A poet recently worked with some fourth- and fifth-grade students to teach them how to write and understand poetry using the work of Native Americans. After some initial skepticism, students wrote and shared their poetry with peers, with some poems chosen for publication in an anthology.
Educators teaching in co-taught classrooms will need to consider how co-teaching models can support implementation of the Common Core State Standards, special-education teacher Elizabeth Stein writes in this blog post. She describes examples of how three co-teaching strategies can work to support deeper learning under the standards. For instance, station teaching involves breaking the class into two groups and having each teacher work on a separate lesson.
Northwest Local Schools in Ohio has created a separate middle-school course, called Fifth Core, by adding 30 minutes to English courses. Developed in response to the Common Core State Standards, the course will be taught by English, social studies and science teachers, with a focus on teaching middle-school students how to research and write papers. "These new standards require our kids to do research, to look up sources and think about them, make an opinion and put it in writing in a clear way," said Mark Farmer, assistant superintendent.
The Common Core State Standards can be used to help teach English-language learners, but the role of teachers will change, according to one of several responses to a question posed on social studies teacher Larry Ferlazzo's blog. Julie Dermody, a member of the Teachers Leaders Network, writes that the role of ELL teachers changes with the common core to focus on "teaching students content, academic language and the literacy strategies needed to access that content."
Sharon E. Davison, a kindergarten teacher at Allen Brook School in Williston, Vt., has been using blogging to teach her students for about four years. The effects have been overwhelmingly positive, Davison writes in this blog post, helping students build relationships, receive feedback and learn about digital citizenship. Davison writes that her students also are eager to share their blogs, helping them learn how to write for an audience and develop their self-esteem.