All resources in OER Commons Starter Kit

English Language Arts, Grade 11

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The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.

Material Type: Full Course

English Language Arts, Grade 11, American Dreamers

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In this unit, students will take a look at the historical vision of the American Dream as put together by our Founding Fathers. They will be asked: How, if at all, has this dream changed? Is this dream your dream? First students will participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing for his or her vision of the American Dream, and then they will write an argument laying out and defending their personal view of what the American Dream should be. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Students read and annotate closely one of the documents that they feel expresses the American Dream. Students participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing his or her vision of the American Dream. Students write a paper, taking into consideration the different points of view in the documents read, answering the question “What is the American Dream now?” Students write their own argument describing and defending their vision of what the American Dream should be. GUIDING QUESTIONS These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts. What has been the historical vision of the American Dream? What should the American Dream be? (What should we as individuals and as a nation aspire to?) How would women, former slaves, and other disenfranchised groups living during the time these documents were written respond to them? BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT: Cold Read During this unit, on a day of your choosing, we recommend you administer a Cold Read to assess students’ reading comprehension. For this assessment, students read a text they have never seen before and then respond to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The assessment is not included in this course materials.

Material Type: Unit of Study

Complete Guide to Creating Text Dependent Questions

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Thorough explanation of the how and why of text-dependent questions for close, analytic reading. Includes examples. The Common Core State Standards for reading strongly focus on students gathering evidence, knowledge, and insight from what they read. Indeed, eighty to ninety percent of the Reading Standards in each grade require text dependent analysis; accordingly, aligned curriculum materials should have a similar percentage of text dependent questions. As the name suggests, a text dependent question specifically asks a question that can only be answered by referring explicitly back to the text being read. It does not rely on any particular background information extraneous to the text nor depend on students having other experiences or knowledge; instead it privileges the text itself and what students can extract from what is before them.

Material Type: Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, Exemplar Text

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This exemplar text is designed to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they’ve been practicing on a regular basis to absorb deep lessons from Kate DiCamillo’s story. By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will identify how and why the three main characters became friends. * This text is extracted from a close reading exemplar produced and published by Student Achievement Partners

Material Type: Reading

Author: Tim Farquer

ISKME's Teachers as Makers Academy 2012

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Activities, resources, photos and videos from ISKME's two day professional development teacher training that explores Open Educational Resources (OER) and Maker-Teacher collaborations to facilitate innovation in the classroom. The Makers’ projects are points of inspiration for Teachers while they engage in design-thinking activities to create, remix, and share OER Projects with online collaborative tools.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Megan Simmons

STE(A)M Truck

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STE(A)M Truck is a mobile makerspace that inspires youth to tackle real problems with the support of community experts. We teach youth Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) by bringing tools, equipment and mentors directly to kids and allow youth to have fun while making things with their hands. STE(A)M Truck will have everything from 3D printers, laser cutters to saws and hammers. At ELC we will 1) introduce students to the array of maker tools, technologies and materials; 2) teach students a design thinking problem solving process; and 3) support students to design their solutions and, with the support of community experts, build them. Some past examples include; building a computer using e-waste, carving a wooden spoon, making your own jams and jellies, building your own design thinking toolbox or creating your own toys and games. Who knows what problems kids will want to tackle this summer. Learn more at

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: jason martin