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We hope you enjoy this edition of the Core Advocate Magazine. If you are not a member of the Core Advocate Network, register for this free program today to ensure you never miss a future edition.

Claire Rivero
Susan Hitt
Jennie Beltramini
Digital Strategy Manager
Digital Content Associate
Mathematics Specialist
Core Connections is published by Student Achievement Partners.
228 Park Avenue South #96810,New York, New York 10003-1502  | 212-510-8533 
Table of
We lcome messages from Sandra Alberti and Melissa Collins
What's In a Name?
The meaning behind the magazine's name
Core Advocate Spotlight
Learn about the recent projects of two Core Advocates
Career Opportunities
Current opportunities from SAP and our partners
Aligned Blog Spotlight
Recent blog posts from Core Advocate authors
Edcite Core Advocate Content Developers
Learn how Core Advoctes have created digital mini-assessments
Quarterly Question
Insights from Core Advocates
Webinars and Mini-Courses
Upcoming free webinars and mini-courses
New Resources from Achieve the Core
The latest resources on
New Resources from Our Partners
Curated new resources from our partners
Screencastify: The Free Digital Tool You
Didnt Know You Needed!
A resource introduction from one of the Achieve the Core
Digital Ambassadors
What We're Reading
The best articles, books, blog posts and more
Core Advocate Celebrations
Celebrate the accomplishments of your fellow Core Advoctes!
What Does Being a Core Advocate
Mean to You?
Reflections on what it means to be a part of the
Core Advocate Network
Core Advocate Perspectives
Early Literacy by the Numbers: 3 Ways to Provide Equitable
Foundational Skills Instruction for ALL Learners
De ar C o re A d vo ca t e s ,
It i s w it h g re at j o y t h a t I w el co m e yo u t o th e f ir s t ed i t i on o f t he C o re A d vo ca t e Ma g a z in e. T h e C o r e Ad v o c at e
Ne tw o r k w as fo un d e d n e a r ly e i g h t y e a rs a g o so t h at t e ac he r s co u l d b e t he v o i c e o f co ll e g e - a n d c ar e er -r e a d y
ex pe c t a ti o n s . Po l i c y m a k er s, b o th s u pp o r t er s a n d c r i t ic s, as w e l l a s s up po r t or g a n iz at i on s c o u ld n o t sp e a k t o t he
da y- t o - da y n ee ds , c ha l l e ng es , a nd v i ct o r i es o f t hi s w or k t he w a y th a t ed uc a t o rs c a n.
We s t a r te d w it h a s ma l l gr ou p o f e d u ca t o r s in t e r es t e d i n l e a rn i n g m or e a bo u t th e e xp ec t a t io n s of C o m m on C o re
an d h a v e g r o wn i n t o a n e tw or k o f o v e r 1 4 , 00 0 e d u ca t o r s fr o m al l o ve r t he c o u n tr y c om mi t t e d t o le ar n i n g a n d
le ad i n g i n t hi s w o r k. M y c ol l ea gu e s an d I a t S t u de n t Ac hi e v e me n t Pa rt n er s c o n ti n u e t o b e in s p i re d b y an d l ea r n
fr om y o ur a m az in g w or k a nd c o m m it m e n t in s u pp o r t in g a l l s t u d en t s . Y ou h a ve t a ke n a c t io n s th a t ha ve i m pr o v e d
th e o p p or t u n it ie s f or s t ud en t s in y o ur c l as sr o o m s, c h an ge d c on v e r sa ti o ns i n y ou r g ra de - l e ve l t ea ms , a nd , f or
so me o f y o u wh o t o o k e v e n bi g g e r s t e ps , im pa c t e d d i s tr ic t w or k , or ga n iz at i o n al i m pa ct , a nd s t at ew i de
co nv e r s at i o n s.
