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"Keeping Students at the Center"

Resources for Student-Centered Instruction in a Time of Common Core Standards

"The Council is focusing its resources on supporting teachers and teams
as they make their own professional decisions -- informed by reflection
and research -- about how best to foster literacy learning. "
NCTE Past President Keith Gilyard

Support for the Key Instructional Shifts

NCTE offers books, online learning, journal articles, lesson plans, and more to support your focus on keeping students at the center of instruction.  View these resources below, organized by the key instructional shifts called for across the English Language Arts Common Core Standards:


View videos featuring educators sharing their insights on how to frame instructionkeep teachers as decision-makers, and put students at the center of learning while planning for the Core.

Teaching Vignettes

Sarah Brown Wessling“It is our hope that these teaching and learning vignettes and the corresponding materials will serve as a reflection of the language of learning that already fills your classrooms... Step into these classrooms, reflect on them, and use their successes and challenges to further your own thinking about what bridges you can build between the CCSS and your own instruction.”

—Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 National Teacher of the Year and author of Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades 9-12

Hear from Sarah in this Teaching Channel video where she addresses text complexity, “Let’s Chat Core: Simplifying Text Complexity.”

  • Learn more about text complexity and using texts to scaffold instruction in this high school classroom (vignette, chart).
  • Visit a middle school classroom where students make authentic connections with the outside world through a Social Justice Photo Journal project (vignette, chart).
  • Teach and assess for deeper understanding of theme in this elementary classroom (vignette, chart).
  • Engage students in one-to-one conferences as well as whole-class discussions in preschool and elementary classrooms. (vignette, chart).

All vignettes are taken from the NCTE Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards book series. 

NCTE and Common Core Standards 


Open Letters from NCTE:

Reports from NCTE's Review Team in Response to Standards Drafts:

View and download the final version of the Common Core State Standards.

View the digital edition!

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    NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

    A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts