School Improvement News February 2013

See you at the School Leadership Team Conference

February 20-22 at Stonewall Resort.

Office of School Improvement Home

Be sure to scroll down.

Common Core Standards

The Best CC Resources are Free!

Please be reminded that the familiar gold sticker stating “Common Core Aligned” is NOT an indicator of truth. Frankly, the best resources I know are the ones that are free. The state of New York has created many high-quality resources. One site that is loaded and free is: A substantial amount of top-notch work has been done through Expeditionary Learning as they partner in school transformation. This video is one they’ve produced entitled “Close Reading Strategies with Informational Text by Expeditionary Learning.” I found the lesson complex, yet simple. It was exciting to see various scaffolding options demonstrated in the context of the lesson.

Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy, Grades 3–12

The criteria articulated in this document concentrate on the most significant elements of the Common Core State Standards and lay out the implications of aligning materials with the standards. These guidelines are not meant to dictate classroom practice, but rather to ensure that teachers receive effective tools. The criteria are intended to direct curriculum developers and publishers to be both purposeful and strategic in what to include and what to exclude in instructional materials. By underscoring what matters most in the standards, the criteria illustrate what shifts must take place in the next generation of curricula, including paring away elements that distract or are at odds with the Common Core State Standards.

CC Science Standards are Being Revised

To learn more about the Next generation (Common Core) Science Standards go to The NGSS are composed of the three dimensions from the NRC Framework. The NGSS are scheduled to be released for adoption Spring 2013.

Say the Same Thing Using New Vocabulary

If you’ve recently attended trainings focused on the Common Core (Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives), you know the critical role that appropriate and aggressive vocabulary instruction must play. A fun, quick, and easy to duplicate resource is this one-minute clip addressing vocabulary. We know nearly all of our students are deficient in vocabulary—which is an indicator of a lack of background knowledge—which impacts fluency and ultimately comprehension. The most effective methods require few materials and no money. This video, College Talk: Improving Students’ Vocabulary, will provide you with some food for thought and possibly a new strategy for vocabulary instruction in your class.

Additional Common Core Sites


Kansas Common Core Lessons

Office of Early Learning's Facebook Page

Online Resources for Teachers and Administrators

Geometry Playground

These hands-on activities will help spark students’ interest in geometry. They're designed for classroom use but can also be done by families or other groups.

Common Core Math Lesson Demonstrations (classroom videos)

These video give examples of teaching the Common Core Math Standards at various grade levels.

Math Chimp

This site over a series of Math activities and games aligned to the Common Core.

Core Planner

Free online lesson planner for the Common Core. This site will also help teachers align their classroom goals with the Common Core.

World Book – Common Core Lesson Plans

Lesson plans developed by World Book that align to the ELA standards. (Not a lot of lessons located here, but you may find something helpful)

Educational Technology Tips

A collection of Common Core apps, lesson templates, rubrics, etc.

Library of Congress – Common Core Lesson Resources

This site is a collection of free resources for teachers covering the Common Core.

Lexile Levels for Reading

Get Lexile levels of books and texts here. The Common Core Standards stress the importance of text complexity in assessing college and career readiness. They offer Lexile bands by grades to guide students to increasingly complex texts as they prepare for postsecondary reading demands. Text analyzer: Go here to measure your text. The Lexile map provides examples of popular books and sample text at various points on the Lexile scale, from 200L for early reading books to 1600L for more advanced texts. It's a quick reference guide for what a Lexile measure means.

Common Core Action Briefs

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the Secondary School Leader Action Brief

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the Elementary School Leader Action Brief

Common Core Implementation Checklist for Principals

This checklist has been put together by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. This checklist can be used at all levels.

Common Core Upcoming Webinars for Principals

This site provides upcoming and archived Common Core training webinars presented by ASCD.

Common Core State Standards -Implementation tools and resources

These resources have been compiled by the CCSSO.

The Principal’s Role – College and Careers Preparedness

This resource can be used at all levels.

Common Core Video Collection

Great site to get educators and principals views on the Common Core implementation.

Common Core State Standards for English Langusae Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards

Glossary of Key Terms

Contact our the Office of School Improvement for technical assistance in implementing the Next Gen Common Core Standards.

If you have resources you know others will find helpful, please share them with us.

Common Core Lesson Videos

America Achieves-

PD360 On-Demand Common Core Training -

Engage -

The Teaching Channel -

Hunt Institute -

Southeast Comprehensive Center -

Where to find the Office of School Improvement in Cyberspace

  • TWITTER: @WVSchoolImprove

The Office of School Improvement has expanded into cyberspace to assist schools more effectively and efficiently. The SI website offers an array of online resources to assist schools in the development of their school improvement blueprint. As new items are added to the site, they are also tweeted for immediate use.

On the School Improvement website, Principals, Leadership Teams, and Districts can access the High Quality Standards and Data Collection Tool, Principal’s Toolkit, Culture Survey, IPI, Conference resources and materials, and other resources for instant integration.

Send us tools, materials, strategies, books, and articles that have helped your school improve. We will feature it on the Office of School Improvement website.

Online Training Offered by the Office of Early Learning to Assist School Improvement

The newly established Office of Learning is dedicated to transforming and supporting the state’s early childhood classrooms. As defined by the WVDE and the WVBE, early childhood education in the state of West Virginia will include Pre-K – 5th grade. As part of the support, reflections and feedback provided to the Office of Early Learning from past TLI participants assisted in the preparation of a year-long agenda to support those who participated in TLI, as well as support the state early childhood field (Pre-K-5th Grade) as a whole.

The Office of Early Learning has prepared a series of webinars titled – “Transforming Elementary Classrooms—Extending the Work of Teacher Leadership Institutes.” This series of webinars is designed to support teachers in early childhood. The content of these webinars will extend the work from the Teacher Leadership Institutes. All teachers and administrators are invited to participate. Topics for these webinars will be designed for the identified audience and are identified within the registration information. These webinars are voluntary. Due to the limited slots, teachers are encouraged to come together and participate in groups. It is necessary for only one person from each group to register. Below is a list of schedule webinars. **Additional resources can be found at the Office of Early Learning website – - Continue to check the website frequently, as well as joining the Office of Early Learning’s Twitter page to receive ongoing tweets throughout the year.

Webinars Schedule 2012-2013

Registration Information for the following webinars will be available in January 2013.

  • January 10, 2013/ 3:30-4:30
    • K-5 (Topic—TBD)
  • January 22, 2013 / 3:30-4:30
    • Fourth/Fifth Grade Teachers (Extending the work of Teacher Leadership Institute 2012)
  • January 23, 2013/ 3:30-4:30
    • Kindergarten Teachers(Extending the work of Teacher Leadership Institute 2012)
  • January 24, 2013 / 3:30-4:30
    • First Grade Teachers (Extending the work of Teacher Leadership Institute 2012)
  • February 19, 2013 / 3:30-4:30
    • Second & Third Grade (Introduction to the Next Generation CSOs)
  • March 14, 2013/ 3:30-4:30
    • Designed for Office of School Improvement (Making a claim and supporting with evidence)
  • March 21, 2013 / 3:30-4:30
    • Second & Third Grade (Introduction to the Next Generation CSOs)
  • April 9, 2013 / 3:30-4:30
    • K-2 (Topic: TBD)
  • May 7, 2013 / 3:30-4:30
    • Second/Third Grades


Office of School Improvement Home