EL Education.

Meet the Modules: Addressing the Shifts

How do the modules address the Common Core shifts in ELA and help students master the standards?

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress." —Frederick Douglass, social reformer

The modules in the EL Education Grades 3–8 ELA Curriculum have been designed by teachers and for teachers to meet the needs and demands of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). They exist to address and bring to life the shifts in teaching and learning required by the CCSS. To better prepare students for college and the workplace, where they will be expected to read a high volume of complex informational text and write informational text, the shifts highlight the need for students to begin to learn and practice these skills early on. This curriculum has been designed to make this learning process engaging and enjoyable with compelling texts, tasks, and topics.

Note: Most states use the simplified version from the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is synthesized into three shifts. New York State refers to six instructional shifts

Learning Targets

  1. I can describe the three key shifts in English Language Arts instruction called for by the Common Core State Standards.
  2. I can explain how the modules address the instructional shifts and meet the Common Core State Standards.

Review: Key Shifts in English Language Arts

Introduction to the ELA/Literacy Shifts of the Common Core State Standards: A PowerPoint presentation by Student Achievement Partners (SAP) that outlines the three Common Core shifts in English Language Arts.

 

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Watch: Before to Common Core

A presentation comparing a text and student task from before Common Core to a text and student task that is Common Core–aligned. Watch the presentation and answer the questions that follow. The presentation can be enlarged to full screen after you hit the "play" button.

  1. Describe the three key shifts in English Language Arts called for by the Common Core.
     

  2. How do the Common Core State Standards differ from previous standards, in terms of what they require from students? How do the tasks that students complete differ as a result?
     

  3. What opportunities and challenges do the three shifts present for you as a teacher? Which of the three shifts is the biggest shift for you personally in terms of your own practice? Why?
     

  4. What will support you in making this shift in your instruction?


Read: The Shifts in Action

The following resources provide explanations and examples of how reading, writing, speaking, and listening instruction in the modules address the shifts and meet the CCSS.

As you dig into each resource, consider the guiding question: How do the modules address the Common Core shifts in ELA and help students master the standards?

Record what your thinking on this Notices and Wonders note-catcher to support your reflection or discussion. You may use this note-catcher for all remaining activities on this page. Click here for a word.doc version which will download automatically.

Reading Instruction

Reading Instruction: Addressing the Common Core Shifts in the 3–8 ELA Modules: An EL Education presentation explaining how the shifts are addressed in reading instruction in the modules.

Writing Instruction

Writing in the Modules: Aligned to the Common Core Vision: An EL Education presentation explaining how writing in the modules is aligned to the Common Core Vision.

Speaking and Listening Instruction

Speaking and Listening in the Modules: An EL Education document outlining how the instruction of Common Core–aligned speaking and listening is addressed in the modules. See the Speaking and Listening page in the Professional Learning Pack for more information.


Watch: Close Reading: An Instructional Strategy for Conquering Complex Text

This video provides an example of classroom instruction focused on shift #1: regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary.


Watch: Engaging Vocabulary Instruction in a Middle School Classroom

This video provides an example of classroom instruction focused on shift #1: regular practice with complex texts and their academic language. 


Synthesize

  1. What new understanding do you have about how the modules address the Common Core ELA shifts and how they meet the Common Core State Standards?