“Stop asking me if we’re almost there!
We’re nomads, for crying out loud!”
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NYS Common Core Learning Standards
Understanding the Change
Being the Change
How to Change
Nassau BOCES
Victor Jaccarino
Trish Iannacone
September 2011
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Overarching goals for today…


To become familiar with New York State P-12
Common Core Learning Standards for English
Language Arts & Literacy
and Standards for Literacy in History/Social
Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (CCLS)
To understand how implementing the CCLS in the
classroom will impact teaching, learning, curriculum
and materials
http://engageny.org/
Caution! Before continuing…
• The Common Core
Learning standards
are not just a new
set of performance
indicators….
• They are a whole
new way of
teaching and
learning….
Common Core in ELA/
Literacy: Getting Started
Why Standards?
Why Common Core Standards?



Standards provide a shared vision of what
students should know and be able to do.
Standards provide a shared vision for
teachers and administrators
Common Core State Standards establish
consistency across the states
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Areas of focus

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Reading
Writing
Speaking and Listening
Language
Media and Technology - Research & Media
skills built into the Standards as a whole
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What is included in the Common Core Standards
document?


P-12 Anchor Standards for English Language
Arts
 Reading Literature, Informational Texts
 Writing
 Listening and Speaking
 Language
 Progressive Skills Charts for Language Arts
Conventions
P-12 Grade Level Standards (We used to call
these performance indicators.)
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What is included in the Common Core Standards
document?

Foundational Skills in reading (P-5)

Illustrative texts

Reading Standards in History/Social Studies, Science,
and Technical Subjects

Writing Standards in History/Social Studies, Science,
and Technical Subjects
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What does the Research Document
Contain? (Appendix A)

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Research on text complexity including exemplar texts
(stories and literature, poetry, and informational texts)
that illustrate appropriate level of complexity by grade
Research on reading foundational skills
Research on forms of writing:
 Argument
 Informational
 Narrative
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Text complexity is defined by:


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Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure,
language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge
demands
Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of
text complexity
Reader and Task – background knowledge of reader,
motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks
assigned
What Does the Text Exemplar
Document Contain? (Appendix B)
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Grade level text exemplars for English Language Arts
Grade level sample performance tasks for English
Language Arts
Grade level text exemplars for Social Studies/History,
Science, Math and Technical Subjects
Grade level sample performance tasks for Social
Studies/History, Science, Math and Technical Subjects
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What Does The Document of Writing
Exemplars Contain? (Appendix C)

Grade level samples of student writing of
 Narrative
 Argument
 Informative/Explanatory
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The Common Core Includes: Cognitive Engagement,
Constructivist Learning & 21st Century Skills

Creativity and innovation

Critical thinking and problem solving

Communication and collaboration

Information and media literacy
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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…
1&2 Non-fiction Texts
Authentic Texts
3
Higher Level of Text
Complexity
Paired Passages
4&5 Focus on command of
evidence from text:
rubrics and prompts
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Academic Vocabulary
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
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.
Reading Types Across the Grade Levels
Grades
Literature
Informational
K-2
50%
50%
3-5
50%
50%
6-12
30%
-fiction
-poetry
-drama
-Shakespeare
70%
“substantially more literary
non-fiction”
-essays
-speeches
-opinion pieces
-biographies
-journalism
-historical
-scientific
-contemporary events
-nature
-the arts
-Founding Documents
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Staircase of Complexity
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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.
Increasing Reading Complexity
Grade
Band
Old Lexile
Level
K-1
2-3
4-5
N/A
450-725
645-845
6-8
9-10
860-1010
960-1115
11-CCR
1070-1220
Lexile Aligned
to the CCLS
Expectations
N/A
450-790
770-980
955-1155
1080-1305
1215-1355
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Text-Based Answers
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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
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
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.
The writing focus is shifting at each
level…
Level
Argument
Explain/Inform
Narrative
Elementary
30%
35%
35%
Middle School
35%
35%
30%
High School
40%
40%
20%
These forms are not independent. Informing and arguing rely on using
information or evidence drawn from texts.
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Academic Vocabulary
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
Handout
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
theory
“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.
Example of Grade-Level Progression in Reading
Standard 3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact
over the course of a text.

