5 Tips for Getting Common Core Aligned

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With the first day of school around the corner, common core alignment is all the buzz. UClass will be hosting a #commoncore Twitter Chat this Thursday, August 15 from 5-6pm PST/8-9pm EST to help facilitate the conversation surrounding standardization.

We have also put together a quick list of tips to help teachers make the transition:

1. Download CCSS lists

Teachers can download editable lists of the math and language arts standards to make planning and curriculum mapping easier. Since all of the UClass lesson plans are Common Core aligned, checking standards off of your list can be quick and easy.

2. Embrace flexibility

Since the CCSS focuses on end goals, educators have the flexibility to determine how they will meet ELA and math objectives within their classrooms. With regard to English Language Arts, the Standards do not specify which types of writing processes or strategies must be used. The math standards are set up in a similar way as they let students choose between several different methods to solve the same problem. Therefore, educators have free rein to combine their expertise with the needs of specific classrooms and students to push students towards deeper contextual understanding.

3. Focus on the Analyze

This tip is most relevant to the English Language Arts standards. According to ASCD Inservice, analyze is the most common verb in standards after 5th grade. This signals a move away from the drilling of mechanical processes and calls for deeper reflection and critical thinking.

4. Take the interdisciplinary approach

The CCSS are confusing in that they are asking teachers to teach technical skills in a nontechnical way. Grammar is a good example of this as we are accustomed to thinking of grammar as a list of rules to be memorized. By teaching grammar in the context of reading and writing, educators can take the formula out of formulaic concepts.

5. Collaborate

This is perhaps the most important tip of them all. As the teachers across 43 states adopt the Common Core State Standards, it is crucial that as a community we continue to support one another in ensuring that our students are receiving the highest quality instruction possible.

UClass hopes to do its part in helping teachers transition over to the CCSS. We hope to do this in two main ways. The first is to offer high quality, common core aligned content. All of the lesson plans available on our site are tagged with the relevant standards and also searchable by standard. Second, UClass hopes to foster collaboration by joining in on the conversation of standardization.

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Join our #commoncore Twitter Chat this Thursday from 5-6pm PST/8-9pm EST. UClass Founder, Zak Ringlestein, will be moderating the chat from @uclassDOTorg

We hope to see you all there!

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