Common Core
Common Core Resources
@ the HMS Library
Please use this page as a guide to finding resources to support the Common Core at or through the HMS Library.  Some of these resources (such as the Gale databases) are only available to you through the HMS library and our membership in the MA statewide library consortium.   Don't forget, I am here to partner with you to help our students reach their  learning goals! ‚Äč

Basic CCSS Info

What are the Standards and how do they apply in MA?
CCSS Official Site

MA DESE CCSS Resources

Comparison of CCSS to existing MA ELA Standards:

Text Complexity

The Common Core requires that our students reach with their reading. By providing them with materials that cause them to stretch just that little bit, they will increase their reading ability with every reading.

There are various methods used to measure text complexity, but one of the more accepted methods is the Lexile (  The Lexile is a measure of a book's difficulty level, as well as an estimate of a students reading ability.  By matching the Lexile of a book and the reader's ability, it is expected that the student will understand 75% of the text included within.  However, it does not take into consideration prior knowledge, age appropriateness, and student interest in the topic.

ccording to the website:

"A Lexile text measure is based on the semantic and syntactic elements of a text. Many other factors affect the relationship between a reader and a book, including its content, the age and interests of the reader, and the design of the actual book. The Lexile text measure is a good starting point in the book-selection process, with these other factors then being considered."

"The idea behind The Lexile Framework for Reading is simple: if we know how well a student can read and how hard a specific book is to comprehend, we can predict how well that student will likely understand the book."

There are tests that students can take to determine their reading level.  In the absence of these tests, use the ranges in the following chart to determine, in general, which Lexile level would be appropriate for our students. 

 Grade Student Reading
Below Grade Level
Student Reading
At Grade Level

 Student Reading
Above Grade Level
 6  240L to 780L  850-1050L
 1040L to 1270L
 7  300L to 830L  950-1075L
 1090L to 1330L
 8 400L to 880L   1000-1100L
 1130L to 1370L

This would be in line with the Common Core, which promotes the use of individualized reading levels:


Other helpful sites re: Reading levels/Common Core:
ASCD Site re: Common Core

Best Websites for Teaching English & Vocabulary (blog)
Scholastic Common Core Resources

Online Non-Fiction "Informational Text" Resources

Gale Databases

All Gale databases are funded through the MA Board of Library Commissioners and contain articles that are Lexile-rated (up to 1300).  Use the Advanced Search function to locate articles that would be at an appropriate reading level for your students (or have them search for themselves!)  The articles can also be searched by a general Basic/Intermediate/Advanced reading level score.

This searching is demonstrated in this video: Gale Database Lexile Tools
Encyclopedia Britannica
The Encyclopedia Britannica does not level articles by Lexile, but it provides three reading levels for each article.  Students who are having difficulty accessing an article at the standard Level (2), may change the article to Level 1 with one click of the mouse.  Conversely, they may also change to Level 3 to challenge themselves.  

This leveling is demonstrated in this video: Encyclopedia Britannica tools

Scholastic Go! Database
Coming soon!  Access Social Studies and Science articles that are searchable by Lexile & grade ranges!

News Resources

 Boston Globe Boston Globe - Newspapers In Education
Through this subscription (log in to this SPS Google Doc to view the password), we can locate current events articles.  Although they cannot be leveled, tools such as translation, read aloud and enlarged font are available.  

Other News Sources:

Science News for Kids news articles page
Scholastic News for Kids
Time for Kids
Channel One - News Articles
New York Times Learning Network
PBS NewsHour
The Why Files (science)
Current Events Videos:
CNN News for Kids - daily video
Channel One Video - view the day's video of news stories for teens

Media & Technology Resources

The Common Core requires that students gain information through speaking and listening. The following resources contain videos/video clips that can be used in the classroom:
The Library has a wide range of technological items that will help you in the classroom.  In addition to these devices, I am available to teach our students to  produce their own media, such as eBooks, movies, podcasts, and more!

Primary Sources

General Information about Primary Sources

From  You can request a Lexile score for a primary source document through their link.
Helpful definitions of Primary Source Documents

Finding Primary Sources Online
Here are some websites to look at for primary source documents:   Very comprehensive list of places to find primary source documents.  Organized by continent and country. - US Primary Documents - US Primary Documents - European Historical Documents

Searching for Books in the SAILS Library Network

SAILS  Students and staff can locate materials by using the SAILS library Network's Enterprise online card catalog.  Using your Hurley Middle School Library account, materials can be placed on hold and sent to HMS for checkout. 
Depending on the title, multiple copies of a single title can be ordered from SAILS for use in the classroom. See Mrs. St. Michel to discuss this service.

Curriculum Resources

There are many curriculum resources available online for the Common Core.  Check your curriculm association for quality resources targeted to your subject area.   Here are two that relate to the databases that we have available through the library:

Gale Databases
Gale provides a number of lesson plans on it's Gale Schools website.  These lessons all use Gale products.

Encyclopedia Brtitannica
In the Educators Tab, teachers can search for articles within Encyclopedia Britannica by CCSS strand.  This search feature links directly to an article that can be used with your students to address that concept. Also, lesson plans relating to that concept are linked to from the EB website.
Encyclopedia Britannica also lists "Web's Best Sites" related to the topic you are researching.  These are "Selected by Britannica editors for quality and age-appropriateness".

Link to Encyclopedia Britannica tutorial
Master Teachers from across the country have contributed common-core based lessons on a variety of subjects!   In partnership with the NEA.

Resources Used:
Joint Action Brief: Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the  School Librarian (Metlife, AASL, and Achieve)
Core Workshop for MSLA -