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Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement
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Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,171 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
"As challenging as it must have been to write and finesse the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, that accomplishment is nothing compared to the work of teaching in ways that bring all students to these ambitious expectations. The goal is clear. The pathway is not."
-Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth, and Christopher Lehman

The Common Core is written, but the plan for
Paperback, 214 pages
Published April 19th 2012 by Heinemann Educational Books
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May 26, 2012 Ken rated it it was amazing
Already, before they've even been implemented, the words "common" and "core" have moved into our schools, unpacked their stuff, and begun to act in general like they own the joint. Where exactly did these standards come from and what do they mean to teachers, administrators, parents, and students?

Ask no more. PATHWAYS TO THE COMMON CORE is 197 pages of concise elucidation, making it one book you'd love to put into the hands of everyone associated with education. With its short introduction, the
OK, I read it; I highlighted; I sticky-noted...and I really need to read it again.

Calkins and Ehrenworth and Lehman have done a huge service for all teachers. They took one for the team, truly. They pored over every Standard, every nuance of this overwhelming document and they translated it for us.

I've read big chunks but alone, with no one to bounce ideas and impressions with. Just me and my overworked brain, fighting the Standards all the way.

These authors explain clearly that while educators
Daniel Rock
Jun 12, 2012 Daniel Rock rated it really liked it

All ela literacy teachers need to read this. Yesterday.
Sep 23, 2012 Ted rated it it was amazing
I am facilitating a book study of this book. The group of teachers, with elementary, middle, and high school all represented, seem to find the text both informative and enlightening. Each chapter digs deeply into a strand and paints a pretty clear picture of what students learning those standards should be experiencing. I attended a one day workshop with Lucy Calkins in Denver and was hooked. Trying to get a grip on the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in Histor ...more
Aug 20, 2012 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Sooooo helpful! This book put the new standards into an educational context that really helped to illuminate the rigorous level of instruction that the standards demand. Pretty cool stuff.
Jul 05, 2013 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching
The words "common core" have been thrown around a lot in my district with new "units of study" being implemented, and this book was definitely helpful in really understanding what this common core IS and a basic overview of how it is implemented across the grade levels. Now when I hear people talking about this, I have a much better understanding of what is being discussed.

I think my cynicism is also hurting my approach to this book-- it's a lot of WHAT and not a lot of HOW. This is not a "how-t
Jul 17, 2014 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
I'm so glad I finally read this book! It was a gift from my school district last December, but in the mist of teaching, exhaustion, and irritation at Common Core, I set the book aside. After reading it this summer, I wish our school PLC time had been used to read and discuss this book. It would have been time well spent. The authors did an outstanding job validating my concerns about Common Core while still pushing me to see the positive possibilities of CCSS. I found the chapters on "Reading St ...more
Aug 10, 2012 bjneary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
I found so much interesting in this book,and am spreading the word in our school about the ideas. L. Calkins, etc. has written a very engaging book about the reading and common core standards and looks at each standard and helps guide in very real doable suggestions how to navigate the common core standards with what is already being done in your school. As I read the book, I felt, with the suggestions, that I would easily be able to collaborate with ELA and social studies, and science teachers ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely helpful to me in contextualizing and breaking down the implications for the Common Core Standards that are only currently being contemplated by my district. The organization and writing is clear, the examples are relevant, and the research-base is cited. I teach high school (11/12), and while the book is intended for K-12 and I usually skip lots of "elementary portions" in such books, there are very few parts I skimmed or considered not useful to me, and many portions I'v ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Jaime rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book . . . that I need to reread! The greatest shift in implementing the Common Core that I noticed after reading this book is that teachers are the ones who need to practice and master the skills the Core outlines before they will ever be able to teach them to students. All content areas, including Math, are asked to be teachers of reading and writing, and until teachers themselves are readers and writers, how can they possibly understand what the Common Core is requiring of students ...more
Dawn Little
Jul 07, 2012 Dawn Little rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic resource to guide teachers as they unpack the Common Core State Standards. In methodic and consistent language, the authors introduce the readers to the reading and writing standards of the Common Core. Additionally, they add many suggestions for ways educators can work collaboratively to gain understanding of the standards and to determine instructional methods.

This book will be my go-to guide for the upcoming school year as I work with teachers to unpack the standards and
Jul 27, 2014 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Excellent guide to redirect our teaching goals to these 10 standards. Love the content emphasis..."30% literary texts and 70% informational texts at 12th grade" we (teacher librarians, teachers, parents) help students excel.
Mary Beth
Jul 25, 2012 Mary Beth rated it really liked it
My favorite part of this book came in the early chapters where the authors give you a choice- read the standards as a curmudgeon or as if they are gold. It's actually a great way to look at everything! Lots of food for thought and good ideas for implementation.
Shana Karnes
Aug 13, 2013 Shana Karnes rated it really liked it
Calkins et al really took one for the team here by breaking down the CCSS and presenting it in a very optimistic light. I really appreciate their efforts, but the repeated emphasis on leveling libraries and presenting leveled books to kids took this from a 5 to a 4.
Beth Wheeler
Mar 29, 2013 Beth Wheeler rated it really liked it
This book's optimistic approach is what kept me reading. Also, the chapter conclusions give a few teaching ideas.
May 10, 2017 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Densely written but worth the effort. I found myself nodding along again and again!
Jun 05, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
This is the book I wish I had read two years ago, at the start of all this Common Core hoopla. Calkins' insights and overview are so much more helpful then any of the trainings I've sat through by so-called "Common Core Experts". As many others have said, this is one to read, reread, highlight, and tab. I appreciate how she clarifies the difference between the actual Common Core standards and the misguided curriculum that many have tried to pass off as Common Core aligned. Many of the criticisms ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Dominic rated it it was amazing
Each summer I hope to find at least one stimulating pedagogical work. Although at first glance, this one, by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth and Christopher Lehman, didn't seem like it would be that inspiring text to light a fire under this forever-hungry English teacher. Usually books that promise to "respond to Standards" are either ridiculously oversimplified, terrifyingly prescriptive, or they end up reducing the art of teaching to a mind-numbing science; the string of Marzano books are such a ...more
May 28, 2012 Lindsey rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
A dense book packed full of information. This book explains what the Common Core is, how it was developed, and how it is different from most state standards. It does not have practical applications. You'll need another book to learn how to implement Common Core in the classroom. This is really a break down of each standard. Very informative, but not a quick read. That is for sure.

