The Big6 and Common Core

Posted by Mike Eisenberg (mike) on Nov 14 2012
M&B Discussion on Common Core >>


Bob and I have been talking offline about the Common Core, the information literacy/Big6 connections, and the impact on education K-12.  We thought we'd share our interactions more broadly by posting here on the Big6 website. 

For background, here are some links:

Common Core home page - 

Common Core State StandardS for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects -

Please contribute to the discussion by adding your comments too!

Last changed: Nov 16 2012 at 10:37 AM



Intro to the Common Core By Mike Eisenberg on Nov 16 2012 at 10:51 AM
Although the Common Core website is careful to point out that the federal government was not involved in developing the standards, the Common Core is becoming the de facto curriculum in the U.S.

We are focused on students' learning essential information literacy skills. We KNOW that information skills are indefensible to success in our information-intensive world.

So, the first question is, "what is the relationship between information literacy and the Common Core?" To what extent are information literacy skills reflected in the Common Core standards? What are the strengths and gaps?

This is a discussion of the curriculum and learning agenda. Later, we will turn to focus on practical strategies for implementation.
Key Points In English Language Arts - By Mike Eisenberg on Nov 16 2012 at 11:05 AM
Take a look at the Common Core "Key Points" Summary -

Media and Technology

Just as media and technology are integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to media use (both critical analysis and production of media) are integrated throughout the standards.

On pages 12 & 13 of the Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, we see - "Reading Standards for Informational Text K–5."

The standards listed here are directly relevant to Big6 #4 (Use of Information), #5 (Synthesis), and #1 (Task Definition).

However, I don't see the standards going beyond print to include technical or technology connections. This seems like a major opportunity for the information literacy program.

More to follow....
Common Core By Guest on Nov 19 2012 at 5:43 PM
From Bob Berkowitz:

Certainly, the Common Core Standards are changing the face of curriculum. The aim of CCS is to provide clear, consistent academic benchmarks. When you look at the scope of CCS you discover a direct relationship to teaching students to define information needs, find, engage, organize, present, and evaluate information for specific tasks. I believe that CCS are best implemented through a strategy that promotes decision or problem-solving based learning.

For Teacher Librarians the CCS movement presents a unique opportunity for collaboration and provides the means to institutionalize Big6/Super3 as the CCS implementation framework.

-- Bob

Getting Comfortable with Common Core By Guest on Dec 03 2012 at 8:35 AM
from Bob Berkowitz:
For many teachers change is difficult, I'm wondering what strategies and approaches TL's are using to encourage classroom teachers to integrate common core standards into instruction.
Big6/Common Core in the Classroom By Guest on Dec 03 2012 at 9:14 AM
Good question, Bob.

If I were a classroom teacher, I would first look over the Common Core for my grade level with the Big6 in mind. I would try to desirable Common Core standards and then "Big6" them.

For example, look at page 29 of the English/Language Arts Common Core, for grade 4 -

3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Choose words and phrases to convey ideas
b. Choose punctuation for effect.*
c. Differentiate between contexts that call
for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas)
and situations where informal discourse is
appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion)

This last one - "c" related to Big6 #1 - Task Definition - defining the problem. It will also relate to Big6 #5 - Synthesis.

As a classroom teacher, I would look to design lessons and exercises to help students learn these understandings and then demonstrate understanding.

Teacher librarians can help to coordinate these types of efforts/analyses across the school, fill in gaps, and document.

-- Mike E
By Guest on Mar 14 2013 at 5:22 PM
A comment from Bob Berkowitz

Mike,your comment during the Webinar that the CCSS could be perceived as a “laundry list” of skill is well taken. That idea, along with the notion that the CCSS requires a change from “content vs. process” to “content and process” justify using Big6/Super3 as THE curriculum strategy for Common Core implementation. As we pointed out, developing a Big6/Super3 perspective by becoming informed and fluent with the Big6 and Super3 Approach is a powerful response to the CCSS.

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