Welcome to my Common Core State Standards work site!

The resources here will help you walk through the integration process of the CCSS. We'll work together to make the transition a
learning experience for all!

Step 1: Look at the standards and understand the organization:

Look at the standards themselves. Note the "Anchor Standards" for ELA and the "8 Standards of Mathematical Practice in Math.
Examine a standard across grade levels (the "progressions"), and consider common terminology...what words to you see repetitively?
Common Core Website
ELA Standards
Math Standards
The South Dakota Common Core Teacher website

Step 2: Look at the Appendices and other important information
ELA Appendix A
The first part of 'Appendix A: Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards' makes a research-based case for why the complexity of what students read matters. The second part of this section addresses how text complexity can be measured and made a regular part of instruction.
It introduces a three-part model that blends qualitative and quantitative measures of text complexity with reader and task considerations.
The section concludes with three annotated examples showing how the model can be used to assess the complexity of various kinds of texts appropriate for different grade levels.
ELA Appendix B
'Appendix B: Text Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks' contains exemplars of reading text complexity, quality, and range; as well as sample performance tasks that further clarify the meaning of the CCSS. The materials are divided into text complexity grade bands: K–1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, 9–10, and 11–CCR (college & career ready). K–5 exemplars are separated into stories, poetry, and informational texts (as well as read-aloud texts in K–3). The 6–CCR exemplars are divided into English language arts (ELA), history/social studies, science, mathematics, and technical subjects, with the ELA texts further subdivided into stories, drama, poetry, and informational texts. Citations introduce each excerpt and additional citations are included for texts not excerpted
Several of the suggested texts are available online for free. You can see a list of where to find the free versions, as well as where you can purchase those that are not free can be found.

ELA Appendix C
'Appendix C: Samples of Student Writing' contains writing samples that have been annotated to illustrate the criteria required to meet the CCSS for particular types of writing—argument, informative/explanatory text, and narrative—in a given grade. Each of the samples exhibits at least the level of quality required to meet the writing standards for that grade.
Math Appendix A
Designing high school courses based on the CCSS. The move to CCSS ask educators to think about teaching math differently. Both in terms of mathematical problems solving and in terms of how we structure math courses.

Understanding the "Shifts"
There are a few BIG SHIFTS that have happened in both Math and ELA standards. There is much discussion regarding these shifts.
Take a look at the videos below and consider what the shifts mean to our teachers and students.
Shifts in Math
A website with excellent resource to get started understanding the shifts in Math: Illustrative Math
Shifts in ELA
Content area classroom shifts
Shifts"The CCSS ask teachers to incorporate an increased level of rigor into their classrooms.
The "Shifts" lead Math Teacher to integrate 8 Standards of Math Practice;
ELA teachers to ask students to read CLOSELY and pay particular attention to EVIDENCE in text.
What does this mean??
The 8 Standards of Mathematical Practice
Videos describing the 8 Practices
Close Reading Described
Close Reading Examples

Step 3: Look at the South Dakota Common Core Teachers Website:
Disaggregated standards are the standards, unpacked. It tells teachers what each standard really means. A teacher friendly description of a standard and what kids need to "Know, Understand and Do" to achieve mastery of a standard. This helps us to look inwardly and decide if what we are doing in a classroom actually MEETS a standard, or if we need to consider bumping the lesson up.
South Dakota Teachers have unpacked the ELA and Math standards -- take a look!
SD Disaggregated Standards website
This site includes 4 key integration tools:
1. Disaggregated standards - Pay special attention to "Know, Understand, & Do" - think..."what are the essential questions for this standard?"
The KUD for each standard was identified by SD teacher teams. The KUD informs our decisions about the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) required to master a given standard -- and therefore drives our curriculum and assessment planning.
2. Overview and checklists: These documents indicate what how standards align to "instructional focus" areas and how those areas build upon one another.
The checklists gives teachers a yearlong overview of what standards are explicitly taught and assessed in each Instructional Focus (IF) by grade level.
3. Blueprints:​ Organized by grade level and instructional focus, this document gives possible titles, a suggested time, and lists all the standards to be explicitly taught and mastered.
4. MyOER: MyOER is the online clearing house that is connected to the blueprints where teachers will find the resources used to build the blueprints.

