Common Core Standards: Helpful Summer Reading for Teachers

Though many believe the Common Core Standards (also referred to as just the Common Core) are a great tool for teaching American students valuable, real-world knowledge and skills, the onus for translating the standards into lessons has fallen on the shoulders of teachers.

Designed to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, the initiative (currently adopted by 44 out of 50 states) has proven less than digestible for many educators.

Luckily, there’s help — in the form of a little summer reading. Here are a few books designed for teachers to help explain the standards, share activity and lesson plan ideas and troubleshoot common issues with teaching the Common Core (like working with advanced students, or helping kids develop the vocabulary…


Lessons in Lock-Up: What It’s Really Like to Teach in Prison

If you’re a fan of Orange is the New Black (OITNB), you may have been shocked by inmate Taystee’s abrupt return to Litchfield Correctional just three episodes after her release. However, if you’ve worked in the education department of a correctional facility, you’re more than familiar with “bounce-backs,” or as Alice*, a teacher who has worked at three correctional facilities for almost 20 years correctly calls it, “recidivism.”

Teachers like Alice* understand the importance of recidivism, or inmate returns, because it’s the reason their jobs make a difference.

According to a 2013 RAND study , correctional education reduces recidivism by 43 percent. Correctional education includes te…