Thursday, June 20, 2013

Here is some great news from Corbett Harrison on a new series on vocabulary he has created based on the CCSS. Enjoy:}

Use that link above (or this one) to access my final June Blog Post at the "Writing Lesson of the Month" Network.  The post not only talks about the new Common Core-inspired vocabulary product that we will begin offering online starting July 1, but it gives you complimentary access to one of the eleven PowerPoint slideshows this new product will include.  I think Dena and I really have a good product we're about to roll out.
Also, if you are fairly new to our site and this network, be sure to check out the P.S. on the blog post.  On July 1st, it's official; all prices for our seven for-sale products will increase, and we're offering a final SPECIAL discount to any of you who have never purchased our three most popular classroom resources: the Bingo Cards, the SWT Powerpoints, and the Restaurant-themed Writer's Notebook/Workshop Menus--which were all designed to be used together, though they can certainly be used in isolation too.
Plus, I just spend the last two days presenting my writer's notebook materials and my "7 Elements of a Differentiated Writing Lesson" workshop to a group of thoughtful and energized teachers.  I hope your summer is keeping you as energized as they obviously were.
Lastly, I just finished Insurgent this morning (book two in the Divergent trilogy).  My kids are going to love this set of dystopian books next year.  Check them out if you haven't.  Great summer read.  And talk about nice vocabulary!
I'll be taking the next ten days away from the Internet to not only finalize the vocabulary project but also celebrate my wife's birthday in style, so you won't hear from me again until July 1.  Enjoy the official start of the summer season tomorrow!
--Corbett Harrison (
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Common Core State Standards are requiring students give evidence and explain their answers - spoken and written. Here is a good article to give perspective on the benefits of this process. Students will be assessed on this process on the CCSS assessments - coutesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Why teachers should ask students to explain their answers
Teachers can help students learn by asking them to explain their work -- rather than memorize and repeat answers -- researchers have found. "We know generating explanations leads to better educational outcomes generally. When children explain events, they learn more than when just getting feedback about the accuracy of their predictions," said Cristine H. Legare, an assistant psychology professor and researcher at the University of Texas at Austin. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (6/5)Bookmark and Share