Spring and Summer Professional Development Opportunities for ELA Teachers By Julie C. Lyons

Professional development resources for ELA educators

With all of the changes that the Common Core has ushered in, keeping up professionally has been extremely difficult for most teachers during the school year. However, many teachers use the summer months for professional reading, reflecting on past practices, and planning new and improved lessons and activities for the upcoming school year: with that in mind, take a moment to check out the opportunities that are available to ELA educators this summer:
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A Review of Sample Questions Released by PARCC: Implications for English Language Arts/Literacy

The upcoming PARCC assessment for ELA will continue to ask students to read passages, answer follow-up questions, and complete writing tasks. However, with this new generation of standardized tests, the format and complexity of those questions will be taken to a new level.
PARCC sample question review
This week we will look at one portion of the ELA assessment – the section that focuses on narrative writing (following the reading of a fictional passage) for Grade 6. While this set of samples is grade-specific, the rationale in creating the questions, the format, and the prerequisite technological skills is universal, regardless of the grade. Three key shifts in the PARCC for ELA are as follows… Continue reading

A Closer Look At the Common Core State Standards: A Middle School ELA Teacher’s Perspective – Julie Lyons

Transition to the Common Core

Change. The word strikes fear into some educators, while others view it as a welcome breath of fresh air. Teachers are sometimes accused of resisting change, and while that may be true to a certain extent for some, I believe that much of that anxiety results from a fear of the unknown. While it’s true that change takes time and patience, it is important to note that the change we are currently involved in – making the transition to the Common Core – still finds parallels between previous state standards and the new standards.
A Closer Look At the Common Core State Standards: A Middle School ELA Teacher’s Perspective
As a 6th grade teacher in New Jersey, there are definite similarities between the former New Jersey State Standards and the Common Core. Along with those similarities, there are also some differences – especially with respect to the organization of the standards and the level of specificity. Let’s take a closer look at the areas of Reading, Writing, and Language at the sixth grade level… Continue reading