Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stress-Free Common Core Organization Tips

Are you looking for ways to make the transition to Common Core stress-free?  This blog post should help.  I am going to show you tips and tricks that I use to make this transition as smooth as possible. (Scroll all the way down to see the Common Core learning centers and activities that I use).

Tip #1 Make sure that your storage is portable.  I have tried different storage methods and using this container is by far the easiest when it comes to Common Core.  All of my centers are in one place, and I can easily take them home if I need to refresh or check them.

Each center inside my bin is stored inside of a clearly labeled large envelope.

I have differentiated main idea task cards. This set of cards is for my beginning readers.

Tip #2 Store student literacy center recording forms and answer keys inside of a binder.  When the students move to their centers, I hand each one of them a literacy center recording form.  I use this to keep track of how well they are understanding concepts during center time.

This form lists each of the standards.  I use this to plan the centers and Common Core Standards individual students should complete during center time.

While group one is working on literacy centers and group two is reading quietly, I work with guided reading group three.

Common Core aligned rubrics allow me to quickly and easily assess comprehension.  There is a rubric for each Literature and Informational Text standard.  Multiple copies of the same standard are printed and are stored inside of file folders.  During guided reading, I grab the one that I need for each student quickly and easily.

In the front of my guided reading binder are printed labels that list the common reading behaviors that students have.  I use these for my running records.  I quickly attach labels onto their individual progress forms.   Using ready-to-go materials makes guided reading that much easier.

My Learning Centers and Activities

Students begin the day with five minutes of Daily Common Core Reading Practice.  These have short comprehension passages that include realistic fiction, historical fiction, drama/plays, poetry, science fiction, and informational text.  The reading standard is written next to the question for easy progress monitoring.  Click Here to Access It

I am a huge advocate for self-teaching review cards.  Many of my activity cards actually teach students skills and provide practice.  This has been a huge help because students are able to work independently in centers but still gain the knowledge and practice that they need to reinforce skills.
Click Here For Perimeter Cards
Click Here For Idioms Cards
Click Here for Grade 3 Word Meaning Cards
Click Here For Grade 4 Describe in Depth Character
Click Here For Grade 5 Compare and Contrast Themes
Click Here for Grade 5 Point of View


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog and I absolutely love it. I nominated you for a Liebster Award. Check out my blog for details:

    My Journey to 5th Grade

  2. I love the idea of the rubrics for use during conferencing!

    1. Thank you! This has made things so much easier for me. I have data to give to the principal to show that I am covering each standard. It also provides specific feedback for parents.

  3. I love the idea of pre-printed labels.

  4. Thank you very much! It makes data keeping muucchh easier for me

  5. What a great blog! I am so happy to have found you. I am your newest follower. :)

    I found you through Pinterest. I am not sure if you are still adding people to your Teaching Ideas/ Teaching Resources board, but if you are, I would love to be added if possible.