Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project

The Common Core Curriculum
Mapping Project
Lynne Munson, President and Executive Director
Here Today
Project Coordinator and Lead
Writer, Grades 9-12
• Education policy consultant and
former high school English
• Member of the English language
arts feedback group for the
Common Core State Standards
• Led the American Diploma
Project for Achieve
Here Today
Lead Writer, Grades K-3
• A teacher for 22 years. Currently
teaches 5th grade at West
Buncombe Elementary School
in Asheville, NC
• Co-author of eleven books on
how to teach reading
• Common Core board member
What is Common Core?
Common Core is a non-profit organization working to
keep the full range of liberal arts and sciences in our
public schools.
Common Core was founded in 2007.
Despite the coincidence of name, Common Core is not
the same as the “Common Core” State Standards
Who We Are
We have a dedicated board of education leaders:
BARBARA BYRD-BENNETT, Chief Academic and Accountability Officer,
Detroit Public Schools
TONI CORTESE, Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers
PASCAL FORGIONE, Executive Director of the Center on K-12 Assessment
and Performance Management at ETS. Former Superintendent, Austin
Independent School Dist.
JOY HAKIM, Author, A History of the US and The Story of Science
Who We Are
We promote programs,
policies, and initiatives at the
local, state, and federal levels
that provide students with
challenging, rigorous core
Most recently, we’ve created
content-rich curriculum
maps in English Language
Arts that align with the CCSS.
How Did We Come to Create the Maps?
We conducted research
finding that each of the
nations that consistently
outranks the United States
on the PISA exam provides
their students with a
comprehensive, content-rich
education in the liberal arts
and sciences.
From Why We’re Behind
The following events are all connected to the Crimean War:
The Russian czar claims patronage over the Orthodox Christians
in the Turkish Empire.
Great Britain institutes military censorship.
The Grand Alliance is formed at the Vienna Congress.
In Turkey, a discussion starts about the choice between reform in
the Western sense and a return to Islamic rule.
Russia defeats the Turkish fleet in the Black Sea.
Sebastopol captured by Great Britain and France after a siege.
Czar Alexander II succeeds his father, Nicholas I, and accepts
Napoleon III’s peace proposal.
Place these events in the correct chronological order, from earlier to
-High school exit exam
The Netherlands
The Common Core State Standards
CC provided input as standards were under development and
embarked on the maps when we realized the standards would need
to be supplemented with guidance regarding content.
“[W]hile the Standards make reference to some
particular forms of content, including mythology,
foundational U.S. documents, and Shakespeare they do
not—indeed, cannot—enumerate all or even most of the
content that students should learn. The Standards
must therefore be complemented by a welldeveloped, content-rich curriculum consistent
with the expectations laid out in this document.”
- CCSS Preface
A Content-Rich Curriculum
According to cognitive scientist Dan Willingham at the University
of Virginia’s Department of Psychology, students read better if
they know something about the subject they are reading about†:
“Remarkably, if you take kids who score poorly on a
reading test and ask them to read on a topic they
know something about (baseball, say, or dinosaurs)
all of a sudden their comprehension is terrific—
better than kids who score well on reading tests but
who don’t know a lot about baseball or dinosaurs.”
†Willingham, Dan. (2009). “Reading is not a skill—and
why this a problem for the draft national standards.”
Retrieved from The Answer Sheet at
The CCSS and Content
• The CCSS provides detailed guidelines about the skills
students should master and even the type of content students
should master, and about levels of rigor.
• But what it does not provide—because it was beyond the
mission of the project—is guidance about how to pair the
skills in the standards with content that will actually make it
possible for students to reach the reading, writing, and other
goals in the standards.
Toward a Content-Rich Curriculum
Common Core’s maps pair the standards with content
knowledge of a diverse array of events, people, places, and ideas.
The Common Core Curriculum Maps
in English Language Arts …
• Are brand new—not old material that has been realigned or
adjusted to match the CCSS
• Started with the standards and exemplar texts and shaped maps
around those guideposts
• Were developed as the standards were being written. Common
Core worked in close consultation with the National Governors
Association and the authors of the standards.
The Maps …
• Break down each year into 78, six-week thematic units.
• Are flexible and adaptable, yet they address every standard
in the CCSS.
• Were written by teachers for teachers through a deeply
collaborative process.
• Don’t tell teachers how to teach.
• Are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
• Are available free of charge.
Who Reviewed the Maps?
• The maps were reviewed by members of the American
Federation of Teachers—the same teachers who reviewed
the CCSS
• National Alliance of Black School Educators
• Milken Educator award winners
• Mirroring the CCSS review process, the maps were
available for public comment in 2010
• Numerous individual experts
Who Reviewed the Maps?
Expert advisors include:
DAVID P. DRISCOLL, former Massachusetts Commissioner of
Education and President of the Council of Chief State School
Officers (CCSSO). Current Chairman of the National Assessment
Governing Board (NAGB) that oversees the NAEP
RUSS WHITEHURST, Director of the Brown Center of Education
Policy at the Brookings Institution and former Director of the
Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education
ANTONIA CORTESE, Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of
How have the maps been
• “Overwhelming”
• Since their release on August 19, 2010, the maps have been
viewed nearly 1.5 million times, with over 303,500 sessions (a
session is a series of clicks by an individual visitor)
• Snapshot: On February 22nd, the maps had 13,028 page views.
