A large part of Common Core revolves around working in groups and using listening and speaking skills. Does anyone have a preferred way to teach these skills? I have several Kagan books I'm going to study over break. Any other units or ideas? My principal is really big into academic language, so thoughts on how to 'train' kids to use complete sentences, academic vocabulary and examples of evidence is appreciated. Train seems like the wrong word. I feel like this is such a 'duh' question, but I am envisioning a classroom of kids that can instantly group up, carry on higher level discussions while engaging all members and then report back to the group in a meaningful and concise way. Totally possible in fifth grade, right?? next year we will start the year off learning these skills, but we'll have to do it after break this year.