Professional Development


Common Core Language


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Are you assigning appropriately complex literary texts? Are you teaching your students academic and domain-specific vocabulary? Are you engaging them with activities that get them to dive deeply into what they read?

Get the most out of your Common Core training with this Language course and interactive workshop. We cover this and more as we show you how to optimize your lessons. Our hands-on workshop will guide you through creating a new lesson plan that you can use immediately. Try our scaffolded approach to professional development today!

Product Description

This course reviews the basics of teaching English language skills under the Common Core State Standards. ELA teachers in Common Core states will find this session useful, but it is relevant to any ELA teachers who want their students to build language skills across grades, connect language with writing and speaking, acquire and use vocabulary through reading, and use language standards in their writing standards.

The course begins with a lesson that analyzes the major shifts in language instruction with the Common Core. After introducing each shift, the course continues with a lesson that shows how to integrate these changes with other English Language Arts strands. Next, the course covers how PARCC tests assess language standards. Then the course offers resources and models on how to teach the new Common Core practices. Finally, the course moves into a hands-on workshop format. Teachers use our instruction, guidance, and downloadable resources to begin a new lesson plan that is centered on teaching the Common Core Language Standards. Teachers continue to work with this lesson plan throughout the workshop, building skills across grades, connecting language standards with writing and speaking, incorporating vocabulary acquired through reading, and assessments that require students to apply language standards to their writing assignments. See the Table of Contents tab for more detailed information.

At the end of the course, participants will have access to useful downloadable resources to which they can refer as often as needed, even after the course is complete. Teachers will gain a new outlook on teaching literature in the Common Core classroom. Participants will also leave the course with a new lesson plan made as part of our hands-on workshop. Upon upload of that finished lesson plan, we will issue a certificate that can be submitted to administrators as proof of completed professional development hours.

More Information

Designed with K–8 teachers in mind, but useful for all ELA instructors.

This course takes 1–3 hours to complete. Upon uploading a completed lesson plan, you will receive a certificate that can be submitted to your administrator as proof of time spent.

For Illinois teachers, ISBE clock hours will be provided upon request. Contact us for more details.

See our Professional Development page for information on our other online and in-person professional development offerings.


Introduction and opening video
Lesson 1: Understand the Language Standards
    Build Language Skills Across Grades
    Highlight the Importance of Skill Reinforcement
        Resource: Appendix A of the Common Core ELA Standards
    Reinforce Skills Through Writing Assignments

Lesson 2: Integrate Language Standards with Other ELA Strands
    Connect Language with Writing and Speaking
    Acquire and Use Vocabulary in Reading and Writing

Lesson 3: Language Standards and PARCC Assessments
    PARCC Tasks
    PBA and EOY Assessments

Lesson 4: Teach the Language Standards
        Engage: Identify Language standards in a reading and writing task in an existing lesson plan
        Resource: Language Standards Tracker
    Acquire Vocabulary Through Reading
        Engage: Have students both understand and use a concept or vocabulary
        Resource: Grade 5 Model Reading Activity
        Resource: Grade 7 Model Reading Activity
    Address Language Standards in Writing Assignments
        Engage: Modify instruction to address applicable Language standards
        Resource: Writing Rubrics for Language Standards
        Resource: Grade 3 Model Reading Activity
        Resource: Grade 7 Model Reading Activity
Hands-On Language Workshop
    Review and Finalize Your Lesson Plan
    Upload Your Lesson Plan
    Reflect on Your Lesson and Make Improvements for Next Time