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:
Achieve the Core.
This site includes modules for educators who are interested in learning more about and/or facilitating workshops regarding the Common Core, along with modules specifically related to ELA instruction.achievethecore.org/page/680/professional-development-list-page
1. ASCD Webinars.
ASCD’s web site includes a plethora of archived webinars, and many of these are available for free access. Here’s a sampling of the topics: “Speaking and Listening Across the Common Core”, “Addressing the Role of Text Complexity in the Common Core State Standards”, “Exceeding the Common Core Speaking Standards”, and “Practical Strategies and Implications of the Common Core States Standards on Inclusive Settings and Students with Disabilities”.www.ascd.org/professional-development/webinars/common-core-webinars.aspx
2. Marzano Training.
If your school is using the Marzano framework for teacher evaluation, this workshop (“Common Core Standards & Assessment”) presented by Robert Marzano himself may be of interest to you. The event will take place from April 29 – May 1. See the following link for more details:www.marzanoresearch.com/professional-development/workshops-conferences/common-core-standards-and-assessment-cff344
3. NJ DOE Workshops.
New Jersey educators may be interested in the New Jersey Department of Education’s professional development offerings that will be held between April 21 and June 12. Workshops range from PARCC preparation to “Writing and the Common Core”, along with other relevant seminars.education.state.nj.us/events/all
4. IRA Books/Resources.
Access the International Reading Association’s Common Core catalogue for a selection of books and resources. Offerings include titles such as Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading, Teaching K-5 Students to Meet the Reading Standards, and Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines. This catalogue also includes a seven-page guide/report: “Literacy Implementation Guidance for the ELA Common Core State Standards”.marketplace.reading.org/catalog.aspx?ID=0ee7aaec&MKTC=CCSS002
5. NCTE Webinars.
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) offers a variety of “on-demand” webinars that address timely topics for ELA educators. These webinars span Writing instruction (“Aligning the Strategies Identified in Writing Next with the Common Core”), Reading (“Close Reading: The Assessment-Instruction Connection”), Listening and Speaking (“Collaborative Conversations: Meeting Speaking and Listening Standards”), and the Common Core in general (“Addressing Common Core Standards Without Letting Them Take Over Your Curriculum”).secure.ncte.org/store/seminars-on-demand/common-core
6. Education World Articles.
Education World has a variety of articles that address both ELA skills and the Common Core. For instance, this link teaches you how to address Common Core standards within your Read Alouds (so that you can rest assured you’re addressing the Standards without feeling that you need to sacrifice this enjoyable and important classroom reading experience for your students).www.educationworld.com/a_curr/columnists/miller/miller042.shtml
Though curriculum modifications and new standardized tests have resulted in the need to change and adapt instructional practices for many teachers, know that you are not alone in feeling the pressure and stress that accompanies these shifts. The aforementioned resources, then, may make your teaching journey a smoother and more enjoyable one.