F ro m t he s t ar t t h e C o r e A dv o c a te N e tw or k w as s e t u p to b e a d y n a mi c, a c ti o n - or i e n te d n e t wo r k . W e h o p e t h a t
yo u f i n d t h i s ma g a z in e t o be y e t a n o th e r to ol t o s u p p or t y o u r a d v oc a c y i n s u p po r t i ng a l l st u d e nt s . Sh ar e t he
ma ga z i n e wi t h yo u r co l l e ag ue s . Tr y s om et h i n g n e w i n y ou r c l a ss r o o m or w i th t h e t e a ch er s w it h w ho m y o u w o r k .
Sh ar e y ou r t ho ug h t s o r y ou r a c t io n s wi t h ot he r s in t h e ne t w o rk t h ro ug h s oc i a l m e d i a #C o r e Ad v o c at es .
As a l w a ys , I a pp r e c ia t e ea ch of y o u an d t he i m p o rt a n t w or k t ha t y ou d o e ve r y da y . I lo o k fo r w a rd t o h ea r i n g f r o m
yo u.
Be st ,
Sa nd r a Al b e r ti
Se ni o r Fe l l o w fo r S tr a t e gi c P ar tn e r s hi p s
St ud e n t A c h i ev em e n t P a r t ne rs
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 4
We lc o m e t o t he i n a u gu r a l e di t i o n o f St u d e nt A c h i ev e m e nt P a r t ne r s ' d ig i t a l m a g az i n e ! St u d e nt A c hi ev e m e nt
Pa rt n e r s h a s a r i c h h i s t or y o f pr o v i di n g re so u r c es t o h el p C or e A dv o c a te s n a v ig a t e c ol l eg e- a n d c a r ee r- r e a dy
st an d a r ds . O ve r t h e y e a r s, I ha ve w o rk e d wi th m u lt i p l e or g a n iz a t i on s t o su p p o rt e d uc at o r s i n u nd er s ta nd i n g
an d o w n in g t he s t a n da r d s a s a p ar t o f t h e ir p r a c ti c e by l e ad in g p ro f e s si on a l de v e l op me n t se s s i on s, sp ea k i n g o n
pa ne l s , w r i t in g b l o g p o s ts , a nd u s i n g s o c ia l m e d ia t o i nf o rm a n d en g a g e ed u c a to r s lo ca l l y , n a t io n a l ly , a n d
in te r n a ti o n a ll y. M a ny o f m y b e s t e x p er i e n ce s i n be i n g a n a m b as s a d or o f t hi s w or k h av e c o m e f r o m my w o rk
wi th S t ud e n t A ch i e v em e n t P ar t n e rs .
I ha v e be e n a Co r e Ad v o c at e s i n ce 2 0 13 , a nd I h a ve s e en t h e or g a n iz a t i on g r o w a s e du ca t o r s h a v e gr o w n
th ro u g h u t i l iz in g p ro f e s si on a l le a r n in g e xp er i e n ce s a nd s t a n da r d s -a l i g ne d t o o ls a n d re s o u rc e s . I b e ca me a Co r e
Ad vo c a t e b e c au se o f m y b el ie f i n p r o vi d i n g AL L l ea r n e rs w i t h h i g h -q ua l it y e d u ca t i o na l e x p er i e n ce s r eg ar d l e ss
of z i p co d e s . Th e C or e A dv oc a t e N e t w or k c on ti n u e s t o ca rr y o n t h e t or c h of s u pp o r t in g, i n fo r m i ng , a nd t r a i ni n g
ed uc a t o rs a c ro ss t h e c o u nt ry t h ro u g h a v a ri et y o f c o l la bo r a t iv e o pp o r t un it i e s t o c ul ti v at e e q u it a b l e in s t r uc t i o n
an d s t u de n t su cc e s s . T h i s wo r k ha s b ee n i mp le m e n te d i n sc h o o ls , d is tr i ct s, s t at e s , a nd a t t h e na t i o na l l e v el ,
wi th t e ac h e r s ad v o c at i n g f or e f fe c t i ve e d uc at i o n al s t an da r d s a n d th e S hi ft s o f i n s tr uc t io n i n EL A a nd M a t h . T h e
Sh if t s ar e t he s p i n e o f th e w or k t h a t e n s ur es t h at s t ud en t s ar e p re p a r ed f o r co l l e ge a n d th e i r c a r e er s.