Understand DOK and Rigor - Webbs Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
Depth of Knowledge (DOK) may be somewhat new to South Dakota teachers however, DOK reinforces exemplary classroom practice and is consistent with the CCSS and teacher best practices. Most teachers were introduced to Bloom’s Taxonomy in pedagogy classes during their teacher preparation program. In Bloom’s Taxonomy, different verbs represent six levels of cognitive processes.
However, unlike Bloom’s system, the DOK levels are not a taxonomical tool that uses verbs to classify the level of each cognitive demand.The DOK level is determined by the degree of mental processing required by
the student to meet the objectives of a particular classroom activity. When we talk about assessment, DOK is the cognitive demand required to correctly answer test questions. DOK more closely reflects the depth and breadth we would like our students to achieve in the classroom.
The four levels of Webb's DOK are:
DOK 1 – Recall and Reproduction -Recall a fact, term, principle, concept, perform routine procedure; locate details
•DOK 2 – Basic Application of Skills/Concepts - Use of information; conceptual knowledge; select appropriate procedures for a given task; two or more steps with decision points along the way; routine problems; organize display data; interpret/use simple graphs; summarize, identify main idea; explain relationships; make predictions.
•DOK 3 – Strategic Thinking - Requires reasoning, or developing a plan or sequence of steps to approach a problem; requires decision making or justification; abstract, complex, or non-routine; often more than one possible answer; support solutions with evidence.
•DOK 4 – Extended Thinking - An investigation or application to real world; requires times to research, problem solve, and process multiple conditions of the problem or task; non=routine, manipulations; synthesize information across disciplines/content areas/multiple sources.

Take a look at this document with examples.
The South Dakota DOE has also made this document available:
Dr. Karin Hess is widely known for her work with Webb's Depth of Knowledge and the Cognitive Rigor Matrix.
Dr. Hess explains DOK in this video:Dr. Hess and Webb's Depth of Knowledge

Links for Karin Hess' work with rigor and Webb's Level's

Kess, K. (2004) "Applying Webb's Depth-of-Knowledge Levels in Reading, Writing, Math Science, Social Studies, Science:"

NYC Common Core Site includes a video explaining Webbs Levels and and example using "The Gettysburg Address"

A "Card Sort" Activity for teachers learning about Webb's Depth of Knowledge:
Sort the cards based on what DOK they represent.

Understand Progressions
How do the standards look across grade levels? How is the foundation built prior to the learning in my classroom...and how will what I teach them be used as they move through the next grade level?
Math Progressions:

ELA Progressions:

Understanding HOT thinking skills:
The language of the standards helps us to understand the critical thinking skills necessary to match learning activities and assessments to the required thinking skills. First, let's consider what the common language of the standards. What are the common verbs in the standards?

.....and how do those verbs align commonly align with Webb's Levels of thinking...

Then, consider what sorts of strategies might help us design activities that build these skills:

When using these strategies, it is important that we use the "Gradual Release of Responsibility" when initially teaching the skill:

watch a video of this "I Do, We Do, You Do" gradual release in action: Gradual Release of Responsibility

Step 4: Identify Gaps and areas for growth: "Plan for Action"
Alignment worksheet (individual work)
Pairs discussion.
Grade level conversation ("curriculum mapping" at grade level to create consensus)
- Are we all on the same page regarding gaps and areas for growth at our grade level?
- What will our Action Plan look like? Who will work on what? By when? What are the expectations?
- How will we ensure that everyone has access to group work completed?
- Have we considered "Critical Areas" for Math?
- Math Critical Areas
Math Alignment Tool options:


ELA Alignment Tool:

Content Areas (History, Science, Fine Arts, Tech Ed, etc.)

The Common Core State Standards include literacy standards for the content areas. It is important to remember that we are all teachers of literacy.
Content area teachers can being by analyzing the gaps in their curriculum as well. Gaps will allow teachers to focus their work.
The standards are broken down into two categories: History/Social Studies, and Science and Technical Subjects. But these are standards for all classrooms. Take a look at the standards...and consider, "do I teach these standards?" Open a gap analysis graphic organizer below, think about one of your classrooms, and complete the gap analysis to drive your work today.

