Common Core Tools Webinars Student Resources Teacher Resources Articles & Research Books Image Map


Common Core Tools

NAESP’s Common Core Implementation Checklist: Use this practical checklist to evaluate your school’s readiness for implementing the CCSS standards.  The checklist outlines steps you can take in the areas of Leadership, Awareness Building, and Communications; Professional Development for Teachers; Implications for Student Learning; Capacity Building; and Special Considerations for Your School.  Principals will find this checklist especially useful for developing their own Common Core Implementation Plan. The guide will help you determine which bodies of knowledge and skill sets you will need to lead your school in using the new CCSS standards.

Implementing the Common Core State Standards-The Role of the Elementary School Leader - Action Guide: Learn strategies and techniques that can be used in schools to assist in planning, capacity building, and implementation. These briefs will provide valuable guidance on instructional shifts, changes in school culture, literacy instruction, assessment, and professional learning that will support CCSS implementation.

Common Core Implementation Tools and Resources Guide:  CCSSO provides free resources and tools to point educators, districts, and states to promising ideas and strategies to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. This guide primarily lists resources developed by CCSSO, the lead writers of the CCSS standards, and partner organizations and is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all resources available.  Please visit  for additional tools to add to this guide.


Common Core Webinars

Tour CCSSO’s Newly Released Guide to Free Resources to Support Common Core Implementation. Join Margaret Millar from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to learn about a number of free resources available to districts, schools and educators to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  Margaret will walk participants through the newly released Implementation Tools and Resources guide that CCSSO released in February 2013 to compile some of the best available free resources from across the nation.  Materials on this guide were reviewed by CCSSO, one of the two organizations that led the development of the Common Core, and also by partner organizations.

Technology and the Common Core.  This webinar provides resources for integrating technology to support and enhance teaching and learning as schools transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  This webinar will present plans for incorporating instructional strategies and assessments to enhance teaching and learning as teachers are faced with transforming the way they teach and students learn.

PARCC 101. Gain helpful information on the current status of The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and information on tools and resources available to assist principals.

Dialogues on the Common Core. This webinar provides information and insight into Common Core implementation and how it affects you in your school. Lucille Davy will provide practical steps you can take for understanding the CCSS standards, getting state resources, and how to develop plans for implementation.  Kenny Jones provides a practitioner’s perspective and practical insight on how he is preparing his school for implementation of the CCSS standards.

PD360/NAESP Webinar: Leadership for the Common Core: Synthesize, Strategize, Maximize!  This webinar provides tips from Dr. Lisa Leith on how principals can prepare teachers and their schools to integrate the Common Core State Standards. You will gain strategies to help you support teachers as they make instructional shifts and design performance tasks that imbed 21st Century Skills.


Common Core Resources for Teachers

Online Community at Join an online community for school leaders who are working on CCSS implementation. Gather ideas from fellow stakeholders who are also implementing the Common Core standards.

IDEA Partnership: View IDEA Partnership resources including videos and webinars on CCSS implementation. The site provides tools for assessing educators’ level of knowledge of the CCSS and assists key stakeholders take applications and make them practical in the field.

The Hunt Institute and Council for Chief State School Officers: Click here to view video vignettes on these websites that explain the Common Core State Standards.

Engage NY Video Series: Produced in partnership with NYS PBS stations WCNY/Syracuse and WNET/New York City, the series illuminates the Common Core through conversations between Commissioner King, a former high school social studies teacher and middle school principal; Coleman, a contributing author of the Common Core State Standards; and Gerson, a Senior Fellow with the USNY Regents Research Fund and a former high school English teacher and principal. Network Teams and other professional development leaders can use these videos as a tool in their work with schools and districts. Most importantly, these videos are designed to start a conversation between educators, districts and the State Education Department about implementing the Common Core. Only through our collaboration will the Common Core truly come to life. Join the conversation by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page. Click here to watch videos.

