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The Common Core Standards - What About Them?

 I'm becoming more and more familiar with the Common Core State Standards.  I've read them over a lot this summer, particularly the second grade standards.

Today I went to a district workshop on the Reading CCSS. Our task today was to look at our reading series (Reading Street) and figure out which lessons aligned with the CCSS.  We had supplement sheets the publisher sent us, and found, for the most part, they were accurate, but not always.  As the year goes by, all the teachers will take notes as they teach the lessons and decide what needs to be changed or adjusted so that all the standards are met.

In tomorrow's workshop, we will go into more depth on the Writing CCSS, and on Wednesday we'll address the Math Standards.

I find it helps me to organize these standards in my head.  This is what I've focused on:

There are 6 strands to the English/ Language Arts Standards (ELA) Standards

  1. Reading: Literature- This includes 10 standards for comprehending fiction literature.  They fall under the anchor standards of  Key Ideas and Details, Craft and StructureIntegration of Knowledge and Ideas  and Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity.
  2. Reading:  Informational Text-  This includes 10 standards for comprehending non-fiction text. As in the Literature section, these standards include these anchor standards: Key Ideas and DetailsCraft and StructureIntegration of Knowledge and Ideas  and Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity.
  3. Reading:  Foundational Skills- This has 4 anchor standards:  Print Concepts (none for second grade), Phonological Awareness (none for second grade) , Phonics and Word Recognition, and Fluency.  As we were going through our reading program today, we found this section to be very "busy", even though there are no standards on print concepts or phonological awareness.  I think a reading program heavy in phonics, word recognition, and fluency to be very appropriate for the primary grades.  Without the ability to figure out the words, they won't be able to read fluently.  Without fluency, there is no comprehension.  
  4. Writing- There are 4 anchor standards in this area:  Text Types and Purposes, Production and Distribution of Writing, Research to Build and Present Knowledge, and Range of Writing.  There are no standards in the Range of Writing area until 3rd grade.
  5. Speaking and Listening- These have 2 anchor standards:  Comprehension and Collaboration and Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas.  In our work today, we realized that so much of what we do as far as building community at the beginning of the school year fall into the "collaboration" standards.  Whew!
  6. Language- The 3 anchor standards are Conventions of Standard English, Knowledge of Language, and Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Whew!  Just getting all those thoughts organized was exhausting!  But it helped me, I hope it helps you!

I have a few games I've been working on, that are related to the Foundational Skills, in particular, the phonics standard.  I've been having fun connecting them to sports.  So far I have Par 3- Short Vowel Sounds (golf theme)

Hat Trick - Long Vowel Sounds (hockey theme)
and Touchdown- r controlled vowels (football theme).  I'll be making more of these games. They're great for practicing these skills during reading group (each set has 9 game boards) and during Word Work or Centers time.  I'll definitely be making more games along this format, and I'm open for suggestions on skills as well as sports!

Speaking of Word Work and Centers time, I've also reorganized and revamped my recording sheets for reading and writing conferences.  I've packaged up everything in my Literacy Center Recording
Sheets.  Since reading the Daily 5, I realized I needed more sheets for all of the 5 steps of the Daily 5.  These will help you and record steps that lead to the Common Core State Standards in English/ Language Arts! 

Be sure to put these on your wish list at Teachers Pay Teachers!  They'll be a great help at the beginning of the school year!

You might also be interested in this post:  Common Core Standards and Some Resources.


  1. Dear Sally,

    WOW! I love this post! Super job breaking down the common core into an easy-to-understand and reader-friendly format… not an easy task… so many little ‘bits and pieces’ of each that it’s easy to get lost in them all, especially when taking in the progression from one grade level to the next.

    I normally only ‘read’ here, as opposed to posting, but I wanted to respond, given the topic. I am a new follower of your blog, and was so pleased to read about your training on the Common Core. I’ve tried very hard to incorporate as much of it as possible into my conference speaking over the past year, as it is the direction most all states are moving toward.

    To this end, I had promised to create, and since uploaded, FREE illustrated classroom poster sets for all of the Literacy Standards for each of the primary grade levels- K, 1st, & 2nd (2nd is coming out tomorrow). I thought I would share info on these here in case you or any of your followers would like to use them. Each standard and objective is depicted through child-friendly illustrations, making them much easier to understand and apply. They are completely FREE and just ADORABLE! (if I do say so myself, LOL!)

    Anyway, I do hope it’s ok that I share the info here, as I had initially only uploaded them onto the SECRET STORIES website, but decided to make them available on the Teachers Pay Teachers website, as well, so that more teachers could find them and be able to use them for the coming school year. I’m also working on the coordinating Math sets for each level, and hope to add other content areas as they are released. Just type my name (Katie Garner) into the search bar on the Teachers Pay Teachers and you will find them. K and 1st are there now, and 2nd will be up sometime tomorrow.

    Anyway, thank you so much again for all of the great information and insight you provide both here, and through your Pinterest Boards, and I look forward to reading more about your common core training in days to come!

    Warmest Regards, and I hope you enjoy the posters,
    Katie Garner

  2. Hi Sally,
    Just ran across your blog in an effort to better understand how to SUCCESSFULLY address all the 2nd grade teachers in my district! Can I ask you what you discovered (specifically) about the Reading Street series and Common Core? I know a lot of our teachers will be asking this very question and I'm not sure I'll be able to answer it!

  3. Can you tell us the copyright date of your Reading Street Series?


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