A Common Core Teacher's Toolbox!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Constructed Response Word Problem Freebie!

    My students recently took the state standardized Constructed Response Math test. The test consisted of 4 tasks the students had to complete.  This test was sort of a pilot test, so we the teachers were in charge of scoring the tests.  While this was a huge task, I am really glad we were given the opportunity to score the tests. It was very eye opening to see how thorough of an explanation is expected from the students in order for them to receive credit for solving the problem correctly. It is not as simple as just writing down a number sentence. With that said, I created a general constructed response word problem outline I am going to use with my students so they can get into the habit of very thoroughly showing how they came up an answer to a word problem. It will also get them into the habit of seeing and showing that there are multiple ways to solve problems. This is a very general template, so you can use it with any type of word problems. You can download it for free here from my TpT store. I hope you find this template helpful!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Tis' the season for festive Common Core Aligned Freebies!

    How about some festive fun to incorporate some Common Core Writing Standards? This  is an activity I have my students complete this activity every year around the holidays, and they always have so much fun with it! I have my students design their own gingerbread cookie. They then fill out the "recipe for a good story" to map out their story which will include their gingerbread cookie creation as the main character. We spend a few days going through the writing process until their stories are ready for publishing. The students write their final drafts on the gingerbread themed paper, and their favorite part is always sharing their stories with the class. I hang their gingerbread man/woman up alongside their story!  
    This activity covers the 3rd grade writing standards- 3.3, 3.4,  and 3.5.  This cover narrative writing and the writing process. I am positive this activity also covers standards in other grades. Since I teach 3rd I focused in on those particular standards. My students love this activity, and I will post their stories as soon as they finish them! I hope this can save you a little bit of planning time this holiday season, and I hope your students will enjoy it too!
 You can download this Festive Freebie by clicking on the picture below:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nonfiction Text Features Scavenger Hunt Freebie!

I mentioned before that since the Common Core standards have such a huge focus on the students reading informational texts, that I've been working on some resources to help my students with reading non fiction. I recently created a Scavenger Hunt that is meant to be used before the students read a nonfiction piece of text. It focuses on having the student's take the time to notice the nonfiction text features found in the text. Many times students try to rush through and informational piece because they decide it's boring. They tend to miss all the text features (charts,graphs, diagrams, etc) that can help them gain a better understanding of the text. This scavenger hunt will cause them to have to pay attention to all of the text features before they begin reading. I have hopes that in using this scavenger hunt now, that in the future my students will automatically take notice of a the nonfiction text features that can help them comprehend what they are reading.  This works particularly well with sections from the science and social studies textbooks!  I'm also working on piece for them to use during and after reading nonfiction pieces that I will post soon. I hope you find this scavenger hunt helpful for your students as you incorporate more informational texts into your teaching! You can download it here:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Common Core Teacher's Tool Box- 1st Freebie!

I've created my first addition to my Common Core Standards toolbox, which can be downloaded here:

   The Common Core Standards are shifting us to have our students reading more informational type texts. You may have heard of the the 3-2-1 assessment strategy. It basically has the students focus on 3 things they learned, 2 things they found interesting, and 1 question they still have after they are finished with a particular lesson. I adapted that strategy to be used as a reader response's activity for the student's to use with informational texts. You can download the slips I created for free to use with your students. I know this isn't some great,magical resource that I've created. However, I figured it's one small baby step strategy we can all could easily implement in the classroom to help us embrace the the mountain of Common Core Standards in front of us!  Please let me know how it goes  if you use it in your students!

All things Common Core!

Well I'm deciding it's time to just jump right into to all things Common Core. My district is slowly incorporating the standards over the next few years. With that said, I've been doing as much research as possible to see what that means exactly for me and my students. As I've been researching, I've been creating things that will help me create my own little toolbox of resources that will help with all things Common Core. While I teach 3rd grade, many of the items I am creating will be able to be used across several different grade levels. I will post as many of these resources as possible as freebies in my TPT store. So Please feel free to follow my blog and/or my TPT store found here: