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On Common Ground with Common Core. Tanya Dean Jennie Smith Mindy Watson Oncommongroundwithcommoncore.wikispaces.com. Good Science and Social Studies Curriculum Includes… .

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On common ground with common core

On Common Ground with Common Core

Tanya Dean

Jennie Smith

Mindy Watson


Good science and social studies curriculum includes
Good Science and Social Studies Curriculum Includes…

  • Essentialtopics and standards taught, divided by unit and grading period (common pacing and depth)

  • SELECTED textbook pages (not the whole book or all of every chapter) aligned with units and topics

  • 35 plus supplementary or primarysource documents, including current magazine and news articles to be read and discussed in class

  • Prepared interactive lectures in each unit to reinforce or supplemental textbook

  • End of unit papers and essays

  • Routine use of Close Reading

Interactive lectures
Interactive Lectures

  • Focus is on the teacher’s words and directions

  • Students take part in LOTS of pair-sharing, note taking and quick writing

    The key…

    Checking for Understanding as you go!

    Stopping points allow teachers to formatively monitor and assess learning (and on-task behavior by calling on random students and walking around the room to listen and review their notes.

  • Begin with an anticipatory set (a “hook”)

    • Question or link to previous learning to establish purpose and stimulate curiosity (in the form of an argument)

    • Student respond to the question by writing or talking in pairs and teacher selects students to check for understanding before moving on

  • Five Minute Limit- The teacher talks no more than 5 minutes because students need time to process

    • Students can review their notes and add new insights or connections

    • Summarizing their learning in the last segment of the lecture

    • Pairing up to compare or contrast notes, perceptions and connections

  • Close Reading of text

Classroom instruction
Classroom Instruction

  • All work is done in class, in stages with the teacher MODELING and CHECKING for understanding multiple times

    • Provide checklists and exemplars for students

  • Brief writing are not always handed in

    • The teacher checking for understanding and giving credit for adequate completion of the task

  • English has the primary responsibility for teaching students the finer elements of writing. Content is our main focus here.

  • 10-12 mini papers per year (Paragraphs)

    • Based on readings and lectures

    • Constitute most of the unit assessment

    • All done in class in an open book environment

  • One unit paper per unit

    • Include some independent research (including specified number of articles

    • Higher expectations for length and quality

    • 2-5 pages long (800 words = middle school; 2,100 words = high school)

Close reading
Close Reading

  • Read

  • Think

  • Make connections

Backward planning
Backward Planning

  • Select the task.

  • Choose the pieces.

  • Determine sequencing and necessary content.

  • Create mini-lessons.

7 th grade history cold war era and after
7th Grade HistoryCold War Era and After

Time Period: 4th 9 weeks


World politics and economics


World conflicts

Women’s opportunities

Units Covered:

Political and economic ideologies of the US and Soviet Union (2 weeks)

Spread of Communism (1 weeks)

Collapse of the Soviet Union and Communist governments (2 weeks)

Ongoing conflicts in the Middle East (2 weeks)

Social, economic, and political opportunities for women (2 weeks)

Task: After researching the Cold War and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, write an essay which argues your position on America’s involvement during both of these conflicts. Give your informed but personal evaluation that explains why you think America should or should not have been involved in each of these conflicts. Your essay must be at least 800 words in length.

Cold war era lesson sample
Cold War Era Lesson Sample

  • Anticipatory Set: Listen to and excerpt from President Truman’s Congressional address. What do you notice about how President Truman speaks? Do you think this was effective for what he was trying to accomplish? Why or why not?

    ** The Truman Doctrine arose from a speech delivered by President Truman before a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947. The immediate cause for the speech was a recent announcement by the British Government that, as of March 31, it would no longer provide military and economic assistance to the Greek Government in its civil war against the Greek Communist Party. Truman asked Congress to support the Greek Government against the Communists. He also asked Congress to provide assistance for Turkey, since that nation, too, had previously been dependent on British aid.

  • Interactive Lecture: More in-depth notes about the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan (reasons for them, causes and effects of them, etc.)

  • Close Read: The Marshall Plan documents

  • Discussion: Students pair-share their notes from close read while adding new insights and observations. The teacher monitors the discussions while walking around the room and guides students if needed.