Engage NY: This state website is designed for all educators wanting to improve student learning. It is constructed of valuable resources targeting the Common Core Standards, Curriculum and Student Learning Objectives. It targets teachers, administrators and parents providing quality information and materials. It provides teachers with strategies for making instructional shifts in their curriculum and instruction to meet the changes in CCSS standards. Click here to visit the state website.

The Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project: This website provides educators with high-quality, low-cost curriculum tools based on the Common Core State Standards. Look at Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts that have been viewed more than 6 million times since they went online in August 2010. These 76 detailed curriculum Maps and sample lesson plans are designed to help K-12 educators create the kind of “well-developed, content-rich curriculum” called for in the Common Core State Standards. More than 17,300 teachers, curriculum directors, and principals have become members of the Mapping Project. Membership lasts for one calendar year from the date of purchase and must be renewed annually.

Click here to check out Education Week’s coverage of Common Core’s recent national survey of school teachers.


Common Core Resources for Student Learning

Student Achievement Partners: Use these resources and tools for developing specific targets and action steps for implementing the CCSS standards with your students.  Develop student goals that can be tackled this school year for implementation the Common Core. View teacher reflections about their work in implementing Common Core strategies.  Student Achievement Partners is a nonprofit organization that assembles educators and researchers to design actions based on evidence that will substantially improve student achievement. Founded by three of the contributing authors of the Common Core State Standards, Student Achievement Partners is devoted to accelerating student achievement by all students by supporting effective and innovative implementation of the Common Core.

Student Achievement Partners' Release of Common Core PD Modules: CCSSO hosted a webinar to mark the release of four professional development modules designed to support district and school leadership in their transition to the Common Core. The modules are designed to be incorporated into summer professional development sessions or during back to school planning. Sandra Alberti, Director of State/District Partnerships and Professional Development for Student Achievement Partners, introduced the modules and talked about how to incorporate them into professional development plans. The four modules cover the following topics: the Common Core Shifts in Math, the Common Core Shifts in ELA/Literacy, Creating Text Dependent Questions in ELA/Literacy, and Instructional Leadership in the context of the Common Core.

Council for Exceptional Children: View these resources on what educators can do to implement CCSS standards for special needs populations. Learn strategies for developing alternative assessments for ELA and special needs learners. 


Common Core Resources for Principals

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership. Learn the viewpoints and experiences of teachers and principals working to implement the Common Core State Standards.

Common Core State Standards Initiative. Click here to download Math and English Language Arts CCSS Standards.

Smarter Balanced Governing States approved Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines for the assessment system. These guidelines will shape the delivery of online testing for all students, including those with visual, auditory, linguistic or physical needs.

PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual. On June 26, 2013, the PARCC Governing Board approved the policies in the first edition of this Manual. This guide outlines the accommodations students receive on the PARCC assessments and provides a valid reflection of what they know and can do.


Common Core Articles

At the Center of the Common Core: Principals share solutions, tips, and top resources for school-level implementation.
Principal magazine article from September/October 2012

Slicing and Dicing the ELA Common Core Standards. As schools move toward implementing new standards for English language arts, learn research-based ideas to help address critical issues at your school.  Principal magazine article from September/October 2012

Leading Common Core Implementation. Learn how Kentucky principals integrate the CCSS standards with leadership networks and a new technology platform.  Principal magazine article from September/October 2012

Access for All: Six Principles for Principals to Consider in Implementing CCSS for Students with Disabilities. Learn six principles to consider when implementing CCSS for students with disabilities.  Principal magazine article from September/October 2012

Twelve Key Common Core Shifts: Action Steps for Principals. To lead implementation of the Common Core State Standards, school leaders must focus on building the capacity of their teachers.  Communicator article from January 2013

For more information please visit NAESP’s Center for Educational Improvement at by clicking here.


Common Core Books

NAESP’s National Principal Resource Center (NPRC) has put together a collection of recommended resources on common core that have proven to benefit principal's success as they face today's educational challenges.


