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6 Common Core Resources That I’m Thankful For

By Lindsey Petlak on November 20, 2013
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Do you ever feel a bit like the Pilgrims sailing across uncharted waters, en route to an unknown land as you attempt to navigate the waves of change that come with the Common Core State Standards? I know exactly how you feel! I have spent a great deal of time scouring for quality online resources that will aid in smooth sailing.

1) Common Sense for Common Core by Scholastic

What It Is:

Use the new Common Core website to explore Scholastic’s Core-ready programs and materials to help students become college and career ready while maintaining the joy in learning. Everything teachers, administrators, and parents need to navigate the CCSS can be found here. Do yourself a HUGE favor and take some time to explore the numerous features on this site, using the navigator and teacher/parent pages below!

Scholastic Common Sense for Common Core navigation panel

Scholastic Common Core Teacher Resources

Scholastic Common Core Parent Resources


How I Use It: 

Since this site is brand new, I'm still enjoying exploring the many resources offered. What I love is that it's so easy to navigate through, even though it has so much to offer. See if you enjoy my fave features listed below as much as I do. Leave a comment to share what you think and how you use/plan to use them in your planning and instruction.

Features I love most about this site include:

  • Book lists

  • Lesson plans

  • Scholastic product finder

  • News updates

  • Answers to common questions

  • Expert videos

  • Parent page resources for home-school connections and parent education

2) Mastery Connect Common Core Standards App

What It Is:

Mastery Connect app includes the following features:

  • View the CCSS in one free app!

  • Access a great reference for students, parents, and teachers to easily read and understand the Core standards.

  • Find standards by subject, grade, and subject category (domain/cluster). This app includes math standards K-12 and language arts standards K-12.

  • Math standards include both traditional and integrated pathways and synthesizes language arts standards with the corresponding College and Career Readiness Standards (CCR's).



How I Use It:

I use this app daily for planning, quick reference, assessment targets, and more. It is so nice to be able to pull up both abbreviated and fully expanded versions of each standard for ELA and math. See below for other Mastery Connect apps you might want to add to your mobile device to help navigate the CCSS.

3) LearnZillion

What it Is: “LearnZillion is a learning platform that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting. Each lesson highlights a Common Core standard, starting with math in grades 3-9.” — LearnZillion Website

Learn more about the app and website by watching these informative and inspiring videos from LearnZillion.

Watch the sample instructional and "about us" videos to learn more about LearnZillion.


How I Use It:

Since discovering LearnZillion a year ago, I’ve used it in so many ways for several different purposes. See how I’ve found these videos to work best for my class and colleagues and try them out yourself!

  • Professional development training on CCSS concepts and instructional methods

  • Whole class lesson supplements

  • Small group video demonstrations

  • Independent in-class flipped lessons

  • At home flipped learning assignments

  • Parental education through lessons and “about LearnZillion” videos

4) Digital Planbooks With Common Core Alignment Features

What They Are:

With the increase of technology in education and professional development, and the onset of CCSS, many online lesson planners have popped up fully equipped with CCSS alignment features. Use these online planbooks (some are free and some come with a charge) to match standards to your daily plans. Each online resource below has different features, capabilities, and formats. Click on each image below to explore for yourself!







How I Use It:

I have been using Planbook.com for nearly three years, and love it. After trying other online lesson planners, I’ve remained with Planbook.com because I love the simple format, ability to hyperlink and upload documents to each lesson plan, and (most importantly) the advantage of being able to assign CCSS (and other standards such as Next Generation Science Standards and state standards) to each lesson. Recently I’ve discovered Common Curriculum, and I’m looking into it more for potential use during the second part of this year or next year.

5) iDoceo App

What It Is: 

iDoceo is an app-based gradebook for the iPad. No Internet access is required to use it. This app will calculate averages in real time, includes features for seating, lesson plans, checklists, icon/text/number grading, and more. You may import and export information to and from this app, to make record keeping and communicating data simple and efficient. iDoceo is an inexpensive app.


How I Use It:

I ADORE iDoceo for numerous reasons! It’s my first year using this app, and I can’t wait to learn more functions as I further explore. Currently, I’m using iDoceo to track CCSS standards taught and practiced, checklists for school forms, and behavior. It’s most useful for recording scores on non-percentage-based assignments (like projects and/or interactive student notebooks) using the 1–4 scale from our report cards and Marzano’s Levels of Thinking/Understanding. Once I set a task, align it to the CCSS, and then assign a score, I'm able to instantly document each student's work via photo, video, voice recording, or file upload . . . Voila!  CCSS portfolios for each student!

5) Scholastic Top Teaching Blog Posts:

Want more inspiration?  Do you feel like you need to see the CCSS in action in real classrooms? Don’t forget about the awesome resources, tutorials, and testimonials from the Top Teaching bloggers who love “keepin’ it real” when it comes to the CCSS. From CCSS organization, to calendar math, to ELA mini-units, enjoy these recent posts from Genia, Brian, and me! (Click on each image below to be taken directly to each blog post.)



Do you have other online resources for the CCSS that you absolutely love? If so, please share.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to sign up for my RSS feed for future posts!


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