ePals Corporation, an education media company and the world’s leading safe social learning network, today announced its new free Common Core Implementation Center (CCIC). In a time when school districts are cash-strapped, the CCIC is designed to meet educators’ needs with a broad range of flexible online communication tools and rigorous project-based learning resources that will enable teachers to teach and students to learn the new Common Core English Language Arts State Standards.
Tools for Immediate Common Core Implementation Although formal implementation of the Common CoreState Standards (CCSS) is not scheduled to begin until 2014, the nation’s teachers say they are eager for research-based tools and resources to begin preparing students to master the standards now. As teachers embrace the shift of focus from “teaching to the test” to developing the higher order reading and writing skills needed for college and career readiness, the CCIC provides practical tools for teachers, students and families with a broad and diverse set of implementation resources, including:
— Access to CCSS and a list of aligned activities, including everything from social media comments, to book reviews, to long-term literacy mentoring, with accompanying activity time estimations, from 10 minutes to a full-year
— A variety of safe informal activities, such as point-by-point comparisons of political candidates around the world, that enable students to gain perspectives, share and discuss ideas with peers in other locations
— Easy ways for classrooms to find each other and collaborate around Common Core content, with subject, grade-level and project-topic search capabilities
— Rich content on multiple levels across a range of subject areas that students can access for homework, research, and pleasure. Examples include explorations of biographies of founders of the U.S. Constitution, famous world explorers, and more
— Engaging topics and reinforcement for theme-based, evidence-based and opinion writing pieces
— A self-directed Common Core professional learning community — including direct access to articles, best practices from master teachers, grade- and subject-level connections with colleagues in Teacher Talk, communication and implementation tips, lesson ideas, access to experts in remote locations, and more
Research-based Resources and Tools ePals’ online platform is specifically designed to facilitate vigorous project-based learning, as specified by CCSS, by providing customizable project-based lessons and access to challenging material from a range of respected content providers (e.g., National Geographic, Smithsonian, Cobblestone and Cricket magazines).
A number of the resources of the CCIC are based on ePals’ In2Books curriculum-based eMentoring program, the 2012 Codie Award winner for Best Reading/English Instruction. ePals’ In2Books has documented increased student motivation and achievement in the elementary grades through authentic collaborations around reading materials of the highest quality and self-paced, teacher professional learning resources. Teachers report that collaborative learning partners have increased motivation for all students, but in particular struggling writers and English Language Learners (ELL).
“ePals started the Common Core Implementation Center because teachers will be the key drivers of Common Core implementation,” says Nina Zolt, ePals co-founder and Chief Learning Officer. “We want every teacher to have immediate access to Common Core experts, the opportunity to share their own work and to participate in the evolution of a learning community dedicated to making exemplary Common Core implementation engaging and practical.”
About ePals Corporation
ePals Corporation CA:SLN 0.00% is an education media company and the leading provider of safe social learning networks (SLN). Focused on the K-12 market, ePals offers elementary and secondary school administrators, teachers, students and parents worldwide a safe and secure platform for building educational communities, providing quality digital content and facilitating collaboration for effective 21st century learning. ePals’ award-winning products include: the ePals Global Learning Network; SchoolMail(R)365; LearningSpace(R); In2Books(R), a common core eMentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills; and popular children’s educational publishing brands including Cricket(R) and Cobblestone(R). ePals customers and partners include the International Baccalaureate, Microsoft Corporation, Dell Inc., IBM Corp., National Geographic and leading school districts across the United States and globally. ePals serves approximately 800,000 educators and reaches millions of teachers, students and parents in approximately 200 countries and territories. Visit www.epals.com. For In2Books, visit www.In2Books.com.
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