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“Stop asking me if we’re almost there! We’re nomads , for crying out loud!”. 1. NYS Common Core Learning Standards Understanding the Change Being the Change How to Change. LIASCD October 2011. 2. Areas of focus. Reading Writing Speaking and Listening Language

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“Stop asking me if we’re almost there!

We’re nomads, for crying out loud!”


nys common core learning standards understanding the change being the change how to change

NYS Common Core Learning StandardsUnderstanding the Change Being the Change How to Change


October 2011


areas of focus
Areas of focus



Speaking and Listening


Media and Technology - Research & Media skills built into the Standards as a whole


what is included in the common core standards document
What is included in the Common Core Standards document?

P-12 Anchor Standards for English Language Arts

P-12 Grade Level Standards (We used to call these performance indicators.)

Foundational Skills in reading (P-5)

Illustrative texts


what else is included in the common core standards document
What else is included in the Common Core Standards document?

Reading Standards in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

Writing Standards in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects


six shifts in ela literacy
Six Shifts in ELA Literacy

Shift in Standards….

1. Balancing Informational and Literary Text

2. Building Knowledge in the Disciplines

3. Staircase of Complexity

4. Text-based Answers

5. Writing from Sources

6. Academic Vocabulary

Shift in Assessments…

balancing information and literacy texts pk 5
Balancing information and Literacy Texts: PK-5
  • Students read a true balance of informational and literary texts. Elementary school classrooms are, therefore, places where students access the world – science, social studies, the arts and literature – through text. At least 50% of what students read is informational.
building knowledge in the disciplines 6 12
Building Knowledge in the Disciplines: 6-12

Content area teachers outside of the ELA classroom emphasize literacy experiences in their planning and instruction. Students learn through domain-specific texts in science and social studies classrooms – rather than referring to the text, they are expected to learn from what they read.

staircase of complexity
Staircase of Complexity
  • In order to prepare students for the complexity of college and career ready texts, each grade level requires a “step” of growth on the “staircase.”
  • Students read the central, grade appropriate text around which instruction is centered.
  • Teachers are patient, create more time and space in the curriculum for this close and careful reading, and provide appropriate and necessary scaffolding and supports so that it is possible for students reading below grade level.
text based answers
Text-Based Answers
  • Students have rich and rigorous conversations which are dependent on a common text.
  • Teachers insist that classroom experiences stay deeply connected to the text on the page and that students develop habits for making evidentiary arguments both in conversation, as well as in writing to assess comprehension of a text.
writing from sources
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.
academic vocabulary
Academic Vocabulary


  • Students constantly build the vocabulary they need to access grade level complex texts.
  • By focusing strategically on comprehension of pivotal and commonly found words (such as “discourse,” “generation,” “theory,” and “principled”) and less on esoteric literary terms (such as “onomatopoeia” or “homonym”), teachers constantly build students’ ability to access more complex texts across the content areas.


what does a grade level standard look like for writing
What Does a Grade Level Standard Look Like for Writing?

Grade 4

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

Grade 7

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.


  • Argument – persuasion
    • Defend with evidence from text
    • History/social studies – interpretation & judgments with evidence from multiple sources
    • Science – claims and conclusions that answer questions or address problems
    • K-5 – opinion leads to argument


overview of standards for history social studies science and technical subjects
Overview of Standards for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

(AKA Everything Else)

Reading Standards

  • Knowledge of domain-specific vocabulary
  • Analyze, evaluate, and differentiate primary and secondary sources
  • Synthesize quantitative and technical information, including facts presented in maps, timelines, flowcharts, or diagrams

Writing Standards

  • Write arguments on discipline-specific content and informative/explanatory texts
  • Use data, evidence and reason to support arguments and claims
  • Use of domain-specific vocabulary
What do grade level standards in literacy in social studies, science, and technical subjects look like?

Social Studies Grade 9-10Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies.

Science Grade 9-10 Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defining the question the author seeks to address.

Technical Subjects Grade 9-10 Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form and in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.


what do we need to do
What Do We Need To Do?
  • By September 15, 2011, create awareness, foster fluency, and develop a common language supporting Common Core implementation.
  • By October 1, 2011, collaboratively diagnose school capacity for implementing The Common Core and create action plan to ensure Phase I execution: 1 Common Core Aligned Unit in every classroom, each semester.
  • By October 15, 2011, Introduce Common Core aligned curriculum model modules/units and unpack the qualities of a model unit.
  • By October 31, 2011, build capacity and foster accountability so that every teacher delivers at least one Common Core aligned unit in every classroom each semester.
the challenge linking the ccls to curriculum instruction in all areas
The Challenge: Linking the CCLS to Curriculum/Instruction in All Areas

Curriculum & Instruction

Need to focus on areas of inquiry - not specific standards in isolation

Content area teachers and language arts/literacy teachers will need to plan and work together to help students meet the standards

Teachers must place an emphasis on thinking with/about texts in all forms, including digital formats

Develop Units that recognize that less is more


the bigger picture
The Bigger Picture

Literacy tasks across the curriculum must address application of literacy standards in History/Social Studies, Science, Math, and Technical Subjectsin all areas of study.

text dependent questions
Text Dependent Questions
  • What is (and isn’t) the meaning of “popular sovereignty”? Why does Monk claim that this is the form of government in America?
  • Is Lucy Stone confused when she asks “Which ‘We the People’?” Why does Monk say this question has “troubled the nation”?
  • What does the phrase “founding fathers” mean? Why does Marshall think the founding fathers could not have imagined a female or black Supreme Court Justice?
what else can we do with this
What Else Can We Do With This?
common core and science
Common Core and Science
  • Imbed informational text into your science curriculum.
  • Literacy is not taking the place of science content or hands-on laboratory skills.
  • Require students to cite from text to support their conclusions or opinions.
  • Provide text with two or more opinions, and ask students to choose a side to support with research.
  • Ask students to define vocabulary in context from the text.
  • Framework for K-12 Science Education released July 2011, currently being developed into common core science standards. Download from
text based questions
Text-Based Questions
  • Based on the article: New Research Examines Role of Clouds in Climate Change, Scientific American, September 7, 2011.
  • 1. Use evidence from the text to explain what those who downplay climate change believe to be the role of cloud cover and contrast that with what the current evidence shows.
  • 2. What information can you cite from the text that explains the evidence that Roy Spencer used to downplay human impact on climate change?
  • 3. What text-based information can you use to understand Andrew Dessler's research explaining climate and weather.
  • 4. What is the meaning of the phrase "cherry picked" as used in this article?
  • 5. Research the climate patterns that are characterized by an El Nino and La Nina.