Step 5: Closing gaps: Curriculum development:
Using "action plan" from above, begin curriculum work. You can begin by looking at lessons from online "clearing houses" like the ones below. As you assess the lessons you see, remember to be critical about work you are looking at.
Dig into these examples with the following questions in mind:
(a) What makes this lesson/activity rigorous? What DOK level(s) are addressed?
(b) What strategies/practices/assessments do I see that I currently use?
(c) What strategies/practices/assessments could I put into place?
Which of the strategies that are discussed above might match appropriately?

A Few Lesson Plan Clearing House options:
Set up and account and look at lessons at OER site:
Inside Mathematics has lesson exemplers
Model ELA Curricula from Ohio
Check the New York site for exemplars:
Thinkfinity also has lesson ideas
engageNY has a significant list of curriculum exemplars that are in great detail
Achieve the Core
Khan Academy
Utah Education Network
The Mathematics Assessment Project
Illustrative Mathematics
Even PINTEREST has lots of great ideas offers a membership ($10/individual or district-wide option) to see/download lots of vetted lesson samples,
but there are a few available for free now.
North Carolina's lesson plan site
OER Commons website of CCSS aligned resources
Mathematics Assessment Project

When you have had sufficient time to consider sample lessons as a "spring board", you can begin the development work based on your grade level action plan. You are welcome to use this unit planning template...or one of your own preference!

- Be sure to:
(a) align the Know, Understand & Do of the standard with your teaching materials
(b) align the tasks, assignments and assessments to ensure standards and DOK are addressed

Assessment Samples

Often, looking at sample assessment questions help us to understand if classroom assignments and assessments are aligned with CCSS.
Begin with the END in Mind...take a look at and consider how you will assess mastery of the standards.
Smarter Balanced Assessment
The PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessment samples
Assessing the Common Core
Smarter Balanced Assessment FAQ
New York Common Core Sample Assessment Questions
Smarter Balanced Practice Assessment Questions
Math Sample Assessment Questions

Step 6: Building Level Curriculum Discussions
Begin with Grade Level conversations about curriculum.
How are the standards taught in each grade level? Conduct sequence discussions..what is taught in the fall...winter and spring? What do units looks like? How do we scaffold to build skills?
Curriculum should be consistent across classrooms.
Assessments should be consistent across classrooms.
Timelines should be consistent across classrooms.
Specifics of lesson plans, differentiation, and details will look different from classroom to classroom based on student needs.

Vertical Mapping Conversations
Now it is time for conversations ACROSS grade levels!
Ask your colleagues the grade level below and the grade level ahead...
How does our curriculum support the standards across grade levels? Does it build and spiral across grade levels...introduction, practice and mastery at the appropriate grade levels?
Do we use consistent language? Does our curriculum timeline/calendar make sense? Do our assessments build upon each other?
Use these graphic organizers to assist in your conversations:

Step 7: Building, Refining and editing
Progressions, Scope and Sequence:

As you develop curriculum materials as well as move through the school year and you engage in teaching new and different lessons, as yourself:
Performance tasks - do our assignments teach the CCSS standards at the appropriate DOK?
Assessments - do our tests measure the CCSS standards at the appropriate DOK?
Are we all measuring students consistently - what is "Mastery" and is everyone measuring it the same?

You may also be in the process of evaluating curriculum materials for purchase. The
Council of Chief State School Officers have created a tool to assist educators in evaluating textbooks and e-materials prior to purchase, as well as assessment materials. This is a helpful tool and is broken down by ELA and Math as well as by grade bands.

Extra resources:
Literacy in the Content Areas
Oregon explains the Six Shifts in Math
The "shifts" in Math standards
Illustrated Math Website Illustrating the range/types of work that students
will experience in a faithful implementation of the CCSS.
Math Standards Scope and Sequence Tools
Videos for all of the Math Standards


Social Studies/History, Science and Technical Subjects

The Hunt Institute videos focusing on teaching the CCSS
EngageNY - The New York state CCSS implementation video series
CAST Universal Design Training Modules
Video Lesson - Math CCSS
Illinois Teacher Support Website
Hawaii Teacher Support Website
Georgia K-5 CCSS Curriculum