Ancient civilizations lesson
Ancient Civilizations Lesson

Time: PASS Review

General Explanation: Using butcher paper, students will complete the chart below. They can use words, pictures cut from magazines or other media sources, or any other materials to fill in the chart. As the teacher goes over the chart, students must explain why they chose the materials they did to fill in each column.

After pass
After PASS…

  • Students will brainstorm what they think is important for a good civilization based on their knowledge (chart their brainstorming).

  • Students create symbols for each of the important characteristics on the chart. They will also come up with a name for their new civilization.

  • Students will decorate a clay pot with the symbols for their civilization and then break the pot apart into large chunks.

  • Each class will switch clay pots and evaluate their peer’s pots deciding what characteristics were important to the tribe based on the designs and other clues.

  • The classes will then write back to the new civilization using a RAFT model.

Economic influence on politics using the presidential debate of 2012
Economic Influence on Politics Using the Presidential Debate of 2012

See handout on wiki for information on how to do this in your History classroom.

Your Task:

You will watch a segment of the presidential debate and read one article taking notes on these sources and answering three questions about the sources. You will then prepare and deliver a presentation about our economy and how the office of the Presidency impacts it.

What is a gallery walk
What is a Gallery Walk?

  • A way to have students share their work with peers in a fun, active and highly-engaging way

  • Students must view pictures or primary source documents jotting notes about observations

  • As they progress through the gallery, they are able to see their peers observations and interpretations

  • See wiki for a great link to get started!

Gallery walk wwi propaganda
Gallery Walk WWI Propaganda

Gallery walk great depression
Gallery WalkGreat Depression

Easing into taking notes on their own
Easing into taking notes on their own…

The Great Depression

7-4.3Explain the causes and effects of the worldwide depression that took place in the 1930s, including the effects of the economic crash of 1929.

Before the Depression:



Causes of the Depression:



What are stocks?:



Test words academic vocab
“Test Words” (Academic Vocab.)

  • Essential

  • Significant

  • Analyze

  • Determine

  • Infer

  • Inference

  • Bias

  • Generalizations

  • Relationship

  • Distinguish

  • Integrate

  • Generalize

  • Perspective

  • Evidence

  • Isolate

  • Visualize

  • Relevant

Key is to gradually release the students by giving the definition of the term at the beginning

of the year and then by the time testing comes, they know the words without the cues!

Scientific literacy includes
Scientific Literacy includes….

  • Textbook

  • Journal Articles

  • Graphs and Charts

  • Media Clips

Using evidence from text to answer question:

Hydrogen is an explosive gas, and oxygen supports combustion? How is it possible, then, for water, which is

composed of hydrogen and oxygen, to put out fires? Quote the lines in the poem that explain this

Using a variety of media
Using a variety of media….

Sample Questions:

The first to see it

Hooke was wow’d by a cork

When he put it under a microscope

What was Robert Hooke’s contribution to cell discovery?

What cell organelle is found in plant cells, but not animal cells? What part of the lyric gives evidence for this?

Elements and compounds
Elements and Compounds

  • Use video clips and images of Cl gas

  • Read article about Cl spill

  • Use video clips and images of sodium metal and reactions with H2O

  • Then pass out salt samples and hand lens to observe salt

  • Chart is filled in as we complete each step

Old mrs grey by virginia woolf and body systems
“Old Mrs. Grey” by Virginia Woolf and Body Systems

  • With the teachers guidance, students will complete a close read of “Old Mrs. Grey” and compare the information in the text to their knowledge of the body systems after studying them in Science class.

  • Students will then have to write a mini-paper (paragraph) defending their argument as to whether Old Mrs. Grey is alive or dead in the poem based upon their knowledge of the body systems using their notes as a primary source.

Vocabulary tier activity
Vocabulary Tier Activity

  • Three Tiers of Words (Appendix A p. 33)

When readers are reminded of other things that they have read, other books by the same author, stories from a similar genre, or perhaps on the same topic. An example of text-to text connection might be, “This reminds me of the story we read in ELA about the Holocaust.”

Highly personal connections that a reader makes between a piece of reading material and the reader’s own experiences or life. An example of a text-to-self connection might be, "This story reminds me of a vacation we took to my grandfather’s farm."

The larger connections that a reader brings to a reading situation. We learn about things through television, movies, magazines, and newspapers. An example of a text-to-world connection would be when a reader says, "I saw a program on television that talked about things described in this article."