• Key Shifts of the Standards: ELA/Literacy

    The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts/Literacy describe the expertise students will develop in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. Students will use and strengthen these skills in other subjects, such as Social Studies, Science and Technical subjects.
    1) Regular practice with complex texts and their academic language 
    Rather than focusing solely on the skills of reading and writing, the ELA/Literacy standards highlight the growing complexity of the texts students must read to be ready for the demands of college, career, and life.  Closely related to text complexity and inextricably connected to reading comprehension is a focus on academic vocabulary: words that appear in a variety of content areas (such as ignite and commit).
    2) Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational
    The Common Core emphasizes using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Rather than asking students questions they can answer solely from their prior knowledge and experience, the standards call for students to answer questions that deend on their having read the texts with care.
    3) Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction
    Students must be immersed in information about the world around them if they are to develop the strong general knowledge and vocabulary they need to become successful readers and be prepared for college, career, and life. Informational texts play an important part in building students’ content knowledge. Further, it is vital for students to have extensive opportunities to build knowledge through texts so they can learn independently.
    Resources for parents at each grade level

    Parent Roadmaps: Supporting Your Child in English Language Arts  (The Council of Great City Schools)


    Parents' Guide to Student Success​
    (National PTA)


Additional Resources

  • Great Kids!

    This organization provides parents with concrete tips and ideas for improving student learning by grade and subject area. Of note, they have a helpful library of videos that show grade-by-grade reading, math, and writing skills in action.

    The State of Washington has developed "Your Child's Progress" to help parents understand learning standards in all subjects from First grade through High School for the 2014-15 school year.  There is also detailed information, by grade level, about the schedule for State assessment windows.   Materials are available online and in print for English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Tagalog and Vietnamese. 

    This organization is where the state-led effort to develop common standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts all started.  The complete standards are available to read and download here.  This site also has a strong FAQ and an informative "Myths vs. Facts" section.
    Ready WA Coalition
    Ready Washington is a coalition of Washington state education agencies, associations and advocacy organizations that has created Common Core education materials tailored to parents and interested citizens who want to learn more about the history and rationale behind the state-led Common Core standards.  The Frequently Asked Questions section is very informative and there's also a link to a practice Smarter Balanced assessment.
    This organization of urban public school districts has created an extensive website on the Common Core State Standards. Their Parent Roadmaps provide specific information on what students will learn at grades Kindergarten through High School and how parents can help student learn outside of school.  Materials are available in English and Spanish.
    The National Parent Teacher Association created Parents' Guides to Student Success.  These guides provide an overview of what your child will learn by the end of each grade in mathematics and English language arts/literacy, activities that parents can do at home and methods for building stronger relationships with your child's teacher.