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Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner, Grades K-5
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Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner, Grades K-5
English Language Arts Strategies



March 2013 | 232 pages | Corwin

The strategies you need to teach common standards to diverse learners

The elementary years are a critical opportunity to help students of all backgrounds meet the demands of the Common Core Standards. In this realistic, thorough book, Maria Dove and Andrea Honigsfeld show how to help every K-5 student, including English Learners, students with disabilities, speakers of nonstandard English, and other struggling learners, meet the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA).

Educators will find an adaptable approach that ensures all students develop lasting language skills. This resource

  • Familiarizes readers with each of the Common Core's 32 ELA anchor standards
  • Outlines the specific skills that students need to master each standard
  • Presents a wealth of flexible teaching strategies and instructional tools aligned to each anchor standard 
  • Includes guidance on collaboration and co-teaching for student success

Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner is the standards-based ELA resource that elementary teachers have been waiting for!

"Each anchor standard in all five domains is fully explained with practical, engaging activities that can add fun and learning to any classroom. Readers will feel supported and energized for the challenges ahead, with a toolkit for meeting the needs of all learners."
—Elizabeth Gennosa, English/AIS Teacher
Sagamore Middle School, Holtsville, NY

"Here's a resource that will make your teaching life easier and support those learners in your classroom who worry you the most."
—Dolores Hennessy, Reading Specialist
Hill and Plain School, New Milford, CT

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Introduction
Who Are Our Not So Common Learners?

 
The Standards Movement

 
Common Core Advances

 
Application of the Common Core to Address Individual Differences

 
Student Diversity and Teacher Challenges

 
What Is Not Covered in the Common Core Document

 
Focus on Research-Based Strategies to Address Learning Needs

 
 
2. Strategies for Academic Language Development
Why Diverse Learners Need Explicit Instruction in Academic Language?

 
Core Language and Vocabulary Strategies

 
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

 
Knowledge and Application of Language

 
Conventions of Standard English

 
Anticipated Outcomes

 
Instructional Challenges

 
Promising Classroom Practices

 
Common Core Standards—(Un)Common Reflection Questions

 
Key Resources

 
 
3. Reading Strategies for Literature
Why Teaching Diverse Learners Reading Strategies Promotes Comprehension of Literary Texts

 
Core Reading Strategies

 
Key Ideas and Details

 
Craft and Structure

 
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

 
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

 
Anticipated Outcomes

 
Instructional Challenges

 
Promising Classroom Practices

 
Common Core Standards—(Un)Common Reflection Questions

 
Key Resources

 
 
4. Reading Strategies for Informational Texts
Why Teaching Diverse Learners Reading Strategies Promotes Comprehension of Informational Texts

 
Core Reading Strategies

 
Key Ideas and Details

 
Craft and Structure

 
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

 
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

 
Anticipated Outcomes

 
Instructional Challenges

 
Promising Classroom Practices

 
Common Core Standards—(Un)Common Reflection Questions

 
Key Resources

 
 
5. Reading Foundational Skills
Why Explicit Instruction in Basic Literacy Skills is Necessary?

 
Core Reading Strategies

 
Print Concepts

 
Phonological Awareness

 
Phonics and Word Recognition

 
Fluency

 
Anticipated Outcomes

 
Instructional Challenges

 
Promising Classroom Practices

 
Common Core Standards—(Un)Common Reflection Questions

 
Key Resources

 
 
6. Writing Strategies
Why Explicit Strategy Instruction Improves the Writing of Diverse Learners

 
Core Writing Strategies

 
Text Types and Purposes

 
Production and Distribution of Writing

 
Research to Build and Present Knowledge

 
Range of Writing

 
Anticipated Outcomes

 
Instructional Challenges

 
Promising Classroom Practices

 
Common Core Standards—(Un)Common Reflection Questions

 
Key Resources

 
 
