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A compilation of instructional resources to support all types of instruction that occur at JMCS sites: direct instruction, credit recovery and skills acceleration.

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Published by rwegner, 2019-07-28 01:24:32

JMCS Instructional Guide

A compilation of instructional resources to support all types of instruction that occur at JMCS sites: direct instruction, credit recovery and skills acceleration.



Version 3 - July 2019


Welcome to the John Muir Charter Schools Instructional Guide! This guide was compiled to bring you the
most relevant and useful resources for teaching within the variety of models found at JMCS. You will find an
introduction to growth mindset and deeper learning, beliefs that lie at the core of what we do, as well as
accompanying resources for learning more and bringing these concepts into your classroom. There are also
resources for strategic instructional planning as well as sections specifically for direct instruction, skills
acceleration and credit recovery.

As you browse this guide and find useful tools, keep in mind why it is JMCS does what it does – re-engaging
youth in education and preparing traditionally disadvantaged students for life-long sustainable employment and
long-term success. It is our goal to help students realize their full potential and develop the skills they will need
to be successful in life. We are passionate educators who believe that our work is critical in today’s society –
and we enjoy the work we do! Every student deserves the chance to learn meaningful skills and knowledge and
our students have been failed by the traditional system. When they succeed, however, their success has the
ability to change their life path and have a lasting, positive influence on the communities they come from. They
are the brilliant minds that will carry us into the future and we need them to be prepared to pick up the mantle of
positive change and carry it to the rest of the world.

Upon graduation, JMCS aims for its graduates to be well-prepared to enter a job with the potential for career
advancement that will pay a living wage. They will be ready and willing to continue to learn and grow in all
areas of their lives – academically, vocationally, socially and emotionally. JMCS graduates will be able to
sustain themselves professionally and be lifelong learners.

In order to meet these goals, JMCS teachers believe in using relevant and engaging topics to guide instruction,
making sure students are taught skills over content that will be transferable for post-graduation success. JMCS
is guided by its five core values – empowerment, innovation, empathy, integrity and respect (EIEIR) in all that
it does.

By looking at education from a non-traditional perspective, we are able to help our students identify their
strengths and challenges and push them to grow. At JMCS, we aim for equity, giving each student exactly what
they need to learn to love learning, which is not the same thing for all. Tradition doesn’t imply best practice –
best practice is breaking with tradition and doing what we know is right to most effectively serve some of the
most under-served members of our society.

It is the hope that this guide gives you some basic tools and resources to aim high and be the guiding
educational light in your students’ lives. Enjoy!

Introduction by Rachel Wegner with contributions from Charley Pratt-Guess and Mike Wegner



Growth Mindset…………………………………... 5

• Definition 6
• Implications for the Classroom 6
• Framing Tool 9
• Feedback Tool 10
• Effort Rubric 12
• Messages that Promote a Growth Mindset 13
• Grading Practices for a Growth Mindset 14
• Additional Resources 16

Deeper Learning…………………………………... 17

• What is Deeper Learning? 18

• Content Versus Skills Instruction 19

• Depth of Knowledge 20

• Bloom’s Taxonomy 22

• Questioning Stems 23

• Habits of Mind 25

Strategic Instructional Planning..………………... 26

• What is Our Program Schedule? 27
• How Do I Know What to Teach? 28
• How Am I Going to Teach? 29
• How Do I Know What My Students Have Learned? 30
• Teacher Daily Action Plan 31
• Student Daily Action Plan 32
• Non-AGS JMCS Curriculum Options 33

Direct Instruction Resources ...………………….. 36

• Common Core Standards: Key Shifts in ELA 37
• Common Core Standards: Key Shifts in Math 39
• Deeper Learning Lesson Plan Template and Sample 41
• CCSS Lesson Plan Template and Sample 46
• Unit Plan Template and Sample 49
• The Core Six Graphic Organizers 51
• Active Participation Strategies 57
• Project-Based Learning Resources 61

8 Essentials for Project-Based Learning 61
6 A’s of Project-Based Learning 65
Project Development Express: quick planning template 67
Backwards Planning for PBL template 68
PBL: Project Planning Template 70
Project Idea Rubric 73
More PBL Resources 74
Awarding Credits for Individual PBL at JMCS 75
• ELA Resource Compilation 76
Kate Kinsella and Frayer vocabulary models
Common Latin and Greek Roots 76
Which Words Do I Teach and How? 80
11 Alternatives to Round Robin and Popcorn Reading 82
50 Alternatives to the Book Report 84
Think Alouds: Modeling What Good Readers Do 87
The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies 91
Language Strategies for Active Classroom Participation 93
Scaffolding Complex Text 99
Graphic Organizers for Complex Text 100
Graphic Organizer for Essays 101
Writing Prompt Sentence Frames 105
Writing Rubrics 107
• Math Resource Compilation 110
Positive Norms to Encourage in Math Class 112
Best Practices for Teaching Math
How Students Should Be Taught Math 112
JMCS Best Practices and Strategies for Teaching CCSS Math 113
SFUSD Signature Strategies and Activities 115
Number Talks 116
Understanding Student and Teacher Roles in Math Discourse 122
Cognitive Rigor Matrix + Depth of Knowledge for Math 134
• JMCS Curriculum Resource Center Information 140
• LiveBinder Resource Information 143


Skills Acceleration Resources……………...……. 146

• Heterogeneous Versus Homogeneous Groups 147
• STAR Skills Checklists 149
• San Diego Quick Reading Assessment 152
• Student Hours Tracking Sheet 156
• Reader’s Workshop Model 157
• Writer’s Workshop Model 158
• Math Workshop Model 159
• Skills Acceleration Resources 160

Credit Recovery Resources…….………………... 161

• GO Deeper AGS Assignment 162
• Alternative Assessment Project Options and Rubric 166
• WIOA Project Model 169
• Operation New Hope Project Model 204


Implications for the Classroom

Framing Tool
Feedback Tool
Effort Rubric
Messages that Promote a Growth Mindset
Grading Practices for a Growth Mindset
Additional Resources




“A mindset, according to [Carol] Dweck, is a self-perception or “self-theory” that people hold about themselves.
Believing that you are either “intelligent” or “unintelligent” is a simple example of a mindset… Dweck’s
educational work centers on the distinction between “fixed” and “growth” mindsets.
According to Dweck, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent,
are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing
them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort…
Alternatively, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through
dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and
a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” writes Dweck. Students who embrace growth
mindsets—the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere—may learn
more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and

