Saturday, May 18, 2013

2 Solid Supports for Common Core ELA--Lesson Planning Template and Academic Vocabulary List

Vacation or not, many teachers will be setting aside time to develop lessons based on common core.  Though most states are engaged in the process of switching over to CCSS at some level, the major transformation will occur at the classroom level via the teacher.  Many teachers will be provided with some already prepared units or some sample lessons, but for the many, this will not be sufficient. Understandably, most teachers want to experience a feeling of ownership.  To experience this, they will require some tools to devise their own lessons.

To assist teachers in planning lessons, and, in the process, developing a deeper feeling of ownership in the process, this post has two great tools.  One is an  ELA lesson planning template with which CCSS ELA lessons can be easily developed.  The template contains all the basic elements of an ELA lesson.  Of course, teachers can build on it, but it is a place to start to build confidence in addressing Common Core Based ELA lessons.

Another must-have resource is the  academic vocabulary list which should be used in building literacy throughout all content classes.  Notice that though it is a list, it does not mean that teachers will be giving students isolated words to memorize one week and then forget the next.  It is tool to be used to build reading and writing skills within context.  Note the addition of prefixes, roots, and suffixes as well.  The more practice students have in working with word parts, the bigger their vocabulary base will be.  One suggestion here is teachers of different disciplines should meet regularly to plan on key vocabulary to focus on as a team.  Using this approach, students get multiple exposures to and practice in actively working with those words.  The more time spent in discovering the multiple definitions and word forms in context, the more likely those words will be permanently "etched in their brains" so to speak.


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