7. Speaking and Listening Strategies
Why Speaking and Listening Skills Improve the Overall Academic

 
Development of Diverse Learners

 
Core Speaking and Listening Strategies

 
Comprehension and Collaboration

 
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

 
Anticipated Outcomes

 
Instructional Challenges

 
Promising Classroom Practices

 
Common Core Standards—(Un)Common Reflection Questions

 
Key Resources

 
 
8. Key to Successful Implementation: Collaborative Strategies
Why Collaborative Practices Help Meet the Common Core

 
Core Collaborative Strategies

 
Instructional

 
Curriculum Mapping and Alignment

 
Joint Instructional Planning

 
Parallel Teaching

 
Co-developing Instructional Materials

 
Collaborative Assessment

 
Co-teaching

 
Noninstructional

 
Joint Professional Development

 
Teacher Research

 
Joint Parent-Teacher Conferences and Report Card Writing

 
Planning, Facilitating, and Participating in Extracurricular Activities

 
Anticipated Outcomes

 
Challenges

 
Common Core Collaborations—(Un)Common Reflection Questions

 
Key Resources

 
 
References
 
Index

"No stone was left unturned in this text. All the best researchers and practitioners are included in this clear, succinct guide which unpacks the Standards and gives outstanding suggestions for best literacy practice. Each anchor standard in all five domains is fully explained with practical, engaging activities that can add fun and learning to any classroom. Readers will feel supported and energized for the challenges ahead, with a toolkit for meeting the needs of all learners."

Elizabeth Gennosa, English/AIS Teacher
Sagamore Middle School, Holtsville, NY

"Here's a resource that will make your teaching life easier and support those learners in your classroom who worry you the most. This book is full of great strategies based on research and aligned with the Common Core. Strategies at your fingertips to provide you with less stress and worry, plus you will have students who are meeting with success."

Dolores Hennessy, Reading Specialist
Hill and Plain School, New Milford, CT

"This book provides timely, practical assistance for addressing the needs of our unique learners during this time of rigorous standards-based instruction. One can use these samples and ideas immediately in his/her K-5 classroom!"

Catherine Alaimo Stickney, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Ashland Public Schools, Ashland, MA

"Here's a book that can help teachers and administrators alike to meet the pressing need we all have to increase our repertoire of practical, research-supported strategies, if we are to enable all learners to meet the challenging requirements embedded in the new Common Core Standards. Dove and Honigsfeld's book is timely and immensely user friendly. We will absolutely not be able to "do" the Common Core on our own; Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner, Grades K-5 will serve us well as a partner in enhancing our professional practice in ways that will support all of our students, not just those who have been targeted as high needs."

Joan Daly-Lewis, President
jdl Socratic Solutions, Jefferson, NY

"Andrea and Maria have the unique gift of interpreting the research and translating into action for teachers. In this book, they outline in easy to understand language the instructional practices teachers need to engage in when implementing the Common Core with the 'not so common learners'. They have taken Collaboration to a new level of understanding for teachers who teach the 'not so common learner' and who want to take their English Learners to high levels of critical thinking and language development in the implementation of the Common Core."

Maria Montalvo-Balbed, Program Director for ELL Programs
Metro RESA, Smyra, GA

"The strength of this book is in its organization. It not only addresses the key shifts of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, but is organized to the level of the anchor standards, which are further broken down into strand-specific sets. It doesn’t just talk about the Standards, but rather offers essential solutions to K-5 teachers on how to achieve them with diverse learners. Finally, a how-to book that is worth its weight in gold!"

Susan Lafond, NBCT, ESL teacher, Advocate
Common Core State Standards Initiative K-12 Standards Development Team

"Though this book focuses on implementing the CORE standards with diverse learners, it really extends beyond to promote a schoolwide 'growth mindset' for an inclusive and collaborative service delivery model - a model which sees ELLs and other at-risk learners for what they can do with instructional support. This is a very practical handbook for elementary teachers and schools."

Virginia P. Rojas, ASCD Faculty

"If you want to know how to help the diverse learners in your classroom meet the Common Core Standards, Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner is a must-read book."

Judie Haynes, co-author of The Essential Guide for Educating Beginning English Learners

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