Welcome to CTRLALT DELIVER: The Podcast Episode 30. Where this week we look Common Core Standards.
As we move into the end of this school year, the inevitable look at next year begins. The big change, of course, comes in the form of the Common Core Standards. As we phase into having the common standards across the country, me move through a systematic alignment of the State standards along with the District Standards. With 133 schools and over 150,000 students, my system is the largest in the state and the winner of the 2010 Broad Prize for Urban schools. I teach in an elementary school with over 1600 students (my first college experience was in a college with 600 students). Making adjustments and alignments is no easy task. As we broached the subject at our grade level meeting on Monday, being the tech head that I am, my first thought was, “there must be an app for that”. And, of course, being a on a school teacher’s salary with a family of 4 kids, my next thought was, “there must be a FREE app for that.” And I was right.
In fact, I found two.
The first one is from Learning United. It gives a good coverage of the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards for K- 6. In addition, it has three additional areas. College and Career Readiness provides a detailed of what they need to know for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. The 8 Standards for Mathematics are listed with clear descriptions of what each entails. The third area is a glossary of Math terms. For a quick reference, the Learning United app is an excellent addition to your smartphone.
But the second one, Mastery Connect, includes the same basic elements, but it has taken it further. Beyond just giving you easy access to the standards in math and language arts, the Mastery Connect website adds in the social media aspect that truly encourages collaboration amongst teachers from all states.
This week’s KidLit Pick is Thalia Kids’ Book Club: Chris Van Allsburg’s The Chronicles of Harris Burdick.
The winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, talks about a new short story collection in which skilled storytellers such as Kate DiCamillo, Stephen King and Sherman Alexie spin imaginative tales inspired by the original illustrations from his 1984 wordless classic,The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Story contributor Jon Scieszka joins the conversation and performs his story “Under the Rug”.
For more than 25 years, readers have been puzzling over the illustrations by this enigmatic artist. Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with his intriguingly titled pictures. And now, some of our most imaginative storytellers attempt to solve the perplexing mysteries of Harris Burdick. Enter The Chronicles of Harris Burdick to read this incredible compendium of stories: magical, funny, creepy, poignant, inscrutable, these are tales you won’t soon forget.
Filling in for Harris Burdick here is an esteemed collection of highly decorated authors. Among the many accolades bestowed upon this illustrious group include one Pulitzer Prize, five Newbery Medals, three Newbery Honor awards, two Caldecott Medals, one Caldecott Honor award, three National Book Awards, eight National Book Award nominations, one Printz Award, five Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, eight Bram Stoker Awards, five Coretta Scott King Awards, two Hugo Awards, and two O. Henry Awards. They have had an untold number of New York Times best sellers.
The authors, just in case their awards were not enough for you,include Gregory Maguire, Kate DiCamillo, Lois Lowry, Stephen King, Louis Sachar, and Jon Scieszka
Our Audible Pick and KidLet Author of the week is Chris Van Allsburg. We have all enjoyed Polar Express, Zathura, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. His illustrations are the kind of thing that children love to just sit and explore, not flip through carelessly. To have a chance to listen to him talk about writing is such a treasure. And throwing in Jon Scieszka on top of that is such a bonus. And it was through discovering this book that I found out about the Thalia Kid’s Book Club. A quick search of Audible revealed conversations with great authors like Rick Riordan, Cornelia Funke, Mary Pope Osborne, and Trenton Lee Stewart. And on that note, I want to point out that Thalia Kids’ Book Club will be presenting Michael Buckley and The Sisters Grimm series on Sunday, May 20th, 1 pm at Symphony Space. Tickets for the event $15.
The New York Times bestselling author of the NERDS series talks about The Council of Mirrors, the final installment of the hugely popular The Sisters Grimm series, a funny, suspenseful, and fast-paced collection of stories spun from classic fairy tales.
The new book wraps up several loose ends from the story of sisters Sabrina and Daphne, who discover that they are descendants of The Brothers Grimm. The sisters, whose parents are missing, live with their grandmother in a town where fantastical storybook characters and magical things turn up all the time.
The author, a NYC resident who also has a career in animated film and television, will converse with Matthew Cody (The Dead Gentleman). They will invite interaction from the audience.
Read more: This week’s EdTech spotlight falls on Darren Burris
His Twitter bio reads Father, husband, and teacher in Boston who finds those three things make a full life. You’ve got to love a balanced life. Darren is very much involved with the implementation of the Common Core Standards and helping others to make sense of them. His Posterous page will provide you with a great jumping off point for finding great content on how others are developing their strategies for the Common Core. Follow him on twitter @dgburris
Spotlight on KidLit
This week’s KidLit Spotlight is on Greg Pincus. His Twitter bio says: I write poetry, novels, and screenplays, blog kidlit at gottabook.blogspot.com, and talk social media strategy at the Happy Accident. I bat and throw righty. And with his Gottabook website, Greg can obviously pitch.April, of course, had been a great focus on Poetry. In fact, his book, The Late Bird, is a collection of poetry and is available on Nook and Kindle. I know that this may be the lazy way out, but I really like his post of 30 Poets /One Day where he shows all of the posts made by guest poets over the month. It’s just nice to have them all collected into a single post and much easier to direct students to a single page that is chock full of great resources. I appreciate it and my students do too.
Check him out on Twitter @gregpincus or either of his websites. Links are in the shownotes.