Your Common Core Questions, Answered

During David Liben’s visit to Reno, he took some time to answer questions that educators in our community either emailed or posted on this blog. The questions are listed below with the link to the answers on Youtube. Liben, the Senior Content Specialist of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners, also gave a short speech which will be posted soon.

I hear that by using a Common Core lesson, like BAP, I am hitting multiple standards and working with the shifts. I am also hearing that I need a specific plan to address all of a grade’s standards. If I do BAP and the close reading exemplars, do I still need a plan to address all of a grade’s standards? Answer

How will Guided Reading change with the Common Core State Standards? Or will it? Answer

In the Science Instructional Practice Guides, it says that lessons should focus on high quality texts. What if I’m doing a lab? Answer

What is the role of read alouds in the primary grades? How do we choose texts worth reading? Answer

What role does assessment play in this instructional shift?  Obviously, the ability to look at a piece of text holistically and authentically analyze text to reach a deeper understanding is not one that students will master within a week or two (unlike discrete skills-based instruction). So how do we fairly assess kids during the process in which they are looking at texts authentically and deeply again and again and again? Another, and possibly even more difficult question might be how do we assign grades to kids in reading when we are teaching kids in this manner? Answer

What are things teachers should be doing to get ready for SBAC? Answer

About Aaron Grossman

I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary. Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here). In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador. I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at
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