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How can I ensure I teach the Common Core ELA and ELD standards to all students?

connections to the readings, and use three or more references that support your thinking in reaching
all students).

Even after reading and studying about the twin sins of lesson design from Wiggins and
McTighes (2005) Backwards Design, when I first began my CCSS ELA/Literacy lesson plan, I
admit I succumbed to the sin of activity-oriented design. I thought my lesson would be
amazing...if only I could find a way to teach about my current, favorite musical "Hamilton". After
realizing my idea was unfocused and overly dependent on a theme, rather than a standard or
objective, the first stage in backwards design. I headed to Blooms Revised Taxonomy (2001) for
Looking back at Blooms verbs and our notes from the class activity on Tuesday, I was
able to see the range of progressively deepening objectives I could write to ensure my students
would meet the CCSS ELA/Literacy and ELD standards. Working with this model, I then
identified the analyzing level as my target for both my English-only students and English
Learners (ELs). My objective then read, Blooms Analyze - Students will be able to compare
and contrast the achievements of Alexander Hamilton presented in two texts on the same topic
in a venn diagram.
While it had improved, my lesson still had quite a way to go before it was ready for the
classroom. During the small group critiques on Thursday, my classmates saw the level of text I
was using for a third grade class and pointed out my lack of supports for struggling readers and
EL students. With only two high-level ELs in the class, I had not thought to pre-plan supports for
any other students who might be having a hard time accessing the vocabulary. So, going to our
discussion of the ELD grade level vignettes from the ELD Framework Ch. 4 (p 377-381), I
looked back at the Specifically Designed Academic Instruction in English strategies for ELs and
all students. Using these guidelines, I was able to add a greater focus on the specific strategies
I would use to ensure all students could access the text, like repeating and defining key terms,
asking the students to participate in collaborative summarizing of the text and facilitating think-
By using the guiding principle of backwards design, focusing on a level from Blooms
Revised Taxonomy, and using SDAIE strategies from the ELD framework Ch. 4 vignette, not
only did my lesson become more focused and aligned to the CCSS ELA/Literacy and ELD
standards for my English-only and EL students, but I was still able to connect it to Alexander