Top Teaching >Mary Blow

The Common Core Crosswalk

  Blow_iStock000011442357_kidsandflagAligning curriculum to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a complex, yet rejuvenating journey, and one that should not be traveled alone. My summer quest to align my curriculum resulted in many trials and tribulations; however, it was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to strengthen our educational system, and we had the satisfaction of knowing that we were paving the way for others.

Read on to watch a video illustrating my crosswalk process — that, is the process of aligning previous units, identifying gaps, and eliminating less important content — and to download the graphic organizer that guided me through this complicated process.  

Image: iStockphoto © KeithBishop.

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Finding Common Ground With the Common Core

Blow-istockphoto7388508Welcome back! Last year, I was one of Scholastic's Teacher Advisors, and I shared learning experiences from my English language arts classroom. This year, I am honored to return as one of Scholastic’s Top Teachers, serving in a slightly different capacity. My focus throughout the year will be on two topics at the forefront of education: the Common Core State Standards and state assessments. In addition to sharing my curriculum mapping journey, classroom experiences, and reflections, I hope to build a support community — a Common Core family — for all of us who are engaging in the groundbreaking educational reformation process.

Photo: iStockphoto © Duncan1890.

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Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Mary

Blow_Mary_xlg I teach 6th grade English at Lowville Academy Middle School in New York's Black River Valley, located in the rolling foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

Lowville is an agriculture-dependent community in the heart of Lewis County, one of the lowest socio-economic counties in our state. Despite economic struggles, Lowville is rich in small town culture, which is attractive to many of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Drum. We are pioneers in alternative energy. Not only are we home to the infamous Maple Ridge Wind Farm on Tug Hill, the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi, but we have a nearby biomass plant and a hydropower plant.

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