Implications for the Classroom

“Why and under what conditions might students choose to employ problem-solving skills or engage in
collaborative work to meet a learning goal? What motivates students to expend the energy to master core
academic content? In essence, what would be the energy source that could fuel students’ engagement in deeper
learning activities? Academic mindsets are “the psycho-social attitudes or beliefs one has about oneself in
relation to academic work,”3 and these attitudes and beliefs are often what compel students to engage in
learning – or not. As psychology researchers Carol Dweck, Gregory Walton, and Geoffrey Cohen put it,
“students need to think of themselves and school in certain ways in order to want to learn and in order to learn
First, positive academic mindsets are associated with the persistent academic behaviors that lead to learning….
Second, academic mindsets are also likely products of deeper learning experiences….
The research evidence suggests that one of the best levers for increasing students’ perseverance and improving
their academic behaviors is by supporting the development of Academic Mindsets. Students with positive
academic mindsets work harder, engage in more productive academic behaviors, and persevere to overcome
obstacles to success. Conversely, students with negative mindsets about school or about themselves as learners
are likely to withdraw from the behaviors essential for academic success and to give up easily when they
encounter setbacks or difficulty.”
“Academic Mindsets as a Critical Component of Deeper Learning” by Camille A. Farrington 4/2013


Mindsets Growth

Fixed intelligence is a
malleable quality,
intelligence is a a potential that can be
fixed trait

What Mindsets Do: Goals Growth Mindset
Students Say
Fixed Mindset
Students Say Learning is Most
Looking Smart is Most

“The main thing I want “It’s much more important
when I do my school for me to learn things in
work is to show how my classes than it is to

good I am at it.” get the best grades.”


What Mindsets Do: Effort Beliefs

Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
Students Say Students Say

Effort is negative Effort is positive

“To tell the truth, when I “The harder you work at
work hard at my school something, the better
work it makes me feel you’ll be at it.”
like I’m not very smart.”

What Mindsets Do: Strategies After Failure

Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
Students Say Students Say

Helpless Resilient

“I would spend less time “I would work harder
on this subject from now in this class from now

on.” on.”

“I would try not to take “I would spend
this subject ever again.” more time studying

“I would try to cheat on for the tests.”
the next test.”


From MindsetWorks

In order to create a “risk-free” classroom environment where all students are willing to take on
challenges and push themselves, it is important to make the focus on learning clear, make it safe
to risk mistakes, and communicate a high confidence in all students’ ability to rise to the
learning challenges. Use the following statements when introducing a new topic, concept, skill or
assignment in class.


Ed uc ato r Ki t - Too ls for Teachers .. mindset

..,,,.. worKs

Growth Mindset Feedback

As students begin to work on their learning objectives, growth-minded language guides
and motivates them to ensure that they remain persistent, resilient, and focused on
the process of learning. It is important to give learners feedback about their progress and
their results so they can specifically see their growth.

Use these language frames when interacting with your students in the following

When they struggle despite strong effort

• OK, so you didn't do as well as you wanted to. Let's look at this as an opportunity
to learn.

• What did you do to prepare for this? Is there anyth ing you could do to prepare
differently next time?

• You are not there/ here yet .
• When you think you can't do it, remind yourself t hat you can't do it yet.
• I expect you to make some mistakes. It is the kinds of mistakes that you make

along the way that tell me how to support you.
• Mistakes are welcome here!
• You might be strugg ling, but you are making prog ress. I can see your growth (in

these places).
• Look at how much progress you made on this. Do you remember how much more

challenging this was (yesterday/ last week/ last year)?
• Of course it 's tough - school is here to makes our brains stronger!

• If it were easy, you wouldn't be learning anything!

• You can do it - it's tough, but you can; let's break it down into steps.
• Let's stop here and return tomorrow with a fresher brain.

• I admire your persistence and I appreciate your hard work. It will pay off.

When they struggle and need help with strategies

• Let's think about how to improve (the accuracy of) this

section/ paragraph/ sentence/ word choice/ logic/ description/ problem/ calculation.

• Let me add new informat ion to help you solve th is....

• Here are some strategies to figure this out.

• Describe your process for completing this task.

• Let's do one together, out loud.

• Let's practice (skill) so we can move it from our short-term to our long-term


• Just try - we can always fix mistakes once I see where you are getting held up.

• Let me explain in another way with different words.

• What parts were difficult for you? Let's look at them .

• Let's ask for advice- s/ he may be able to explain/ suggest

some ideas/ recommend some strategies.

• Let's writ e a plan for practicing and/ or learning.

• If you make changes, we can reassessyour score. Let's discuss a

plan for you. Copy r i gh t © 20 0 2 - 2 0 14 Min d se t Wo rk s, I nc. All r ig h t s reserv ed . 1


EducatorKi t - Tools for Teachers mindse t
... worKs

When they are making progress

• Hey that's a tough problem/task/ conceptthat you've been working on for a while.

What strateg ies are you using?

• I can see a difference in this work compared to . You have really

grown (in these areas).

• I see you using your strategies/tools/notes/etc. Keep it up!

• Hey! You were working on this for awhile and you didn't quit!

• Your hard work is clearly evident in your process/project/ essay/assignment.

When they succeed with strong effort

• I am so proud of the effort you put forth to/in/with. _

• I am very proud of you for not giving up, and look what you have to show for it !

• Congratulations - you really used great strategies for studying, managing your time

(behavior, etc.).

• I want you to remember for a moment how challenging this was when you began.

Look at how far you have come!

• All that hard work and effort paid off!

• The next t ime you have a challenge like this, what will you do?

• What choices did you make that you think contr ibut ed to your success?

• It 's exciting to see the diffe rence in your work now when I compare it to your

earlier work.

• I can see you really enjoyed learning

When they succeed easily without effort

• It's great that you have that down. Now we need to find something a bit more
challenging so you can grow.

• It looks like your skills weren't really challenged by this assignment . Sorry for
wasting your time!

• I don't want you to be bored because you're not challenging yourself.
• We need to raise the bar for you now.
• You're ready for someth ing more difficult.
• What skill would you like to work on next?
• What topic would you like to learn more about next? Copy ri gh t © 20 02 - 2014 Mind set Work s, I nc . All r ig hts res erv ed . 2


Brainology® Unit 1 Activity 3, “Practice It”: Effective Effort, Option B
Effective Effort Rubric

This rubric assesses the learning process - the effective effort that a learner applies.

Fixed Mixed Growth

Taking on You don’t try hard You might try something You will choose something
Challenges things. You only do easy difficult if someone makes hard rather than easy if
work or take shortcuts. you, but you would not you have a choice. If
choose it on your own. things are easy, you find
them boring.

Learning You want to forget about You try to avoid making a You see mistakes as a
from mistakes as much as mistake a second time. chance to learn. You think
possible. You may hide You don’t like to think about what you can do
Mistakes mistakes and find excuses about them. differently next time.
for them.

Accepting You are so upset by Feedback and criticism You feel OK about feedback
Feedback and feedback and criticism that make you a little and criticism because you
you feel like giving up. embarrassed and/or know that you can do
Criticism bummed out. You may better next time.
want to stop trying.

Practice You do not like to practice You only work as hard as You enjoy practicing and
or work hard. You do not you have to. You will you work hard at new
have many strategies for practice things you are things. You may create
learning. already “good at.” your own study plans.

Persistence You give up as soon as You may stick to it and You “stick to it” and keep
something is hard. keep trying if you get help working hard. If something
from others. If something is very difficult, you try
is too hard, you might not harder.
try very much.

