Common Core Tech Tools for Teachers

By Rob Klindt

As the move to align classroom curriculums to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) picks up speed, many teachers are looking for tools to help them prepare and update their lesson plans.

Fortunately, the Internet is awash with a growing number of websites, apps and downloadable software programs that support the CCSS goals. Many of them are free.

Most U.S. states and the District of Columbia have adopted the CCSS initiative, which establishes shared K-12 English language arts and mathematics educational standards. Common Core aims to ensure that graduating high school students meet baseline academic expectations, regardless of whether they attend college or enter the workforce.

Teacher Preparation

Downloadable tools and interactive templates can make preparing new lesson plans go smoothly and increase classroom efficiency. Here are a few websites that offer helpful programs and tools:

  • Common Curriculum. Planning and preparation are hallmarks of this website, which includes tools that let K-12 teachers create lesson templates and task calendars and align them to CCSS pages that are fully searchable. Teachers also can share files and comments with others. Free for teachers; registration required.
    Visit the site
  • National Association of Educators. This downloadable toolkit offers a detailed overview of how the CCSS initiative works, shares tips for implementing English language arts and mathematics lesson plans in K-12 classrooms, and provides guidance on accommodating students who have disabilities. Professional development tips are also included. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Share My Lesson. Teachers can share lesson plans, test-preparation materials and resources aligned to CCSS in this free Web-based community site. Chat forums also allow educators to share professional development tips. Free; registration required.
    Visit the site
  • Teaching Channel. This site has an excellent collection of videos that show teachers demonstrating their classroom teaching methods and sharing lesson plans. Each video includes a tag that specifies the exact CCSS advice related to the lesson. It’s designed for pre-K through fifth-grade teachers. Free.
    Visit the site

English Language Arts

Along with traditional literature, poetry and writing exercises, CCSS guidelines for English language arts blend nonfiction and informational texts into the mix. The standards also provide guidance on literacy skills and reading comprehension in history, science and technical studies.

  • LearnZillion. This website includes more than 2,000 English and mathematics lesson plans, instructional resources and tutorials for grades 3-12 developed by teachers directly from the CCSS.  Free; registration required.
    Visit the site
  • Library of Congress. The Teacher Resources page offers a wealth of K-12 English Language Arts lesson plans, reading materials, worksheets and interactive materials that meet CCSS guidance. Free.
    Visit the site
  • ReadWorks. Helping K-8 students develop reading skills and comprehension to meet CCSS is the focus of this website, which includes lesson plans, handwriting worksheets and reading assignments that include literary and nonfiction passages. Teachers also can save assignments and materials in custom binders. Free; registration required.
    Visit the site

Mathematics

Under CCSS, high school students should graduate with math skills including algebraic thinking, geometry, statistics and probability. These websites offer teachers excellent resources for developing math lessons.

  • Core Math Tools. This downloadable suite of interactive math tools, developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, focuses on high school mathematics. Tools help students learn algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics and probability. Free; software download required.
    Visit the site
  • National Science Digital Library. K-12 educators will find an impressive collection of links to online educational resources for teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Subjects are searchable for CCSS compliance. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Pinterest. This fun and popular site offers an ever-changing mix of links to classroom resources, K-12 lesson plans, worksheets, math apps and reading rubrics all aligned to CCSS. Free; registration required.
    Visit the site

Technology can make the transition to CCSS easier for teachers by helping them develop lesson plans and testing materials that meet specific guidelines more quickly and efficiently.

Learn More

Common Core State Standards Initiative.

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