Common Core Standards

MN is one of 48 states that have adopted the common core language arts standards. (Rebel states are Texas and Alaska.) The folks at our state level added two standards to the common core in order to establish our MN 2010 ELA standards. These need to be completely addressed in classes by 2012-13. Our 2010 standards are a joint initiave of the National Governors Association, Achieve, ACT, and the College Board.

The MN LA standards page is found here: MDE

Presentations on the Common Core from the Marzano Research Labs:

Marzano proficiency scale item banks (requires a free login)

National materials are stored on this website: Nat'l Common Core ELA

When you browse the left column on this national web page, you will be able to find
  • Student writing samples
  • Text exemplars (showcasing reading levels) and sample performances tasks
by clicking on the live heading for Standard 10: range, quality, and complexity.

The Standards are not alone in calling for a special emphasis on informational text. The 2009 reading framework of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) requires a high and increasing proportion of informational text on its assessment as students advance through the grades.

Distribution of Literary and Informational Passages by Grade in the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework

(2008). Reading framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Distribution of Communicative Purposes by Grade in the 2011 NAEP Writing Framework

To Persuade
To Explain
To Convey Experience
Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2007). Writing framework for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, pre-publication edition. Iowa City, IA: ACT, Inc.

"Anchor standards" are target outcomes by the end of high school. They are broken down into age appropriate performance targets.

Math and ELA are both common core standard areas. MN didn't choose to adopt the math common core standards. A consortium for math and ELA is established (including SMARTER, and PARCC).

On Testing:
The future of the MCA Reading test looks like this right now: the new MCA reading test will come in to place in 2014. It will move away from multiple choice and towards an assessment system that includes reading, writing, speaking and listening including end of unit tests, end of quarter tests, portfolios, and teacher feedback on student writing. This is change coming at a national level.

Local Projects

Recommended Resources
  • helping struggling readers blog
  • Please check out the online tools offered at Academic Merit. Literary Companion is an amazing program to foster close-reading and vocabulary development. All of the tools in the Academic Merit suite are aligned with the rigorous expectations of the Common Core State Standards, developed by high school English teachers and focus solely on reading and writing development for studentsexternal image 107034.jpg in grades 6-12.
  • Taking Action on Adolescent Literacy chapter 5 from the ASCD website ascd
    The Bill Gates Foundation has founded a curriculum mapping project that is aligned to the national common core ELA standards. The units are designed for individual teachers, as they drill directly to the unit planning phase rather than a global picture. Go see: curriculum map examples
  • Student Interactive Options
  • Read Write Think. org
  • MN Reading Association
    MN Writing Project

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English / SS Integration tool-
Each year, the offers a people's vote on the most influential 100 documents in American History. Then, a sourcebook is produced each year that shows teachers how they could use the documents for teaching. The Our Documents booklet is available online and is supported by the History Channel (, National History Day (, USA freedom (, and the National Archives and Records Administration (
Find the booklet at

Resource: Writing Across the Curriculum booklets --> according to content areas
Published by the Michigan Deptartment of Education
- writing to learn (don't grade the writing- you just grade the content)
- writing to demonstrate what you have learned
- from NCTE- recording of presentation on school-wide culture of teaching content cd

Getting writing to happen in non-English classrooms

1. Teach what you know about writing.
2. Share and allow the strategies you use personally
3. Most departments have a recipe for their writing formats: lab report, game directions, letters to the editor. Look at several examples, figure out the patterns, and learn how to imitate the style.
4. Find a writing buddy (anybody). Ask two questions: does this make sense? Is there one thing I can do to make it better?
5. Tell science / ss teachers they don't have to grade all writing. Just look for one component.
6. Try out Kids can make their own animated comic strips. On a mac, try
7. Try This is a free site to create presentations. Use music, video, pictures, maps, and text. The music determines the tempo of the change of slides.



Movie Trailers
Voice Thread
voice thread electronic conversations

Google Maps
online posters using glogster to support multimodal literacy
google maps as literary tools
Blogs / wikispaces
Book Trailers
Youtube-enter brooklynfoundfilm teaching with blogs
How to make a book trailer
Great Graphic Novels Top Ten 2012

In addition to the full Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2012 list, the committee selected the following Top Ten titles:
  • Amir and Khalil. “Zahra’s Paradise.” First Second, 2011
  • Bendis, Brian Michael and Alex Maleev. “Scarlet.” Marvel/Icon Comics, 2011.
  • Brosgal, Vera. “Anya’s Ghost.” First Second, 2011.
  • Gladstone, Brooke, Josh Neufeld, and others. “The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media.” W. W. Norton and Company, 2011.
  • Langridge, Roger, Chris Samnee, and others.
    “Thor: The Mighty Avenger V. 1.” Marvel, 2010.
    “Thor: The Mighty Avenger V. 2.” Marvel, 2011.
  • McLeod, Kagan. “Infinite Kung Fu.” Top Shelf, 2011.
  • Mori, Kaoru. “A Bride’s Story V. 1.” Yen Press, 2011.
  • Nicolle, Malachai and Ethan Nicolle. “Axe Cop V. 1.” Dark Horse, 2011.
  • Ralph, Brian. “Daybreak.” Drawn and Quarterly, 2011.
  • Shimura, Takako. “Wandering Son V. 1.” Fantagraphics Books, 2011.

Long Beach Curriculum Outlines