{12 Days: Tool 3} Common Core Cheat Sheet

12 Days - Tool 3

Tool 3: Cheat Sheet for the Common Core ELA & Literacy Standards

The Common Core standards (CCSS) are getting a lot of attention these days. In preparation for implementing the standards, educators are attending workshops, webinars, reading, mapping, and discussing what implementation will look like and the challenges that go with it.

Common Core: Resources

To support educators in moving toward the Common Core, Learning Unlimited developed a Common Core page on our website which includes several resources and tools including the popular Common Core Toolkit. Additionally, I recently offered 2 free webinars devoted to the Common Core ELA & Literacy standards. Both were well attended by educators across the country. The “QuickLinks” on our Common Core page will connect you to some of the best Common Core resources on the web. This month, ASCD devoted their entire journal to the Common Core. ASCD also publishes a Common Core Newsletter which I have found quite informative.

Common Core: Shifts in Emphasis 

The Common Core standards are markedly more difficult than past standards and are designed so that students will be college and career ready. The ELA & Literacy standards include 4 domains — reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. In addition, students will be expected to read more challenging text and there is an increased emphasis on informational text. The emphasis is on stretching students to meet the demands of reading more difficult text. While the standards don’t tell teachers how to teach, they do describe what students should know and be able to do in the 21st century. Cheat Sheet

The Common Core makes it clear, with an increased emphasis on nonfiction and informational text, that every teacher is responsible for teaching reading within their content area. Literacy Standards are expected to be taught within Science, History/Social Studies, & Technical subjects.

Common Core: Staying on Track

In order to stay on track, district and school leaders should be certain that teachers become familiar with standards now and compare them to current state E/LA standards. The CCSS are more rigorous, but there may be less of them. In addition, the CCSS have very strong progressions and an organization that requires attention.

Additionally, teachers may need to become more familiar with teaching nonfiction and informational text. For example, teachers may need professional development specific to instructional strategies around reading and comprehending informational text.

Common Core ELA Cheat Sheet

Today’s tool, the “Common Core Cheat Sheet” for the ELA & Literacy standards (see image), is our way of helping you become more familiar with the Common Core ELA & Literacy standards. It’s a handy resource for teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators. The Common Core Cheat Sheet is one of 4 resources in our Common Core Toolkit. Since launching the toolkit 3 weeks ago, and it has been downloaded over 500 times. So, if you find today’s tool useful, you will want to download the entire set of resources in the Common Core Toolkit.

Download today’s tools by clicking the tag below. I hope you find the “Common Core Cheat Sheet” a useful reference tool as you become more familiar with the CCSS ELA and Literacy standards.

Check back on Monday for {12 Days: 12 Tools} Tool 4.

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Check out Learning Unlimited’s Common Core Toolkit here.


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Kimberly has been a teacher, administrator, and literacy consultant who worked in districts across the country to improve student literacy achievement. She currently serves as an Educational Specialist with Solution Tree and project manager for large-scale PLC implementations. Her new book, Blended Vocabulary: Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools and Effective Instruction, was recently released in February, 2017.