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According to a study by the Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana students rank 44th among U.S. states in English language arts and 46th in math. To improve student aptitude in these areas, Louisiana’s Common Core focuses on important math and English Language Arts (ELA). Before Common Core was implemented, students were learning material that was a full year behind that taught in neighboring states.

If Louisiana cannot generate educated, skilled workers, businesses may continue to look outside the state to fill positions. Louisiana schools are improving to equip students with the critical ELA and math skills they need to thrive in a competitive economy.

How Can English Language Arts Scores Be Improved in Louisiana Schools?

LearnZillion, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education, has developed English Language Arts lessons. These ELA Guidebook Units include daily lessons, assessments, texts, handouts and student writing examples created specifically for Louisiana learners.

Below is a listing of free ELA resources for educators:

The language arts website, ReadWriteThink is designed to assist educators and parents by providing quality practices in reading and language arts, classroom resources and professional development information. Interactive tools are available to help students organize their thoughts and learn about language in a fun environment.

The National Writing Project is a network of U.S. educators who work in collaboration to improve the teaching of writing. You can find resources on the NWP website. The NWP digital site holds a collection of stories, ideas and reflections on what it means to teach writing in the digital world.

Storytelling in Classrooms is Discovery Education’s free, K-5 resource designed for busy teachers. Lesson plans, interactive games, puzzles and programs are available, ranging from pre-writing to publishing.

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) based at Purdue University provides free writing resources and instructional materials to assist students in becoming skilled writers.

The Literacy Web from the University of Connecticut provides literacy resources by grade level. The Literacy Topics page offers in-depth information on the following:

  • Literacy Best Practices.
  • Early Literacy.
  • Adolescent Literacy.
  • Reading Comprehension.
  • Content Area Literacy.
  • Multicultural Literacy.

How Can Math Learning Be Improved in Louisiana Schools?

The Louisiana Department of Education provides numerous resources for math educators. The K-12 Math Planning Resources listing can be viewed at LouisianaBelieves.com. This online listing includes the following items: Louisiana Eureka math guides, K-12 Louisiana standards for math, assessment guidance, remediation guides, enhanced crosswalks, rigor documents, focus documents, math guidebooks, middle school accelerated plans and sample year plans.

TeacherVision offers a wealth of free resources for math teachers, including lessons, activities, puzzles, quizzes and printable worksheets. Teachers can choose from mathematical subjects including geometry, money, algebra, probability and statistics, measurement and more.

Available TeacherVision resources include the following:

  • Common Core Math (Includes math practice worksheets by grade).
  • Content Galleries (Examples: Printable Rulers and Protractors Gallery, Money & Finances Printables Gallery).
  • K-2 Printable Worksheets and Activities (Examples: Blank 100 Grid, Isometric Dot Paper).
  • Algebra (Includes exponents and writing expressions).
  • Money (Exercises include birthday party budget exercise and money decision-making).
  • Measurement and Time (Examples: Table of Measures, Blank Thermometer).

MathTeaching.org offers lesson plans, games and more to keep students engaged. Most resources, including printed lessons, are free. The site also offers activity ideas and education blogs with tips from fellow math educators. Resources are divided into sections including the following:

Materials

Covers items to use in the classroom including white boards, tablets, clickers and graphing calculators.

Manipulatives

Example: SEN Teacher has Pre-K to high-school printable resources such as algebra tiles, fraction circles and clock flash cards.

Lessons and Videos

Example: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has put together high-quality math lesson plans and activities.

Online Games

Example: Math Is Fun is a free elementary-to-high-school website offering explanations on a wide range of math topics. This math education site also has games and puzzles.

Math Activities

Example: Education.com features fun middle school math activities.

Common Core

Example: The Teaching Channel hosts a large selection of videos for math educators.

Math Education Blogs

Math blogs written by fellow teachers and educators can provide new ideas, insights and perspectives on teaching math.

Divisible by 3, a blog written by teacher, Andrew Stadel, covers a mix of math topics and discussions on assessments, professional development and training.

Teachers in Louisiana are taking steps to improve the lives of their students by giving them the tools they need to succeed beyond their school years.

Learn more about the LSUS online M.Ed. program in Curriculum & Instruction.


Sources:

Common Core State Standards Initiative: Frequently Asked Questions

Achieving Tomorrow: Why Louisiana Schools Need the Common Core

Department of Education/Louisiana Believes: K-12 Math Planning Resources

LearnZillion: English Language Arts Guidebook Units

Classroom Aid: Top Free Resources for Teaching and Learning English Language Arts

Teacher Vision: Math Teacher Resources

Divisible by 3: Andrew Stadel’s Blog


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