Achieve the Core: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

So, far be it from me to rain on my own parade, but I was introduced to a website that will REALLY benefit teachers who are in CCSS; especially those that have adopted the PARCC as the state testing tool. I am currently in the process of creating something very similar to what this website has already done (it is in partnership with PARCC/Pearson), and I had anticipated having different versions tailored to the FSA (Florida Standards Assessment), the PARCC, and Smarter Balance tests, but now I may not have to do the PARCC ones. We’ll see. I have yet to explore this site fully, but what I have seen from it is very helpful. It does a great job of going through and showing teachers types of questions that would be considered “old” style, and how they compare to the “new” CCSS-style questions. They also have a nice section where they explain WHY the new questions align to the new standards and why the old ones don’t. Of course, these are based on the interpretations of the Pearson/PARCC people and states with different assessments may have different interpretations (Lord knows I don’t agree with all the things I’m seeing put out by Florida and the FSA…), but it is definitely a good place to start. They have ELA resources as well as Math. I haven’t explored any of the Math section yet, but the ELA should be very useful for teachers grades 3-11 in both reading comprehension (multiple choice, open, and extended response questions) and writing. I hope this site gives you ample resources to use in your classroom. I also hope that if you use what they have and are looking for more, that you will come to my store and check out my line. I’m running a little behind on the products because…well, if you’ve never created lessons, you won’t fully appreciate this, but any teacher worth his/her salt will: it just takes so much more time than you think it will when you envision it in your head. I’m still hoping to have most of my 6th grade CIM (Continuous Improvement Model) lessons up and available before the New Year, but it will probably be a few months before the 7th, 8th, and 9-10th grade lessons are ready. Also, I’m still going to try and get at least 2 full practice tests up and ready for each grade level before testing season starts (which in most states is mid-April). I’m also still trying to find time to work on a text-based Writer’s Workshop to have a tool more closely aligned to the new CCSS-style writing students are seeing, rather than the old, typical, prompt-based writing. Lofty goals, I know, but I’m really working on it. Anyway, here are some images from the Achieve the Core site, and of course, the link:

AtC 2

AtC 3

AtC 1


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