As the beginning of the school year gets underway many are continuing to prepare for the Common Core. Schools across the nation are at various stages of implementation. Publishers and bookstores are trying to understand more about the standards and how it affects them. Here is a variety of information, from resources to recent articles and postings, to help you stay up to date on the standards. We will include an updated toolkit with each issue of our column, Cut to the Core. Here is the September toolkit:

Just the Basics: Understanding the Common Core Standards

Read the standards here: The Common Core Standards Initiative.

Select “In the States” to find out more about your state and the Common Core.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

A basic article from August of 2013 from the Associated Press: What Are the Common Core State Standards?

A listing of resources provided and maintained by the New York State Education Department: EngageNY Common Core Toolkit

Resources for Publishers

A listing of documents to help publishers support teachers that need to educate their students and help them learn. Teachers need high quality resources, not recycled and repackaged information with a “Common Core Aligned” label slapped on it.

Revised Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy, Grades K–2

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

K–8 Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

High School Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Apps to Help You Understand and Implement the Common Core

Common Core Standards Apps By MasteryConnect for Apple products

Common Core – Android Apps on Google Play

Common Core Tracker: A grade book aligned with the Common Core for iPads and computers.

Resources for Librarians

Embracing The Common Core…What does it look like and what’s my role? This pamphlet, created by Paige Jaeger, the Coordinator of School Library Services at WSWHE BOCES, offers a clear explanation of the standards and the important role that the librarian plays in implementing them.

Common Core Writing...Let the Library Help You Poster and Postcards: Also developed by Paige Jaeger this is a wonderful advocacy tool to promote the role the librarian plays in helping to implement the standards within their school. Paige Jaeger is available for presentations, training and consulting.

Declaration for the Right to Libraries: Don't miss this opportunity to support libraries and engage your community. Print out your copy of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries and hold a signing ceremony in October (or whenever possible). School librarians may want to hold the event during Back to School Night. Barbara Stripling the President of the American Library Association is asking that libraries of all types join her Campaign called America’s Right to Libraries, by holding signing ceremonies where community members, organizations, and officials can visibly sign and stand up for their right to have vibrant school, public, academic, and special libraries in their community.

Common Core and School Librarians: An Interview with Joyce Karon: This article from School Library Monthly discusses what the standards are and what librarians should be doing.

School Librarians Valuable Behind Scenes as School Adopt Common Core Standards: This article from the New York State School Boards Association dispels myths and stereotypes that surround the role of librarian and highlight the importance of librarians as the standards ask students to locate, evaluate and synthesize information. This is a good article to share with faculty and administrators.

Communicating Your Message via Web 2.0 Tools

Be visible! Whether you work in a school or public library communicating your role has never been more important. One way to do that is by bringing your message to the web. Listed below are tools to help you get started. Note that authors may find these tools useful as well.

Animoto. You can create an Animoto video slideshow showcasing your program and the Common Core. Here's a great xxample: School Board Presentation: Librarians Integral to Student Achievement

LiveBinders. Create paperless binders to curate information. Here's an example: School Librarians and the Common Core Standards: Resources Use this online curation tool to create beautiful "topics" pages to share relevant information with faculty and parents on the Common Core. Better than a simple pathfinder, this tool helps you organize key ideas and supporting articles into one accessible location. Here's an xxample: Common Core State Standards for School Leaders

Smore. Create an online newsletter providing information and resources on your library program, the Common Core, technology, etc. that can easily be emailed to teachers, parents, and administrators. Here's an xxample: Common Core Matters

Lesson Plans

American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database. Lesson plans here are aligned with common core crosswalk.

Informative Article from “Getting Smart” on the launch of the LearnZillion Online Lessons. In the fall of 2012 LearnZillion began posting the first of 2,000 online lessons to help students, teachers and districts adopt the Common Core Standards. The lessons come with high quality “screencasts” created by the nation’s top teachers that were recruited for the project.

327 Common Core Aligned Playlists From Mentor Mob and LearnZillion from Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners. In October of 2012 MentorMob and LearnZillion teamed up to provide 327 Common Core Aligned “Playlists.” MentorMob playlists offer an interactive format for students to follow content on a step by step basis, helping them remain engaged during the learning process.

Library Of Congress Unveils Massive Common Core Resource Center. Looking to incorporate primary sources into your lesson plans? The Library of Congress comes to the rescue. You can even search by grade level and standard.

Share My Lesson: Common Core Standards Information Center. Share My Lesson is a free site developed by the American Federation of Teachers and TES Connect, where educators can share resources and lessons. There is a Common Core Standards Information Center providing additional information such as the standards, the latest news, and even a discussion forum. Search for lessons aligned to the Common Core by grade level or standard and you will find lessons with videos, PowerPoint presentations, and word documents that you can use and save under your account.

Tools to Guide the Collection of Evidence of Shifts in Practice. From the EngageNY website - A document for teachers, coaches and instructional leaders to support the development of Common Core Standards aligned practice.

Resources for Communicating With Parents

Three-Minute Video Explaining the Common Core State Standards. This short, concise video offer an informative introduction to the standards, using non- “eduspeak,” clearly introduce the Common Core Standards to parents.

New York City Department of Education Common Core Tips for Families. The New York City Department of Education (DOE) offers general information and tips for parents, caregivers and families on the Common Core Standards on this clean site that offers the information in multiple languages.

Spotlight on The Common Core Standards: What Do Parents Need to Know? This pamphlet offers options for educators and parents to communicate important points about the Common Core to parents in the languages of English and Spanish.

PTA-Four-page Parents' Guides to Student Success. Created by the National PTA, these printable guides offer a detailed description for parents explaining what to expect with the new standards and are broken out by individual grades from k-12. Resources are available in both English and Spanish.

Schenectady City Schools: Understanding the Common Core State Standards. On their website this district showcases an excellent example of flipped communication by sharing information with parents via a video. This also presents a way wonderful way to reach parents who may not be able to attend meetings.

Resources for Educators Working With English Language Learners

Common Core en Español. The Standards Initiative Translation Project is a product of the California Department of Education (CDE) and the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and is “committed to providing leadership, assistance, and resources so that every student has access to an education that meets world-class standards.” The site has gone through a Peer Review and District Review Process.

Normas para la enseñanza de las artes de lenguaje en español. A document created over the course of two years by Spanish language dual language teachers. Since the majority of literacy skills transfer across languages and are applicable to learning in either language the team created slightly modified translations of many of the CCSS standards.

Common Core Bilingual Standards. Posted on the EngageNY website, this document details the importance of Common Core Standards for English Language Learners.

Resources for Special Education

National Dissemination Center for Students with Disabilities. A question and answer type document for parents, teachers and administrators that have questions about the Common Core Standards and their application for students with disabilities.

Students with Disabilities & the Common Core State Standards - Resources. A comprehensive list of resources provided by Achieve, Inc.