Teaching to the Common Core Standards

CLASSROOM 21 | by Greg Limperis

Working for the past 15 years in an underperforming inner city school district, I have become intimately familiar with the need to align all lessons to the state—and now federal—standards. This year, our district will be making an extra effort to ensure that teacher lessons are better aligned to the Common Core Standards.

My new role as the Supervisor of Instructional Technology within my district will have me walking through classrooms twice a week in order to see how teachers are teaching within our district and to give feedback on ways that we are using 21st-century skills well and ways we are aligning our teaching to the Common Core Standards. Part of what we have been asked to do is to ensure that teacher lesson books have lesson plans in them that align to these standards. As I have always done, I have begun to ask myself: how can we make this job easier for our teachers?

Knowing that my Andorid will be my lifeblood as I do these walkthroughs, I decided to look up some resources to help me make sure that I have a better grasp of all of the Common Core Standards for all grade levels—as I move through various grade level classrooms this year throughout the district. The first thing I came across is the app Common Core Standards by MasteryConnect.  This app allows the user to pull up the Common Core Standard in both Math and Language Arts in grades K-12. The Standards are nicely arranged in categories where each standard can be selected to read a detailed description of that standard.

Thanks to a little help while searching online for additional resources, I came across a post by tech4ed that directed me to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Standards Aligned System’s website. This site was great because it offered lesson plans already aligned to the Common Core Standards. Each lesson is broken down by grade level and content area. When the lesson is selected, you then can see what Common Core Standard that lesson is aligned to. I will share this with my teachers. They will need a way to help quickly align lessons they plan to teach to the Common Core Standards and this site will help them do just that.

I then started to wonder if there was a lesson plan book my teachers could access from anywhere that would allow them to create lessons and then allow them to choose which Common Core Standards the lessons was aligned to. While once again doing a little searching, I came across LearnBoost, an online website offering a free online grade book that allows me to do just that.  This tool will allow my teachers to easily create lessons, store them on the cloud and with a click of the button, align them to the Common Core Standards.

As a way to have the Common Core Standards in print, I came across this PDF that would help to give me one file listing all the Common Core Standards. Little did I know that this document would be such a great resource. While I was looking for a PDF to follow along with, I came across an article written for school CIO which reminded me of the product TestWiz by DataMetrics and the great job it’s doing with aligning to the Common Core Standards.

Now, it’s back to work for another school year where we work towards ensuring that all students are taught the Common Core Standards—and what better way to do that than through the integration of technology in our educator’s day.


Greg Limperis, now Supervisor of Instructional Technology for his district, was recently the Middle School Technology Facilitator in Lawrence, Mass., and founded the very popular Technology Integration in Education professional learning network, reaching thousands of educators worldwide. He has shared with others what he knows and they have joined him in sharing their insights as well. Join them in bringing about change using your 21st century skills.

Visit: http://www.technologyintegrationineducation.com

* * *

WANT TO EXPAND your edtech company rapidly? Leading administrators say that one of the best ways to really connect with them is to show them examples of where and how a product or service is working for their peers. Rich, alive and informative case studies are the perfect way to get attention, attract interest and deliver your message. Get the word out now to increase your revenues asap. Request more info.

  • Learning.com (@learningdotcom)


    Great post! I’d like to suggest another way to find digital resources exactly aligned to the Common Core Standards. I work with Learning.com, and through our digital learning environment teachers can find curriculum from a wide variety of digital providers, from free to fee-based, and even created by other teachers – aligned to the specific Common Core standard they seek. We offer access free to teachers through teacher accounts, here – http://bit.ly/ccstandardssearch

  • Susan Taylor (@susybtaylor)


    It is certainly difficult ensuring that teachers have lesson plans, throughout the year, that align with all Common Core Standards. A good daily lesson plan comes from a well-planned Unit. Having used the Understanding by Design philosophy of creating Units, the schools I have been in have seen great successes in ensuring that all Standards are addressed and that activities for students are geared toward student success and understanding the Big Idea.

    That being said, Atlas Rubicon is a web-based application that allows teachers to create Curriculum Maps and a forum for sharing strategies amongst peers, administrators and other users. In creating the Units, one is required to check off the Standards being taught in the unit, while keeping track of what Standards have yet to be taught in that subject area. The school I am at, now, has just purchased the licence to use Atlas. We are looking forward to bringing technology into the creation and maintenance of our Units and daily lesson plans, thus ensuring that we are hitting all the Standards and thus providing our students with high quality education.

    • mark giufre

      HI Susan- My school just purchased Atlas as well. I am interested to see how you are doing with it, how you like it, etc. I am hoping to move into an Instructional Technology position next year and really integrate technology into lessons across the school. Any thoughts/input appreciate. Find me on facebook or here.

  • bev terry


    I think this Common Core standard is a travesty. It might work in a perfect world, but never at my school. I have 28 children for starters. I have no parent volunteers or assistants. I work 7:15 to 2:15 teaching my students. I never get home before 5 PM. I havent had a pay raise in four years. and now I have to come up with all new materials. I am a good teacher! My kids do well on EOG tests. I don’t have time for this!

    • Lisa Liddiard

      You need to read the book No Excuses University by Damen Lopez. It is inspiring. Hope things get better for you.

  • Jacqui Murray


    Good post, Gregg. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Jacqui Murray (@AskATechTeacher)


    Very timely as I’m just researching this for my school. Thanks.

  • cricketmuse


    I am hoping to initiate CCSS for ninth grade this fall and I am looking into lesson plans. I will definitely check out your resources. Thanks, very timely.

  • Quisha Brown (@starseducons)


    Love the great resources! Thanks a million for this information.

  • MilasunshineLudmila


    Informative post, Greg.

    Add BetterLessons (http://betterlesson.com/) site to your TeacherKit.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: