Best Resources

The following websites will help you navigate through the changes in standards, assessment, and curriculum to enact positive change in your classroom:

Common Core-Aligned Curriculum
  • Brokers of Expertise is a website created by the California Department of Education. It is, in my opinion, the best place to find CCSS-aligned units of study. Search by content area, standard, grade level, etc.
  • EngageNY is similar to Brokers of Expertise; the state of New York State Education Department created this website in preparation for the alignment to CCSS. It also contains a large amount of searchable curriculum.
  • Achieve the Core contains CCSS-aligned curriculum, as well as PD modules, for teachers and administrators to use.
  • Learn Zillion provides video-based, CCSS-aligned lessons.
  • Literacy Design Collaborative is a website with CCSS-aligned literacy curriculum. Once registered, one can access their growing library of units.
Nonfiction Articles & Projects
  • "200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing" from the NY Times is a list of prompts, all hyperlinked to articles for students to read and write about.
  • NewsELA is great website for current event articles written for students. The best thing about this website? One can change the Lexile levels on the right-hand side. (We have a handout explaining Lexile Levels in the Literacy section of our website). 
  • Opposing Viewpoints--Alameda County Library System  is a database of nonfiction articles, magazine articles, multimedia clips, etc. on controversial issues.
  • Opposing Viewpoints--Pleasanton Library is the same database, but accessible using a Pleasanton Library card.
  • Zooniverse is a citizen science web portal that hosts dozens of projects which allow volunteers to participate in scientific research.
  • Live Science contains a wealth of articles about science-related topics.
  • Avid Weekly is a subscription service that has articles (with lesson plans) in many content areas, specifically written for students.  Check with your school's AVID coordinator for access information. (Note: click here for info on the AVID Weekly articles' reading levels.)
  • Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting contains articles on under-reported, international topics.
  • Izzit is much like NewsELA in that it vets current event articles for students.  Unlike NewsELA, Izzit also includes educational videos.
  • Library of Congress offers a richly documented history of historical documents, personal narratives, etc.
Educational Technology
  • Catlin Tucker, Honors English Teacher has informative articles about tech resources to use in the classroom.  I saw her present at the CUE Conference this year, and she was the best presenter by far. She is passionate and engaging, and her website (and Twitter feed) reflects this.
  • Wordle enables a teacher to create a word cloud by simply copying and pasting an entire article (or the article's URL) into their engine.  The larger a word appears in the word cloud, the more it appears in the article.  (This can be used as a prediction tool, or as a way for students to check their key words as they annotate.)
  • Curriculum21 is Heidi Hayes Jacobs' clearinghouse for educational technology resources.  The resources are tagged by keyword, rendering them easy to find.
General CCSS Resources
(these resources have a plethora of links/resources to help align to the CCSS)
  • ACOE Learning, created by the Alameda County Office of Education, is a thorough database of vetted resources for all content areas.  This should be your first stop in finding resources to support teaching practices in your classroom.
  • Common Core Connect is "a searchable site of more than 1,000 K-12 common core-related multimedia resources" brought to you by Tulare County, a county at the forefront of all things CCSS.
  • Teaching Channel's Inspirational Teaching Videos is a large collection of videos on the Common Core, as well as taped lessons in ELA, math, science, and social studies. (These are truly the best videos of CCSS information I have found on the web.)
  • Defining the Core is a great website (from Florida) with many CCSS-related resources.
The Standards
Smarter Balanced
  • SBAC Portal is California's SBAC Portal page. From here, teachers, students, and parents can access SBAC practice and training tests.
  • The SBAC Rubrics...Simplified are student- and teacher-friendly checklists and rubrics that are SBAC-aligned.  (For more information, see the post in the Common Core & SBAC section of our website.)
  • The Parts of an SBAC Performance Task is a document that delineates the parts of a performance task; this serves as a useful tool when constructing your own SBAC PT-alike assessment.