Common Core State Standards for ELA : Professional Development Modules
Module 2: Shifts and Alignment
Information about what alignment means and resources to help you align your curriculum and practices to the CCSS. After developing an initial understanding of the materials and concepts in the Common Core State Standards, this module will help educators unpack the standards, determine whether their current practices and resources match the CCSS, and where they may have gaps in curriculum and strategies for implementation.
WEBINAR: Issues of Alignment: Common Core State Standards in Maine (Originally presented 6/15/11)
The Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math have been adopted by the Maine Legislature. Full transition to these standards is expected by the 2014/2015 school year. In an effort to support the transitioning work, MDOE ELA Specialists Patsy Dunton and Lee Anne Larsen have prepared this presentation, which explores the topic of alignment to standards, provides definitions of what it means to be aligned, and suggests methods for determining degree of alignment in your school or classroom. Several resources for supporting curriculum work and standards transition are offered.
Click here to view a recording of the presentation. (Flash* / Approximately 63 minutes)
Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation used in this webinar. (PPT)
Shifts in Practice
Webinar: MLR to CCSS
Although the standards documents themselves present very similar content, implementation requires shifts in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
To better understand what the shifts are for ELA, view a brief presentation about the six shifts. (Flash* / Approximately 7.5 minutes)
Planning Template for ELA Shifts (PDF) - Planning template for professional development.
The Common Core State Standards present significant shifts in understanding about how standards function, including integration or relativity between strands and content areas. This document provides direction to explore both the shifts and the concept of integration. Shifts and Integration (MS Word).
Determining complexity is a primary concern of initial implementation efforts. Students must have the opportunity to read texts of appropriate and consistently increasing complexity. Complexity levels developed in accordance with Common Core State Standards reflect a staircase relative to development. Within each level (or grade band) is a span which represents what a student should be able to comprehend independently and the “stretch” reaching for the next band. Curriculum should include texts across the band for each grade level and ensure that instruction and tasks are also consistently increasing in complexity.
- The Council of Chief State School Officers published the following report about complexity research: Measures of Text Difficulty: Testing Their Predictive Value for Grade Levels and Student Performance - PDF
- NEW - August 2012 Appendix A Supplemental Information: New Research on Text Complexity - PDF
Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy K-2 : these criteria are designed to guide publishers and curriculum developers as they work to ensure alignment with the CCSS - PDF
Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy 3-12 : these criteria are designed to guide publishers and curriculum developers as they work to ensure alignment with the CCSS - PDF
Webinar: Measures of Complexity and Implications for Instruction (Originally presented 5/14/12)
Complexity is one of the major shift areas for transitioning to the Common Core State Standards. Educators responsible for students in fourth grade through high school will gain an understanding of how defining complexity has significant impact when “unpacking” standards and realigning curriculum maps. This webinar explains the three-part complexity model described in the Common Core State Standards, Appendix A. Various tools currently available are shared, and strategies for approaching the CCSS shift through a complexity focus are presented. A separate session with an early elementary focus will be presented at a later time.
Click here to view the recorded presentation. (Flash* / Approximately 84 minutes)
Tools and Resources to Support an Understanding of Complexity
Understanding Text Complexity
Each of the following links provides information about the three considerations which inform the determination of text complexity.
- Complexity Analysis of Literary Text - PDF | MS Word
- Complexity Analysis of Informational Text - PDF | MS Word
- Qualitative Dimensions of Text Complexity - PDF | MS Word
- Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity - PDF | MS Word
- Reader and Task Measures of Text Complexity - PDF | MS Word
Tools to Determine the Complexity of Texts
Working collaboratively with specialists in several states, the following tools were developed as a protocol for determining the level of complexity of text and placing that text in the appropriate grade/grade band. When the template is printed on large paper, it takes on the appearance of a placemat and has thus been dubbed the Placemat Protocol.
- Text Complexity Analysis Template - MS Word
- Annotated Text Complexity AnalysisTemplate - MS Word
- Text Complexity Qualitative Measures Rubrics - literary texts and informational texts (Both MS word)
- Reader and Task Considerations - MS Word: the placemat protocol should lead to instructional decisions based on students, curriculum, and the learning context.
- Text Complexity Bookmark - PDF: a quick, small reminder of the dimensions of complexity
You may want to begin by comparing your texts to those listed in Appendix B. Click here for a graphic organizer to help you evaluate your complexity alignment. (PDF)
- Remarks on the Assassination of MLK by Robert F. Kennedy - PDF | MS Word
- Thank You Ma'am by Langston Hughes - PDF | MS Word
- Katie's Trunk by Ann Turner - MS Word
- My Feet by Aliki - MS Word
- Work in Colonial America by Mark Turner - MS Word
Letters from An American Farmer by H.S.J. Crevecoeur - MS Word
The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne - MS Word
Quilt of a Country by Anna Quindlen - MS Word
Four Freedoms by Franklin Delano Roosevelt - MS Word
Standards in Context
The following activities lead you through a process of understanding the standards in context: horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, connecting to information and resources in the appendices, and using other relevant supporting information to build content comprehension. While we have not presented an activity for every one of the 32 ELA standards, we have provided several organizers of selected standards for you to study and a blank template. We are also presenting a couple of examples of possible responses as models.
Do not be concerned if the activity begins with a look at a standard outside your grade level. It is provided simply as a starting point; you will be taken to your grade level during the process. As you do the unpacking of an individual standard, remember to identify gaps in your knowledge and in your curriculum. Once you have identified your gaps or priority transition topics, determine how to fill those gaps.
Sample Completed Task
Cognitive demand refers to the expectation of student thinking relative to standards, instruction, and assessment.
In Maine, we often use the model of cognitive demand called Depth of Knowledge (DOK) developed by Dr. Norman Webb at the University of Wisconsin.
Read more about Depth of Knowledge for Four Content Areas (PDF) Norman L. Webb (2002)
Click here to view the archived webinar: Cognitive Demand and Constructed Responses - Reading (Originally presented 3/2/11)
(Flash* / Approximately 80 minutes) View or download a printable version of the presentation. (PDF)
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