As our teachers work to gradually roll out the implementation of the CCSS in English Language Arts you should begin to notice subtle changes in your child’s classroom. You may start to notice:
Higher levels of Text Complexity: Students need to learn how to tackle more complex texts to be prepared for the texts they will encounter later in their lives. Students also need to be engaged in activities and discussions that allow them to process the text and gain a deeper understanding of authors, text structure, purpose, theme, etc.
Increased Informational Text: The ability to critically read informational texts continues to grow in importance in terms of college and career readiness. Ideally, Elementary students (K-5) will divide time spent on the two forms of text equally: 50% informational, 50% literary. Middle school students (6-8) will begin to focus more time on informational text: 60% informational, 40% literary. High school students (9-12) should spend the majority of their day focused on informational texts, 70% informational, 30% literary.
Writing to Inform: Historically, there has been an overemphasis on narrative writing. With the CCSS the focus of student writing will now be to inform, to argue, and to tell a story.
Research: Gone are the days when students complete one big research project in each grade level. Our goal is to develop confident, independent researchers by asking students to research and report information using various formats throughout the year.
The most important thing you can do to prepare your child to meet the objectives outlined in the CCSS is to read with your child every day. Try to read both fiction and nonfiction and have deep, meaningful discussion with your child about the books you read.