Common Core Matters

November/December 2012

Common Curriculum

"Common Curriculum is a new online lesson planning resource that aims to help you align your lessons to Common Core standards. You can enter your courses and write your lesson plans. After you enter a lesson plan into your Common Curriculum planner, you can click "search for standard" to have Common Curriculum search for Common Core standards that might match your lesson plan. The more text you include in your lesson plan, the more likely Common Curriculum is to find Common Core standards that match your lesson plans." Click Broadcast to get an URL that you can use to put your lessons on a website or share in an email. It only takes a few minutes to sign up for a free account. Note: To use Common Curriculm with Internet Explorer, you have to install a plugin made by Google. Or you can use a different browser, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. (


As you know, Common Core addresses the need to include informational text in instruction. Wonderopolis is a great source for providing high-interest non-fiction text for students. Each day, a new "wonder" is presented containing these three sections: the article, a related video, and questions to focus students' reading. With more than 500 "wonders" currently archived on the site, students will have a wide range of topics to choose from. There is a search box in the top right corner where you can enter a topic that you're studying. This could be used as a springboard for a new lesson or as a research topic. There are many ways to use Wonderopolis in the classroom. If you'd like to read how one teacher used it, click here to read her blog post. Very interesting! (


DOGO News offers interesting current event articles that students can read and discuss. There are articles in areas of current events, science, sports, social studies, did you know, green, general, entertainment, international, amazing, and fun. There are also engaging videos! If you sign up as a teacher they offer lesson plan resources and ideas on how to build your own online classroom newspaper. It also offers kid website reviews and maps with articles linked to sites around the world. (

Meet Me at the Corner

Meet Me At The Corner is a virtual field trip site that is filled with a variety of interesting, factual videos. New episodes are unloaded every two weeks. Click the "All Videos" tab to browse, choose from the category list, or search for a topic. For each video, there are learning activities, discussion questions, relevant websites, and recommended books. (

PBS Learning Media

PBS Learning Media is a free media library with thousands of digital resources designed and aligned to common core and national standards. Resources include audios, videos, documents, images, lesson plans, and interactives. Browse by subject area (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health/Physical Education, Professional Development, and Preschool) or enter a search term for any topic. You can also limit your search by grade level. Most of the content is accessible without an account, but simply sign up for a free account to access even more. Almost as good as Discovery Education's United Streaming! (

Reading Like a Historian

The Reading Like a Historian curriculum turns students into historical investigators. The curriculum features dozens of document-based lessons that teach the skills of historical thinking while improving students' reading comprehension. Each lesson (75 of them) revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents modified for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities. The classroom posters remind students what questions they should be asking as they read historical documents. (

A Little Tech Humor...