Online College Courses for Credit

2 Tutorials that teach Overview of Content Standards
Take your pick:
Overview of Content Standards

Overview of Content Standards

Author: Kathleen Johnson

This lesson provides students with the ability to locate and utilize content standards in objectives and I can statements

See More

Like what you're learning?

Standards-Based Digital Instruction

Take the whole course from Capella University FOR FREE


Source: Digital Access Key Image; Morgue File;

Video Transcription

Download PDF

Today, we are going to look at an overview of the content standards. For today's lesson, I have chosen a quote by Michael Jordan, which says "You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself." by the end of the lesson today, you will be able to locate and select the subject and grade specific standards aligned to units or lessons, develop aligned objectives and I can statements from those standards, and examine the benefits and potential weaknesses of some of those standards.

So first, let's go ahead and look at a little overview of the content standards. What standards are can be defined as the knowledge or skills that students are expected to master. The purpose of these content standards is to guide the teacher when planning instruction. Also, they should be used to help build those objectives and I can statements.

So for example, let's take a look at one of the science standards. It states, "All cells contain genetic information, in the form of DNA molecules. Genes are regions in the DNA that contain the instructions that code for the formation of proteins, which carry out most of the work of cells."

Now, let's take a look how we can develop an objective from that specific standard. So this is the objective I wrote from that. So what the objective is doing with that standard is saying, I see the information there. I'm now going to show you, through this objective, how my students are going to get at that information. Then, we take that objective, and we develop an I can statement. This I can statement is really much more for the students. Why it's written in the I can system, so that a student can literally speak it out loud, and it's like they are telling themselves I can do this, or I will be able to do this.

So the I can statement from that is, I can construct an explanation, based on evidence, for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems and specialized cells.

So what you can see there is, we've taken the initial standard information that we need to address. We have created our objective for the lesson, what's going to be done. And then we've created the I can statement, where the student can positively exert what they will be able to do by the end of the lesson.

So let's take a look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of content standards. First of all, there is a real benefit in that everyone learns the same essential information. I will say that this is much more in theory than always in practice. But it's really important, if we want to be a country that puts forward some of the best educational minds and academic minds, that we want to be on the forefront of that essential information being covered by all of the students across the country.

Some of the weaknesses, however, are that standards then become watered down, because we need to make sure that it's appropriate for all students across the country. What that can do is, it can lead to a problem that we see in education a lot, where we want to hit the middle ground. And so sometimes, we leave a few of those students behind on the lower end, because they're trying to catch up and can't quite get there. And we forget about some of our students on a little bit of the higher end, because we don't quite have time to give them that specialized treatment.

Specifically, when we look at the Common Core state standards, which we're going to investigate the math ones and the language art common core in just a moment, we really find a lot of these problems coming in, where potentially, there are certain states getting involved with development instead of others, or where we see, perhaps, certain textbook companies helping to maintain some information and not others. We see kind of that idea of the watering down.

So now let's take a look at how you can find those standards. If you're looking for the common core math standards, the best place to go is Let's take a look at what that website looks like. When you type in, you're going to comes with the common core state standards initiative main website that then focuses in on the math standards right here.

You've noticed, we've clicked on Read the Standards. And this is where we can really go through all of the information. We get a little background information, as you can see here, as well as, broken down, grade by grade, and within high school, the major elements that we're going to focus on. You can also look at those standards by domain over here. And then they have a video that can kind of show us a little bit more information about that.

If you're looking for the common core English language arts standards. You're going to go to that same main website, But this time, you're going to focus in on ELA hyphen literacy. Let's take a look at what that website looks like.

Again, you'll notice that this website has the exact same appearance. Only this time, we're focusing in on English language arts standards. And again, we get our background information, as well as the standards broken down by various areas in kindergarten through grade 12, as well as the literacy in history, social science and techniques elements, and then various appendices and videos, helping to teach us a little bit more about those standards.

If you're looking for the Next Generation Science Standards, you're going to focus in on Let's take a look at that website. And you can actually click right here to see the Next Generation Science Standards. Now, you can look. We've got a little bit of an overview, as well as the various structures and elements here, and some really helpful videos that can help connect us to that information.

If you're looking for the historical thinking standards, you're going to have a bit more to put in, because these were developed at UCLA. So you're going to look at Let's take a look. Here, you notice, we're looking at the National Center for History in the Schools. That's where the NCHS comes from. And then it's within the UCLAS department of history. So what we've got right here our introduction to standards in historical thinking. You can go through and take a look at a lot of the background information, as well as engage in those five major areas of historical thinking, and why those exist. When you want to look at the specific standards, you can click right up here, and then go through each of the areas in order to focus in on the one that most applies to the standard you're looking for.

Finally, we have the world language standards. Those are found at And I've found the quickest way to get there is /node/92. After you've entered that in, you'll notice that you're taken right to the national standards for foreign language education. These are found through the American council on the teaching of foreign languages. And you'll notice here, again, we get that background information. We start to look at why they're ordered the way they are, the philosophy. And then finally, we get into the various standards. It's important to note that other areas have standards as well, and that some states and districts have additional or different standards than those that are illustrated here

Now what I would like to do is really focused in on the major differences between the common core language arts literacy standards, history standards, and science standards. There's a common misconception that the common core standards exist for both history and science. And that's not true. However, the common core does have those literacy standards, in terms of what students can read, and all those elements of literacy, for history and science courses. Those focus in on literacy specifically. And they begin for history and science at the secondary level. So what those focus in on are their informational reading, writing, speaking listening, and research that students are doing, as well as their college and career readiness within those specific content areas.

Now that we've reached the end of the lesson, you are able to locate and select subject and grade specific standards aligned to units or lessons. You're able to develop aligned objectives and I can statements from those standards you've located. And you're able to really examine the benefits and weaknesses to those different standards.

Now that you've learned all about how to locate and select subject and grade specific standards and develop them into aligned objectives and I can statements, I want you to think just a little bit about what the first step would be in beginning to implement this into your classroom.

As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you might want to explore the Additional Resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to really help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skillset.

That's all we have for right now. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

Notes on "Overview of Content Standards"

(00:00-00:11) Intro

(00:12-00:32) Objectives

(00:33-01:00) Content Standards Overview

(01:01-02:45) Creating Objectives & I Can Statements

(02:46-04:27) Strengths & Weaknesses

(04:28-08:16) Finding the Standards

(08:17-09:10) Major Differences from Traditional Ed

(09:11-09:32) Review

(09:33-10:19) Reflection

Additional Resources

Common Core State Standards Initiative

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; Literacy Standards for Science and the technical areas; Math practice standards; and math standards by grade. In addition to the complete set of standards, this site includes the appendices to the standards which include student work samples, suggested texts, implementation guidance, and instructional strategies. 

Common Core State Standards: Implementation Tools and Resources

This site provides resources on Teaching with the Common Core State Standards which is great implementation tool for teachers who are integrating Common Core Standards into their lessons and instruction.