Asking You do not ask questions or You might ask questions You ask lots of questions of
Questions ask for help if something is about something that you yourself and others. You do
hard. think you can do. If it’s whatever it takes to make
too hard though, you sure that you understand.
might give up.

Taking Risks If something is too hard You may be willing to try You are willing to risk
you turn in blank work or something hard, but not if making mistakes. You’d
copied work, if anything at you are doing it in front of rather try and fail than
all. You would rather not others. never try.
learn something than fail at


Messages that Promote a Growth Mindset
• We believe in your potential and are committed to helping everyone get smarter.
• We value (and praise) taking on challenges, exerting effort, and surmounting obstacles
more than we value (and praise) “natural” talent and easy success.
• Working hard to learn new things makes you smarter— it makes your brain grow new
• School is not a place that judges you. It is a place where people help your brain grow
new connections.


Grading Practices for Developing a Growth Mindset

Dispel the mystery

• Make standards transparent.
• Use rubrics in student-friendly language and exemplars to help them understand and own their
learning goals.
• Encourage metacognition and self-assessment. Let the student, not the teacher, own the grade. If you
do this, student will feelempowered to focus on learning rather than evaluation…
• This means that you yourself must be really clear about the substance of what you’re measuring and
why. Simply scoring a certain percentage correct, if the items don’t represent clear standards or measure
their achievement accurately, creates the illusion of precision but keeps students in the dark about what
they have and have not mastered.

Don’t give grades on every assignment (but do give credits)

• When beginning a new topic, give students a low stakes learning period. Be explicit about this too - let
them know that this is a safe space where mistakes are welcomed.
• Specific feedback that helps guide students is great, as are questions that invite students to assess their
own understanding.
• Some teachers worry that students won’t complete a task that doesn’t “count” in theirgrade…But you
can break the mold and create different kinds of incentives…by recognizing effort, thoroughness,
creative approaches, resourcefulness, persistence, and helping others.

The word is more powerful than the score (but only if you keep them apart)

• Written feedback from teachers is a much more effective learning aid than a grade. It helps students
understand what they need to work on to improve.
• But research studies have shown that most students will not read comments on an assignment if there
is a score attached. So give comments alone on some assignments, especially asstudents are building
skills – and make them really informative.
• A good question to ask yourself is whether what you have written provides enough information to
guide the student toward improvement. Comments like “Good job!” are lovely, but specific notes that
refer to the standards are better.
• To make this more efficient, use rubrics to help highlight key areas of accomplishment and potential
improvement, andsupplement them with comments.

Make assessment a learning experience

• Recent studies have shown that tasks that require you to actively recall and produce knowledge lead
to greater learning than those that involve reviewing or recognition.
• The traditional multiple choice format is largely dependent on recognition. Instead, ask students to
put things in their own words.
• Many standardized tests do require skill in multiple-choice assessment, andso you may need to use it
in your classroom so that students become comfortable with it.
• However, you can supplement it with an additional piece that asks students to explain their reasoning
and use of relevant facts as part of the assessment.


Grade for learning, not labor

• When you do assign grades, measure mastery rather than task completion. The goal should be actual
learning and growth, not compliance.
• If you have clear targets and good assessments, you will know whether students have achieved the
learning goals,and be able to identify where they need to improve.
• Then emphasize to students that their scores or grades reflect their present level of mastery, and point
to the particular areas where they could benefit from increased effort.
• You can and should recognize effort in your feedback, but students who have learned the key content
shouldn’t be penalized for a missed assignment with a poor grade. Instead, you can work to buildin
opportunities for increased challenge in these circumstances.
• A component in the final grade that recognizes individual progress is another way to recognize
mastery as a process, and to incentivize students to improve regardless of where they began.

Create multiple opportunities for mastery

• Students don’t all start with the same knowledge base or learn at the same pace, and one-shot
assessments can demoralize those who need more time.
• Nothing is more discouraging to effort and persistence than knowing there’s no chanceto recover –
it’s an invitation to helplessness.
• So work on the principle of “Not Yet”. One way to do this is to build in spiral curriculum and
assessment, returning to key concepts and skills over the course of a term or course. This offers students
who struggle with a concept in the beginning more learning opportunities and additional chances to
demonstrate mastery.
• And it also helps the students who initially performed well, because it reinforces what they learned
and ensures that it will make its way into long-term memory.
• Research has shown that distributedpractice over longer intervals is much more effective in ensuring
deep learning than short-term “cramming” followed by assessment.

Use the language of growth

• The growth mindset is catching. So model it, teach it, and recognize it explicitly every chance you
• Frame tests as formative feedback for both you and your students (“This willhelp us decide where we
need to do more work”) and as measures of progress (“Let’s see how much we’ve learned”).
• Praise students for their strategies and improvement, not for perfect performance, to focus them on
their learning process rather than your evaluation.

Give growth mindset feedback

• Praise the process, not the person. Don't get too excited about a "success," especially if it comes without
effort. Make challenge-seeking and diligent effort, rather than performance, the goal.
• In the moment, it feels good to be told, "Fantastic, perfect, you're a genius!" But it focuses the young
person's attention on the judgment that you have made about them, rather than on what they can control, such as
their attention, effort, and strategy.
• Right now, it's a positive judgment—but if they don't do it perfectly the next time, it will be a letdown. (This
is the source of a lot of anxiety among high-achieving kids.)


Additional Resources on Growth Mindset

Tools for teachers, professional development resources, links to articles and research findings…

2. – create a free account – click “My Brainology” – click “My Resources”
1. Any article by Carol Dweck, Eduardo Briceno or Lisa Blackwell
2. “Even Geniuses Work Hard” by Carol Dweck
3. “Boosting Achievement with Messages that Motivate” by Carol Dweck
4. “Growth Mindset: Clearing Up Some Common Confusions” by Eduardo Briceno
1. “Grading for Growth in a High-Stakes World” by Lisa Blackwell
2. Grading Smarter, Not Harder webinar and resources from Myron Dueck on
3. “When Grading Harms Student Learning” by Andrew Miller
1. “Motivation Matters” by the Carnegie Foundation
2. “Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves” on
1. from Stanford University

*JMCS also has a compilation of Mindset Monday lessons. These are 30 minute lessons designed to teach
students about growth mindset, effort and failure while encouraging group work and thinking outside of the
box. They can be found on the Dashboard in the Curriculum Resource Center under Life Skills.


