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Common Core ELA: Anchor Standards and Indicators Explained

Common Core ELA: Anchor Standards and Indicators Explained


In this lesson you develop a basic understanding of the structure of the Common Core ELA Anchor Standards, the Indicators and the Literacy Standards for History, Science, and Technical Subjects

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Common Core ELA: Anchor Standards and Indictators Explained

Source: Writing, Pixabay,; Bubbles, Pixabay,; Ear, Morguefile,; Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Clker,

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Hello everyone, and welcome. My name is Gino Sangiuliano. The topic of today's lesson is Common Core English Language Arts, the anchor standards and indicators. Let's get started. Within the Common Core, there are anchor standards for reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. The main thrust for reading is text complexity. In writing, the focus is on response to reading and research.

Communication and collaboration fall under the category of speaking and listening, and the focus for language is conventions and vocabulary. Let's take a closer look at what a K-5 literacy standard looks like. You start by following the anchor by grade level, and then it's broken down into strands. Each strand is broken down to 10 indicators. Each indicator explains what a student should be able to do at the end of that grade.

So for example, grade one reading informational text. Indicator RI.1.1 is ask and answer questions about key details in a text. The R stands for reading, the I for information, the first one is the grade level, in this case grade one, and the second is the indicator, this is also number one.

Let's take an even closer look at reading. It's broken down to literature, key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration of knowledge and ideas, and range of complexity. For informational text, they're referring to key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration of knowledge and ideas, range and complexity.

And the foundational skills are for print knowledge, phonological knowledge, phonics and word recognition, and fluency. A closer look at writing shows us that in writing they're referring to text types, argumentative, informational, explanatory, narrative, creative, and purposes, production and distribution of writing, and research to build and present knowledge.

For K-5 language, conventions of standard English, vocabulary, acquisition, and use. And the grade five speaking and listening refer to comprehension and collaboration, presentation of knowledge and ideas. The literacy standards in grades six through 12 contain all of those previously mentioned in K-5, except for the foundational skills.

However, literacy standards for history, science, and the technical subjects are also included. An important note is that the standards are by grade level until grade nine, and then they are written as grade spans, nine through 10, and 11 through 12.

Therefore, the literacy standards in grades six through 12 include reading, writing, language, speaking and listening, and literacy standards for reading and writing in history, science, and technical subjects. As for those literacy standards for history, science, and technical subjects, it's important to note that they begin in grade six and that these are not history or science standards.

They delineate how to best approach teaching critical reading and writing in the histories and sciences, however. Let's go ahead and summarize today's lesson.

We began by going over the structure of the Common Core ELA anchor standards. We looked at the K-5 literacy standards as well as the grades six through 12 literacy standards. And we also looked at how the history and science and technical subjects standards are a little different.

Here's today's food for thought. Have a conversation about the progression of standards with a colleague who teaches a different grade level than you. What similarities and differences do you notice?

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. Here you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply the course material. Thanks for watching. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Common Core ELA: Anchor Standards and Indictators Explained"

(00:00-00:13) Intro

(00:14-00:40) ELA Anchor Standards

(00:41-02:24) K-5 Literacy Standards

(02:25-03:19) 6-12 Literacy Standards

(03:20-03:39) Summary

(03:40-04:08) Food For Thought

Additional Resources


LearnZillion is a terrific portal of online lessons aligned to the ELA and Math CCSS by grade level. Teachers can create playlists and track data within this free resource. The resource also includes handouts and communication components for parents. In addition, teachers can use the tool to play video instruction for their whole class as a mini lesson or include these videos as a component of a flipped lesson.

Common Core English Language Arts

The official web site for the Common Core ELA and Math Standards. This web site is an easy to navigate portal including the ELA anchor standards; standards by grade; Literacy Standards for History and Social Studies; and Literacy Standards for Science and the technical areas. In addition to the complete set of standards, this site included the appendices to the standards which include student work samples, suggested texts, implementation guidance, and instructional strategies.

ELA Progressions

A terrific resource from the North Carolina State Department that provides a visual of the Common Core ELA Standards in progression format. This allows teachers to determine what students should enter their classes knowing and being able to do, what they need to learn during the year, and what they will be working on in the next year. Teachers can use this tool to plan differentiated lessons and to determine where students fall on the continuum of the standards.

Achieve the Core Featured Lessons

Close reading is one of the important instructional strategies encouraged by the CCSS. Close reading lessons require significant planning to develop. Achieve the Core offers sample lessons on Close Reading aligned to Common Core State Standards that teachers can use in their own classroom or as models as they develop their own close reading lessons.

EQuIP Quality Review Process

This Equip Rubric is for the review of math lessons and units aligned to the CCSS math standards. Currently there are many resources available with a CCSS sticker attached, yet very few of these resources are actually aligned. As an educator it can be difficult to know if a resource is aligned. The Equip rubric provides an easy to use rubric for educators to use in selecting and developing resources and lessons aligned to the CCSS.

Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products (EQuIP)

This is a video on how to use the Equip Rubric resource. Scroll to the bottom of page and click on tab labeled "Equip Training Materials."