St ud e n t s, t e ac he r s , a n d ad mi n i s tr a t o rs n e ed p a s s io n a t e ed u c a to r s to w o r k i n p ar t n e rs hi p t o s u p po rt c o nt e n t
kn ow l e d ge a n d re s o u rc e s fo r a l l l e a r ne r s to e n g a ge i n h ig h - q ua l i t y l e a rn in g e xp e r i en ce s . I h o p e t h a t yo u e nj o y
th e u p d at e s an d o p p or t u n it ie s t o s t a y e n g ag ed a n d c o n ne ct e d wi t h th e C o r e A d v oc at e N et w o r k t h i s ye a r .
Ha pp y r ea d i n g!
Me li s s a
Se co n d - gr a d e t ea c h e r
Jo hn P . F r e e ma n O p t io n a l S ch o o l
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 5
When we decided to create a new magazine, we knew we needed a name that reflected the
inspiring work of Core Advocates. One of the goals in switching from a newsletter format to a
magazine was to create space for you, as Core Advocates, to share your ideas, your struggles
and your accomplishments. So we decided it only made sense to let you name it! We
submitted an open call for names and were overwhelmed by the amount of creative, funny,
and motivational titles. Thank you! We decided on a hybrid of several submissions--so many
of you may recognize your ideas! Below, you’ll find two rationales we found particularly
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 6
T H E S A M E .
The future
belongs to
those who
believe in the
beauty of their
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 7
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 8
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 9
A teacher's recommendations for how to select text
excerpts that make students love reading
By: Carolyn Durante
Use this routine to check for understanding and identify
By: Celia Jimenez
Increase achievement, motivation, and connection with
students through classroom games
By: Bryan Drost
Using morphology, context clues, and outside
resources to help students decipher word meanings
By: Kenny McKee
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 0
A tool for fostering intentional and purposeful learning
By: John Silverthorne
Increase Achievement, Motivation, and Connection
with Students Through Classroom Games
By: Bryan Drost
An in-depth look at Fraction Lab, a professional learning model
focused on improving content knowledge and instructional practice
at the same time
By: Jody Guarino and Jennie Beltramini
How a free tool changed my classroom
By: Nick Corley
Educators share how they've made exit tickets a powerful tool for
supporting students
By: Tika Epstein, Cathy Carter-Shide, Morgan Stipe, Karen
Hernandez, Dina O'Brien
Using academic choice boards to build metacognition
By: Tika Epstein
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 1
Uncover some of the most
common mistakes happening
in math instruction in this
grade-by-grade series of blog
posts by Core Advocates Angie
Miller, Rebecca Few, and Brian
We’re always looking for new
voices for our blog. Have an
idea you’d like to write about?
Please send your idea to
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 2
Edcite is a free platform for teachers to design their own tech-
enhanced assignments and deliver them digitally to their
students. The platform also has a library of free, standards-
tagged assignments for teachers to use in their classrooms or
items they can integrate into their own assignments. Last year,
Edcite approached Student Achievement Partners with a
request: “Can you help us find more content designers who are
experts when it comes to educational standards?” We said, “Of
Thus, Cohort 1 of the Edcite Core Advocate Content Developers
group was created. Four Core Advocates completed new
assignments that are now a part of Edcite’s permanent
collection. Congratulations, Core Advocates!