What is Deeper Learning?
Content vs. Skills Instruction

Depth of Knowledge
Bloom’s Taxonomy
Questioning Stems

Habits of Mind


Deeper Learning Tasks:

• Are challenging and open-ended
• Result in multiple and complex answers
• Are personalized and designed with students
• Are linked to real questions of importance
• Connect ideas to broader frames and concepts
• Mirror the activity of adults working in the field
• Challenge students to create knowledge rather than receive it
• May require collaboration for success
• Result in products that are shared beyond the classroom

Deeper Learning Teachers/Mentors: Deeper Learning Students:

• Pose tasks that are appropriately • Analyze, synthesize and create (vs.
challenging simply recall and apply)

• Refrain from giving answers • Grapple with uncertainty
• Ask questions that push understanding • View failure as a possibility and
• Create an environment for intellectual
play • Do most of the mental work themselves
• Scaffold when necessary, but only • Take increasing responsibility for

when necessary structuring their work
• Act as intellectual guides rather than • Demonstrate self-efficacy and meta-

experts cognition
• Play


Teacher/Mentor Student


Content-Based Instruction Skill-Based Instruction
(Old standards) (New standards)

The central focus is on acquiring content The central focus is on learning transferable

knowledge through gathering and organizing literacy skills that help students

facts, dates, and names. independently make meaning from new


Students are engaged in classroom activities Students reach mastery of literacy skills and
that help them study and memorize critical content knowledge through a process
information. Learning is dependent on the of rehearsal and relearning of ideas (Walqui).
teacher. Responsibility for learning transfers to the
student over time.

Assessments are used to measure what Assessments are used to measure growth and
students have memorized. Little to no re- to identify supports to help students meet
teaching occurs. standard.

Reading, writing, and speaking tasks are Reading, writing, and speaking in the content
assigned for points and may not teach area is explicitly taught and practiced every
students what it means to read and write in a day.
particular discipline.

Information is given to students through Information is learned through a process of
worksheets or PowerPoint. Ideas are copied analysis, evaluation, application, and
from a screen and onto notepaper. synthesis. Higher level thinking as defined by
Bloom, Costa, and Webb is the focus of daily
academic work.

The classroom teacher does most of the Students are taught how to think critically
thinking and presents solutions. and are expected to solve problems on their

Students engage in authentic reading experiences.
Students are asked to take notes on what they They practice various reading skills and explore
read and answer comprehension questions as written and spoken texts as readers and writers.

a way to assess understanding of the reading. Students seek to understand how meaning is
constructed in texts.


Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Levels

Define Draw Identify List
Calculate Memorize Label


Arrange Who, What, When, Where, Why Measure

Repeat State Tabulate Name
Use Report
Tell Infer

Design Recall Recognize Quote Categorize

Connect Recite Match Collect and Display
Apply Concepts Level Identify Patterns
Analyze One Graph Organize
Classify Construct
(Recall) Separate Modify
Cause/Effect Predict
Level Describe Level Estimate Interpret
Four Explain Two Compare
(Extended (Skill/
Thinking) Concept)

Level Relate Distinguish
Use Context Cues
(Strategic Thinking)

Create Revise Assess Make Observations

Prove Apprise Develop a Logical Argument Summarize

Use Concepts to Solve Non-Routine Problems Show

Critique Compare

Explain Phenomena in Terms of Concepts

Formulate Draw Conclusions Investigate

Hypothesize Differentiate

Cite Evidence

Level One Activities Level Two Activities Level Three Activities Level Four Activities

Recall elements and details of story Identify and summarize the major Support ideas with details and Conduct a project that requires
structure, such as sequence of events in a narrative. examples. specifying a problem, designing and
events, character, plot and setting. conducting an experiment, analyzing
Use context cues to identify the Use voice appropriate to the its data, and reporting results/
Conduct basic mathematical meaning of unfamiliar words. purpose and audience. solutions.
Solve routine multiple-step problems. Identify research questions and Apply mathematical model to
Label locations on a map. design investigations for a illuminate a problem or situation.
Describe the cause/effect of a scientific problem.
Represent in words or diagrams a particular event. Analyze and synthesize
scientific concept or relationship. Develop a scientific model for a information from multiple sources.
Identify patterns in events or complex situation.
Perform routine procedures like behavior. Describe and illustrate how common
measuring length or using Determine the author’s purpose themes are found across texts from
punctuation marks correctly. Formulate a routine problem given and describe how it affects the different cultures.
data and conditions. interpretation of a reading
Describe the features of a place or selection. Design a mathematical model to
people. Organize, represent and interpret inform and solve a practical
data. Apply a concept in other contexts. or abstract situation.

Webb, Norman L. and others. “Web Alignment Tool” 24 July 2005. Wisconsin Center of Educational Researc2h.0University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2 Feb. 2006. <>.

DOK Question Stems

• Can you explain how affected ?
• Can you recall ? • How would you apply what you learned

• When did happen? to develop ?
• How would you compare ?
• Who was ?
Contrast ?
• How can you recognize ? ? • How would you classify ?

• What is ? • How are alike? Different?
• How would you classify the type of ?
• How can you find the meaning of • What can you say about ?
• How would you summarize ?
• Can you recall ? • How would you summarize ?
• What steps are needed to edit ?
• Can you select ? • When would you use an outline to ?
• How would you estimate ?
• How would you write ?
• How could you organize ?
• What might you include on a list • What would you use to classify ?
• What do you notice about ?
about ?

• Who discovered ?

• What is the formula for ?

• Can you identify ?

• How would you describe ?

• Write a thesis, drawing conclusions from
• How is related to ?
multiple sources.
• What conclusions can you draw ? • Design and conduct an experiment.

• How would you adapt to create a Gather information to develop
alternative explanations for the results of
different ? an experiment.
• Write a research paper on a topic.
• How would you test_ ? • Apply information from one text to
another text to develop a persuasive
• Can you predict the outcome if ? argument.
• What information can you gather to
• What is the best answer? Why? support your idea about ?
• DOK 4 would most likely be the writing of
• What conclusion can be drawn from a research paper or applying information
from one text to another text to develop
these three texts? a persuasive argument.
• DOK 4 requires time for extended
• What is your interpretation of this text? thinking.

Support your rationale.

• How would you describe the sequence

of ?

• What facts would you select to

support ?

• Can you elaborate on the reason ?

• What would happen if ?

• Can you formulate a theory for ?

• How would you test_ ?

• Can you elaborate on the reason ?

From Depth of Knowledge – Descriptors, Examples and Question Stems for Increasing Depth of Knowledge in the Classroom Developed by
Dr. Norman Webb and Flip Chart developed by Myra Collins


Bloom's Taxonomy

Competency Skill Demonstrated Action Verbs

Knowledge • Observation and recall of List, define, tell, describe,
Comprehension identify, show, label colle c t,
Application inform ation examine, tabulate, quote,
name, who, when, where
• Knowledge of dates, events,places
• Knowledge of major ideas Summarize, describe,
• Mastery of sub je ct matter interpret, co ntrast, predict,
• Understanding information associate, distinguish,
• Grasp meaning estimate, differentiate,
• Translate knowledge into new discuss, extend

context Apply, demonstrate,
calc ulate, co mplete,
• Interpret facts, compare, contrast illustrate, show, solve,
• Use information examine, modify, relate,
• Use methods, concepts, theories in change, classify, experiment,
discove r
new situations Analyze, separate, order,
ex plain, connec t, class if y,
• Solve problems using req uired skills arrange, divide, co mp are,
select, explain, infer
or knowledge
Combine, integrate, modify,
Analysis • Seeing patterns reaiTange, substitute, plan,
Synthesis • Organiza tio n of parts create, design, invent,
Evaluation • Recog niti on of hidden meanings compose, formulate, prepai·e,
• Identificatio n of components generalize, rewrite
• Use old ideas to create new ones Assess, decide, rand, grade,
• Generalize from given facts test, meas ure, reco mm end ,
• Relate knowledge from several areas convince, select, judge,
• Predict, draw conclusions explain, discriminate,
support, conclude, compare,
• Compai·e and discriminate between summai ·ize


