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This page describes the learning activities presented during the Day 1 content-specific session on the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts at the 2011 Summer Institutes. The approximate time needed to introduce these activities is 3 hours. Most activities were demonstrated rather than fully completed, so the actual time to complete the following activities with teachers is likely to exceed 3 hours. Powerpoint slides from the Summer Institutes are available on the Resources page.

Introduction - Day 1
Overview of the ELA Common Core State Standards
Crosswalking with the Standards
Vertical Alignment
Close with a Cloze
Exit activity




Introduction (20 minutes)

Learning outcome: Participants will learn "who is in the room?" and assess their basic understanding of the ELA Common Core State Standards.

Logistics and Norms:
  • cell phones on silent
  • restroom breaks as needed
  • code of conduct (norms)
  • post questions and concerns on paper at individual tables or online using a backchannel
  • the Powerpoint slides from this session will be posted in the Resources page of this wiki

Backchannel:

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We used TodaysMeet as a backchannel during the Summer Institute sessions. The backchannel acts like a virtual "parking lot" or "issue bin" and gives learners the opportunity to post questions and comments.
Directions:
To access the backchannel, go to the URL for TodaysMeet and then enter your first name, last name, and LEA in the "Join" box. To post messages, click and type in the "Talk" box. Remember that anything posted to TodaysMeet is visible to other participants.

Icebreaker activity: Scrabble Slam

Materials:
Scrabble tiles or deck of cards with an individual letter on each, at least 1 tile or card per participant.
Directions:
Everyone draws a tile or card and then has to find others with letters to make a word. Members of these new "groups" should introduce themselves.

Cellphone Polling:

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We used Poll Everywhere, a web-based polling tool, as a formative assessment activity during the Summer Institute sessions. Poll Everywhere is free for audiences of 30 or less.
Directions:
Participants can respond using their cell phone to text an answer to poll questions or they may submit their answers online. The following questions were posed using PollEverywhere:
  1. I believe that the Common Core State Standards are very similar to the NC Standard Course of Study. (agree or disagree)
  2. I have studied the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. (agree or disagree)
  3. The College and Career Anchor Standards only apply to high school. (agree or disagree)

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Overview of the ELA Common Core State Standards (25 minutes)

Learning outcome: Participants will gain an understanding of the design and organization of the Common Core State Standards document.

The Overview section includes 4 parts. These include: an introduction to the College and Career Anchor Standards and the format of the Standards; Annotating the Anchors; Design & Organization FYIs; and Meet the Appendices. Refer to the powerpoint slides for additional information.

College and Career Anchor Standards

In this section, we introduce the Standards including key terms such as strand, standard, and cluster. Refer to the powerpoint slides for additional information and the Format of ELA Standards page to see how the Standards are formatted.



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Annotating the Anchors

Materials:




Directions:
Annotate the document as directed in the powerpoint slides -- circling every strand, underlining the clusters, and starring the most challenging anchor standard in each strand.

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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, download and annotate the Word or pdf document online. You may highlight, insert comments, or use other formatting and drawing tools to annotate this document.

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Design & Organization FYIs

The Design & Organization section examines the parameters of the Standards, the relationship between the ELA Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Balanced Literacy, and connections between the NC Professional Teaching Standards and the CCSS. Please refer to the powerpoint slides for additional information.

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Meet the Appendices

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Materials:



Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C

Directions:
Participants will examine and identify the contents of the three appendices and discuss ways each section can be used.

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Crosswalking with the Standards (10 minutes)

Learning outcome: Participants will recognize the rigor and specificity in the new Common Core State Standards.

Materials:




Directions:
Using Crosswalk documents and provided rubrics, please evaluate the degree of alignment between the 2004 ELA Standard Course of Study and the 2010 Common Core State Standards for ELA. The score you assign on the rubric should reflect the degree of alignment between the old and new standards. You can find additional Crosswalk documents on the NCDPI website.
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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, create an online rubric using an application like Google docs.
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Vertical Alignment (65 minutes)

Learning outcome: Participants will recognize the K-12 progression of grade level expectations for the Standards and their connection to the Anchor Standards. They will determine and compare the skill requirements between two grade levels.

The Vertical Alignment section includes 4 activities. The following Standards Progressions may be helpful in identifying how student learning progresses over time.







Readers Theater

Materials:
11 performers
Readers' Theater script


Directions:
Introduce Reader's Theater to the group. Provide an overview of reader's theatre and how it is useful in literacy instruction. Give selected participants (performers) their identified role (i.e. a specific K-12 grade). After all the roles have been identified, participants should read through the script to ensure that roles are clear. Each performer will read aloud their grade or grade-span components of the ELA CCSS, (Reading Literature Standard number one). Provide time for performers to rehearse reading the script together. Have the performers read the script in front of the group. The role of the audience is to focus on the commonalities and differences of what each performer says. After the reading, discuss the findings (discoveries) from the whole group.
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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, performers may reference the script in a digital format rather than a print version.
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Grow a Standard

Materials:
one set of puzzle pieces for each small group



Directions:
Working in small groups, participants will use puzzle pieces to align the standard (Speaking and Listening, Standard 3) in sequential order from kindergarten to grade 5 or grade 6 to 12. Use the CCR Anchor Standard as a guide. Refer to the powerpoint slides to see the correct sequence for these Standards.
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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, create the puzzle pieces in a format for use with an interactive white board.
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Looking Deeper

Materials:



Directions:
Participants will examine the Reading Standard for Literature and the Reading Standard for Informational Texts to identify the changes from grade to grade. Using one of the documents provided above, participants will mark the changes at each grade level (looking for what is different). After marking changes on each standard, revisit standards side by side and then turn & talk about the different expectations for students from one grade level to the next and how this can support differentiation.
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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, open the Word or pdf document, the mark grade level changes using the comments feature, highlighting, drawing, or annotation tools.
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Reflection on Vertical Alignment

Materials:
sticky notes (post-its) or an online sticky note tool like Wallwisher or Lino.it

Directions:
Participants should respond to one or more of the following questions:
  • How does vertical alignment speak to classroom instruction?
  • What other ways can you use vertical alignment?
  • How does vertical alignment help teachers understand where scaffolding might be needed as they assist ALL students in accessing the content?
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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, create a "wall" using an online tool like Wallwisher where participants can post their responses. An example of a Wallwisher wall used during the 2011 Summer Institutes is available.
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Close with a Cloze

Learning outcome: Participants will identify the purpose of the CCSS anchors and the benefits of the cloze strategy.

Materials:
cloze reading selection


cloze reading answers



Directions:
Using a passage from the introduction of the CCSS that discusses the role of the Anchor Standards, read the selection, and then fill in the blanks on the cloze form. You may work collaboratively with your table group to finalize the appropriate word for each blank space on the document. After completing the activity you may check your answers using the answer form.
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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, create an interactive form. An example of an interactive cloze form used at the Summer Institutes, created using HotPotatoes, is available by clicking on the link below.

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Exit activity

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3x3 Share-out
In this formative assessment activity, participants will share the 3 most important things they learned with other learners and session leaders.

Materials:
3x5 index cards

Directions:
Distribute one card to each participant. Each will reflect on their learning from Day 1 and then record 3 important things learned today on their card. After recording their ideas, participants will share their responses with 3 other participants. As the session ends, participants turn in their cards to the presenter(s). The index card will be the "ticket out of the door".
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To differentiate this activity for the 1:1 environment, poll learners using clickers (student response system clickers) or cell phones OR create and share a Google form for learners to use in providing feedback.
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