By: Jenni Aberli
By: Brian Dean
By: Amy Dempsey
QUIZ ON 8.G.1, 8.G.2, 8.G.3 ON
By: Jessica Hunter
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 3
Formative Assessment Strategy: Thinking Beyond the Paper Pencil
This school year, think differently about what it means to assess your
students.Learning about what your students know (and dont know) is
a critical component of instructional planning and reflection. In this
webinar, youll learn how to design a formative assessment process
that allows you to understand students progress in an ongoing way
throughout the year. You’ll learn some creative ways to naturally
embed assessment into your instruction, providing thoughtful,
supportive feedback to students, and timely data for yourself as an
educator. Well discuss the components of formative assessments that
are worthy of student and educator time, and explore how data should
be used responsibly to avoid inequitable outcomes that limit the
expectations we have for students.
Math Language Routines: Vibrant Discussions in the Math
As in other subjects, math students must be able to read, write, listen,
speak, and discuss the subject at hand. Often, these multimodal ways
of learning and using math skills are given too little attention in
curricular materials, and teachers may want to supplement with
classroom activities that provide opportunities for students to use
language to discuss the math content they’re learning. Math
Language Routines (MLRs) support a variety of language-focused skill
growth--from reinforcing mathematical terminology to scaffolding
conversations to providing opportunities for students to deepen their
conceptual understanding by describing their work. These routines,
done regularly, can benefit all students, though they are particularly
supportive of English Language Learners or those struggling with the
linguistic components of math.In this webinar, you'll dig deeply into
several routines you can implement in your classroom tomorrow and
hear from educators about how the routines have changed their
math classes.
Why Math Modeling Is Important for Equity
Description coming soon
Observing Foundational Skills
Description coming soon
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 4
Building Educator Content
Dig into important fraction concepts to
increase student achievement
What do teachers need to understand about fractions to
ensure student success in math through high school?
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S |  1 5
Springtime Poetry Pair
Grade 4
Includes two poems, twelve text-
dependent questions, one constructed-
response writing prompt, and
explanatory information for teachers
regarding alignment to the CCSS.
Did you know that the extended Coherence Map contains a new
section dedicated to Modeling? The new modeling section is in the
High School part of the Coherence Map since modeling is a
Conceptual Category in high school, however, the section is helpful
for anyone across grades who wants to learn more about modeling.
In this section, you can deepen your understanding of modeling, view
a video of Jason Zimba talking about the topic, and see high school
modeling tasks. More tasks will also be added soon!
Includes an excerpt from the novel
Esperanza Rising, ten text-dependent
questions (including one optional
constructed-response prompt for students),
and explanatory information for teachers
regarding alignment to the CCSS.
Natural Resource
Grade 6
Includes two nonfiction texts and 12
text-dependent questions (including
one optional constructed-response
prompt for students).Also includes
explanatory information for teachers
regarding alignment to the CCSS.
Boston Massacre
Grade 7
Includes two nonfiction texts, including
an excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne,
twelve text-dependent questions
(including one optional constructed-
response prompt for students), and
explanatory information for teachers
regarding alignment to the CCSS.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 6
It takes a big
heart to help
shape little minds.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S |  1 7
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 8
This tool is a must-visit for
anyone wondering “Are the
students in my state actually
receiving an education that
prepares them for college and
their careers?” This Data
explorer will help you compare
graduation requirements and
assessments by state, and
explains where gaps exist
between graduation
requirements and post-
secondary admissions.
This is a wonderful blog that
blends case studies with
practical strategies for
educators and school leaders.
This beautiful infographic can
help you review the facts
about the influence of
instructional materials on
students. It will help you make
the case for change!
The Opportunity Myth report
illustrated how far we have to
go to ensure equitable
education for all students.
Each year, students graduate
from high school believing
they’ve been prepared for the
next step in their education or
careers only to find they aren’t
ready. This Action Guide
names four recommendations
for classroom teachers to help
them start to dismantle the
opportunity myth.
