Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were adopted by Connecticut on July 7, 2010 (Board_adopts_standards_7-7-10.pdf), Connecticut school districts are in the process of revising their curriculum guides to align with the CCSS.

CCSS Web Site and CT State Department of Education Info on CCSS:

Click on the links below to go to Web pages with resources about the CCSS:

Common Core State Standards Resources

Click on the links below for resources to help teachers implement the CCSS:

As we move to design lessons around the common core state standards for English Language Arts, our hope is that the following resources will assist your work as a teaching professional. It is essential that you use this resource as a foundation. We encourage you to seek professional learning opportunities beyond the resources presented here in order to meet your individual needs within the scope of your teaching experience and knowledge of the CCSS. Just like our students, we are all still learning each and every day and it is our professional responsibility to prepare ourselves to deliver the very best we can to our students by committing to a thorough study of the CCSS. As you learn something new, please share it on this wiki space. It was once said that "all of us our smarter than one of us". Let's make it our mission to learn from one another and foster a team-based approach to increasing our own depth of knowledge around the CCSS.

For Stanton Teachers, our aim is to develop this resource as a means towards setting you on your way to creating and delivering rigorous learning oppportunities that lead students to mastery of the standards and eventually college and career readiness by:
  • continuing to enhance and deepen your knowledge about the standards themselves with fidelity;
  • leveraging the proven research-based practices taught to you during professional development provided via a multitude of sources at Stanton Network School
  • adhering to the use of common lesson plans
  • and, strengthening your commitment to work collaboratively with colleagues to develop a common vision for our students.

Building Background

Click on the following link to familiarize yourself with the thinking behind the development of common core standards. This link provides a video series to explain multiple aspects of the common core. Start here to to build your own basic background knowledge.

Professional Reading --- CCSS

In 2012 Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth and Christopher Lehman published a book, Pathways to the Common Core – Accelerating Achievement. All three authors are currently connected or were connected with Teachers College (Columbia University). We recommend that you read this book to develop your knowledge on the common core state standards. We assure you that it will be an essential resource within your professional library. Download the following WORD document to read chapter summaries and begin your journey into building knowledge around the common core.

Text Complexity

One of the key requirements of the Common Core State Standards for Reading is that all students must be able to comprehend texts of steadily increasing complexity as they progress through school. As set for by the standards, students must be able to read and comprehend independently and proficiently the kinds of complex texts commonly found in college and careers. This is why the focus on non-fiction text is essential.

There are three measures of text complexity: qualitative, quantitative and reader and task. Download the following document presented and discussed by Karin Hess to understand more about the measures of text complexity.

All students, including those who are behind, must have extensive opportunities to encounter and comprehend grade-level complex text as required by the standards. Curriculum materials must provide extensive opportunities for all students to engage with complex text as a member of a class. There will be students whose reading ability is developing at a slower rate. These students will need supplementary opportunities to read text they can comprehend successfully without extensive supports. Utilize guided reading strategies to understand the needs of individual students so that as a teacher you are able accurately match readers to text, while simultaneously providing the support and encouragement needed to instill a love of reading in all students. As it pertains to the CCSS, remember that a significant percentage of tasks and questions are text dependent.
A valuable resource for you to consider reading to enhance your knowledge of text complexity is titled, Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Readingby Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Diane Lapp.