Big Skills for the Common Core : Literacy Strategies for the 6-12 Classroom book cover
1st Edition

Big Skills for the Common Core
Literacy Strategies for the 6-12 Classroom

ISBN 9781596672314
Published October 29, 2012 by Routledge
200 Pages

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USD $29.95

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Book Description

Zoom in on the academic skills students are required to learn in reading, writing, speaking/listening, and language! This book cuts through all of the Common Core jargon and gets right to the heart of what students need to learn now. Big Skills for the Common Core is packed with engaging strategies you can use immediately to improve your students' literacy skills and help them retain those skills.

Special features include...

  • Charts that break down the skills for each anchor standard and put them into teacher- friendly language. BONUS! The charts highlight the big shifts for teachers for discussion and sharing.
  • Practical strategies to help students tackle and understand complex texts.
  • Helpful ideas for teaching argument writing, plus writing rubrics and assessment strategies.
  • Clear information on Tier II and Tier III words and how to teach them.

In addition, each section of the book ends with "Classroom Close-Ups," which take you inside real classrooms that are implementing the Common Core. You'll see the standards in action across the curriculum and get takeaway tips you can use tomorrow in your own classroom!

Table of Contents


Part 1: Reading
Chapter 1: Reading and the Common Core
Chapter 2: Meticulous Reading
Chapter 3: Recreational Reading: The Missing Ingredient
Conclusion: Reading
Classroom Close-Ups for Reading

Part 2: Writing
Chapter 4: Writing and the Common Core
Chapter 5: Creating a Culture of Writing: What Do Students Need?
Chapter 6: Writing to Learn: Science, Meet Syntax; Syntax, This Is Science
Chapter 7: Writing a Cogent Argument
Chapter 8: Formative and Summative Assessments
Conclusion: Writing
Classroom Close-Ups for Writing

Part 3: Speaking and Listening
Chapter 9: Speaking and Listening and the Common Core
Chapter 10: Traditional Classroom Discourse: The Recitation Script
Chapter 11: Moving Toward Socratic Dialogue
Chapter 12: Developing Social Competencies
Chapter 13: Whiteboarding
Conclusion: Speaking and Listening
Classroom Close-Ups for Speaking and Listening

Part 4: Language
Chapter 14: Language and the Common Core
Chapter 15: Grammar and the Common Core
Chapter 16: Teaching Vocabulary
Chapter 17: Spelling as Word Study
Conclusion: Language
Classroom Close-Ups for Language


Appendix A: Checklist for Paragraph Development
Appendix B: Writing Rubrics
Appendix C: Academic Word List
Appendix D: Semantic Features Chart


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After enjoying a long and rewarding career as an English teacher in the Hendrick Hudson School District in Montrose, New York, Amy Benjamin now works as a national consultant. Her goal is to improve education by helping teachers recognize the role that language plays in learning. As such, the Common Core State Standards, with their emphasis on literacy as a foundational skill across all subject areas, fits perfectly into her vision of education reform. Amy has been honored for excellence in teaching by Tufts University, Union College, and the New York State English Council. Her classroom was used as a model for standards-based teaching by the New York State Education Department. Amy lives in Dutchess County, New York, with her husband, Howard. Their son, Mitchell, lives in California and works in the television industry. This is the eleventh book that she has written for Eye On Education.Author Michael Hugelmeyer is in his tenth year in the field of education, working as the Assistant Principal at Riverhead High School on Long Island, New York. Before becoming an administrator, he was a social studies teacher and an athletic coach at Glen Cove High School in Glen Cove, New York. Michael began his preparatory work in education as an undergraduate and graduate student at Villanova University. He currently lives on Long Island’s East End and is very happily married to Alexis, his wife of six years. They have two beautiful children, Isabella and Lance. This is the first book Michael has written.


"The authors do a wonderful job of putting the Common Core State Standards into teacher-friendly language. They make a huge document more palatable and highlight the large shifts for teachers. There are very few books that tackle this in such a complete, yet simple way."
—Jessica Schmettan, Administrator for Instructional Support, Sachem CSD, NY