Overview of Common Core Standards: Literacy (and literacy for all)

A webinar that marks the release of four professional development modules designed to support district and school leadership in their transition to the Common Core: The modules are designed to be incorporated into summer professional development sessions or during back to school planning. Sandra Alberti, Director of State/District Partnerships and Professional Development for Student Achievement Partners, will introduce the modules and talk about how to incorporate them into your professional development plans. The four modules cover the following topics: the Common Core Shifts in Math, the Common Core Shifts in ELA/Literacy, Creating Text Dependent Questions in ELA/Literacy, and Instructional Leadership in the context of the Common Core.

PTA's Guide:
The Parents’ Guide to Student Success ( in English and Spanish) was developed in response to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. Created by teachers, parents, education experts, and others from across the country, the standards provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career.

ASCD webinar
This introductory webinar by Sandra Alberti discusses the shifts in instruction and curriculum that are inherent in the Common Core.

David Coleman and overview
David Coleman explains how the literacy standards are for all content areas.

Resources for Math

Teaching Channel: Common Core and Math
Background of math standards
EngageNY: Math Toolkit
Coherence in Math
Pictures of CCS in action

Shift 1: Balance of Information and Literary Texts

In middle and high school, the ratio should be 75% non-fiction and 25% fiction. Please know that refers to all content areas, not just the English/language arts classroom.
David Coleman, the man in charge of the Common Core, talks about this shift: Balance
Rationale for this shift for the English language arts teacher: Literary Nonfiction

Shift 2: Building knowledge in the disciplines

The key point for this shift is that the text needs to be prominent in the classroom. Instead of the classroom teacher delivering through a lecture the majority of the content, students should be engaged in text in order to build their content knowledge.

This 8 minute video provides an overview of this shift: EngageNY: Shift 2

Shift 3: Staircase of Complexity

Think about students reading increasingly difficult text through the grades and how each grade "requires a 'step' of growth on the 'staircase.'" (From Common Core State Standards Delaware: A Guide to the Shits in the ELA Common Core State Standards)

This video provides an overview of this shift: Complexity of text shift

Shift 4: Text-based questions

CCS text based questions and evidenceCommon Core Standards encourage teachers to ask text-based questions. Watch this video to see what this looks like:CCS text-based questions and answers

Guide to Developing Text Based Questions
Common Core doesn't mandate close reading, but it certainly is implied. Here are a few videos about close reading: Doug Fisher Part I
Doug Fisher II

And here's an article that accompanies this video:

David Coleman shows how to develop a lesson in close reading in King's letter. Letter from Birminghaml Jail

Shift 5: Writing from sources

This 12 minute video provides insights into this shift: Shift: Writing about Sources

Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary

Check out this 6 minute video about this shift: Shift 6: Academic Language
Don't forget the resources on this wiki for vocabulary.Literacy TCS Vocabulary

Challenging text and textbooks:

Common Core, Literacy and Social Studies

Column with comments and ideas