Free resources to help educators implement the Common Core State Standards
The following list of resources was developed as part of the NBC News Education Nation Common Core Teacher Institute, in partnership with leading non-profits and teachers unions focused on implementing the Common Core: America Achieves, American Federation of Teachers, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, Student Achievement Partners, and the Teaching Channel.
Achieve The Core
Achieve The Core, run by Student Achievement Partners, is a website full of free content designed to help educators understand and implement the Common Core State Standards. It includes practical tools designed to help students and teachers see their hard work deliver results. achievethecore.org was created in the spirit of collaboration - the content available on the site is assembled by and for educators and is freely available to everyone to use, modify and share.
CCSS Instructional Practice Guides
The CCSS Instructional Practice Guide provides specific guidance on what the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts & Literacy look like in the classroom. It is intended to help teachers (and those who support teachers) build understanding of the CCSS and strengthen practice; it can be used for planning and self-reflection, peer-to-peer observation and feedback, and instructional coaching. There are separate guides for mathematics (K-8 and high school) and ELA/literacy (K-2, 3-5, 6-12 ELA, 6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies, and 6-12 Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects).
Basal Alignment Project Lessons (ELA/Literacy, Grades 3-5)
The Basal Alignment Project offers an online library of free revised lessons for common Basal reading series (3rd-5th grades), each carefully aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Each lesson includes quality text-dependent questions, improved tasks, and a focus on academic vocabulary. Lessons have been collaboratively authored by teams of teachers. The Basal Alignment Project builds district capacity to better align existing materials to the English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core State Standards while new CCSS-aligned materials are developed and published.
Anthology Alignment Project Lessons (ELA/Literacy, Grades 6-10)
The Anthology Alignment Project offers an online library of free revised lessons for common Anthologies (6th-10th grades), each carefully aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Each lesson includes quality text-dependent questions, improved tasks, and a focus on academic vocabulary. Lessons have been collaboratively authored by teams of teachers. The Anthology Alignment Project builds district capacity to better align existing materials to the English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core State Standards while new CCSS-aligned materials are developed and published.
America Achieves Videos
The America Achieves website helps teachers to implement the Common Core by showing videos of real classrooms and teachers demonstrating the key shifts that Common Core brings to their pedagogy. The videos provide time segments marked with tips such as, “citing text evidence” so teachers know what to look for in key parts of the lesson. The site also has free downloadable lesson resources, student work, and links to teachers analyzing their own lessons and progress in implementing Common Core.
The EQuIP (Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products) rubrics allow teachers to evaluate lessons and units that include instructional activities, assessments aligned to the CCSS, and integrated lesson sets that extend over a few class periods, days, or longer periods. By using the EQuIP rubric as a tool, teachers can build their capacity to evaluate and improve the quality of instructional materials for their classroom, and can increase the supply of high quality lessons and units aligned to the CCSS. The rubrics were designed through a collaborative process between educators in the America Diploma Project Network.
American Federation of Teachers
Share My Lesson
AFT Share My Lesson’s Common Core Free Information Center has a wealth of resources to help educators, parents, and community members better understand the Common Core State Standards. Available resources include Common Core-aligned lessons, parent letters in English and Spanish, recent news articles on the Common Core, a blog on Common Core implementation written by classroom teachers, as well as the standards themselves.
Colorín Colorado is a bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners (ELLs). It was launched 10 years ago as a collaborative project of the AFT and PBS Station WETA. Colorín Colorado recently released its Common Core State Standards and ELLs page, where users can find lesson plans, classroom videos, video interviews on preparing for the Common Core, as well as parent resources. Lesson plans and resources from the Albuquerque Common Core Project have received rave reviews and include: lesson plans for grades 1, 4, and 8 with matching classroom videos; videos interviews with participating teachers, AFT state leaders, and researchers; and background on the Project.
Illustrative Mathematics (Sample Tasks/Lessons)
Illustrative Mathematics is an initiative of the Institute for Mathematics & Education at the University of Arizona. The Illustrative Mathematics website contains hundreds of free CCSS-aligned sample problems, videos, and other resources, organized by grade, standard, and domain.
Literacy Design Collaborative
Literacy Design Collaborative
The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) offers a fresh approach to incorporating literacy into middle and high school content areas. Designed to make literacy instruction the foundation of the core subjects, LDC allows teachers to build content on top of a coherent approach to literacy. This is drastically different than past, less structured notions of “adding” reading and writing when possible to the teaching of content. The LDC work started with a small practitioner team set on addressing the intransigent challenges of adolescent literacy. Partners use the LDC framework as a common chassis to create LDC tasks, modules, and courses designed to teach students to meet Common Core literacy standards while engaging in demanding content. LDC partners and teachers are trying out the LDC strategy, sharing insights about results, proposing ways to design the LDC tools, and moving LDC to wider use. At the same time, other partners are building a set of LDC supports to help teachers in the challenging work of consistently and systemically teaching secondary students to achieve high-level literacy skills.
Math Design Collaborative
Math Design Collaborative
The Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) is a group of curriculum designers, assessment developers, professional learning specialists, and district and school networks creating resources and tools that support teachers in implementing the Common Core Math Standards. Research has shown that formative assessment is a powerful way to improve student learning and performance. This approach first allows students to demonstrate their prior understandings and abilities in employing the mathematical practices, and then involves students in resolving their own difficulties and misconceptions through structured discussion. Central to MDC are sets of Formative Assessment Lessons (FALs) or Classroom Challenges. Each set is aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and is designed to sit within CCSS-aligned courses of study. There are two types of Classroom Challenges. Concept development lessons are meant to first reveal students’ prior knowledge, then develop students’ understanding of important mathematical ideas, connecting concepts to other mathematical knowledge. Problem solving lessons are meant to assess, then develop, students’ ability to apply their mathematical knowledge and reasoning in flexibly ways to non-routine, unstructured problems – within mathematics and with real world applications.
National Education Association
Toolkit and Other Resources
This toolkit is intended to be a fully dynamic source of information on Common Core State Standards. Reviewed in its entirety, the toolkit provides general background and links to pertinent information about the CCSS, as well as practical assistance and planning. Users can download editable materials and presentations in smaller chunks that may be used in a variety of settings. Video resources have been included for individual use, as well as for sharing in larger settings. The toolkit and other resources will be updated periodically as implementation of the Standards progresses.
Teaching Channel Videos
Teaching Channel Teaching Channel is a video showcase -- on the Internet and Public Television -- of innovative and effective teaching practices in America's public schools. There are nearly 800 videos to choose from, many of which allow teachers to see the Common Core standards in action in real life classrooms. Teaching Channel’s Teacher Laureate, Sarah Brown Wessling (the 2010 National Teacher of the Year), also offers video tutorials and e-books on implementing Core basics. Supplemental resources accompany each video, and teachers can write time-stamped notes on each video to share with their colleagues. Teaching Channel also offers a live Q&A exchange so that teachers can ask any question about the Common Core and get email alerts when they get answers online.