45 states have adopted Common Core initiatives. Texas, Virginia, Minnesota (only adopted ELA), Nebraska, and Alaska
May 26, 2013 Helene rated it it was amazing
This, along with the Dylan Wiliams book, are the best educational books that I have read in a long, long time. This is a must read for all classroom teachers and administrators as we transition to the Common Core State Standards. Calkins, et al. break down the standards so that it is easy for an educator to understand what it is students are expected to be able to do, what classroom teachers must do to help help students step up to the rigor of the new standards, and how this will help students ...more
Julie Scott
Jul 09, 2015 Julie Scott rated it liked it
The reality for most public school teachers is that the Common Core is the "building code" for curriculum. This book breaks down the reading, writing and language standards so teachers can think critically about the work they are charged to do. The "pathway" that the book navigates here is the link between the work teachers are being required to do and the work that they know in their hearts they want to do. This book spends some time discussing what can be "let go of" so teachers can streamline ...more
Jul 23, 2012 JennE rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
If you are a teacher.. READ THIS BOOK! It doesn't matter the subject or age you teach, this is a must read! Recently, I was able to attend a session with the co-author, Chris Lehman and will also attend two remaining sessions with Lucy Calkins (!!!) and Mary Ehrenworth. These three authors are practical, as well as grounded in best practices. We must not go "common core crazy," but realize the bottom line is we are teaching children to be readers and writers for real life. Chris spoke of three t ...more
Glorya Suk
I chose Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement by Lucy McCormick Calkins as one of my professional books in my goodreads shelf because common core state standards are the focus in many, if not all, schools. The standards in common core are more specific with a common goal. The structure and content of the text is important. It is a helpful guide to designing the proper and appropriate curriculum for your class when teaching literacy and writing. It is really important to have a p ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Debbie rated it liked it
I read this book over the course of several months in the 2012-13 school year. For that reason, I think I have an interesting perspective. During the time I was reading pieces of the book, I was also being intensively trained on Common Core State Standards, using them, testing in them, training about them, and implementing them across the curriculum in a wide-spread way. Consequently, I saw weaknesses in this book - possibly rushed to the printer very soon after the formal adoption process was a ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Lindarandall rated it really liked it
I am really glad I took the time to read this because I now have a much greater understanding of the goals of CCSS. They are lofty goals, for sure. I see clearly that it is time to let go of my lingering "old school" ways of thinking and teaching.
I still don't have answers on how to provide all this individual on-going assessment and instruction while serving 140-180 students a day. I also struggle with how to grade students so I can keep parents informed in their weekly grade check. Parents st
Jul 05, 2012 Adrienne rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
Excellent book about Common Core State Standards and what it means (and doesn't mean) to teachers. The book is very broad covering all the reading standards from K-12 but still helpful to all teachers. The book does a great job of showing how all the standard build on each other grade by grade.

I liked the layout of the book and chapters. This is a really good place to start understanding and learning about Common Core. It lays out all the standards and gives example of what student work at the s
Aug 16, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
I'm sure I cannot think of an original thought about this book. I participated in a book discussion with other teachers, and our discussion took so many detours, I am still pondering many points made in the text.
Are the CCSS gold or mud? Neither, I think. I think they just 'are' and will do my part to implement them in my own classes and support others' efforts to do the same. I don't agree with the emphasis on debate, unless students are going to be expected to run for public office. There sho
Chris May
May 13, 2014 Chris May rated it liked it
I admire Lucy Calkins and the work she has done at Columbia, and the Reading and Writing Project. As far as this book, I was hoping for more. If you are looking for a resource to help you understand the new Common Core standards,and help you clarify what each standard is asking students to do, this is a good book. As for help in how to get your students to achieve those standards, the suggestions are very broad. So if you are in a "what exactly am I being asked to do?" mode, it helps. If you are ...more
Shannon Clark
Feb 08, 2013 Shannon Clark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-reviewed-yet
I am so glad I listened to everyone who said I needed to buy this book. I started it last week-dove right into the writing standards since I am really curious on how the common core is going to change our teaching of writing. So I really skipped around in this book and finally finished it today. This is one that I will be rereading and rereading and rereading......

I've already underlined quite a bit-now on to the highlighters-also the note taking. :)

It has given me some great insight into HOW th
Kat O
Jul 30, 2013 Kat O rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
At least this book got me thinking more about CCSS this summer since I've been trying to avoid it for a while now, and it's time for me to face the facts.

As usual though, this book was geared toward elementary teachers (who would expect less from Lucy?), and us high school teachers are left to make the reach on our own. Also "as usual" this is a theoretical read of "what/why/who" with a lot less "how." Why can't anyone just give me PD and readings with concrete examples of HOW to get it done?

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