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Cut to the Core

Educators in Action

Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

East Greenwich, RI

Cut to the Core

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The Educators In Action Cabinet is proud to present this exciting opportunity for educators from around the state to network and discover creative ways to implement the common core standards into their classrooms, focusing on Mathematics, ELA, the content areas, and the arts. Educators from across the state will be facilitating discussions, presenting experiences, and leading interactive sessions designed to encourage peer-to-peer collaboration around the Common Core.  All educators are encouraged to attend this free event to connect with their peers and learn more about Common Core instruction, implementation and connection to other content areas. Continental breakfast and lunch will be served.




First Session: 9:30-10:30am


Title: Elementary ELA/Dual Language


Julie Nora, Ph.D.

Director, International Charter School

Michelle Johnson

Reading Specialist, International Charter School

Presentation of the work ICS has done this past year to develop tools and capacity for teaching writing in a dual language setting as we transition to CCSS. Participants will learn about professional development activities, how connections have been made between literacy work and CCSS, and analyze student work in two languages.


Title: Meeting the CCSS with PowerUp: Integrating Technology with Evidence-Based Practices


Judy Zorfass, Ed. D.

Principal Investigator, Educational Development Center

Tracy Gray, Ph.D.

Project Director, PowerUp WHAT WORKS

Learn how PowerUp WHAT WORKS ( provides free support to educators as they use technology to help struggling students and those with disabilities meet the Common Core State Standards. The workshop will introduce participants to the professional learning opportunities found in PowerUp WHAT WORKS that ensures all students meet the CCSS, provide participants with an opportunity to explore PowerUp WHAT WORKS through a guided web tour, and address questions that participants have about using PowerUp WHAT WORKS to help struggling students and those with disabilities meet CCSS.


Title: CCSS Arts Alignment


Piera Leone

Network Music Director & Music Teacher, Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School 1

Michelle Turner

Network Art Director & Art Teacher, Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School

It may seem overwhelming to have to align CCSS in ELA & Math to the Arts, and vice versa. This workshop will guide participants through different alignment ideas, a collaborative case study walk through of practical connections, and a simple template for future planning. After this session, we’re sure that you’ll leave feeling more comfortable aligning the CCSS to the Arts.


 Title: Middle School ELA/Civics

Maria Hunter

7th grade Social Studies Teacher, Curtis Corner Middle School, South Kingstown


This workshop will focus on using non-fiction text features and text structures to teach students how to analyze primary and secondary sources in the social studies classroom. The goal of this presentation is to make clear connections between the standards and the materials available to teachers and give practical ways to incorporate non-fiction text structure and features into the classroom using primary and secondary sources. Teachers will have a forum to share ideas on teaching this standard, including developing ways to incorporate the standards into lessons teachers have already created and existing activities in their classrooms.


Title: Slow Down When Racing to the Top: Elementary Lessons on Transitioning to Math CCSS


Chris Keefe

5th Grade Teacher, Fishing Cove Elementary School, North Kingstown

Stephen Skaggs

5th Grade Teacher, Stony Lane Elementary School, North Kingstown


North Kingstown School District’s fifth-grade teachers created a PLC to implement the Math–CCSS. The PLC has allowed the teachers to be active participants in interpreting the standards, finding and creating resources, and integrating it all into the classroom. This presentation will explain how the Grade 5 teachers in North Kingstown utilized the Race to the Top mini–grant to transition to math CCSS, including mapping out a new scope and sequence for instruction, selecting existing and new teaching resources, development and evaluation of new assessments, working with administration, identifying technology to assist teachers in planning, learning and teaching, and professional development opportunities for teachers



Second Session: 10:45-11:45am

Title: Elementary ELA


Jill Souza

Principal, Sarah Dyer Barnes Elementary School, Johnston

Participants will learn how formative assessments should drive instruction in the Elementary Classroom while supporting alignment of the CCSS; and will work on supporting the CCSS through designing differentiated activities to support all learners in the classroom. After leaving the conference, participants will have an understanding of the Instructional Shifts for ELA and how these shifts can be integrated into the classroom for deeper learning.