Aligning Your Curriculum to Common Core State Standards
by Joseph (Joe) T. Crawford

Avoid “analysis paralysis” and just get started! Now that most states have adopted the new Common Core State Standards, the next major challenge is to simplify and implement them by 2014. That is why it is important to begin this work now. Joe Crawford, Milken Award-winning educator and author of Using Power Standards to Build an Aligned Curriculum, shares his proven process for building a viable local curriculum based on the CCSS.


Readers will find:

  • A system for creating local standards from the CCSS
  • Methods for connecting the common, formative assessments to quarterly instructional objectives
  • Ways to scaffold learning expectations
  • Examples taken from districts where CCSS is currently implemented

Included are helpful charts and graphs plus access to Internet-based software for mapping the CCSS to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Schools cannot continue to do what they have always done and expect a different result. This book explains how to facilitate learning for all students while taking advantage of the new culture, technology, and norms of today’s learning environment.


Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement
by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth, and Christopher Lehman

Offers in-depth understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and concrete methods to raise the level of instruction and accelerate the achievement of all students. The book, by Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Reading and Writing Project, is designed to guide and support principals, teachers, and professional learning communities in navigating the gap between their current literacy practices and CCSS ideals.  In addition to providing an analytical study of the standards, this guide will also help you and your colleagues implement the standards in ways that lift the level of teaching and learning throughout your school. “This book is encouraging and supportive. I feel prepared to roll up my sleeves and get to work alongside my staff,” says Liz Tetreault, principal of Port Salerno Elementary School in Florida.

What Principals Need to Know about Teaching and Learning Mathematics
by Timothy Kanold, Diane Briars and Francis Fennell

This book provides readers with tools and resources to monitor and evaluate teaching to improve mathematics instruction, assessment, response to intervention, and much more in order to raise student achievement.


Writer’s Workshop for the Common Core:  A Step-by-Step Guide
by Warren E. Combs, Ph.D.
Writing instruction expert Warren Combs presents a step-by-step plan for teaching writing workshops that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The book is filled with practical mini-lessons, strategies, and tools for every stage of the writing process, from prewriting through publication. Scripting is provided, to show teachers how to model each strategy for students. In addition, Dr. Combs shows how teachers can use the following elements:

  • The concepts Voice, Pictures, and Flow, to help students understand the essential elements of writing
  • The words Invite, Model, Write, Look, and Learn, to model effective writing for students and have them learn from your example
  • Revision strategies such as Jot and Blend, Combining Sentences, Writing Leads, and Writing Closes
  • Peer revision using Peer-Assisted Learning Systems (PALS)
  • Student self-assessment rubrics

The book also includes scoring guides and pacing guides, to help teachers implement writing workshops more easily. As Dr. Combs demonstrates, you can give workshops more structure while still making writing come alive for your students.


CCSS and ELLS(Common Core State Standards and English Language Learners)
by, Estee Lopez, Ed.D.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) pose an exciting challenge for all educators and their students, each of whom is expected to meet these standards. The CCSS in English Language Arts (ELA) articulate rigorous grade-level expectations focused on higher order thinking processes in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing to prepare all students to be college and career ready. To this end, this reference guide is designed to increase educators’ ability to make teaching and learning decisions based on research-based best practices for the academic and language achievement of English language learners (ELLs). It can also serve to initiate professional learning conversations and guide educators to resources that accelerate and improve the performance of ELL students.


Common Core State Standards: A Step-by-Step Approach Mathematics, Grades K-5
by Toby Karten

This reference guide provides an overview for the K-5 Mathematics Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and offers educators a step-by-step approach to help students gain math knowledge and skills. The math standards encourage students to become critical thinkers who are able to make sense of problems and reason abstractly.


Rigor Made Easy
by Barbara R. Blackburn

Best-selling author and noted rigor expert Barbara Blackburn shares the secrets to getting started, maintaining momentum, and reaching your goals. Learn what rigor looks like in the classroom, understand what it means for your students, and get the keys to successful implementation.  Learn how to use rigor to raise expectations, provide appropriate support, and meet the Common Core State Standards - whether or not rigor is mandated in your district! This book is filled with practical, use-the-next-day strategies for all grade levels and subject areas. Use the ideas to raise the level of learning for all of your students!