News

Access 23 free Common Core iTunes U courses

By Laura Devaney
November 5th, 2014

common-coreASCD has debuted the Common Core Resources Project on iTunes U. The Common Core Resources Project is a curation of instructional resources and assessment sample items that will help educators successfully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and teach effectively using iPads. The project features 23 iTunes U courses that are free to all educators through ASCD on iTunes U and the ASCD EduCore® site. The courses, designed by teacher teams comprised of Apple Distinguished Educators, members of PARCC Educator Leader Cadres, and ASCD teachers, are focused on CCSS for math and English language arts at each grade level from K–12.

“ASCD is proud to offer these courses, created by teachers and for teachers, to support effective practices in Common Core implementation,” said Judy Seltz, ASCD executive director. “The addition of these new courses to the ASCD EduCore platform will add even more high-quality, free resources for educators nationwide and serves as yet another step toward improved student outcomes.”

Each new course presents suggestions to help educators meet the goals and expectations of the standards. Educator teams organized the resources by subject, grade level, and CCSS to provide teachers nationwide with targeted and appropriate resources through the free iTunes U app. These resources include
• Lesson and activity ideas; useful apps; books; videos; and web content.
• CCSS instructional content and assessment information.
• PARCC and Smarter Balanced sample assessment items.

The courses are designed to get teachers started in their CCSS preparations and begin forming lesson plans and activities to help students meet specific standards. Here are a few examples of courses and the helpful resources they provide:
• In the Kindergarten English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core Resources course, teachers are encouraged to read e-books in class and have students record their own telling of the story with the Toontastic app. This fun activity addresses the reading literature standard, which asks students to retell familiar stories (CCSS: ELA-Literacy.RL.K.2).
• In the Algebra II Common Core Resources course, teachers can find resources, such as Mathematics Constant Function, a free Multi-Touch book, and an app called Factor Polynomials, to help students understand the relationship between zeroes and factors of polynomials (CCSS: A-APR.B.2-3).

“The participation of our PARCC Educator Leader Cadre members in this project exemplifies the best of what Common Core has to offer: the opportunity to bring together and engage motivated teachers from across states so they can share their expertise and collaborate to create high quality tools that improve instructional practice,” said Callie Riley, Senior Policy Associate for State Engagement and Outreach at PARCC, Inc.

Educators can supplement the Common Core Resources Project with the many digital, CCSS-aligned professional development opportunities offered by the free ASCD EduCore tool. EduCore’s resources include videos, articles, and example lessons to help educators and instructional leaders keep up with the most recent trends and instructional shifts in CCSS implementation. Sample resources include:
• An article from researcher James Popham on defining and enhancing formative assessment.
• A high school science lesson, Wolves in the Wild, developed by NSTA.
• A 3rd grade literacy lesson to go along with Beverly Cleary’s book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

The ASCD Virtual Learning Network (VLN) is a free webinar series featured along with ASCD EduCore. The VLN covers Common Core implementation in four content areas: mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The webinars are led by ASCD Faculty members Nanci Smith, Andrew Miller, Jason Flom, and Krista Rundell. Participants from each VLN cohort can also engage with and learn from fellow educators and the presenters through moderated virtual professional learning communities (PLCs) on the ASCD EDge® social network.

Visit the Virtual Learning Network site at www.ascd.org/vln or the EduCore tool at http://educore.ascd.org. More information on ASCD’s suite of CCSS implementation resources is available at www.ascd.org/commoncore. You can also learn about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at www.ascd.org.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura