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Welcome to Common Core ELA Lessons!

Are you confused by the Common Core ELA Standards? Are you at a loss trying to find quality materials that help you address the Standards in your classroom? Whether you are looking for a quick lesson or an entire unit, you've come to the right place! We’re a group of educators who create and share both free and for-purchase materials for teaching the Common Core State Standards. Feel free to browse posts below, use the list of strands to the right to find a product for a specific grade level or grade level strand, or click the grade level you are interested in the bar at the very top of this page. Enjoy!

Featured Posts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The House on Mango Street CCSS Literature Guide NOW Available in PDF!

The highly requested Common Core Standards-Based Literature Guide for The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is now here!

Everything you've ever wanted in a unit plan is in this Guide! This Secondary Solutions Literature Guide for The House on Mango Street includes 122 pages of student coursework, activities, quizzes, tests, and more aligned with the Common Core State Standards for ELA as well as the NCTE/IRA National ELA Content Standards in English for grades 9-12. This The House on Mango Street Literature Guide is the solution to your lesson planning and CCSS stress!

Click here to VIEW sample pages of this The House on Mango Street Literature Guide


Friday, February 22, 2013

Presidents' Day Isn't Over Yet!

Ever notice how many car dealerships extend Presidents' Day throughout the whole month of February?  Well, that's what I do in the classroom!

February is incredibly busy, and I want to give the presidents the amount of time they're worth!  

I've been teaching the children about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  
We've spent a couple of days talking about the strengths and qualities of both presidents. 

Here is one of the Writing Common Core Standards for Second Grade:  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and,also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

Check out Elementary Matters to find this freebie on opinion writing we'll be using to address this Common Core standard.
Happy Presidents' Month!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snowmen Literacy

We just love the Snowmen books!  Doesn't matter which ones; we still love them!  Students just get lost in their imaginations thinking about what their snowmen might be up to running around at night.  

Snowmen at Night (Storytown Library, Grade K, Story 8)Snowmen at Work

Since we love these books, I aligned some reading activities and a couple of writing units to the common core and we were ready to have some fun while learning!

I included a bubble map so students could compare the snowmen characters in the two stories.  I also included an are, can, have chart and even a blank one so students can come up with their own characteristics to plug in on the chart.  

Lots of comprehension cards for both books are in this unit so students can get practice remembering details from the stories.  And I put in a making words lesson to work on phonics and phonemic awareness skills.

Reading Comprehension activities

Students need lots of writing experience for the common core.  I have included a narrative writing unit and and explanatory writing unit so students can get more writing practice and have fun doing it!  I included writing rubrics for grades 1 & 2 to help you out!

writing unit and rubrics

I hope that your students enjoy this Snowmen Literacy Unit!  It does cover several common core standards and is a lot of fun at the same time.   

Thanks for letting me visit with you again.  Drop over to my blog sometime and visit!

Conversations in Literacy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Common Core Reading Standards Themes

I created this Common Core theme packet for teachers who need a generic theme sheet and student friendly rubric they can use with any book or story. I've been receiving very positive feedback from teachers, because to create Common Core student worksheets for every book or story, would be very time consuming!  This aligns with grades 4 and 5, but can be used with other grades.

photo of Common Core Reading Standards Themes, PDF, reading, Common Core, Ruth S.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Thank You Card Freebie

The second grade Language Standards include this standard for letter writing:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.2b Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.

Writing Thank You Notes will give students an opportunity to practice this skill, and it's a valuable tradition!

It's time for the thank you cards!

I made a blank Thank You Note for you to copy.  Just run off the pages back to back to make it into card form.

I also have specific information about the parts of a Thank You Note on my blog at Elementary Matters.

Enjoy writing your Thank You Notes!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's Short Vowel Time!

Every year when we learn about short vowels, I always need a few more activities to help those sounds become just a little more solid for my students. Some students just need a little more work with those sounds to help them remember.   The students and I like to make this foldable!  Vowels on the outside and the picture clue on the inside.  Short, simple and easy for them to keep at their desk for a reminder.

I also like the activity Roll A Word.  Students roll the beginning sound (on the green cube) and then roll the ending sound (on the red cube).  They say the word out loud using the vowel they are working on and then decide if that word is a real word or a nonsense word and record it on their sheet.  The recording sheets color coordinate with the letters on the cubes to help you and them to keep all the cubes separate.  Just makes it easier for organization since there are 10 cubes- 2 per vowel!  Can you imagine the chaos of trying to keep them separated otherwise?  :)

Who doesn't love a picture sort?  I know my kids love to work picture sorts!  On this one, students get picture sorting mats (this one is of an octopus) and they place the short vowel above the mat.  Then as they go through the stack of colorful pictures they place them on the mats for the short vowel sound for that picture. 

I include Making Words in this pack too.  Making words is such a valuable activity for working with sounds and switching sounds in and out of words to make new words.  This is one of my all time favorite activities for teaching all kinds of sounds, not just short vowels!

I like having students make short vowel books.  They get to decide what words they want to include in their own books  It's just another way for them to practice saying and hearing the sounds in words and then categorizing them.  

I leave you with this picture of a fun short vowel Bingo game!   As you can see, working with short vowels can be a lot of fun for students and of course, it is very important that they get those sounds down very well.  These activities can be used with the whole class, small groups, or in literacy centers.  I use them not only with my reading groups, but also during RtI.  I usually have groups in RtI that are needing short vowel sound practice and these are some fun ways to get that in!

Thank you so much for reading along with me about short vowels.  I hope you found some activities that will help your students!  Click here if you are needing them.  It is all common core aligned and designed to help your students have fun while learning!

Happy New Year!!!   Come by and visit me sometime!   

Conversations in Literacy

Friday, December 21, 2012

How NOT to Read Fluently

All the elementary grades have this standard in the area of Reading Foundational Skills:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4:  Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Click image to download freebie.

Today, my students spent some of our reading time practicing fluency. Especially at this time of year, I go out of my way to make it fun. (Brain research shows us that "fun" is a big motivator, but I think teachers knew that before the research was done!)

There are 4 important parts to fluency:
  1. automaticity in word recognition 
  2. accurate word recognition
  3. rate (speed) of reading
  4. prosody, or expression
I thought this activity would be perfect to put into my emergency sub plans.  It's got limited materials and is a skill that needs to be practiced frequently.  I've typed up the directions for you to download and put into your own emergency plans.  Come on over to Elementary Matters to learn more!