Looking for open educational
resources to support all facets
of the education system? ANet
is a leader in helping schools
reach their goals for student
achievement. They’ve created
OER resources in the following
Connect Standards to
Harness Data and Student
Commit to a Priority
Promote a Culture of Adult
Empower Your Team
If you know you’ll need to
supplement and adapt your
math curriculum this year,
Teacher Advisor is a wonderful
resource. It’s a curated
collection of K-8 classroom
resources. The platform is
powered by IBM’s Watson, so
you’ll get highly targeted and
accurate support for every
query you enter. Great for
lesson planning as well as
professional learning!
If you teach English Language Learners
(ELLs), don’t miss this great collection of
free resources and strategy sheets. You’re
sure to find something you can implement
right away!
Does your current curriculum include the
right supports for English Language
Learners to fully engage with grade-level
content? This list of questions will help you
identify the strengths and weaknesses of
your curriculum when it comes to
supporting ELLs.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 1 9
D.C.’s LEAP program helps
teachers become experts at
teaching high-quality,
standards-aligned content so
that every student experiences
rigorous and engaging
instruction every day. This
paper explores District of
Columbia Public Schools’
innovative approach to
supporting teaching
instruction, called Learning
Together to Advance our
Practice, or LEAP.
Identifying a strong,
standards-aligned curriculum
is only the first step if your end
goal is student success. The
Curriculum Support Guide
walks decision makers
through the process of
selecting, launching, and
implementing (teaching and
learning about) a new
Every educator can influence
curricular decisions. Here are
some “first steps” you can aim
for this year.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 0
What do the terms
diversity, inclusion,
& equity mean to
you as an educator,
and how are they
reflected in your
Submit your
answer for a
chance to win
a $25 gift card!
(click here)
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 1
Equitable foundational skills instruction is
an important lever that affords educators
opportunities to provide our youngest
learners with the tools needed to be
successful as they embark on their
respective journeys for college and career
30 million, three, forty-five, forty-four, and
twenty-four are numbers that all relate to
some of the research, theory, and practice
of early literacy instruction.
Why is early literacy instruction important
and how can educators promote
instructional equity?
By Adrianne Robinson Sublett
1. Provide daily foundational skills
In “The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million
Word Gap by Age 3," researchers Betty
Hart and Todd Risley (2003) determined
that a 30 million word gap existed
between students from high-income
families and students from low-income
families because of exposure to more skills
and experiences. As a result, there are
lasting effects on a child’s performance
later in life.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 2
How can this gap be decreased in a school
Follow a research-based scope and sequence of
explicit instruction for at least 45 minutes daily.
The Foundational Skills Guidance Document
from Student Achievement Partners outlines
essential instructional components to teach
early reading skills. Some educators need access
to an effective curriculum to support this work.
There are a number of open source curricula
available if you need access to one. is a great starting point if you are
looking for a curriculum.
2. Perfect practice makes perfect.
There are 44 phonemes, or units of sound, in the
English language that comprises all of the words
that are spoken or read.
What can educators do to support students
with understanding how these phonemes
translate into words?
Provide frequent opportunities for students to
practice the acquired foundational skills
through a variety of ways both in context
through decodables or controlled texts and out
of context. Regularly assess student
understanding of the skills and clear up
misconceptions directly to a student, small
group, or entire class. Student Achievement
Partners has a Foundational Skills Assessment
Protocol that includes ways to assess student
- A D R I A N N E R O B I N S O N S U B L E T T
3. Sharpen your skills.
In 2012, Harvard posted a memo that spoke to
the duality of literacy instruction through both
skills and knowledge-based competencies. With
adequate instruction, skills-based competencies
are mastered by grade 3.
Where can educators go for additional support
with understanding this work?
It is crucial that every early literacy teacher and
observer have a solid personal understanding of
effective foundational skills instruction to
provide the best support for ALL students. The
Foundational Skills Mini Course builds content
knowledge for teachers and those who support
teachers. Educators who support teachers
should utilize tools that ensure effective
standards-based instructional practices. The
Foundational Skills Observation Tool provides a
process for engaging in meaningful
conversations to both build teacher capacity
and improve student outcomes.
