Confidently Meet the Common Core State Standards for ELA in Your K-5 Classroom

PETERBOROUGH, N.H., Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have significantly changed the way that educators must teach English Language Arts in the classroom. The basic goal to prepare students for the 21st century through the four English language strands – reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language—all have a meaningful impact on how a teacher integrates technology, assigns homework, introduces curricula, and assesses students.

Staff Development for Educators (SDE)'s new online course on Common Core Standards for English Language Arts K-5 strives to alleviate some of the anxiety educators face when trying to integrate the standards into the classroom, speak knowledgeably with parents, and position students for success.

In this course, both new and veteran educators alike will benefit from exploring the essential elements of the standards (including strands, anchor standards, and grade articulations), outlining the goals of the English Language Arts standards, and developing literacy plans for their classroom. While comprehensively covering how to help students best succeed under the standards, the course also contains numerous easy-to-use, practical examples of CCSS-aligned lessons that can be implemented almost immediately.

"The Common Core State standards bring some significant changes to how we talk about and teach reading and writing in elementary school," said Tom Schiele, Senior Editor for English Language Arts at SDE. "A greater emphasis on informational text, close reading, and research are among the important shifts in instruction – Common Core Standards for English Language Arts helps educators identify new tools, confidently assess student abilities, and make the CCSS come alive in the classroom."  

The course is led by nationally-recognized education authority Katie McKnight, an expert in the CCSS and assessment. McKnight has more than 20 years of teaching experience and is the author of nine books that offer strategies for engaging learners in reading and writing. She brings an energy and practicality to her courses, with extensive knowledge of both PARCC and Smarter Balanced.

The course includes a thorough exploration of the 10 anchor standards for reading and how their goals are articulated for each grade level in K-5, with a focus on text complexity in particular. Attention to foundational reading skills and informational text, complete with guided reading and close reading techniques, are highlighted. Complete coverage of writing, correlating speaking and listening anchor standards to comprehension, collaboration, and presentation of ideas, and a focus on how students acquire and use vocabulary round out coverage of the standards.

One of the most critical pieces of the CCSS for ELA is its application across the curriculum. McKnight presents easy and effective ways to apply the standards to science, math, social studies, and arts classes.

McKnight's familiarity and expertise with assessments and the two assessment consortia PARCC and Smarter Balanced, create a tremendous benefit for course enrollees. She offers numerous formative assessment strategies that can be implemented throughout lessons and units, and provides suggestions for lesson plans that align to the CCSS goals, meet the needs of individual students, and help educators exercise control over the assessments used in the classroom.

Staff Development for Educators is America's leading provider of professional development for PreK through Grade 12 educators. SDE believes that educators have the most important job in the world. That's Through Onsite PD, PD Events, Web-based PD, and PD Resources, the company empowers teachers and administrators across the country with ongoing professional development that is not only research-based, innovative, and rigorous, but also practical, motivating, and fun. All SDE training is presented by the nation's top authors and educational experts, with the goal of creating extraordinary classrooms that prepare students for the evolving demands of the 21st century.

Common Core Standards for English Language Arts K-5 is offered each month and runs for six weeks. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. Educators will have access to all lessons until the course ends. Upcoming sessions begin on February 19th, March 19th, April 16th, and May 21st. To find out more information about this course or other online courses offered by SDE, visit

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Michelle Reed
Staff Development for Educators 

SOURCE Staff Development for Educators


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