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on December 9, 2012
I thought that whoever created these units used items that were commonly taught in my grade level (5th) to create the units. The 5th grade units have social studies incorporated in them, but social studies that has absolutely nothing to do with the social studies we study in 5th grade. The Renaissance? In 5th grade? Native American cultures is ok, but it has us doing this toward the end of the year, not the beginning. Unit 4 is Civil War. We learn about the colonies and the American Revolution, not the Civil War (in my state anyway). Playing with words and Coming of Age are ok units, but overall I was very disappointed.
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on July 31, 2012
This is exactly what you can print off the common core web site!!!! Do not waste your money!!!!! Very disappointed!!
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on August 7, 2012
This is an excellent guilde to use in homeschooling. I wanted to make certain the children are meeting the common core currculum standards without being a slave to it. I can follow the suggested books and activities or modify them and be sure that we cover everything the kids need to learn during the year. It even has suggestions for faster and slower learners. I'm extremely pleased with it. Although I don't like "teaching to a test," I do want to make sure that they are mastering the skills they need.
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on May 17, 2012
This book is awesome! As a 5th grade teacher whose state is switching to the common core next year, I was ecstatic when this book arrived. This book has great ideas and lesson examples as well as suggested reading for each unit and goal. This is a must have for any elementary language arts teacher. I have shared with all staff here and several are ordering this for their classroom as well.
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on November 19, 2012
I run Wings to Soar Online Virtual School for homeschoolers and consult regularly with homeschoolers and districts running online charter schools. I plan to recommend this book as a great core resource to build upon for my clients. I am planning to write a supplemental guide to using these Common Core Curriculum Maps in homeschool settings to support my clients.

The Reading Foundations sequence provided for K-2 is quite strong and readily implementable. It is a separate section from the main text (between the 2nd and 3rd grade units), but is meant to be used along with each of the six units for each year. The introductory material states that the teaching of these foundational reading skills needs an additional 30-40 minutes of instruction daily beyond the main unit materials. I would say that would be a minimum. It is broken down into 6 week sections per year to give an idea for a reasonable pacing and progression of the Common Core skills with far more detail than the Core itself provides.

Finally, a resource for educators that thoroughly integrates the phonics principles taught in Orton-Gillingham. The phonics generalizations incorporated here taught as broadly applicable to all learners, as they are and should be. For too long, these very useful generalizations have been limited to Orton-Gillingham based materials targeted to help dyslexic learners, rather than presented as tools to help all learners decode and spell.

In the Foundations of Reading section, there are also useful sections on teaching Print Concepts in kindergarten and early first grade, although the activities are definitely targeted to classroom settings, but many can certainly be adapted for homeschool. The phonological awareness sections present useful activities to teach these critical foundational skills at the kindergarten and first grade levels. There are suggested fluency activities, but I personally found those less helpful. In addition, this Foundations section also provides some ideas for implementing writing, handwriting, and spelling at the K-2 level as well, but is definitely not a complete curriculum in those areas. Many homeschoolers will find that their kindergarten students are ahead of this pacing and can either use the earliest units in the Foundational Skills section with their preschoolers or just quickly move through to ensure they have the early skills and move on. This foundations section was written by Louisa Moats, a contributing expert for the Common Core reading standards and author of several excellent books including Speech to Print, which I feel should be a core text in teacher education Language Arts methods courses.

There are six units per grade level, most are 6 week units with a few in the 4-8 week range at the 3rd-5th grade level. There are many excellent fiction, poetry, and informational text suggestions for each unit along with art and music appreciation suggestions to augment the unit theme. By the way, the Common website has a free link to their art guide for K-12 which has links to most of the art works mentioned making incorporating those art works into a unit very doable, rather than a time-consuming chore to track down the works. I may end up writing something similar to support finding the many poems that are mentioned for the ones available online.

There is only one detailed lesson plan per unit, ranging from 1-6 days of lessons to implement. I like seeing how these can be implemented on this more detailed level. It helps to getting a handle on how to teach texts at the depth level recommended in the Common Core. Bu I find the 8-12 additional paragraph long sample activities for each unit to be nearly as useful in seeing how the Common Core Standards can be implemented at each level within the context of a given unit.

Most teachers are not used to teaching a unit or a given text at the depth that the Common Core recommends and may feel that they need to teach many more units than are presented here for a year. The idea is to spend ample time reading and re-reading from a wide range of texts. All of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts are covered at some point within each grade level.

I plan to incorporate some of the units within a series of integrated history, literature, and writing courses. As such, I will have to adapt some units to a different year to fit within my sequence. I found many more connections to history and geography than to science in the informational texts mentioned. At some point down the line, it will be fun to develop science courses drawing out the science heavy interdisciplinary units and creating other science and literature units like them.

Overall, I highly recommend this book (and the other levels) for homeschoolers and classroom teachers.
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on January 9, 2012
This is an excellent resource for every teacher K-5! I love the way lessons are tied across the curriculum! A fantastic guide for helping educators transition to Common Core!
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on December 12, 2013
This is not what I expected. I guess, in retrospect, I have no idea what I expected. Let me tell you what it is: a book of thematic units. Language Arts units with adjoining lessons that cover all subjects. It has all the grade levels in it as well. Since I teach only one grade, most of this book is useless to me. Once I delve into what is actually my grade, I find that the lessons for LA revolve very specifically around science and history standards that are not correct for my state. For instance, in California we do not teach the human body in 4th grade, so a bunch of 4th grade CC writing standards around the human body is worthless is to me. It's full of rubrics and standards, but any teacher who has had any CC training at all already has all of those papers.

I'll keep looking for a true CC pacing guide.
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on March 22, 2012
As we are moving to the CCSS, this book was recommended and after using it today at a CCSS training, I am excited to follow the currirulum maps and pacing guides. Will be such a great resource to jumping feet first into this endavor.
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on September 24, 2013
I was required to read this for my PLC. It was just odd. The lessons were weak and there were limited resources or organizers...or anything. Don't waste your money. Check out Lucy Calkins or Rozlyn Linder's books to get started. This is just stamped CCSS, not really useful to real classroom teachers.
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on August 20, 2012
Fabulous resource! No only are there suggested curriculum maps, but the common core is easily translated into practical teaching units. Every school district needs at least one! Terrific curriculum resource with materials suggested, book lists, and sample lesson plans.
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