Grade 3: Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits,
motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions
contribute to the sequence of events.

Grade 7: Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama
interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)
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Grades 11-12: Evaluate various explanations for characters’
actions or for events and determine which explanation best
accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text
leaves matters uncertain.
Text Dependent Questions
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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 Does a Grade Level Standard
Look Like for Writing?
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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.
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
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
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What Does a Grade Level Standard Look Like
for Language?
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
Grade 4
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard
English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when
writing. . . . . . .
c. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a
compound sentence.
Grade 7
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard
English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
a. Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general
and their function in specific sentences. . . . .
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Overview of Writing Strand for Teachers

Students compose arguments and opinions, informative,
explanatory, and narrative texts

Focus on reason and evidence to substantiate an argument or
claim

Students conduct research – short projects and sustained
inquiry

Students incorporate technology as they create, refine, and
collaborate on writing (writing process)

Students explore writing illustrating the criteria required to
meet the standards (See standards’ appendices for writing
samples)
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Text Dependent Multiple Choice Questions
This story is mostly about:
A. Little Red Riding Hood’s journey through
the woods.
B. The pain of losing a grandmother.
C. Everything is not always what it seems.
D. A girl’s fear of wolves.
Text dependent ER questions
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After reading Little Red Riding Hood, present
an argument, based on the text, explaining
why everything is not as it seems.
After reading Little Red Riding Hood, present
an argument that expresses the author’s
purpose and use specific lines from the text to
support your response.
Text dependent questions…
• In a multiple choice questions, the
options and text difficulty define
the rigor.
• In open-ended questions, the rubric
defines the rigor.
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?
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Social Studies Grade 9-10 Determine 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.
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Some Goals . . .
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Review rigor, relevance, coherence of our curricular units
and interventions
Develop instruction that is clear and focused
Celebrate and share what we do well
Revisit areas that need attention
Put in place interim assessments that are standards based,
and focus on literacy, not curriculum content
Address knowledge and skills necessary for college and
careers
Integrate students’ literacy development in all areas
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What We Need to Do . . .
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Understand and unpack the anchor standards
Understand and unpack the grade level standards
Develop and align curriculum with the CCLS
standards in all subjects
Create units that include
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Text based questions that promote close reading
Writing that is inquiry based, using evidence to
support argument
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What Do We Need To Do?
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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.
Building as we go along…
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
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Instead of going a mile wide and an
inch deep…
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Go an inch wide and a mile deep
Data Driven Instruction
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Collect baseline data (student work from the classroom,
more student work, standardized tests, anecdotal
information)
Analyze/Discuss data with students, parents and
colleagues
Determine what skills students need
Determine an action plan to include instruction,
lessons, units, essential questions, projects, etc.
that address the skills necessary to improve
student outcomes
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Three Questions Regarding Data
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How has the student progressed? (valueadded growth)
How is the student doing compared to the
class? (Differentiated Instruction)
How is the class doing with the
curriculum? (Teacher Reflection)
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The Bigger Picture
Literacy tasks across the curriculum
must address application of literacy
standards in History/Social Studies,
Science, Math, and Technical
Subjects in all areas of study.
First, a short video….
Planning Today: Choose one of the
following Activities
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Choose a text from Appendix B, do a close reading and
create text based questions
Create an action plan for your department, or grade level
group, or school to implement the ELA Common Core
Create a plan for developing literacy based interim
assessments
Go to Appendix C, choose a grade level exemplar for
writing an argument. Read the annotation of the piece and
determine how you would create such an assignment in your
classroom
Work on what you need to do in your school to implement
or create understanding around the ELA Common Core
Learning Standards
Contact

Victor Jaccarino


[email protected]
Trish Iannacone

[email protected]
Listening and Reading Comprehension by Age
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