Chapter 2 – Gaining a Deeper Understanding of Common Core State Standards: The Big Picture
Development and design of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are based on the strengths and lessons learned from other states and top ranking nations.
The standards identify what students should know and do at each grade level to be college and career ready.
- Standards (and assessments) are the core of quality instruction
- Dig into the standards and carefully read introduction, appendices, and standards. Follow up reading with collaborative discourse to insure deep level understanding.
- Becoming familiar with the content within the introductions, appendices, and standards is just a starting point for building necessary background knowledge.
Getting Familiar (English Language Arts)
There are 32 anchor standards (10 in reading; 10 in writing; 6 in speaking and listening; and 6 in language)
Each of the four sets of anchor standards are like the guiding beacon leading toward college and career readiness.
Design and Organization
There are 3 main sections and 3 appendices
- Kindergarten through grade 5
- Grades 6 – 12 literacy content
- Grades 6 – 12 standards for literacy in the content areas
The standards are a spiraling progression toward proficiency in each college and career ready anchor standard.
Appendix A discusses text complexity and makes a strong case for ramping up reading at higher levels for students.
Appendix B has examples of texts with appropriate complexity.
Appendix C shares samples of student writing at each level to illustrate what the standards expect of students.
K-5 focuses on a balance between literature and informational text. There is a shift toward non-fiction in grades 6-12, which aligns with NAEP.
Overview of Reading Standards for Literature in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Areas
The follow the same pattern as the reading standards for literature and informational text. They follow the spiraling effect. They are written in grade level bands. They are repeated practice of mastered competencies from the year before.
Overview of Writing
Developed around three themes. Writing standard 10 is for a range of writing overtime and can be thought of as an endpoint for each grade level.
Appendix C provides writing samples.
There is a shift in writing toward non-fiction with an emphasis on using evidence for arguement writing. The writing shift aligns with the NAEP expectations. Writing is designed to have students become analytical thinkers.
Overview of Writing in the Content Areas
Designed with collaboration between ELA and content area teachers in mind. Collaborative planning and lessons build richer learning experiences for the students and helps them make connections.
Overview of Speaking and Listening
Centered around two themes: “comprehension and collaboration” and “presentation of knowledge and ideas.” It is understood that students will have multiple opportunities to grow these skills.
Overview of Language Strands
Language standards are to be part of student learning opportunities in reading, writing, and the speaking and listening standards instruction. Each standard should be bundled within the other standards.
Common Core State Standards for Math
Math practices are an important piece of the math standards. These standards are “habits of the mind.” There are eight practices that need to be embedded throughout each school year.
The standards are written for understanding of core concepts and automaticity.
They are written with the assumption and expectation of mastery in each given year.
There are three parts to the math standards: the math practices, K-8 content, and 9-12 content. K-8 content is built around progressions with a strong emphasis early on in numbers and operations. Geometry is throughout the K-8 section. The high school content is written around a traditional (American) approach and an integrated approach.
Appendix A provides an overview of high school mathematics.
High School Mathematics
Listed by conceptual categories.
- Modeling standards are found throughout and denoted with a star.
- Standards with a (+) are for extending learning to a level beyond college and career ready.
- There are 113 standards for all students to master and 43 standards for advanced learners.
Question: What area(s) of the CCSS do you see being the most difficult for your staff to embrace, understand, and/or turn into meaningful learning experiences for your students.
Next Monday I’ll share my notes from Chapter 3.
Look for a post mid-week on a pretty nifty (and free) password generating program that can help school leaders with creating very strong passwords, warehousing the passwords, and easily accessing password from multiple means. I’ve been using it for the past two months and really like it and the extra security it provides to all my accounts.