As a California teacher, we are just now jumping on the Common Core bandwagon. My English department just spent two full days (and I think another full one at our second middle school) unpacking the 7th and 8th grade standards. However, since textbooks won't be coming out until around 2020 , does anyone who has been using Common Core at the middle school English level give any tips or advice on how to transition from rote memorization to these new standards? How different would you say it is? Did the kids have a tough time at first? Do you have any recommended lessons or formulaic questions that could go with a text? What about writing? Thanks!