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Common Core resources

Three high-quality Common Core resources are now available to support locals and members as they navigate the transition to the new standards. Check them out.

  • Building Better ClassroomsCleveland Teachers Union exemplar lessons on - With a grant from the AFT Innovation Fund, the Cleveland Teachers Union set out to create exemplar lessons that focus on the key instructional shifts required by the Common Core State standards. The union recruited a skilled team of classroom teachers to write lessons for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. A national expert reviewed each lesson using the EQuIP Rubric, a widely used tool designed to evaluate Common Core materials. Teachers received feedback on their work and made revisions, polishing their lessons to the highest standards. This school year, Building Better Classrooms will create lessons for students in grades 3-5. All of the Building Better Classrooms lessons are available on Share My Lesson – you can find them by visiting the Cleveland Teacher Union profile page, at
  • Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center model instructional units on - The CTU Quest Center received a grant from the AFT Innovation Fund to develop model instructional units. Teams of National Board Certified Teachers wrote four units: an interdisciplinary unit focusing on informational text for grades K-2; a geometry unit for K-3 math; an interdisciplinary unit focused on close reading for grades 3-5; and a high school mathematics unit on quadratics. A high school English language arts unit is in progress. Each unit includes lesson plans displaying instructional practice; suggested teacher support for student responses; adaptations for English learners; and an analysis of the CCSS to support educators in understanding the shifts in teaching practice. The lessons were peer reviewed by fellow grade-level and/or content teachers, and by specialists in English language learning. In addition, they were critiqued by Timothy Shanahan and John Baldwin of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Ava Belisle-Chatterjee of Columbia College Chicago. All of the units are available on Share My Lesson – you can find them by visiting the CTU Quest Center profile page, at
  • – Student Achievement Partners recent re-launched their website,, with a new design and hundreds of additional resources. a place for teachers to learn about the college and career readiness expectations of the Common Core, find practical tools and resources to support implementation in the classroom, and hear from other teachers doing this important work. The resources available on the site have been assembled by and for educators and are freely available to everyone to use, modify, and share. Here are some highlights of the resources featured on the new site:
    • iTunesU Courses on the Shifts designed to help educators develop a deep understanding of the Common Core State Standards and the Shifts they require to prepare all students for college and careers.
    • A new Toolkit of free resources for evaluating instructional and assessment materials -- including textbooks, lessons, units, benchmark and classroom assessments -- for alignment to the Common Core State Standards. Developed for educators in joint partnership by Achieve, The Council of Chief State School Officers, and Student Achievement Partners.
    • In Commona collection of hundreds of fully annotated student writing samples aligned to the Common Core, including K-12 samples from all three types of Common Core writing: argument/opinion, informative/ explanatory, and narrative.
    • Annotated Mathematics Tasks – A growing collection of finely crafted mathematics tasks, for use in the classroom or in teacher professional development. Each task comes with commentary that explains how the task illustrates the focus, coherence, and rigor of the Standards.

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