Averaging well over 1000 page views each hour of a normal business
• Common Core has had PD requests from Coal Township, PA to
Cheyenne, WY, Bronx, NY to here!
Feedback Has Been Overwhelmingly Positive
“I applaud the scope of this curriculum and the high goals
expected for all students.”
— high school English teacher
“I am very impressed. I love how simple the display is – let alone the
level of support for teachers. If this is one of the benefits of
adopting the CCSS I think our teachers and students are in
for a pleasant surprise that will improve education in the
— elementary school reading specialist
“This work has the potential to transform the role of
curriculum and professional development staff in districts
across the country.”
— assistant principal
“Clearly an unbelievable amount of work went into these units. I am
impressed by the clarity, the focus, the correlation to the
new standards, the variety of activities suggested to teachers, and
the integration of all major language arts strands: reading, writing,
speaking, listening, language, etc.”
— middle school teacher
“Thank you for making these maps available. They are extremely
helpful for getting a more solid vision of the Common Core
State Standards.”
— elementary school reading specialist
“I’ve been an educator for 28 years, and these maps are the best
I’ve seen.”
— curriculum director
Reaction to the Maps
The Arizona State Board of Education and the Utah State Office of
Education plan to pilot the maps in classrooms across their states
The North Carolina and Ohio departments of education are using the
maps to help develop the state’s model curriculum
The Arkansas and Florida departments of education distributed the
maps statewide
Wyoming’s largest school district is already using the maps to
redevelop their curricula
State and regional chapters of NCTE distributed the Maps to all ELA
teachers in Los Angeles and New Jersey
We are working with districts nationwide, including:
Grafton, Wisconsin
Hinkley, Illinois
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Modesto, California
Laramie, Wyoming
Shamokin, Pennsylvania
Howard County, Maryland
Alhambra, Arizona
Madison, Illinois
North Adams, Massachusetts
What’s Next?
• Common Core will release the 2011 edition of the maps very soon.
• The 2011 edition incorporating feedback ranging from:
– “Where’s Beowulf?” to “Why isn’t there more focus on
contemporary literature?”
– Making the writing and grammar progressions more
– Extending the pacing guide for the teaching of reading
through 2nd grade
– Guidance on differentiated instruction
What’s Next?
• And enhancing the site to allow …
– Viewers to rate the maps
– Teachers to submit lesson plans
– Viewers to submit and read comments
• Jossey-Bass™ is rushing out a print version of the maps. They will
be printed in three volumes and offered at a very affordable price
starting this summer.
• Webinar on the maps presented by WestEd later this month
For more information, contact Lynne Munson
at [email protected]
The Common Core Curriculum
Mapping Project
Sheila Byrd-Carmichael, Project Coordinator
Which Way To Go?
The Units
Each unit is comprised of the same elements.
An overview is a brief description of the unit. It explains the theme of
the unit and provides a summary of what students will learn.
The essential questions highlight the
usefulness, the relevance, and the greater
benefit of a course or unit. They are often
the “so what?” questions about material
The focus standards are taken directly from the CCSS and have
been identified as especially important for the unit. Each grade
includes a standards checklist that illustrates which standards are
addressed in which units..
The suggested works are substantial lists of suggested literary and
informational texts. They draw heavily from the “exemplar texts” listed
in the CCSS.
Finding Suggested Texts
Online Resources:
• Poetry Foundation
• Project Gutenberg
• Bartleby
• Read Books Online
• UVA Library
• And More…
The art, music and media section lists works of visual art, music,
film and other media that reflect the theme of the unit and that a
teacher can use to extend students’ knowledge in these areas.
Sample activities and assessments have been written for each
unit, with specific standards and often with specific texts in mind. Each
activity addresses at least one CCSS standard. These activities are
suggestions for teachers. They do not represent a prescribed sequence.
Reading foundations are included in our Kindergarten and first
grade maps. They include a pacing guide of instructional goals for the
teaching of the CCSS reading foundations. We plan to extend the
pacing guides to grades two and three.
The additional resources section includes links to lesson plans,
other student activities and sources for more information about
topics covered in the unit..
Digital Resources
Scattered throughout activities
• Edmodo
• Jing
• Kidspiration
• Skype
• Wordle
• And many more
The terminology section cites concepts and terms that are critical
to the unit.
The sample lesson plans are supplementary documents that outline
a single lesson or a sequence of lessons for using one or more
suggested unit texts to meet focus standards.
Lesson I
Topic: Historical Background to the
Constitutional Convention
•Revisit the Declaration of Independence.
•Recall the emergence of the Articles of
•Explore the criticism of the Articles of
Lesson II
Topic: The Constitutional Convention
•Identify the principal founding fathers,
who were the architects of the
•Explore (select concepts from) James
Madison’s essay “Notes of Debates in the
Federal Convention of 1787.” (RI.1, RI.3,
Making interdisciplinary connections is included only in our
maps for the elementary grades. Here we broadly list the content areas
the unit covers and then suggest opportunities for making
interdisciplinary connections between the ELA content in the unit to
other subjects including science, history, civics, geography and the arts.
Checked balance of informational & literary text
Added glossary
Added suggestions for differentiation
Ensured language consistent with CCSS
– e.g., categories for writing assignments
Checked writing progression
– “foundations” > “senior project”
Checked grammar progression
The Common Core Curriculum
Mapping Project
Lorraine Griffith, Lead Writer for Grades K-3

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