Saturday, August 31, 2013

Just Released Test Items from PARCC, Grit Keeps Coming Up, and More

Many interesting Common Core news items this week to choose from, but PARCC's release of sample test items heads the list. I've included links for both ELA and Math and am looking at them very closely. There are links to some pretty awesome resource sites under my Common Core tab. 

PARCC's Release of New Sample Items

Late last week the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers ( PARCC ) released new sample items for summative (end of the year) assessments in grades 3 - 10. To make things super easy for you I have linked them here for both English Language Arts and Math. Hope you have a chance to check out what's pertinent to you. Grades 4, 8, 9, 11 ELA will be released later in the fall. Once the link takes you to the website, click on "friendly print version" or PDF to view. I would love for you to leave a comment  after looking. In studying the ELA assessments, I was struck by how much technology the kids are going to need in order to complete these types of tests. Hmmm. Check it out!

English Language Arts      


Finally, I found time to play around in the Wonderopolis website. I had read a few months back about a teacher who used this website as part of her bell work each morning. Because I am nonfiction junkie and am completely obsessed with the idea that kids need to generate their own questions I made a mental bookmark for this one. I was not at all disappointed when I viewed it the other evening. With the push for nonfiction, technology, and relevancy this site hits them all. If you haven't already, you have to see what Wonderopolis has to offer. There are so many possibilities for the classroom.

. . .And the Grit Goes On

Some might call it synchronicity when you suddenly start to see things that you never noticed before. I thought it was called something different, but this whole idea of grit has popped up on my radar everywhere this past week. Great stuff! My favorite message was from a former college student letting me know her entire school staff was focusing on grit this entire year! My video fav, which I have linked, but you may have to go to Teacher Tube and sign up before viewing, shows Leah Alcala's Teaching Channel video My Favorite No: Learning From Mistakes  In her bell work, she demonstrates to the class that wrong answers should be welcomed because of what they can teach us. Teachers, isn't this the truth with our lessons that fall flat. These failures are where I have done my very best teacher learning and have rallied with some of my most creative lessons for a reteach. Failure prompts the need to succeed! (And it can be taught!!)

Just For Funsies

 If you do PD or just need a no-snoozer way to bring kids back together you will love the NoYell Bell. Seriously, I was using it in a classroom last year and the teacher ended up buying three!! Speaking of three, enjoy your 3-day weekend. Until next Saturday...


  1. Thank you very much for the websites and the links you included in your Blog. I have already checked some of them out and they will be very helpful in my classroom. I do like the fact that you are emphasizing grit and even wrong answers. It is so very important that kids realize that is not a bad thing to be wrong. Knowing that we can learn from our mistakes is such a valuable lesson for kids of any age.

  2. Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it. I will be adding more and more links that pertain to Common Core. There is sooo much info out there it is overwhelming. "Grit" is popping up everywhere. I am glad that you enjoyed the piece on classroom grit. If you are like me, you can relate it back to your personal life besides back to your classroom and students. Thanks again for being a reader and please visit Saturday Morning Coffee each Saturday. Cathe

  3. Wow- love the wonderopolis site link. Thanks! This would be an easy way for kids to respond to writing online- doesn't that tie in one of our common core standards?

  4. Ashton, I am so glad you had an opportunity to visit Wonderopolis. I don't know how long this site has been around so I was thinking maybe I was the one who was really behind the times. If I were in the classroom I would play around with it because of the graphic beauty of the website, info, and the idea that it is built on questioning. As far as which standard, if you find it first let me know. Good question.

  5. Love, love, love your blog. I also love your comparison of close reading to inquiry science! I will explore the links that you posted after I stain my screen porch floor. :) What a beautiful day in the Ozarks and a great way to start that day is with Saturday Morning Coffee and Common Core! Now, where are those cinnamon rolls....?

    1. Thanks for the comment. I am glad you see the comparison between reading and inquiry science. For some reason your comment is posted on a blog I wrote a couple weeks back...Ahhh technology. A love/hate relationship. Thanks again for the comment. Don't work too hard on that porch.
      Happy Saturday