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Ditch the Baggage: Unpacking the Common Core Standards in Upper Elementary

Upon first read, the new Common Core Standards are often overwhelming and can make planning a standards aligned lesson seem like an ominous task. Countless times I have heard the phrase ‘unpacking the standards’ but still find myself struggling to understand what that really means. The following resources have proven incredibly useful in helping me better understand the concept of ‘unpacking the standards’.
A Collection By Margot Carmichael
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Ditch the Baggage: Unpacking the Common Core Standards in Upper Elementary
  • Margot Carmichael says:
    This resource comes fully equipped with handouts and templates to use with your team as a way to introduce 'unpacking the standards.' Although this activity focuses on ELA, the basic premise can be useful for any standard
  • Margot Carmichael says:
    This video spells it out clearly and plainly. I love the graphics and easy to follow steps in this video, especially the color-coding concept. The video is short, but gets the main idea across brilliantly and in a manner that will undoubtedly assist in starting to unpack the state standards.
  • Margot Carmichael says:
    In this video, Sarah Brown Wessling helps remind us about cross-curricular literacy and how that ties in to understanding and unpacking the standards in a useful and tangible way. She gives examples of how a specific standard can be translated into an actual lesson. Although this video focuses on literacy, the ideas can be applied to any content area or grade level.
  • Margot Carmichael says:
    If you aren't sure where to start or what 'unpacking' means when it comes to the CCSS, this article is a great place to start. Edutopia clearly outlines the four broad categories that 'unpacking' should start with and delves into a bit more detail in order to get you going on this seemingly arduous task.
  • Margot Carmichael says:
    Although this resource is based out of Oregon curriculum, the CCSS are primarily the same across the country, which makes this toolkit incredibly useful. You have the ability to go in and search by content and grade and are presented with a detailed explaination of each and every standard for that gradee/content area.