Professional Development


Common Core Writing


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How are Common Core writing standards significantly different from other writing standards? What is the relationship between CCSS Reading and Writing? How can you help students take ownership of their writing process, from planning through publishing to authentic audiences?

Get the most out of your Common Core training with this scaffolded professional development course and interactive workshop. This course will help you optimize your existing lesson plans to meet the Common Core writing standards. You’ll learn how the Common Core addresses reading and writing and how to guide students through each step of the writing process. Finally, our hands-on workshop will guide you through creating a new lesson plan that you can use immediately.



Product Description

This course reviews the basics of teaching writing under the Common Core State Standards. ELA teachers in Common Core states will find this session useful, but it is relevant to any teacher who wants their students to write daily and with purpose, engage deeply with texts by referring to evidence, build reasoning and argument skills, and effectively write for real audiences.

The course begins by analyzing the major shifts in writing instruction with the Common Core. After introducing each shift, the course moves into a hands-on format that guides teachers to build lessons addressing the standards. In Lesson 2, teachers use our instruction, guidance, and downloadable resources to begin a new lesson plan that is centered on the writing process, including responding to texts and doing research. Teachers continue to work with this lesson plan throughout the remainder of the course, incorporating close reading and responding to texts with evidence, planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. 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 writing 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. Identify “shifts” that make Common Core different from previous standards.
    Shift 1: Standards Build Across Grade Levels
    Shift 2: Using Text Evidence
    Shift 3: New Focus on Argument

Lesson 2. Learn how to integrate Common Core Standards into your Instruction
    Incorporating Text Evidence
        Engage: Begin a lesson plan based on a reading/thematic unit
    Close Reading and Text Evidence
        Engage: Develop questioning strategies
    Writing to an Audience: Planning and Drafting
    Writing to an Audience: Reviewing and Revising
        Resource: Writing Rubrics
    Editing and Proofreading
        Engage: Plan how you will assign and communicate
    Finding an Authentic Audience
        Engage: Find a way to share student work
    Sharing and Collaborating
        Engage: Research technology for collaboration and publication
        Engage: Add opportunities for student research to your lesson
    Write Routinely
        Resource: Sample writing projects and templates
        Engage: Plan daily writing prompts

Hands-on Writing Workshop
    Review and Finalize Your Lesson Plan
    Upload Your Lesson Plan
    Reflect on Your Lesson and Make Improvements