• Assess value of theories,


• Make choices based on reasoned


• Verify value of evidence
• Recognize sub iec tivitv

Reference: Illinois Online Network
http://www.ion.uillinois.ed u/resources/ tutorials/assess ment/bloomtaxonomy.asp


Increasing Ou

knowledge compreh

recall learned material, explore grasp me
vocabulary: vocabulary:

list investigatedefine identify describe restat
tell locate listen select write outline explain
recognize observe label draw defend infer co
name state recite describe
predict transform
memorize distinguish para

question stems tasks express g

What is …? -Make a list of the main question stems
How is …? events
Where is …? How can you classify the
When did happen? -Make a timeline of events type of …?
How did happen?
How can you explain …? -Make a facts chart Can you compare …?
Why did …?
How can you describe …? -Write a list of what you Can you contrast …?
Can you recall …? can remember
How can you show …? Will you state or interpret in
Can you select …? -Recite a poem your own words …?
Who were the main …?
Can you list three …? -Videotape, record or Can you rephrase the
Which one …? photograph the meaning …?
Who was …? event/person
What fact or ideas show …?
-Draw what you know
What is the main idea of …?
-Make a “mind map” of
what you know Which statements support_?

Explain what is happening?

What is meant …?

What can you say about_?

Which is the best answer?

How can you summarize …?


ur Thinking …

hension application

eaning use in a new concrete situation
te summarize
confirm match use produce dramatize apply
ompare interpret make draw change complete
m relate change
aphrase extend report model sketch solve
generalize classify show paint choose

tasks construct collect prepare

-draw/paint pictures to question stems tasks
explain what an event was
about How can you use …? -Construct a model to
-illustrate the main idea show how it will work …
-sequence the events in a What examples can you find
cartoon or flowchart to …? -Make a puzzle game
-write and perform a play using ideas from the
based on events/facts Can you solve using what event…
-retell in your own words you have learned?
-write a summary report -Create a presentation
-create a “bubble map” How can you organize to that shows how it applies
show …? to another situation
Can you show understanding -Play a piece of music
of …? showing your
understanding of …
What approach can you use
to …? -Rewrite the ending …

How can you apply your -Write a poem that
learning to develop …? demonstrates …

What other way can you plan
to …?

What can result if …?

What questions can be asked
in an interview with …?

What elements can you
choose to change …?

What facts can you select to
show …?

Adapted from Bloom’s Question/Task Wheel (S.Paul)

analysis synth

break into parts, see relationships, organize invent new item, solv
information on learning, decide ho
hypothesize com
analyze classify examine separate produce modify
point out distinguish categorize
investigate examine subdivide organize propose
develop imagine
infer explain differentiate compare
contrast survey select take apart append rearra
question stems tasks
question stems
Classify the parts or features -Design a questionnaire to
of …? gather further information Can you make changes to
solve …?
How is related to …? -Write a commercial to sell
Why do you think …? a new product … How can you improve …?
What is the theme …?
What motive is there …? -Conduct an investigation What can happen if …?
Can you list the parts …? to produce information
supporting a point of view Can you elaborate on the
reason …?
-Make a flow chart to show
critical stages Can you propose an
alternative …?
How can you categorize …? -Illustrate data/information
with a graph Can you invent …?
What inference can you
make …? -Make a “tree map” How can you adapt to
create a different …?
What conclusions can you -Write a biography
draw …? Can you change/modify
-Review art/music in terms the plot/plan …?
How can you classify …? of form, texture, color and
rhythm … What can be done to
How can you categorize …? minimize/maximize …?
-Write an index and
Can you identify the different glossary What way can you
parts …? design…?
-Create a model
What evidence can you Can you predict the
find…? -Make a “brace map” outcome if …?

What is the relationship -Make a “double bubble Construct a model that
between …? map” changes …?

Can you make a distinction -Create a Venn diagram Can you think of an original
between …? -Make a T chart way for the …?

What ideas justify …? 2

hesis evaluation

ve a problem based judge value and purpose, support with relevant
ow to communicate criteria

mbine what if vocabulary:
invent substitute
e plan design apprise critique compare solve
increase create recommend weigh assess judge
ange predict debate criticize consider relate
role play
decide argue select rate
question stems tasks
-invent a machine for a
specific task Do you agree with the actions -Prepare a list of criteria to
-Create a new product and outcomes ? judge a show, including
-Write about your feelings priorities and ratings
in relation to … What is your opinion of …?
-Do a visual presentation -Conduct a debate about
on a new version or angle How can you prove or an issue
connected to the topic disprove …?
-Compose a rhythm/song -Evaluate the composition
or put new words to a Can you assess the value or
known melody importance of …/ -Hold a discussion about
-Write a prediction about viewpoints
how views on this topic Can it be better if …?
would change in time or -Write a letter outlining
place Why did they (character) changes that will need to
choose …? be made
What can you recommend…? -What have you learned?

What can you cite to defend -What would you change?
the actions of …? -Put yourself in place

How can you evaluate …?

How could you determine …?

How can you prioritize …?

What judgement can you
make about …?

Based on what you know, how
can you explain …?

How can you justify …?

What data was used to make
the conclusion …?

Adapted from Bloom’s Question/Task Wheel (S.Paul)


(After Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series, Copyright © 2000)

The Habits of Mind are an identified set of 16 problem solving, life related skills, necessary to
effectively operate in society and promote strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance,
creativity and craftsmanship. The understanding and application of these 16 Habits of Mind serve to
provide the individual with skills to work through real life situations that equip that person to respond
using awareness (cues), thought, and intentional strategy in order to gain a positive outcome.

1. Persisting: Sticking to task at hand; Follow through to completion; Can and do remain focused.
2. Managing Impulsivity: Take time to consider options; Think before speaking or acting; Remain

calm when stressed or challenged; Thoughtful and considerate of others; Proceed carefully.
3. Listening with Understanding and Empathy: Pay attention to and do not dismiss another

