Common Core Standards:
A Utility to Trim Time and Effort from Lesson Planning

Introductioncommon core standards

As you know, Common Core State Standards are still somewhat new to most of us. And like it or not, they may be with us for some time yet to come.

If you feel comfortable with them, bravo for you. But, many of your colleagues may feel quite differently—as the info graphic shown here suggests.

For me, one of the biggest challenges of adapting to common core is just simply one of logistics—and time.

See if my story sounds familiar to you:

I know what I’m going to be doing with my kids on any given day, but what standard fits in with that the best? Where do I go to find the one that suits the lesson? How does this task that the kids will be completing dovetail with that?

Then, I start leafing through my standards book or scanning through web pages to locate just the right one. I have to put this in my lesson plans, and it’s got to be right. I think this one is appropriate, or perhaps it’s not. Did I do this right?

No wonder many of us feel uncomfortable.

What follows on this page is an introduction to a product called Common Core Calculator 6 that, I believe, will make lesson planning easier and quicker. Is it the total answer? Of course not.

But, I’m thinking you may agree that it’s a big step in the right direction.

Common Core Calculator 6common core standards

This lesson planning utility is designed specifically for sixth grade language arts teachers.

As a result, all of the standards are exact copies of public domain material made available by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers.

The concept behind Common Core Calculator 6 is quite simple, but disarmingly powerful.

Locate the most appropriate standard for the any given lesson or activity in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort.

The simple, straight-forward directions appear directly on the welcome screen in a section called Quick Start (shown below):

Simply choose any of the core strands from the upper left section of the screen, and the keypad(s) for that section will be displayed.

For example, below is the screen associated with the Reading Literature Strand:

Succinct summaries of all of the standards for that strand appear on the keys:

Scan the keys to look for the most appropriate standard and click on its key to reveal the complete Common Core State Standard in the calculator’s display screen, as you see here…

Finally, drag through the standard to highlight it, then use Ctrl+C to copy it.  Now, you may paste it wherever you like—your lesson plan, the district’s website, students’ activity sheets, or wherever else you may need it.

It’s that easy.

The Writing Strand and the Language Strand both have more than one keypad.  To access additional keypads, simply use the arrows provided in the upper left corner of the screen, as you see circled here on the Writing Strand section:

Free and Full Download Details

The free trial version of Common Core Calculator 6 for Windows may be downloaded here. This application will NOT run on a Mac, unless your computer is specifically set up to run executable files.

The free version displays both sets of keypads for the Language Strand only. This should be adequate to give you a hands-on feel for how the calculator works.

The full download version features all five strands and their associated eight keypads. And, just like the free version, it is compatible with all versions of Windows.

Conclusioncommon core standards

At the time of this writing and the subsequent release of this product, I have no way of knowing how well this may be received.  As a result, plans for future grade levels/subject areas cannot be determined at this time.

If you would care to voice your support with a purchase, I would be delighted.

In the likely event that you are NOT a sixth grade language arts teacher, but you WOULD like to see more products along this line, please let me hear from you.  Have suggestions/comments/questions?

You know how to reach me.common core standards

Best wishes always to you and your kids.

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