Maine steps up Common Core standards work

The Maine Department of Education’s content specialists are making various resources available to teachers, curriculum directors and other educators to help them implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

These resources can be found through the Department of Education’s Common Core State Standards web page at: http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/commoncore/index.html.

This page provides links to general information, as well as direct access to content area-specific pages located within the Department website.  The mathematics and English language arts (ELA) web pages are flush with professional development resources shared nationally and developed specifically for Maine educators.

As districts implement both math and English language arts standards, they should first understand the standards, all of the related documents, and how to use this information to implement the standards in their classrooms.

Next, identify gaps between what educators know and do and what the students will need to know and be able to do in order to proficiently meet the standards.  It is the Department’s intention to fill those gaps by providing a library of resources, as well as delivering interactive training opportunities.  The following online resources are currently available to support educators in their understanding of the Common Core State Standards:

English Language Arts

The English Language Arts Common Core State Standards home page includes the standards and all three appendices with guidance for studying the material. The site also has links to the 500 pages of text divided into reasonable segments and grouped for logical study.  These resources can be found at http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/ela/elem.html.

From this page, there are links to a number of supportive resources, including the following:

  • The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium — the national organization developing Common Core standards-based assessments to which Maine belongs —  and related resources can be found at: http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/default.aspx.
  • The “Resources and Tools” navigation bar from the home page will take educators to a wealth of information about standards, assessment and instruction for English language arts in general and specific links to Common Core State Standards resources. The “Resources and Tools” section can also be accessed directly by clicking on the following link: http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/ela/6to8.html.
  • The “Teacher Resources” link from the home page goes directly to Common Core State Standards modules, resources for the progressive study of and transition to the standards.  Module 1 provides tools for becoming familiar with the essential concepts of the standards and supporting documents; Module 2 provides tools for unpacking the standards and identifying gaps between professional knowledge and practice and the standards; Module 3 includes resources for implementing the standards as they are intended. “Teacher Resources” can be accessed directly through the following link: http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/ela/ccss_modules.html.
  • Additionally, the Maine Reading First initiative’s monthly electronic newsletter, “Literacy Links,” focused six editions from September 2010 through March 2011 on the Common Core State Standards for English language arts.  These editions are archived and can be accessed at the following link:  http://www.maine.gov/education/rf/newsletters/index.html.

Mathematics

The Mathematics Common Core State Standards home page includes suggestions to begin studying the standards and presents the documents whole and divided into segments for easier study. This page also includes a link to Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

  • The “learn more” button leads to a professional development page with resources organized into modules with the recommendation to complete each module in order: http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/math/ccss_pd.html.
  • Clicking on the “Resources” tab on the navigation bar leads to a page with mathematics-specific materials developed in-state and across the country. This page includes documents and activities developed by the authors of the math standards, national mathematics organizations, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/math/national.html.

Both content area home pages include information about how to subscribe to the content area listserve. Department of Education specialists post updates as information becomes available.

Many more resources are under development at the moment, created by the Maine specialists, in other states, and through various collaborations.  The DOE website is updated at least weekly with the most current information and resources available in each area. Content specialists respond to questions daily and provide guidance for transition and implementation.

Share your ideas

How can the Maine Department of Education improve its Common Core State Standards web resources? What more should the Department offer? Leave a comment below. Read the Maine DOE Newsroom’s comments policy before you do.

Resources and more information

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