More/New Common Core Inservice Courses Available

A number of new Common Core inservice classes have been added to the Solution Where catalog. You can read the descriptions of each course below and click here to register for those that fit with your professional learning goals.

CCSS Foundational Skills: This course is designed to give teachers a close look at the Foundational Skills standards. We will look at what it takes to make children fluent and comprehensive readers. We will dive deeply into ways to use Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension in the Common Core classroom.

CCSS Writing to Sources: This course will instruct participants to use the CCSS/NVACS, SBAC Assessment Rubrics, Publisher´s Criteria, BAP, Close Reads, and other resources to shift instruction to support students in citing evidence from text and media to write opinion/argumentative and informative pieces. Discussion will focus on how participants can more closely align classroom practices to the Common Core State Standards, the SBAC Assessment, and the Publisher´s Criteria. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of how to pull evidence out of text and use it when writing informative and opinion/argumentative pieces.

CCSS ELA Blended Learning, Unpacking Syntax: To support teachers in meeting the new CCSS Nevada Academic Content Standards, this blended learning course is being offered to K-5 teachers focusing on the role of syntax in text complexity. The course is designed to support planning, learning, classroom implementation, and reflection around the Language Standards and teaching grammar in context. We will use Mignon Fogarty´s Grammar Girl´s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (provided) and Judith Hochman´s Teaching Basic Writing Skills (provided). We will also hear from other ELA experts about how to navigate syntax teaching.

Shifting your Instruction to the Core: This on-line course will improve teacher knowledge of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, and will support teachers in providing a rigorous, relevant curriculum for all students. Participants will explore and discuss the six instructional shifts embedded in the CCSS for English Language Arts and Literacy. A variety of resources will be used to consider the implications of shifts in the current practice.

Small Group Literacy Instruction and the Core: This is an 8-hour course designed to support teachers with using complex and grade level text within small groups. Participants will look at what makes a text complex, how to support students with the text and develop a plan for using small group instruction around a piece of text. This course is designed for educators working with 2nd grade students and above. The course will meet for 2 hours on four different weeks.

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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