The New York State Education Department has adopted Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and Mathematics for Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12. These standards will define curriculum and instruction. They will also be the basis of the state assessments beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. The Common Core Standards have been adopted by most states across the nation.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS?
The Common Core Learning Standards are broad statements of outcomes that provide a consistent and clear understanding of what students are expected to learn so that teachers and parents can help them.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY CHILD?
Public school districts are changing what they teach and how they teach to align with these standards (so there is a common understanding of what students are expected to learn). Ultimately, the goal is to prepare your child to enter the college of his/her choice or to enter the workforce and be productive citizens in our democratic society.
WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?
The Common Core State Standards initiativewas led by theNationalGovernorsAssociation for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers – this is a national body of all Commissioners of Education.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MY CHILD WITH ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND LITERACY?
There are six changes in English language arts and literacy that can help you.
1. Children should read stories and informational text in grades P-K through 5. The shift is to have readers devote the same amount of time to story reading and informational text reading. Some examples of informational texts are newspapers, magazines, technical manuals, science, social studies, and other content texts books. Read different types of books and texts (e.g. magazines, technical manuals, biographies) to and with your child. Read newspapers to and with your child.
2. Children should have a deep knowledge of academic content areas: Science, Social Studies, Arts, etc. and learn from a variety of texts. Read science and social studies books with your child. Look for books that interest your child.
3. Children should read text that becomes more complex as they advance through the grades. Read books that become harder for your children as they progress through the PreK-12 grades. Ask your child’s teacher for grade level appropriate texts, visit your local library and see links on appropriate reading lists.
4. Children should be able to answer questions based on the texts they read. Ask your child to find answers to questions in the text. Ask your child to write about a book he or she has read. Ask your child to take a position from a character’s perspective.
5. Children should learn to write from sources they read. Children should write argumentative essays in addition to narratives. Have your child write essays using details to support the position taken based on texts they read.
6. Children should learn academic vocabulary in the content areas and apply vocabulary words correctly. Practice increases a child’s comfort with academic words – school language. Provide opportunities for your child to explain new words and use them in a sentence. Look for ways to practice school vocabulary with your child at home. Examples of school language include such words as trace, analyze, infer, summarize, contrast, and predict. Ask your child’s teacher what academic words will be covered in your child’s grade level.
Please check out these videos for Parents and Families about the Common Core assessments: