30-day MCNC Conference Countdown: Day 2 – Finding a medium between professional choice and new Common Core instructional shifts in social studies

Facilitator: David Riesenfeld

As Social Studies teachers around the nation move closer to unilateral implementation of the Common Core State Standards, many confront the difficulties of how to both align their instruction to new learning standards and satisfy the needs of students learning specific content area materials. Teachers need to acquire a new and different toolbox in order to meet this goal.

By immersing themselves in a discussion of the key instructional shifts involved in the rollout of the CCSS, participants will explore new ways to create important, subject-specific course content that relies on the use of increasingly complex texts, and provides a platform for the development of necessary literacy skills that sit at the heart of the CCSS for Social Studies.

The two-day session highlights curricular and pedagogical methods that distinctly address essential literacy skills and different ways to infuse the use of increasingly complex texts as key components of their students’ learning and academic development. Participants will work together to develop several unit frameworks that have potential to provide students with authentic learning experiences and task-based assessments, using new, more complex texts as central artifacts. Finally, we will discuss effective possibilities for continuing this discussion at their schools in the context of working PLCs, department meetings, or full-staff Professional Development.

Participants are welcome to attend one or both sessions.


Day 1 Agenda

  • Introductions
  • Chalk Talk
  • CCSS Instructional Shifts
  • Independence vs. Alignment
  • A New Architecture
  • Outlining the Unit/Task
  • Work
  • Debrief
  • Feedback Forms

Day 2 Agenda

  • 15 Minute Recap of Day 1 (w/feedback)
  • Modeling New Architecture (highlighting the vocab, text, evidence, text-dependent questions)
  • Possible Twists and Turns for close analytic reading – (Manzanar/Unbroken example for full text)
  • Work
  • Debrief
  • Taking the Conversation Home: Creating substantive professional discussion about upcoming changes in education.
  • Feedback forms (Warm/Cool)


Summer Professional Development Institute

June 29, 2012 – July 2, 2012

Hyatt Regency Jersey City, NJ

Find out more information about the conference and register now.