person's thoughts, feeling and ideas; Seek to put myself in the other person's shoes; Tell others
when I can relate to what they are expressing; Hold thoughts at a distance in order to respect
another person's point of view and feelings.
4. Thinking Flexibly: Able to change perspective; Consider the input of others; Generate
alternatives; Weigh options.
5. Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition): Being aware of own thoughts, feelings, intentions
and actions; Knowing what I do and say affects others; Willing to consider the impact of choices
on myself and others.
6. Striving for Accuracy: Check for errors; Measure at least twice; Nurture a desire for exactness,
fidelity & craftsmanship.
7. Questioning and Posing Problems: Ask myself, “How do I know?”; develop a questioning
attitude; Consider what information is needed, choose strategies to get that information; Consider
the obstacles needed to resolve.
8. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations: Use what is learned; Consider prior knowledge
and experience; Apply knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.
9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision: Strive to be clear when speaking
and writing; Strive be accurate to when speaking and writing; Avoid generalizations, distortions,
minimizations and deletions when speaking, and writing.
10. Gathering Data through All Senses: Stop to observe what I see; Listen to what I hear; Take
note of what I smell; Taste what I am eating; Feel what I am touching.
11. Creating, Imagining, Innovating: Think about how something might be done differently from
the “norm”; Propose new ideas; Strive for originality; Consider novel suggestions others might
12. Responding with Wonderment and Awe: Intrigued by the world's beauty, nature's power and
vastness for the universe; Have regard for what is awe-inspiring and can touch my heart; Open to
the little and big surprises in life I see others and myself.
13. Taking Responsible Risks: Willing to try something new and different; Consider doing things
that are safe and sane even though new to me; Face fear of making mistakes or of coming up
short and don’t let this stop me.
14. Finding Humor: Willing to laugh appropriately; Look for the whimsical, absurd, ironic and
unexpected in life; Laugh at myself when I can.
15. Thinking Interdependently: Willing to work with others and welcome their input and
perspective; Abide by decisions the work group makes even if I disagree somewhat; Willing to
learn from others in reciprocal situations.
16. Remaining Open to Continuous Learning: Open to new experiences to learn from; Proud and
humble enough to admit when don't know; Welcome new information on all subjects.



What Is Our Program Schedule?
How Do I Know What to Teach?

How Am I Going to Teach?
How Do I Know What My Students Have Learned?

Teacher Daily Action Plan
Student Daily Action Plan
Non-AGS JMCS Curriculum Options


What is Our Program Schedule?

S.I.P. Training

Every site needs a schedule. With so many components, the schedule becomes the foundation for a
solid program. There are 3 general areas to examine to develop a schedule that is balanced and meets
the needs of the participants; you may have additional program elements to consider. There is no hard
and fast rule about which areas are more important than others, but here is a suggested hierarchy.

I. Academic Needs - When will students attend school?
- When will students engage in credit recovery?
- When will I deliver skill remediation and/or test prep?
- When and for what subjects will I deliver whole group

- Will students engage in off-site/on-site project work

and when will that occur?

II. Client Agency - When will students engage in client agency programming?
Programming - How will case management interact with the academic day?
- Will the client agency deliver life skills, career

development, or other academic content?
- What other elements of my client agency’s programming do

I need to be aware of that will impact the school schedule
and who on the client agency side should I be in regular
communication with about these and other topics?

III. Vocational Education - When will students attend work?
IV. General Advice - When will off-site work or training occur?
- Are there any on site trainings that may require a

modification of the academic schedule, like fort lift
- How can I best work with the client agency to ensure the
routines of the agency and the routines of school, work
together to ensure crews are full and educational priorities
are met?

- Clearly post the general school/work schedule for all to see.
- How often will you modify the schedule, once a month,

once a school session, more or less often?
- How can you work with client agency staff to protect

academic time? Should you have a calendar/schedule
meeting monthly to discuss priorities?


How Do I Know What to Teach?

S.I.P. Training

When deciding what to teach, there are 4 key areas that should be examined to make sure that what you
are teaching is what your students need to be learning. There is no hard and fast rule about which areas
are more important than others, but here is my suggested hierarchy.

I. Student Skill Needs - Analyze student testing data to determine anydeficiencies
in basic skills. Look at STAR, TABE, CAHSEE, etc.
II. Credit Needs /
CAHSEE / GED - Internal assessments and your own observation can also
highlight skills that the students are lacking.
III. Benchmark Course
Outlines (BCOs) - What are the key skills they will need upon graduating that
they don’t have? (ie. writing, reading, basic math, public
IV. Student Interests speaking, critical thinking, etc.)

- Analyze the students’ transcripts to determine common
areas of credit need. These are good subject areas to plan
instruction around.

- Can you plan a cross-curricular unit of study that will hit
multiple subject areas of high credit needs? (ie. a unit that
covers government, economics and health by talking about
the effects of obesity in America)

- How many students need to pass one or both parts of the
CAHSEE? Think about grouping these students for English
and Math instruction

- Do you have multiple students taking some or all of the
GED? Create study groups and possibly provide direct test
prep instruction to those groups.

- The Muir BCOs are your guide to the specific content that
needs to be covered. Once you decided your subject areas
that you will teach, it is important that you are using the
BCOs as your framework for planning instruction.

- Get as creative as you want, but make sure you are still
linked to the BCOs.

- Use the Appendix to spark ideas for alternative project
assessments that can become the focus of your unit.

- When students are interested in the material they are more
engaged and willing to participate and learn.

- Survey the students to see what questions they have about a
particular subject area that you have determined as a high-
need area. (ie. What questions do you have about our

- Have the students skim the table of contents of the textbook
for the subject you are going to teach and pick out 3-5
things they would like to learn more about.

- Engage them in conversation to get an idea of their interests
and if there is a potential for a unit in that area.


How am I Going to Teach?

S.I.P. Training

Deciding which techniques and strategies to use are key to ensuring your classes are meeting the needs
of your students. Succeeding with students requires that lesson delivery is consistent enough sostudents
become experts in the routines of class as well as becoming an expert in using strategies they will use to
access information for the rest of their lives.

I. Instructional Setting - How will you group students? Whole group, small group,
pairs, individual, collaborative, performance or skills based
II. Instructional groups?
- Will you need to adjust the seating arrangements to
accommodate the groups or for a student with special needs
or to allow multiple types of instruction to take place, credit
recovery, small group instruction, tutoring, etc.?

- What strategies are best suited for delivery of content?
- Are the students familiar with the strategy? Do I need to

teach or review with the students how to explicitly use the
- Am I focusing on building skills while delivering content?
- Am I requiring my students to actively participate with the
content and in the lesson?
- Have I built in formative assessment checks throughout the
- How will I summatively assess student learning of content
or ability to apply skills taught?
- Are my instructional choices appropriate for the student’s
ability, the time frame, and resources availability?
- Am I planned from start to finish?

III. Bloom’s Taxonomy - Am I using appropriate questioning to tap into higher levels
of Bloom’s taxonomy?
IV. Making it
Manageable - Am as asking my students to engage in higher order
thinking skills throughout the lesson including in the
summative assessment?

- Have I created classroom routines that I am consistently
following to manage the flow of student work?

- Are student’s being held to the classroom routines for
completing, turning in, and requesting work?

- Am I using student files, composition books, or other
organization method to support student’s staying organized
and allowing quick turn around for feedback on daily
assignments, like openers, closers, or journaling?


How Do I Know What My Students Have Learned?

S.I.P. Training

Accurately assessing what students have learned can be a challenge. As Muir teachers we hold our students
to a high standard of mastery in both Basic Skills (as assessed by CAHSEE, STAR and TABE) and content
area material. Keep the following things in mind when determining how you are going to assess student
learning for both basic skills and content area material.

