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Wolves in the Wild - A High School Lesson
Wolves in the Wild - A High School Lesson

As teachers, one of our most important responsibilities is to help students develop dynamic and useful views of science. Using current issues to create learning experiences can help generate student interest in science and help students appreciate its significance in both personal and societal contexts. This article presents a lesson based on news headlines related to the controversy of the reintroduction of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park. In this jigsaw-style lesson plan, students grapple with important ecological content and learn to appreciate the diverse perspectives framing this debate.

Inquiry, Argumentation, and the Phases of the Moon - A Middle School Lesson
Inquiry, Argumentation, and the Phases of the Moon - A Middle School Lesson

An important goal of the current reform movement in science education is to promote scientific literacy in the United States, and scientific inquiry is at its heart. However, the National Science Education Standards clearly indicate that to promote inquiry, more emphasis should be placed on “science as argument and explanation” rather than on science as “explanation and argument.” They also call for scientific argumentation to play a more central role in the teaching and learning of science (NRC 1996). To that end, this article describes a multiple-day, inquiry-based lesson about the phases of the Moon that engages students in scientific research and argumentation.

Green Flags and Red Flags for Mathematics Implementation
Green Flags and Red Flags for Mathematics Implementation

What does a classroom look like when it's aligned with the instructional intent of the Common Core State Standards? If this question is on your mind, the Green Flags/Red Flags documents can be used to help understand what implementing the CCSS with fidelity entails. Equally as important, these documents help you understand what a CCSS-aligned classroom would not look like. Meant to act as a guide and a blueprint for what should be included and what should be discontinued in the classroom, these documents can be used to determine patterns of implementation, provide evidence for conversations around professional growth, and for self-reflection. They are not intended for teacher evaluation.

Anchor Paper for Ancient India & China, an Informational History/Social Studies Module
Anchor Paper for Ancient India & China, an Informational History/Social Studies Module

The LDC Anchor Paper Annotation Form includes seven dimensions — Focus, Reading/Research, Controlling Idea, Development, Organization, Conventions, and Content Understanding — to evaluate student work. By evaluating student work using this rubric, teachers are able to determine in what areas a student may need more support. Here you will find several examples of teacher-reviewed student work for the module Ancient India & China.

Making a Difference in Student Achievement
Making a Difference in Student Achievement

This PCG Education white paper gives a quick overview of eight differences between CCSS-ELA standards and current state standards, and outlines actions that school and district leaders must take to unlock the potential of the CCSS for K–12 students.

Fewer, Clearer, Higher: Moving Forward with Consistent Rigorous Standards for All Students
Fewer, Clearer, Higher: Moving Forward with Consistent Rigorous Standards for All Students

This Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paper describes why the Common Core State Standards are necessary for ensuring that students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college or career and provides context for state leaders wrestling with decisions on how to implement new standards, assessments, and teaching tools.

The Next Generation Science Standards and a Focus on Physical Science
The Next Generation Science Standards and a Focus on Physical Science

This article focuses on the NGSS disciplinary core ideas in physical science, the development of those ideas across time, the importance of blending core ideas with scientific and engineering practices to build understanding, and the development of performance expectations.

Preparing America
Preparing America's 21st Century Workforce - Gates Foundation (White Paper)

This report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation surveys business executives to assess their awareness of the Common Core State Standards and examine how they view workforce issues facing America.

A Template for Open Inquiry
A Template for Open Inquiry

This article provides an instructional approach to helping students generate open-inquiry research questions, which the authors call the open-inquiry question template. This template was created based on their experience teaching high school science and preservice university methods courses. To help teachers implement this template, they describe its use in a ninth-grade Earth and space science class, in which students learn about meteorite impacts. The lesson takes place over two, 90-minute class periods.

An EduCore White Paper: The Common Core Changes Almost Everything by Michael W. Kirst
An EduCore White Paper: The Common Core Changes Almost Everything by Michael W. Kirst

This featured EduCore white paper is written by Dr. Michael Kirst, the current President of the California State Board of Education and Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford. In the paper, Dr. Kirst explains how successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards requires alignment in policy and practice. He discusses how the CCSS is more than just standards and will require a new vision for teaching and learning.

