ELA Common Core State Standards . Overview of the Big Shifts in Common Core Standards for English Language Arts Overview of the Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects
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****If we engage students in reading and writing in all subject areas we can help close the gaps in reading and writing scores.
Reading (including Reading Foundational Skills
Speaking and Listening
An integrated model of literacy across subjects
Media requirements blended throughout
College and Career Readiness (CCR)
Broad expectations consistent across grades and content areas
Based on evidence
about college and
Range and content
Grade-specific end-of-year expectations
Developmentally appropriate, cumulative progression of skills and understandings
One-to-one correspondence with CCR standards
Grade 4: 50% Literary Text 50% Informational
Grade 8: 45% Literary Text 55% Informational
Grade 12: 30% Literary Text 70% Informational
***This is for all subject areas, not just ELA
Shift 1 Pre K-5
Balancing Informational & Literary Texts
The standards call for a much greater emphasis on nonfiction. The document proposes that about half the reading in elementary school should be informational/nonfictional.
Knowledge in the Disciplines – Literacy in Content Areas
The Standards include criteria for literacy in history/social science, science and technical subjects. This reflects a recognition that understanding texts in each of these subject areas requires a unique set of skills and that instruction in understanding a historical document for example, is an integral part of teaching history.
“Staircase” of Complexity
Students will be required to read increasingly complex text in order to reach the level required for success in college and the workplace. The Standards document cites evidence that the complex texts used in schools has actually declined over the past forty years.
Text-based Answers – Focus on Evidence
In reading, students will be expected to use evidence to demonstrate their comprehension of texts and to read closely in order to make evidence-based claims.
Writing from Sources
Writing needs to emphasize use of evidence to inform or make an argument rather than the personal narrative and other forms of decontextualized prompts. While the narrative still has an important role, students develop skills through written arguments that respond to the ideas, events, facts, and arguments presented in the texts they read.
Students constantly build the vocabulary they need to access grade level complex texts.
Speaking and Listening
The standards expect students to be able to demonstrate that they can speak and listen effectively – two aspects of literacy rarely included in state standards. Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has created a speaking and listening assessment.
Ask students to engage in small-group and whole-class discussions and evaluate them on how well they understand the speakers’ points.