Gain confidence in applying the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language) to the K-5 classroom.
Discover the Common Core State standards for English language arts, and gain confidence in applying them to the K-5 classroom. In this course you will explore the basic elements of the standards—strands, anchor standards, and grade articulations—and you will see how they relate to each other. You will be empowered to speak knowledgeably with parents, peers, and the community.
You will explore the four English language strands—reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and language. You will examine how teaching literature gives students the opportunity to explore language, and consider the impact of a school-wide literacy plan. You will look at the roles of technology, homework, curricula, and assessments in the classroom. You will be inspired by loads of easy-to-use, practical examples of Common Core State Standards-aligned lessons that you can use with your own students.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.Gain confidence in applying Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts in K-5 classrooms. This course will provide you with easy-to-use, practical examples aligned with lessons that you can begin using immediately in your own classroom to teach Common Core Standards.
Don't Be Afraid of the Common Core State Standards
In the first lesson, you'll examine some of the most common myths about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). You'll learn the history of the standards and how they'll help you prepare students for the 21st century. You'll also learn the basic elements of the standards and discover how they relate to each other and get a handle on the terminology. By the time you finish this lesson, you'll understand the CCSS document and how to use it and be ready to start examining the standards in greater detail!
The Reading Strand
In this lesson, you'll look at the Common Core Standards for reading. First, you'll explore the 10 anchor standards and see how their broad goals are consistent throughout the grades (kindergarten through grade 12). Then, you'll see how those broad goals are articulated for each grade level in K-5. You'll spend some extra time with the 10th standard, discussing text complexity and how it's measured, and get a chance to explore the text exemplars from CCSS Appendix B. By the end of this lesson, you'll be ready to examine those Reading strand grade articulations that will be relevant to your own classroom.
Foundational Reading Skills
This lesson talks about foundational reading skills. You'll examine the Common Core Standards for foundational reading skills and learn how these standards address the most basic literacy skills. You'll discover ways to incorporate them into lesson plans that easily adapt for inclusive classrooms, and there will also be some time devoted to exploring CCSS Appendix A. By the end of this lesson, you'll be on your way to creating a personalized glossary and a focused collection of grade articulations for your own classroom!
Reading Informational Text
In this lesson, you'll look at how the CCSS focus on informational text prepares students for 21st-century life. You'll learn some tips to help you differentiate between literature and informational text, and take a quick look at the informational text exemplars from the CCSS Appendix B. You'll also discover how text exemplars can help you determine which informational texts satisfy the Common Core Standards. And finally, you'll review some guided reading and close reading techniques and discuss why these are integral to science, math, social studies, and arts classes.
In this lesson, you'll discover how literature—stories, poetry, and drama—prepares students for their role in 21st-century society. You'll explore two more close reading strategies and look at how the tools and strategies that were covered in the discussion of the Reading strand align with the CCSS Anchor Standards for Reading.
The Writing Strand
In this lesson, you'll look at the Common Core Standards for writing. You'll explore the 10 anchor standards for writing and review how their broad goals are consistent throughout all grades—kindergarten through 12th grade. You'll look at how those broad goals are articulated for each specific K-5 grade level and also take a peek at the writing exemplars from the CCSS Appendix C. By the end of the lesson, you'll be prepared to study the Writing strand grade articulations that will be relevant to your own classroom!
The Speaking and Listening Strand
In this lesson, you'll look at the Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening. You'll learn how the speaking and listening anchor standards relate to comprehension, collaboration, and presentation of ideas. You'll also examine how these broad goals are articulated for each specific K-5 grade level. Afterwards, you'll go over a few tried-and-true techniques for maintaining control in a conversational classroom!
The Language Strand
Here you'll explore the Common Core Standards for Language, the fourth and final ELA strand. You'll learn how these anchor standards relate to the conventions of standard English, how language functions in different contexts, and how young people acquire and use vocabulary. You'll also review how the broad goals of the anchor standards are articulated for each specific K-5 grade level. You'll look at some practical examples of classroom activities that encourage students to play with language and examine how "playing with language" helps students actually understand language!
Technology and Literacy Skills
In this lesson, you'll learn how each anchor standard and grade articulation is identified by a simple-to-understand abbreviation. You'll look at all four strands and discuss the many ways technology and literacy work together in the 21st-century classroom. You'll also be presented with lots of great Web resources—for you, your students, and your students' families. Integrating technology into the classroom and curriculum can be a great way to reinforce literacy skills and improve learning!
Fitting It Together in a 21st-Century Classroom
In this lesson, you'll come to understand how integrated literacy, curricula, classroom lessons, and homework fit together to create a CCSS-aligned learning experience. The lesson will provide you with some strategies for integrating literacy across the curriculum, and then you'll look at some ways to bring homework back into the classroom! You'll also be given a tool for examining your school's curriculum to ensure that it's aligned with CCSS. By the end of this lesson, you'll have the tools and knowledge you need to create a 21st-century classroom.
Assessments: How Will You Know It's Working?
This lesson discusses assessments. These are a significant concern for many teachers—the changes to assessments aligned with CCSS, as well as the administration of the new assessment. This lesson will discuss summative assessments and the two new assessment consortia, PARCC and Smarter Balanced. It will also discuss formative assessment strategies that you can implement throughout your lessons and units. You'll be relieved to discover that you can still exercise a lot of control over the assessments you use in the classroom!
Making CCSS Come Alive in the Classroom
In the final lesson, you'll see how you can make CCSS come alive in the classroom. The lesson will talk about some strategies that will help you determine which lesson plans are already working well and align with the CCSS goals, and which you might consider replacing with new and improved lessons. It will also talk about ways you can differentiate your classroom instruction to meet CCSS goals and also meet the needs of your individual students. Finally, you'll look at some helpful resources for involving parents, family members, and the community in your 21st-century classroom!
Dr. Katie McKnight is an author, educator, and consultant. She received her B.A. from George Washington University, her M.Ed. from Northeastern Illinois University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Today, she serves as a professor at National Louis University and an onsite professional development consultant for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Dr. McKnight regularly publishes in professional journals and is the author of many books including The Elementary Teacher's Big Book of Graphic Organizers, and The Teacher's Big Book of Graphic Organizers, Grades 5-12 (recipient of the 2013 Teachers' Choice Award).