A Non-Freaked Out Guide to Teaching the Common Core: Using the 32 Literacy Anchor Standards to Develop College- and Career-Ready Students

A Non-Freaked Out Guide to Teaching the Common Core: Using the 32 Literacy Anchor Standards to Develop College- and Career-Ready Students

by Dave Stuart Jr.


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Implement the Common Core for ELA without all the stress

A Non-Freaked Out Guide to Teaching the Common Core uses the often-neglected anchor standards to get to the heart of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)—teaching students the skills they need to be college and career ready. Each anchor standard is broken down into its key points, and a discussion of each anchor standard's central purpose helps outline the context for each required skill. This easy-to-read guide gives educators the kind of clear explanations, examples, and strategies they need to feel comfortable teaching the CCSS, and shows how CCSS skills can be integrated into virtually any existing lesson plan.

Getting a firm grasp of the anchor standards is the quickest way to start teaching the key concepts of the CCSS, and this user-friendly guide is designed to pave the way for both the first-time teacher and the experienced pro.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118952269
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 09/29/2014
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 347,179
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

DAVE STUART JR. teaches English and world history in Cedar Springs, Michigan. He also writes a popular blog on teaching the Common Core State Standards, called Teaching the Core (www.teachingthecore.com). With over ten thousand monthly readers, Dave’s blog has been a beacon of light for teachers who refuse to freak out about the Common Core. He also speaks and gives workshops on literacy instruction, and he has served as an adjunct professor at Aquinas College.

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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

About the Author xix

Introduction 1

An Epic Journey Beckons 1

A Sword for Your Quest 2

This Book Is Like a Taco 3

A Final Note before Diving In 5


CHAPTER 1: What Is the Central, Burning Question of the Common Core State Standards? 9

What’s an Anchor Standard? 10

Why Call Them “Anchors”? 11

Why Not Just Use the Grade-Specific Standards? 11

CHAPTER 2: The Common Core’s Broadest Answer to Its Central, Burning Question 13

Demonstrate Independence 14

Build Strong Content Knowledge 14

Respond to Task, Audience, Purpose, and Discipline 15

Comprehend as Well as Critique 15

Value Evidence 16

Use Technology Strategically and Capably 16

Come to Understand Other Perspectives and Cultures 17


Read Closely 21

Determine Literal, Explicit Meaning 23

Make Logical Inferences 23

Support Conclusions with Textual Evidence 24

RCCR2 26

Decide on What’s Central 26

Pull Apart How That Central Thing Is Developed 27

Summarize the Text 28

RCCR3 30

How Do Individuals, Events, or Ideas Develop and Interact over the Course of a Text? 30

Why Do Individuals, Events, or Ideas Develop and Interact over the Course of a Text? 31

RCCR4 33

Interpret Words and Phrases 33

Analyze Word Choice 35

RCCR5 38

Structure and Interconnectedness in Novels 38

Structure and Interconnectedness in Articles 39

Structure and Interconnectedness in Poems 40

Structure and Interconnectedness in Primary Source Documents 41

Structure and Interconnectedness in Textbooks 42

RCCR6 43

Point of View 43

Purpose 44

How Do Point of View and Purpose Shape Literary Texts? 44

How Do Point of View and Purpose Shape an Informational Text? 45

RCCR7 47

Evaluate Content 47

Evaluate Diverse Content 48

Integrate It All 49

RCCR8 51

Delineating an Argument: Four Key Parts 51

Evaluating an Argument 52

RCCR9 54

Read Related Texts 54

Read Related Texts to Build Knowledge 55

Read Related Texts to Compare Authorial Approaches 56

RCCR10 57

Read and Comprehend Grade-Appropriate Complex Texts 57

Profi ciently Read Both Informational and Literary Texts 62


Why Is Argumentative Writing First? 67

So, What’s an Argument, According to the Common Core? 68

Make a Claim about a Substantive Topic or Text 69

Support That Claim with Relevant and Sufficient Evidence 70

Tie It All Together with Valid Reasoning 71

WCCR2 75

How Does the Common Core Defi ne Informative/Explanatory Texts? 75

What Genres Fall under the Umbrella Genre of Informative/Explanatory Writing? 76

How Does Informative/Explanatory Writing Differ from Argumentative Writing? 77

Select, Organize, and Analyze Content 78

Maintain Accuracy and Clarity 78

WCCR3 80

How Does the Common Core Define Narrative Writing? 80

Develop Real or Imagined Experiences 81

Use Well-Chosen Details 81

Use Well-Structured Event Sequences 82

Use Effective Technique 82

How Should the Three Common Core Modes of Writing Be Balanced? 82

WCCR4 85

Task 85

Audience 86

Purpose 86

WCCR5 88

The Not-So-Sexy Parts of the Writing Process 88

Plan 88

Revise 89

Edit 90

Rewrite or Try a New Approach 90

WCCR6 92

“We Bought iPads, and Now We’re Common Core Aligned!”  92

Produce and Publish Writing with Technology 93

Interact and Collaborate with Others through Technology 96

WCCR7 99

Conduct Research Projects of Varying Length 99

Focus Your Research Questions 100

Demonstrate Newfound Understandings 101

WCCR8 103

Gather Relevant Info from Multiple Sources 103

Assess the Credibility and Accuracy of Sources 104

Integrate Information without Plagiarizing 105

WCCR9 107

Back Up Stuff with Evidence 107

WCCR10 109

Write Like Crazy 109

Write for Lots of TAPs 110


Come to Conversations Prepared 115

Converse Effectively with Anyone on the Planet 116

Build on Others’ Ideas and Clearly, Persuasively Express Your Own 116

SLCCR2 119

How Do I Integrate Information from a Given Source? 119

When Do I Integrate Information from a Given Source? 120

SLCCR3 122

What Are the Strengths and Limitations of This Speaker’s Point of View? 122

What Are the Strengths and Limitations of This Speaker’s Use of Evidence and Reasoning? 123

What Are the Strengths and Limitations of This Speaker’s Use of Rhetoric? 124

SLCCR4 125

Begin with TAP 125

Create a Presentation That Listeners Can Follow 126

SLCCR5 129

Strategic Use 129

 of Digital Media and Visual Displays of Data 129

SLCCR6 132

Adapt for Context 132

Demonstrate Formal English When Appropriate 132


A Note on the Intertwining Nature of LCCR1–3 137

Grammar and Usage: The Focus of LCCR1 139

LCCR2 141

Capitalize Correctly 141

Punctuate Perfectly 141

Spell Superbly 142

LCCR3 143

Using the Grade-Specifi c Requirements to Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Anchor 143

How Does Language Function in Different Contexts? 144

How Do I Use Language to Communicate and Comprehend Effectively? 145

LCCR4 146

Use Context Clues 146

Analyze Word Parts 146

Use References 147

LCCR5 148

Meaning One Thing, Saying Another 148

LCCR6 150

Effectively Acquire and Use a Range of General Academic and Domain-Specific Vocabulary 150

Independently and Strategically Gather Knowledge When Faced with an Important Unknown Word 152

CONCLUSION: One Non–Freaked Out Approach to Implementing the Standards 155

Regularly Grapple with Grade-Level Complex Texts 156

Go Big on Argument 157

Ensure That Every Student Speaks, Every Day 157

Write Like Crazy 158

Teach Grit and Self-Control 159

What Will You Start With? 160

APPENDIX: All Anchors on a 2-Page Spread 162

Works Cited 164

Index 168

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