Defining and Enhancing Formative Assessment
Defining and Enhancing Formative Assessment

This article by researcher James Popham provides a comprehensive overview of formative assessment, which is essential to understanding the Classroom Challenges lessons.

Comparing CCSS in Mathematics and NCTM Focal Points
Comparing CCSS in Mathematics and NCTM Focal Points

This article compares the Common Core State Standards for mathematics to the Curriculum Focal Points of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

LDC and UbD:  Complementary Frameworks
LDC and UbD: Complementary Frameworks

With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts, educators are now charged with translating the standards into curricula and effective teaching methods. In this paper, Jay McTighe explores connections between the robust frameworks of Understanding by Design® (UbD) and The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) and suggests ways to extend the power and impact of each.

Measuring Up - A High School Lesson
Measuring Up - A High School Lesson

Students compare arm spans by measuring, graphing, and practicing important science skills. This lesson helps to incorporate mathematical standards from the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and scientific practices from the new Framework for Science Education.

The Next Generation Science Standards and the Earth and Space Sciences
The Next Generation Science Standards and the Earth and Space Sciences

This article examines the important features of Earth and space science standards for elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Cheep, Chirp, Twitter, & Whistle - An Elementary School Lesson
Cheep, Chirp, Twitter, & Whistle - An Elementary School Lesson

In this article, we describe an interdisciplinary, activity-based lesson plan implemented in a third/fourth-grade classroom. During these activities, students use musical concepts to think about, illustrate, and discuss animal behavior, and they use scientific concepts to motivate musical composition and performance.

Students for Sustainable Energy - A High School Lesson
Students for Sustainable Energy - A High School Lesson

At Montpelier High School (MHS) in Vermont, students are accustomed to making changes in their school and community. Over the last six years, MHS students have participated in the Annual Winooski River Cleanup Project, the construction of a solar-powered greenhouse that provides produce for the school’s cafeteria, and a thriving composting program used to fertilize the produce and plants grown inside the greenhouse. This article describes the sustainable energy projects that students designed during the spring semester of 2008. An overview of the project is followed by a description of the planning and implementation processes, examples of specific student energy projects, and a discussion of outcomes and lessons learned.

Anchor Paper for Zoos and Animal Welfare, an Argumentation Science Module
Anchor Paper for Zoos and Animal Welfare, an Argumentation Science Module

See how a teacher uses the seven dimensions of the LDC Anchor Paper Annotation Form (Focus, Reading/Research, Controlling Idea, Development, Organization, Conventions, Content Understanding) to evaluate student work. Examine how the rubric evaluation informs the type of feedback the teacher provides for several examples of student work in this science module

Common Standards and New Assessments for K–12
Common Standards and New Assessments for K–12

Recommendations from the National Forum convened by the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (White Paper). This white paper from the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences discusses the new assessments that will accompany the Common Core State Standards for mathematics.

Exploring the New Standards
Exploring the New Standards

How to form a study group to examine the Next Generation Science Standards, second public draft.

EQuIP Rubric
EQuIP Rubric

The Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric for science provides criteria by which to measure the alignment and overall quality of lessons and units with respect to the NGSS. The purpose of the rubric and review process is to: (1) provide constructive criterion-based feedback to developers; (2) review existing instructional materials to determine what revisions are needed; and (3) identify exemplars/models for teachers’ use within and across states.

Anchor Paper for Should Helmets Be Required?, an Argumentation Science Module
Anchor Paper for Should Helmets Be Required?, an Argumentation Science Module

Each student in your class has different strengths and areas in need of improvement, but how do you determine the type of feedback each student needs? Here you will find several student examples that a teacher assessed using the seven dimensions of the LDC Anchor Paper Annotation Form (Focus, Reading/Research, Controlling Idea, Development, Organization, Conventions, Content Understanding). See how to evaluate student work to provide the best support and enrichment.