I. Basic Skills Testing - Setup a testing routine for your in-house STAR or TABE
STAR, TABE & testing so students are not surprised on test day.
- Post a schedule for CAHSEE testing to help students
II. Content Area Part 1 anticipate test day.
Assessments - How can you create a positive culture around testing?
- What can you as a teacher do to build testing confidence in
III. Content Area Part 2
Summative your students?
Assessments - Communicate the importance of the test results to the

students. Do they know how the information is used to
measure the success of the program?
- Are you as a teacher using their testing data to make
instructional decisions? Do students know that?

- Stay connected with students as they move through the
material, and assess them along the way so you can correct
misconceptions early.

- Adjust the teaching as needed based on your formative
assessments as they are learning new material.

- Teach them the skills they will need to be able to be
successful on the summative assessment later.

- Differentiate learning as needed based on your formative

- Use of quick writes and good questioning strategies are
some ways to monitor student learning without loading you
down in paperwork. (See Section 3)

- How can you give students multiple ways to demonstrate
their knowledge and understanding of material?

- Differentiate your summative assessments with various
project options in lieu of, or in addition to a formal test.
(See BCO Appendix 2)

- Is the assessment in line with the content and skills you are
asking the students to master? Don’t surprise them.

- Is the student able to demonstrate their learning through
different modalities? Visual, audio, written, oral, etc.

- Are there opportunities for students to try again or use an
alternate assessment if they are not successful on the first

- How do we support the students’ ability to demonstrate their


Teacher Daily Action Plan

Week of:

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area:
Content Area:

1 Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity:

Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area:
Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity:
2 Type of Activity:

Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area:
Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity:
3 Type of Activity:

Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area:
Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity:
4 Type of Activity:

Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area: Content Area:
Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity: Type of Activity:
5 Type of Activity:


Student Daily Action Plan

Block Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

1 Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use

Teacher Use

2 Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use

Teacher Use

3 Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use

Teacher Use

4 Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use

Teacher Use

5 Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use Teacher Use

Teacher Use



Non-AGS JMCS Curriculum Options

*Refer to the JMCS Course Information Guide for more information.

-Scholastic ID ENGLISH:
-Reading with Relevance -News ELA articles and graphic organizer
-JMCS original ELA curriculum -TweenTribune articles and graphic organizer
-LiteracyTA (paid subscription)
ENGLISH SKILLS ACCELERATION: -Achieve the Core database of lessons and
-New Readers Press support
-EngageNY lessons and support
MATH: -Literacy Design Collaborative resources
-Eureka Math curriculum online -CAST resources from UDL (Book Builder,
-Holt McDougal Algebra 1 textbooks (for UDL Editions)
-JUMP Math -My Skills Tutor

-The DBQ Project -YouCubed
-EEI curriculum -Illustrative Mathematics
-Facing History -SFUSD Math Toolkit and Framework
-Reading like a Historian -EngageNY lessons and support
-Big History project -Mathematics Design Collaborative
-Real World Math from NCTM

-Khan Academy
-Front Row Ed (

-Library of Congress resources
-Museum of Tolerance resources


-EEI curriculum -American Museum of Natural History
-HASPI Human Biology Curriculum Collections
-SEI (Strategic Energy Innovations)
-CE3 curriculum online


ELA CCSS Overview
Math CCSS Overview

Deeper Learning Lesson Plan Template and Sample
CCSS Lesson Plan Template and Sample
Unit Plan Template and Sample
The Core Six Graphic Organizers
Active Participation Strategies
Project-Based Learning Resources
ELA Resource Compilation
Math Resource Compilation
Curriculum Resource Center Information
LiveBinder Resource Information


CCS: Key Shifts in English Language Arts


The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy build on the best of
existing standards and reflect the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in college,
career, and life. Understanding how the standards differ from previous standards—and the
necessary shifts they call for—is essential to implementing the standards well.

The following are key shifts called for by the Common Core:

1. Regular practice with complex texts and their academic language

Rather than focusing solely on the skills of reading and writing, the ELA/literacy standards
highlight the growing complexity of the texts students must read to be ready for the demands
of college, career, and life. The standards call for a staircase of increasing complexity so that
all students are ready for the demands of college- and career-level reading no later than the
end of high school. The standards also outline a progressive development of reading
comprehension so that students advancing through the grades are able to gain more from what
they read.

Closely related to text complexity and inextricably connected to reading comprehension is a
focus on academic vocabulary: words that appear in a variety of content areas (such
as ignite and commit). The standards call for students to grow their vocabularies through a mix
of conversation, direct instruction, and reading. They ask students to determine word
meanings, appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their range of words and
phrases. Vocabulary and conventions are treated in their own strand not because skills in these
areas should be handled in isolation, but because their use extends across reading, writing,
speaking, and listening.

Because the standards are the roadmap for successful classrooms, and recognizing that
teachers, school districts, and states need to decide on the journey to the destination, they
intentionally do not include a required reading list. Instead, they include numerous sample
texts to help teachers prepare for the school year and allow parents and students to know what
to expect during the year.

The standards include certain critical types of content for all students, including classic myths
and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American
literature, and the writings of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately defer the majority of
decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, schools, and teachers.

2. Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and


The Common Core emphasizes using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-
defended claims, and clear information. Rather than asking students questions they can answer
solely from their prior knowledge and experience, the standards call for students to answer
questions that depend on their having read the texts with care.

The reading standards focus on students’ ability to read carefully and grasp information,
arguments, ideas, and details based on evidence in the text. Students should be able to answer
a range of text-dependent questions, whose answers require inferences based on careful
attention to the text.

Frequently, forms of writing in K–12 have drawn heavily from student experience and
opinion, which alone will not prepare students for the demands of college, career, and life.
Though the standards still expect narrative writing throughout the grades, they also expect a
command of sequence and detail that are essential for effective argumentative and informative
writing. The standards’ focus on evidence-based writing along with the ability to inform and
persuade is a significant shift from current practice.

3. Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction

Students must be immersed in information about the world around them if they are to develop
the strong general knowledge and vocabulary they need to become successful readers and be
prepared for college, career, and life. Informational texts play an important part in building
students’ content knowledge. Further, it is vital for students to have extensive opportunities to
build knowledge through texts so they can learn independently.

In K-5, fulfilling the standards requires a 50-50 balance between informational and literary
reading. Informational reading includes content-rich nonfiction in history/social studies,
sciences, technical studies, and the arts. The K-5 standards strongly recommend that texts—
both within and across grades—be selected to support students in systematically developing
knowledge about the world.

In grades 6-12, there is much greater attention on the specific category of literary nonfiction,
which is a shift from traditional standards. To be clear, the standards pay substantial attention
to literature throughout K-12, as it constitutes half of the reading in K-5 and is the core of the
work of 6-12 ELA teachers. Also in grades 6-12, the standards for literacy in history/social
studies, science, and technical subjects ensure that students can independently build
knowledge in these disciplines through reading and writing. Reading, writing, speaking, and
listening should span the school day from K-12 as integral parts of every subject.


CCS: Key Shifts in Mathematics


The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics build on the best of existing standards and
reflect the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in college, career, and life.
Understanding how the standards differ from previous standards—and the necessary shifts they
call for—is essential to implementing them.

