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Common Core Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts: Grades 6-8 Paperback – Oct 4 2011

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Common Core Curriculum: English, Grades 6-8
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Only a Map, but a Useful One Jan. 9 2012
By Elvin Ortiz - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The text is not a discussion or debate about methodologies or proper strategies; its title is quite clear. This book offers a map that makes connection between the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) and English Language Arts content. Following some recent curriculum designs, such as Wiggins & McTighe's Understanding by Design, Erickson's Concept-Based Curriculum, or Backward Design (these texts are not mentioned in this book), the text aims at designing six thematic units per grade, taking the common core standards as the catapult for each lesson. Themes may have to with values (e.g. Courage or perseverance) or literature (e.g. Action is character; the importance of setting in fiction) and the texts suggested are a combination of fiction and non-fiction. This is because the CCSS are designed to raise the standards to greater depth and to motivate students to participate in their own learning.

The description of the text provided above is quite accurate. I like the overview because it is a brief summary of what students are expected to do with the unit; and I also like the fact that it reminds teachers that learning from this lesson requires students to have knowledge acquired in the previous grade, stressing the importance of continuity in designing curriculum and expecting successful results. The only weakness would be to expect that every student read the same text from the previous grade, since there is a part in the lesson plan that makes connections between texts from both grades (e.g. A sixth grade text and a seventh grade text). However, this can be ignored since the "map" is a tool that can be adapted to different circumstances.It also provides a variety of suggested activities meant for advanced and slow learners, and student-centered as well as teacher-centered activities. Since each lesson provides in detail all the standards, the possible objectives, at least 12 assessment activities, the book turns out to be quite useful.

I read above that six units may not be enough, but I believe that they are sufficient to prepare a learner for the next grade considering the in-depth coverage given to the theme by each lesson or unit (also all language skills are included here).

Although the book states that it is for those responsible for implementing the state curriculum in their schools any interested teacher can benefit from its content.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Organized Units with Tons of Resources March 26 2012
By Helen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is more than I thought! It gives more than just the CCSS. It provides a clearer understanding about the Common Core and adds at least 6 organized teaching units per grade level with more than enough resource references and ideas to use! Teachers who buy this book now, can start collecting their materials and plan for next year! This is also a great guidance for teachers who want to develop lessons on an interactive white board, since the units are laid out. The lessons are a way to unfold what CCSS should look like with flexibility to change or add to the lessons provided. Here's a book that spells it out for teachers that is made by teachers!! I am looking forward to teaching from these units!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A call to challenge our students July 23 2012
By Shannon - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Common Core Curriculum Maps in ELA: Grades 6-8 is a fabulous resource, but you must look at it as that, a resource. It won't give you a full curriculum with meticulously planned lesson plans with detailed formative and summarize assessments with accompanying rubrics. What it will give you is a great example and starting point. I have been very lucky to be in a school that has been intensively working on bringing our curriculum in line with he CCSSs for 2 years. I stumbled across this while looking for some guidance on 2 units I need to replace due to the new text complexity that will be required for the new standards. What a find!

The resources referenced within the maps are too many to mention and varied, including fiction and nonfiction novel texts as well as poetry, art pieces, film, and informational articles. All of the published books seem to be readily available right here on Amazon and the magazine and newspaper articles are very easy to gain access to through a search using your favorite search engine. I realize that the suggested texts may seem daunting and "above" many of our students but this is where education is headed and the suggestions are in line with the CCSSs. Many of the texts used in these maps are either exemplar texts taken from the indices of the standards themselves or are alternate texts by the authors of the exemplar texts.

I currently teach in a Title 1 school where many of my kids are ESL/ELL. Will some of what is suggested be a challenge for them? Yes, most certainly! But I say, "Bring it on!" Let's challenge them, they're worth it aren't they?
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
eighth grade teacher Dec 9 2011
By 8th grade teacher - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has very good units in it for 8th grade and gives a good sketch of what unit plans should look like with the common core. The only thing that would make it better is more units.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Good Start Sept. 24 2012
By Barbara Barker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a good start for helping teacher's organize their lessons around the Common Core. However, it's unrealistic to expect teachers to purchase $100 worth of books for a few weeks of lessons. Also, I would like a companion book with actual lesson plans.

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