Videos that Show Students at Work

Pathways to the Common Core: Videos from Inside Classrooms features almost 40 clips of Common-Core aligned teaching and learning. We captured these scenes of classroom teaching in an effort to help you imagine methods of teaching that can support students in moving towards the ambitious standards set by the Common Core.

Watch videos of teaching aimed to help move students toward major aspects of the standards:

  • Reading Literature
  • Reading Informational Texts
  • Opinion/Argument Writing
  • Information Writing
  • Narrative Writing
Each clip includes critical commentary by a member of the Project staff and explains connections we see to the Common Core.

School: PS 199
Title: Common Core Aligned Book Club Conversation
Synopsis: A informally shot video of a fourth grade historical fiction book club from PS 199 engaging in cross-text, cross-genre conversation. You’ll notice their conversation integrates fiction and informational texts at grade-level text complexity around the same topic.

Title:Common Core Aligned Accountable Book Talk
Synopsis:A video of a fifth grade book club engaged in discussing historical fiction at grade-level text complexity. You’ll note the students raising questions, discussing symbolism, speaking in metaphors and interpreting the text, demonstrating that their conversation meets not only standards for reading literature but also standards for speaking and listening. By the end of the conversation, students have begun developing theories that relate to life lessons the text teaches and considering the complications of the time period.

Title:Discussing Historical Fiction Critically
Synopsis:A video of Kathleen Tolan reading aloud Freedom Summer to support club talk. You’ll notice the way the students are sitting with their historical fiction book clubs and have their notebooks open to write their thinking. As the read aloud progresses, you’ll note the moves Kathleen makes to support the students reading, writing and discussing historical fiction critically: rereading parts, thinking aloud to scaffold the students’ own thinking, giving time for students to talk as a club and then as a whole group, asking students to write their thinking, fishbowling a club’s conversation for the rest of the group to watch, etc. By the end of this read aloud, you’ll see students interpreting the text and raising issues of power in a grand conversation that is mainly student-run. A chart in the background provides extra support for students who need additional scaffolding to make text-based inferences and interpretations.

Title:Common Core Aligned Read Aloud to Support High-Level Comprehension and Interpretation
Synopsis:A video of Kathleen Tolan reading aloud The Giving Tree to support interpretation. You’ll notice Kathleen demonstrating applying skills learned previously—envisionment, inferring character emotions, and prediction—and moving the students to synthesize and interpret the text. Through moves such as asking students how particular parts fit with the title and to reflect on the symbolism of the tree itself Kathleen guides students to question the deeper meaning of the story. By the end of the read aloud, you’ll see students speaking in metaphors, discussing symbolism, and seeing social issues within the text.

School: PS 6
Title: Book Club Conversation meeting Common Core expectations
Synopsis: A video of a fifth grade book club from PS 6 engaging in accountable talk around historical fiction at grade-level text complexity. You’ll notice their high level comprehension and interpretation of the text as they discuss theme, metaphors, symbolism, and move to speak across texts.

Click here to see Common Core aligned student work samples of informative/explanatory and argument writing.

Videos from the School Leadership Retreat

On July 27, 2010, the Reading and Writing Project led a conference day on the Common Core State Standards for 170 New York City school leaders. The following video-clip captures one of the workshops that we led during that day--you are welcome to share it with others as long as you forgive the informality of the production. This was done on a shoe-string and makes no attempt to be a professional production with all the bells and whistles.

Click here to learn more about our work and the Common Core State Standards.

Presenter: Mary Ehrenworth
Title: Help Teachers Grades 3-12 Rise to the CCSS's Challenge of Teaching Higher Level Comprehension Skills and Literary Traditions
Synopsis: In this workshop, Mary Ehrenworth celebrates the fact that the Common Core Standards will help teachers to nudge students to develop the interpretation skills that are so important. Increasingly, readers in reading workshops are becoming avid readers, and this is a wonderful thing. But sometimes, these readers are mostly plot junkies, reading to learn what happens next. In this session, Mary suggests five or six kinds of work that teachers will want to do to support students becoming readers who read also to make meaning. That is, a student who is reading Wringer in just the same way in which he read Nate the Great is probably missing out on a lot of opportunities!