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Common Core Resources for Parents

Please find below important links to the new Common Core Standards.  They will be helpful in understanding the new learning standards and the new assessments.  Parents are encouraged to preview the sample assessment material.

“I can…” learning targets for each grade. 

An easy way to look at the Common Core Learning expectations for ELA for each grade.


Common Core Standards


Common Core Sample Assessment Questions

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 3 English Language Arts

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 4 English Language Arts

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 5 English Language Arts

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 6 English Language Arts

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 3 Mathematics

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 4 Mathematics

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 5 Mathematics

Common Core Sample Questions - Grade 6 Mathematics

Common Core Assessment Information

When will the English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments Change?

Beginning with the 2012-13 administration, the assessments in Grades 3 - 8 English Language Arts and Mathematics will measure the CCLS. Similarly, some ELA and Mathematics Regents Exams will be aligned to the CCLS beginning in the 2013-14 school year, and the rest will follow suit in the 2014-15 school year.  While content will differ from that of past exams, students should still expect to see a combination of multiple-choice and constructed-response items.

Instructional Shifts and how they will be reflected in the ELA and Mathematics Assessments

The CCLS for ELA and Mathematics will require significant changes in instruction.  There are 12 instructional shifts that the CCLS requires to ensure that curriculum materials and classroom instruction are truly aligned to the standards.

  • In ELA, these shifts will be characterized by an intense focus on complex, grade-appropriate non-fiction and fiction texts that require the application of academic vocabulary and other key college and career readiness skills. 
  • In mathematics, the CCLS require that educators focus their instruction on fewer, more central standards, thereby providing room to build core understandings and linkages between mathematical concepts and skills. 

Educators should focus their instruction around the standards and six key shifts in both ELA and mathematics. Ultimately, each of the six shifts in both subjects will be evident in the new assessments.  The following are the ways that instructors can expect the new ELA and mathematics assessments will differ from past assessments through the lens of the six shifts.  


Common Core Shifts in ELA Assessments

Shift 1: Pre-K-5, Balancing Informational & Literary Texts

Passages will be authentic, and will be balanced between informational and literary texts.

Shift 2: 6-12, Knowledge in the Disciplines

Assessments will contain knowledge-based questions about the informational text; students will not need outside knowledge to respond.

Shift 3: Staircase of Complexity

Passage selection will be based on text complexity that is appropriate to grade level per Common Core.

Shift 4: Text-based Answers
Shift 5: Writing from Sources

Questions will require students to marshal evidence from the text, including from paired passages.

Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary

Students will be tested directly on the meaning of pivotal, common terms, the definition of which can be discerned from the text. Academic vocabulary will also be tested indirectly through general comprehension of the text.


Common Core Shifts in Mathematics Assessments

Shift 1: Focus

Priority standards will be the focus of the assessments. Other standards will be deemphasized.

Shift 2: Coherence

Assessments will reflect the progression of content and concepts as depicted in the standards across grade levels.

Shift 3: Fluency

It will be assumed that students possess the required fluencies as articulated through grade 8; as such, students will not be allowed to use calculators in grades 3-5. Students will be allowed to use four-function calculators with a square root key or scientific calculators in grade 6 and scientific calculators in grades 7-8.

Shift 4: Deep Understanding

Each standard will be assessed from multiple perspectives, while not veering from the primary target of measurement for the standard.

Shift 5: Application
Shift 6: Dual Intensity

Students will be expected to know grade-level mathematical content with fluency and to know which mathematical concepts to employ to solve real-world mathematics problems.


Additional Resources for Parents

Common Core State Standards Resource Links for Parents