  Title: High School ELA


Julie Lima Boyle

2012 RI Teacher of the Year

ELA Curriculum Coordinator/ELA Teacher, Coventry High School


This workshop focuses on the “how” of Common Core implementation in the ELA class room. The focus of the workshop is on the process of determining whether or not a text is of appropriate complexity for a particular course/grade level and on crafting text dependent questions. In addition, analyzing text complexity and crafting text dependent questions in the high school classroom will be discussed.  


Title: Using School-wide Rubrics as Instructional Tools


Jayson Schofield

English Department Chair, Lincoln High School

Frank Yip

Social Studies Teacher, Lincoln High School

Paul Dalpe

PBGR Coordinator, Lincoln High School

Participants will be introduced to how Lincoln High School’s school-wide rubrics align to the CCSS and how they can be used as instructional tools. Presenters will model specific instructional strategies designed to help students meet the demands of the CCSS. Participants will learn how the rubrics serve as instructional tools as well as assessment tools. Presenters will model instructional strategies designed to teach CCSS-based skills, such as effective evidence selection and objective tone and formal style. Participants will leave the session with lessons that they can model in their own classrooms.



Title: Middle School: Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards


 Angela Goulart

 Science Teacher, Calcutt Middle School, Central Falls

This session will serve to familiarize participants with the Next Generation Science Standards and how they can be used in cooperation with Common Core State Standards in the classroom. Present points of alignment between NGSS and CCSS in both ELA and Math, and provide an opportunity to think about a previous lesson used and how they might integrate NGSS or CCSS into that lesson.



Title: How Can We Use Strategies & Assessments to Prepare for the Transition to CCSS?


Deb Scarpelli

President, RI Middle Level Educators (RIMLE)

7th Grade Math Teacher, Samuel Slater Junior High School, Pawtucket

Come and add to your Literacy Strategies that will allow your students to become lifelong learners and adjust to the CCSS. The workshop will hit upon the 8 Math Practice Standards and look at how we can prepare our students, not only in Math, but in their other content areas. When you leave you will not only have information, but strategies and assessments that can be used the next day.


Third Session: 12:45-1:45pm


Title: Transition to Common Core/Building a Professional Learning Community


Mary L. Bettez

ELA/Literacy Curriculum Coordinator, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, Coventry

Kate Arsenault

6th grade ELA teacher, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, Coventry

This session is designed as a roundtable discussion of how one middle school ELA department built strong collaborative relationships as a result of a common tension: the shift to Common Core. The workshop will focus on learning from successes and struggles, and how professional learning communities have a direct impact on teaching and learning.



Title: Meeting the CCSS with PowerUp: Integrating Technology with Evidence-Based Practices

*Repeated from first session – see above for description*



Title: Integrating Literacy Skills in the Content Areas


Susan Allen

5th Grade Teacher, Chariho Middle School


Participants will learn how to integrate Common Core with the GSE Social Studies Standards while teaching Reading and Writing in an elementary classroom. Workshop goal is to show teachers how they can integrate the Common Core and Social Studies GSEs by presenting multi grade level lessons that will help teachers “fit” it in their day. Participants will learn how to integrate Common Core standards such as; Writing with an argument, or Reading informational text into a content area.


Title: Middle School Civics and the Common Core State Standards


Charles Blanchette

8th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, Coventry

Ted Mitchell

Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, Coventry

This workshop will provide teacher-ready lessons that are aligned to CCSS and RI GSE’s in a hands-on, interactive workshop with proven lessons that engage middle-level students’ multiple intelligences through individual and group activities that require higher level DOK’s and critical thinking skills. Includes Geography, World History, Civics, Economics, Inquiry-based learning, Debate skills, Critical analysis of evidence, and Risk-taking and cooperation.



Title: How Can We Use Strategies & Assessments to Prepare for the Transition to CCSS?

 *Repeated from second session – see above for description*






Have questions about Cut to the Core? Contact Educators in Action

When & Where

New England Institute of Technology
1 New England Tech Boulevard
East Greenwich, RI 02818

Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

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