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News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,
This edition of News and Notes features a parent's thoughts on how her daughter is thriving under the rigorous Common Core standards and a new installment of our video professional development series from inside a European history classroom. We also share perspectives from across New York State on Common Core implementation, including some thoughts from fourth graders on Common Core math.
John B. King, Jr.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnKingNYSED
Parent Support for the Common Core
Central NY parent Katherine DeJesus says her daughter is having a great year at the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School District, where the 3rd grader is thriving under rigorous Common Core learning standards. VVS Superintendent Martha Group says good communication and collaboration between teachers and parents is a big reason for student success. "We build on each other's strengths so we can work on behalf of the children," Group said.

Video Professional Development: Was the Scientific Revolution Revolutionary?
This installment of our video professional development series features New York State 2013 Teacher of the Year, Greg Ahlquist, and his 12th grade European History students from Thomas High School located in Webster, NY. The lesson incorporates Literacy Standards RH11-12.1, RH11-12.6 and RH11-12.7. The students in this video seek to answer the question "How revolutionary was the Scientific Revolution?" by closely reading challenging primary and secondary source documents. Students practice text analysis and annotation of written and visual texts as they collect evidence to support their claims about the Scientific Revolution. The students encounter the rigorous texts and productively work through the task in order to determine the author's perspective on the topic. The students also engage in effective well-managed collaborative discussions to make meaning of the texts as they both share new ideas and build off one another's ideas as well.

Who: small group of educators (1-4)
What: video professional development

Out of the Mouths of Fourth Graders

This week's post from our EngagedVoices educator blog features Karen Marino, an AIS Math Specialist at Skaneateles Central School District. Karen provides insight into the minds of typical 4th graders and what they think about Common Core math.

The 10-year-old picked up her pencil, silently read the math problem, circled some numbers, underlined some phrases, paused for thought, and neatly began to work toward her solution. With a grin, she tackled the next problem successfully. She hesitated, looked at me sideways with her dark eyes and deadpanned, "Are you kidding me? These are SO easy!"

This was one of many moments this year that caused me to see the tremendous shift in the mathematical world of our students.

Read more
New York Perspectives
What Does A Good Common Core Lesson Look Like?
June 4, 2014
Senior Fellow Kate Gerson walks us through an EngageNY Common Core lesson.

Beneath the math civil war: Challenging students and watching them grow (Commentary)
The Post-Standard
June 4, 2014
Karen Marino, an academic intervention math specialist in Skaneateles, says that teaching and learning has changed in the transition to the Common Core, and more students have shown progress in understanding math concepts.

New York State Sets Focus on English-Learners
Education Week
June 3, 2014
Lesli Maxwell describes New York's Blueprint for English-Language Learners Success, which details how school districts will provide instruction and support for English Language Learners (ELLs). The blueprint also encourages school districts to provide programs for ELLs to achieve full literacy in their home languages, in addition to fluency in English.

Letter: Common Core is worth every effort
May 30, 2014
Emily Peterson shares her positive experience implementing the Common Core as a librarian and professional development coordinator in East Moriches.
EngageNY Updates
General Updates

It's Time to Assess the Skills Students Truly Need

Out of the Mouths of Fourth Graders

Curriculum Module Updates

Grade 9 ELA Module 1

Geometry Module 1