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The Common Core Classroom: Effective Teaching

We sat down with master teachers and experts and asked them to share (on video) their thoughts about what it really takes to be an effective teacher with the new Common Core standards. On this page, you’ll also find top articles about the Common Core standards, video that provides an overview of the standards and links to professional development webcasts.

Top Articles on Effective Teaching

Key Shifts of the Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy

Expert Susan Lafond provides an overview of the ways in which Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy differ from the standards that states currently use.

Language Objectives: The Key to Effective Content Area Instruction for English Learners

Jennifer Himmel of the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) provides an overview of how to use language objectives in content-area instruction for English learners.

Common Core in the Schools: A First Look at Reading Assignments

This survey and report takes an early look at how the Common Core State Standards are changing English language arts classes in our schools. It’s easy to spot key changes in emphasis in the standards themselves—essentially they represent a shift from skills alone to skills implemented in the context of complex texts. But what will teachers do to alter their traditional practices? Will they deploy different texts than in the past? Will the texts be more challenging? 

Nine Ways the Common Core Will Change Classroom Practice

Robert Rothman, from the Alliance for Excellent Education, outlines nine ways the Common Core will change classroom practice in math and English Language Arts (ELA). Among the changes outlined for ELA, students will read more nonfiction, there will be a focus on evidence, and students will read more difficult text.

Technology in Common Core Classrooms

Technology can be a powerful tool for teachers in the Common Core classroom. Students can now have instant access to all kinds of primary source material, rich image libraries and a wealth of interactive content. Here, middle and high school teachers reflect on how to use these new tools, such as one-to-one laptops and document cameras, in the most effective way.

Engaging Your Students in the Common Core Classroom

The Common Core classroom provides many opportunities for students to really dig into topics and consider issues from multiple perspectives. This can be engaging work for students, but it can also be challenging, as they are asked to think deeply and critically about their reading. Here, teachers reflect on motivating their students and the excitement when things really begin to click.

The Language of the Common Core

Learn more from teachers and literacy experts about the language used in teaching with the Common Core. We’ve created a “video glossary” of terms such as close reading, sourcing documents, inference, essential questions, and disciplinary literacy.

Reading and the Common Core: Expert Insight

Listen in as literacy experts such as Dr. Cynthia Shanahan discuss critical issues in teaching with the Common Core. Topics include the importance of using multiple texts, close reading, the challenge of text complexity, building inference skills, understanding textbook structure and more.

Special Education and the Common Core

Most students with IEPs receive special support during language arts and math. Find out how content area teachers help their students in special education by scaffolding instruction and carefully structuring reading, writing and discussion time.

Writing and the Common Core: Expert Insight

Top researchers on writing and literacy share their thoughts on the impact of the Common Core on writing instruction. Learn more about how the standards support informative, persuasive and narrative writing; how reading and writing together support deep comprehension; and what it means to integrate writing across the content areas.