Parent Common Core Informational Essay

With recent changes in academic standards in classrooms across the country, parents are likely hearing a lot about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and wondering: What are they? And how will they affect my children? To date, 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted these new academic standards, which are already changing the way students are being taught. The standards are designed to ensure college and career readiness in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced world.

There are 3 important ways that the new standards will impact daily classroom instruction of Reading and Writing.

1. There will be instructional shifts: The Common Core introduced three major shifts in classroom instruction designed to guide critical readers through a range of grade-level, complex texts or reading materials. Classroom instruction will be focused on:

  • Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts: In addition to stories and literature, your child will read more informational texts and non-fiction that provide facts and knowledge in areas such as science and social studies.
  • Reading and writing grounded in evidence from text: Children will read more challenging texts and be asked more questions that will require them to refer back to what they have read to provide evidence that supports their answers.
  • Regular practice with complex texts and its vocabulary: Teachers will emphasize building a strong vocabulary so that students can read and understand challenging material.

2. There are fewer, clearer standards, that aim higher: Teachers will focus on five standard areas to prepare children to meet grade-level expectations. Your child’s teachers will focus on shifts in the following standards:

  • Common Core Learning Standards for Reading Literature
  • Common Core Learning Standards for Reading Informational Text
  • Common Core Learning Standards for Writing
  • Common Core Learning Standards for Speaking and Listening
  • Common Core Learning Standards for Language

3.    Types of texts: Across the grades, students will read both literature (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and respond using a range of writing types. The chart below illustrates what percent of teaching time will focus on the necessary reading and writing standards at each grade level from Kindergarten through 8th Grade.

In the charts below, you will find the Common Core Standards for reading and writing for grades K-8 and an explanation of the skills every child will need to develop and demonstrate within each grade.

Jump directly to Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, or 8th Grade.

Kindergarten

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

1st Grade

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

2nd Grade

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

3rd Grade

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

4th Grade

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

5th Grade 

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

6th Grade

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

7th Grade

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

8th Grade

Students will read the following percentages of literary (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and write to persuade, explain and convey experience:

Standards in this strand:

Text Types and Purposes:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1.a
Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1.b
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1.c
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1.d
Establish and maintain a formal style.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1.e
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.a
Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.b
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.c
Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.d
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.e
Establish and maintain a formal style.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.f
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3.a
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3.b
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3.c
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3.d
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3.e
Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 7 here.)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.8
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.9.a
Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history").

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.9.b
Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. "Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims").

Range of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

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