there are approximately 12 questions, which include multiple choice, short constructed response, and extended constructed response. Read a more detailed overview of this resource and download the samples through NYSED’s website.
EDUCATOR-DEVELOPED LESSONS AND TOOLS
West Virginia’s Teach 21 website contains educator-developed resources aligned to the Common Core State Standards (which WV calls their Content Standards and Objectives - CSOs) and the state’s other standards. The website contains interactive digital resources, including Interactive CSOs, NxG CSOs for ELA and Mathematics, Strategy Bank, and Instructional Guides aligned to the Common Core. Since the state implemented the kindergarten standards in the 2011-2012 school year, the Teach 21 website includes many rich lessons and resources developed by teachers on the kindergarten ELA and math standards.
Title: K-8 Kansas Common Core Flip-books
These flip-books make links between the mathematical practices and the content of the Common Core Standards. They include instructional strategies and examples for each mathematical practice standard at each grade level. The materials are posted on the Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics (KATM) website.
ELA AND MATH GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS
North Carolina created sample content-specific graphic organizers that are visual representations to assist the student in organizing abstract “big picture” information that is new, overwhelming or misunderstood in the new standards. These graphic organizers are in draft form and are undergoing review for feedback. For ELA, the graphic organizers are available for Argument, Compare and Contrast, Dialectic Response, Inquiry, Synthesizing, and Vocabulary, and for math there is a graphic organizer for Number Lines.
Lesson and Unit Planning_____________________________________________________
LESSON PLANNING ACTIVITY
Title: Illinois Lesson Planning Activity
The document is designed to help teachers modify current lessons to fully address the new standards.
Title: Kansas ELA Text Complexity Rubrics and Resources
The Kansas state education agency collaborated with educators in the state to develop tools for educators to evaluate text complexity.
LESSON AND UNIT REVIEW RUBRIC
Title: Tri-State Collaborative Quality Review Rubric
States: Tri-State Collaborative (Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island)
The Tri-State Collaborative (composed of educational leaders from Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island and facilitated by Achieve) has developed criterion-based rubrics and review processes to evaluate the quality of lessons and units intended to address the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and ELA/Literacy.
Teachers, principals, and district leaders must have high-quality professional learning experiences that help them understand the shifts in the Common Core from existing state standards and identify the changes they will need to make to their own curriculum and instruction in order for students to meet Common Core expectations. Participation in trainings or watching webinars or videos on the Common Core is not alone sufficient professional development; this must be coupled with teachers having regular and frequent meaningful, data-informed discussions with their peers and a coach or mentor to support them in transferring new knowledge and skills to the classroom.
ONGOING PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
Title: Vermont's Transition to the Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts
This document details the recommendations for professional learning to support the transition to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy. This professional learning plan was developed by Vermont educators and professional development providers in collaboration with department staff and is intended to provide schools and districts with guidance as they transition to the CCSS. Professional learning resources are also available for math.
Title: New York Common Core PD Kit
This kit is designed to help New York’s Network Teams prepare teachers and administrators for the implementation of the CCSS, including a facilitation guide and a full day presentation (with talking points). This document is a good resource for developing a training session on the Common Core.
SAMPLE USES OF THE TEACHING CHANNEL VIDEOS:
Vermont is providing links to the Teaching Channel as a way to demonstrate the impact of standards on teaching. Click on “Episodes and Air Times” to see how Vermont Public Television is posting these videos.
Arkansas is directing teachers to the Teaching Channel for Classroom videos of CCSS in Action.
Communication and Engagement Tools
Ongoing, two-way communication must occur between students, parents, teachers, school and district leaders, community members, higher education faculty, business leaders, the media, and state policymakers since it will require all parties working together over time to ensure students are prepared for college and career.
At a minimum, a state website should include an obvious and easily accessible section on the transition to the standards. Below are examples of states that extend their engagement strategies well beyond the state education agency home page, including developing new educator-focused websites, collaboration sites, videos, and public awareness campaigns.
CCSSO has also developed a communications toolkit to assist states in thinking through how to develop a communications plan. More information about the toolkit is available in the additional resources section below.
Title: New Mexico Common Core State Standards Website (added August 2012)
The New Mexico Common Core website provides a one-stop site where students, parents, teachers, and administrators can learn about the Common Core. The home page also links to the state’s transition timeline, its guiding principles for standards implementation, FAQs, and an explanation of how the Common Core is different from New Mexico’s current standards.
COLLABORATION SITE (GOOGLE SITE)
Title: Common Core in Vermont
Vermont has set up an online collaboration site for Vermont educators that includes presentations, tools, and resources. This collaboration site is a strong example of promoting two-way communications—to both push out key messages and information and also learn from the high- quality work of educators across the state.
STATEWIDE COLLABORATIVE CAMPAIGN:
Title: Expect More, Achieve More Campaign
Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education’s (SCORE) launched the Expect More, Achieve More campaign to build support statewide for the new standards and mitigate the impact of a drop in test scores on Tennessee’s state assessment. More than thirty business and education organizations across the state came together in this campaign. The campaign included several statewide summits in 2010 to kick off the campaign. The site includes a link to a parental outreach website, PSAs, and brochures.
Title: Clearer and Higher: Why Students Need the Common Core (Ohio)
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has produced a four-minute video on the Common Core State Standards and assessments that they would like to share with all states and their school districts to explain the standards to teachers, parents and a variety of stakeholders.
The department is offering the video, Clearer and Higher: Why Students Need the Common
Core, under the Creative Commons license so states wishing to use the video may add state-specific information. The video can be used in a variety of settings, such as an opener for education-leader speaking engagements and for showing at district- and school-level faculty meetings, parent nights, and association and community events. The video is available for download from ODE YouTube site.
CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING COLLEGE-READINESS
Title: College Entry-Level Competencies (Missouri)
Missouri’s Department of Higher Education set criteria for assessing college readiness, working “
The competencies align with the Common Core State Standards for language arts and mathematics adopted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education last year. The release of the college-ready competencies was delayed until the higher education sector could analyze the Common Core State Standards to ensure the standards were consistent with the expectations of the state's public colleges and universities.
If you are looking to initiate conversations with your state’s higher education community, you may want to consider using the competencies developed here as a starting point for your conversation about determining college readiness in your state.
Blogs: How do we experience, observe, and feel about the Common Core?
|LEARN ZILLION||Ed Week||The Washington Post||The Learning Network
Websites: How do we provide a Common Core aligned learning experience?