The following are the key shifts called for by the Common Core:

1. Greater focus on fewer topics

The Common Core calls for greater focus in mathematics. Rather than racing to cover many
topics in a mile-wide, inch-deep curriculum, the standards ask math teachers to significantly
narrow and deepen the way time and energy are spent in the classroom. This means focusing
deeply on the major work of each grade as follows:

o In grades K–2: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to addition and

o In grades 3–5: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to multiplication and
division of whole numbers and fractions

o In grade 6: Ratios and proportional relationships, and early algebraic expressions and

o In grade 7: Ratios and proportional relationships, and arithmetic of rational numbers
o In grade 8: Linear algebra and linear functions

This focus will help students gain strong foundations, including a solid understanding of
concepts, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply the math they
know to solve problems inside and outside the classroom.

2. Coherence: Linking topics and thinking across grades

Mathematics is not a list of disconnected topics, tricks, or mnemonics; it is a coherent body of
knowledge made up of interconnected concepts. Therefore, the standards are designed around
coherent progressions from grade to grade. Learning is carefully connected across grades so
that students can build new understanding onto foundations built in previous years. For
example, in 4thgrade, students must “apply and extend previous understandings of
multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number” (Standard 4.NF.4). This extends to
5th grade, when students are expected to build on that skill to “apply and extend previous
understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction”
(Standard 5.NF.4). Each standard is not a new event, but an extension of previous learning.


Coherence is also built into the standards in how they reinforce a major topic in a grade by
utilizing supporting, complementary topics. For example, instead of presenting the topic of
data displays as an end in itself, the topic is used to support grade-level word problems in
which students apply mathematical skills to solve problems.
3. Rigor: Pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application
with equal intensity
Rigor refers to deep, authentic command of mathematical concepts, not making math harder or
introducing topics at earlier grades. To help students meet the standards, educators will need to
pursue, with equal intensity, three aspects of rigor in the major work of each grade: conceptual
understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application.
Conceptual understanding: The standards call for conceptual understanding of key concepts,
such as place value and ratios. Students must be able to access concepts from a number of
perspectives in order to see math as more than a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures.
Procedural skills and fluency: The standards call for speed and accuracy in calculation.
Students must practice core functions, such as single-digit multiplication, in order to have
access to more complex concepts and procedures. Fluency must be addressed in the classroom
or through supporting materials, as some students might require more practice than others.
Application: The standards call for students to use math in situations that require mathematical
knowledge. Correctly applying mathematical knowledge depends on students having a solid
conceptual understanding and procedural fluency.


Deeper Learning Lesson Plan Template Topic/Subject:
Unit: Materials:
What will students learn (objective)?:

What evidence of learning will students produce

Pre-assessment: WIFM? What’s in it for me (the student)?

Activating Prior Knowledge: Differentiation Ideas:

Acquiring & Processing Information – Lesson Procedure:


Teacher Debrief: What worked, did not work? What would I do differently next time? What did I
do well? Any extenuating circumstances?


Sample Deeper Learning Lesson Plan Topic/Subject: Life Skills
Unit: Growth Mindsets – Lesson #1

Length: 30 min Credits: 0.1 for participation & final reflection

What will students learn (objective)?: Materials:

Students will reflect on the concept of a growth Audio
mindset. They will evaluate what it has to do Internet connection
with famous people as well as how it can relate to Projector (optional)
their own lives. They will also practice White board
communication skills in this mini-lesson. Paper
Writing tools
What evidence of learning will students
produce (assessment/product)?

Students will produce of evidence of learning
through their answers to the final closure
questions and their participation during

Pre-assessment: N/A

Hook: WIFM? What’s in it for me (the student)?

Play a clip of John Legend’s song “All of Me”: Students have a chance to realize that not all artists are born with talent; talent and success
are earned through dedication and hard work
Brainstorm with students what it takes to get a and not necessarily through luck or natural
song played on the radio. What must this ability. They also have the ability to improve,
musician have done to get his song recorded and learn new skills and grow through hard work.

Activating Prior Knowledge: Differentiation Ideas:

Ask students to list as many successful athletes, Think/Pair/Share verbally
musicians, actors/actresses, etc…as they can think Written reflections and answers to questions
of in 3 min. Visual recording of singer with discussion
questions posted on board
Ask: What makes these people special or different Wait time when asking for answers or thoughts
from the rest of us? Are they special or different Small group discussion vs. partners vs. whole
from the rest of us? Why or why not? class

Acquiring & Processing Information – Lesson Procedure:

1. Share the following quote and ask students to individually write a short response to the
following questions:

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us.
We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves
extraordinary.” ― Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success


a. What does this mean?
b. Why would this be?
c. Do they agree or disagree and why?

2. Pair/share answers with a partner

3. Show the following 2 minute interview clip of John Legend, the singer from the opening
song in this lesson:

4. Ask students to individually reflect on the quote again. What new understandings do they
have after watching the interview? What is John Legend’s message?

5. Match partner pairs to create groups of 4. After they’ve had a chance to discuss their
thoughts, ask teams to discuss these questions:
a. How does an ordinary person make themselves extraordinary?
b. Why do we like to think of our champions and idols as being born different from us?

6. Hold a whole class discussion. Encourage all students to participate on some level – this is
about sharing thinking and opinions; there are no right or wrong answers.


1. Ask students to write answers to the following questions for 3-5 minutes. Make sure they
answer at least one question from both A and B (A questions deal with thoughts, B questions
with meta-cognition):

a. What do they think about the quote now? What does it mean to them and did their
agreement or disagreement change? If their opinion stayed the same, what new
thoughts did they have about it during the discussion?

b. What did they learn about themselves during the discussion? What part of the
activity was easy or challenging? How does this quote apply to their lives?

2. Share out and collect work.

*This is not to be graded; you can assign the 0.1 credit assuming participation in the final
written reflection and incorporate it into their average class grade. Students should not be
evaluated on their discussion participation; this is a non-evaluative assignment and students
should feel safe demonstrating evidence of reflection and understanding – or demonstrating
that they didn’t understand and that’s okay.


Teacher Debrief: What worked, did not work? What would I do differently next time? What did I
do well? Any extenuating circumstances?
If you teach this, please send me feedback on how it went: Rachel at [email protected]!


Common Core Lesson Plan Template

Title of lesson: Author:


Course Title: Use the Benchmark Course Outlines to fill out the lesson
Course Number: in our database

Benchmark #: ESLR #:

Common Core State Standard Addressed:

Learning Objective(s): (what will students be able to do/know by the end of the lesson) S

Levels of Rigor (use attached Bloom’s Taxonomy or Webb’s DOK):
How is this lesson relevant to college and/or career readiness?


Key Vocabulary:


n’s applicable correlating information. This helps us make the lesson searchable

Students will be able to: Credits Possible:


Lesson Opener: (focus student attention/activate and assess prior knowledge)
Differentiation: How will you differentiate these activities? (Higher level, low


wer level, ELL, 504/IEP, etc…)


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