January 7, 2014

Carson-Dellosa Common Core Connections Review + GIVEAWAY!

I recently had the opportunity to check out some new resources from Carson-Dellosa.  They were kind enough to send me a copy of their new resource books, Common Core Connections Math and Reading.  (I received the Grade 4 books.)
The book I've been able to utilize more in my classroom is the math resource.  What I liked was that there were several pages with quality story problems.  We all know that critical thinking is the life blood of the common core, and word problems are a big part of that.  In fact, this book does a great job incorporating word problems into almost every content strand, not just computation-based word problems.  Students are asked to apply skills like measurement and geometry in real-life contexts on some of the practice pages.
I was surprised to find that a large number of the pages are still rote-practice worksheets.  Let me be clear--I do believe there is a time and place for rote practice!  I still give time tests to my students who struggle with basic facts and many of my students need additional practice with computation in a rote setting before they are able to apply these skills in the critical thinking setting that is demanded on MAP and the upcoming PARCC test.  However, I was a little disappointed that they made up such a large portion of this resource.  The skills are clearly correlated to the Common Core and labeled with standards and "I can" statements, but I was really hoping to see more high-level thinking tasks that are more in line with CC Depth of Knowledge levels 3 & 4.

In short, the math workbook is a good resource and has been useful in my classroom especially for warm-up work and homework pages, but I would still love to see Carson-Dellosa put out a math resource that focuses on critical thinking high DOK tasks.

I also received Carson-Dellosa's Language Arts practice book.  Like the math book, it includes some new resources that I really like as well as others that seem like more rote practice.  One page I particularly liked asked students to read a set of dialogue written like the script from a play and write the next character's lines after making an inference.  Because drama is a new focus in Common Core, I liked this opportunity to practice reading and writing in drama-style.
I also liked the fact that the book includes activities involving paired-passages.  One of the new CC standards for 4th grade asks students to (and I'm totally paraphrasing) read multiple texts on the same topic in order to write and speak knowledgeably on that topic.  As a teacher, finding texts on the same topic can be a gigantic pain, so this is definitely a nice feature.

For the sake of transparency, I must say that I have not yet used any of the language arts practice pages in my classroom.  In the past, I gave literacy practice pages for homework every night, but in recent years my district has shifted away from a heavy homework focus.  My literacy block focuses on Shared Reading and a Daily 5 style guided reading block during which I don't use any worksheets or pencil and paper tasks other than my word work activities.  So, while I like many of the materials, I haven't yet found a way to use them.  Does that make sense?

Anyways, a big thank you to Carson-Dellosa for allowing me the opportunity to try these resources.  I think they demonstrate a great step in the right direction for Carson-Dellosa as we all adapt to the Common Core way of teaching this year, and I look forward to seeing what Carson-Dellosa comes out with next.

Now the giveaway--you can win your very own copy of a Common Core Connections book.  Please leave a comment below sharing which book you'd like to win at which grade level (K-5).  That's all!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
(Ex.  I would like to win Common Core Connections Language Arts, 1st grade.) 

This giveaway will end on Saturday, January 11th at midnight.  Thanks for entering!

Disclaimer: I was provided these materials in exchange for writing a review.  I was not compensated in any other way, and all opinions expressed in this post reflect my own thoughts and ideas.


  1. I would like to win Common Core Connections Language Arts, 4th grade. Thank you!

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  2. Id love the 3 rd grade Language Arts.Have a good week back with the kiddos.

  3. I'd love to win the 4th grade Math Connections. :)

  4. I would love to win the CCC math book for 4th grade. Thanks for the opportunity.

  5. I would love to win the 5th grade ELA book.
    Becky, bneumann24@hotmail.com

  6. I would like to win the Common Core Connections Language Arts 5th grade!

  7. I would like to win the Language Arts, 3rd grade.

  8. The CCC Math book would be a great addition to my 4th grade classroom!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I would love the Math book, Grade 5!


  11. I would love to win the math book, grade 5!

  12. I would love to win the grade 5 math book.

  13. Just like the three comments before me....5th grade math!

  14. I would love to have 4th grade language arts. Thanks

  15. I would love to use the Grade 5 Common Core Math! Thanks so much.


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