The Next Generation Science Standards and the Life Sciences
The Next Generation Science Standards and the Life Sciences

Using the life sciences, this article first reviews essential features of the NRC Framework for K–12 Science Education that provided a foundation for the new standards. Second, the article describes the important features of life science standards for elementary, middle, and high school levels. Finally, several implications of the new standards are discussed.

Green Flags and Red Flags for ELA and Literacy Implementation
Green Flags and Red Flags for ELA and Literacy Implementation

What does a classroom look like when it's aligned with the instructional intent of the Common Core State Standards? If this question is on your mind, the Green Flags/Red Flags documents can be used to help understand what implementing the CCSS with fidelity entails. Equally as important, these documents help you understand what a CCSS-aligned classroom would not look like. Meant to act as a guide and a blueprint for what should be included and what should be discontinued in the classroom, these documents can be used to determine patterns of implementation, provide evidence for conversations around professional growth, and for self-reflection. They are not intended for teacher evaluation.

Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts
Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts' Implementation

This report from the Center on Education Policy introduces the Common Core State Standards and key findings about school districts’ implementation.

A Look at the Next Generation Science Standards
A Look at the Next Generation Science Standards

This article and the accompanying diagram provide an overview on the architecture of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Earth From Above - A High School Lesson
Earth From Above - A High School Lesson

Using free software called Google Earth, students can view Earth by hovering over features and locations they preselect or by serendipitously exploring locations that catch their fascination. This article presents a lesson in which students use Google Earth to learn basic navigation skills to effectively view images; determine distance measurements, elevations, and coordinate locations; locate and analyze images based on personal research choices; and share findings from their research with the class.

Anchor Paper for Great Expectations: Growing into a Hero, an Informational/Explanatory Module
Anchor Paper for Great Expectations: Growing into a Hero, an Informational/Explanatory Module

Take a look at several examples of student work for the Great Expectations: Growing into a Hero informational/explanatory module. See how a teacher uses the rubric to score student work using evidence from the student’s paper to determine where a student would benefit from feedback or instruction.

LDC Argumentation Module Template
LDC Argumentation Module Template

Argumentation is the ability to form reason and draw conclusions. Students who are able to build argumentation skills through reading and writing complex text are better prepared for the 21st century. Teachers can use this Word template to plan an LDC module that addresses literacy reading and writing standards for argumentation.

LDC Elementary Informational or Explanatory Module Template
LDC Elementary Informational or Explanatory Module Template

Informational or explanatory text provides students an opportunity to learn about a specific topic and is valuable for doing a job, making decisions, and accomplishing a task. Teachers can use this Word template to create LDC modules that focus on informational or explanatory writing and text.

LDC Elementary Argumentation Module Template
LDC Elementary Argumentation Module Template

Argumentation is the ability to form reason and draw conclusions. Students who are able to build argumentation skills through reading and writing complex text are better prepared for the 21st century. Teachers can use this Word template to plan an LDC module that addresses literacy reading and writing standards for argumentation.

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template
LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template

Informational or explanatory text provides students an opportunity to learn about a specific topic and is valuable for doing a job, making decisions, and accomplishing a task. Teachers can use this Word template to create LDC modules that focus on informational or explanatory writing and text.

LDC Elementary Template Tasks
LDC Elementary Template Tasks

This collection provides a first set of template tasks for implementing the LDC strategy at elementary grades 4 and 5 in ELA, social studies, and science. The LDC approach involves writing in response to reading, so templates are constructed to ensure teaching tasks engage students in instruction for both reading and writing. LDC template tasks are fill-in-the-blank “shells” built off the CCSS that allow teachers to insert the texts to be read, writing to be produced, and content to be addressed to create high-quality student assignments.

Building a Deeper Understanding of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: Arkansas Department of Education
Building a Deeper Understanding of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: Arkansas Department of Education

PPT This PowerPoint presentation from the Arkansas Department of Education provides an overview of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics.

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