We have 24 hours in a
day to plan, teach,
monitor, and adjust
instruction to support our
students with reading
(decoding) and writing
(encoding.) Reflect and
seek opportunities to
grow in your practice as
you empower your
students through the gift
of literacy.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 3
Submit a Core Advocate
Perspective Article!
Do you have an idea for a magazine article
topic? We are looking for Core Advocates
to submit article ideas they would like to
write about to be featured in an upcoming
edition of the Core Connections magazine!
Articles should reflect the magazine's
theme of Excellence and Equity in the
You could be
a magazine
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 4
What Does Being a Core
Advocate Mean to You?
We asked, and you answered! Take a look at
what being a Core Advocate means to these
educators. Do you have a story to tell? We’d
love for you to share it with us via Twitter! Use
#coreadvocates and make sure to tag
@achievethecore! Or submit via this form.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 5
Leslie Catano from Carlsbad, New Mexico
She earned an Education Administration Certification from Eastern New Mexico
Dr. Christina Lutz-Doemling from Catasauqua, PA (@DoemlingC)
She received the Lehigh University 2019 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award in
recognition of extraordinary commitment and support for improved preparation of
school administrators.
Pamela Sed from Elllenwood, GA (@Pamseda1)
She was promoted to Math Coordinator in a neighboring district.
Ana Filomia from Lancaster, Ca (@AnaFilomia)
She was voted teacher of the year for Sierra Elementary School for 2018-2019.
Anthony Lawson from Denver, CO (@principallawson)
He accepted his dream job to be the Regional Director of Mathematics for KIPP
Jenna Parker from Wilmington, NC (@principallawson)
She won Teacher of the Year at Anderson elementary school.
Shruti Raman from Titusville, FL (@SRamanteach)
She finished her Master's in Ed. Leadership and won the FCTM Tom Denmark Teacher
Enhancement Grant to attend FCTM.
Altamese Larkins from Atlanta, GA (@ALarkinsNBCT)
She renewed her National Board Certification.
Click here to
share your
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 6
If you're planning
for a year, sow
rice; if you're
planning for a
decade plant
trees; if you're
planning for a
lifetime, educate
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S |  2 7
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 8
Desktop, browser tab, or webcam capture
Narrate with your microphone’s audio
Customize your resolution and FPS
Embed your webcam into the screencast
Annotate your screen with a pen tool
Focus a spotlight on your mouse
Videos automatically save to Google Drive
Publish directly to YouTube
Save and manage videos locally
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 2 9
# c o r e a d v o c a t e s
We here at Student Achievement Partners are excited to open
applications for the third cohort of the Digital Ambassador Program.
Becoming a participant for this committee provides you with the
opportunity to share your expertise and collaborate with other Core
Advocates across the nation.
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 3 0
Usable Knowledge
0 1
D o i n g t h e M a t h . W h a t i t
R e a l l y T a k e s t o B u i l d a
H i g h l y E x p e r t C a d r e o f
M a t h e m a t i c s T e a c h e r s
Shanahan on Literacy
0 2
I s R o u n d R o b i n R e a d i n g
R e a l l y t h a t B a d ?
Teaching Tolerance
0 3
A C a s e S t u d y i n E q u i t y
t h r o u g h U n t r a c k i n g
S t u d e n t s
0 4
I n f l u e n t i a l R e a d i n g
G r o u p M a k e s I t C l e a r :
S t u d e n t s N e e d
S y s t e m a t i c , E x p l i c i t
P h o n i c s
0 5
P H O T O S : W h e r e T h e K i d s
A c r o s s T o w n G r o w U p
W i t h V e r y D i f f e r e n t
S c h o o l s
0 6
U n p a c k i n g Y o u r W h y
C O R E C O N N E C T I O N S | 3 1

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