Common Core “Shifts”

EngageNY, a collaborative platform for educators, has created excellent resources that succinctly describe the “shifts” required with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  These shifts will be very familiar to those who have attended one of our Common Core trainings or who are in the process of becoming Black Belts, facilitated by Kevin Baird of the Common Core Institute.  These resources should be required reading for all educators tasked with implementing the Common Core.  I’ve summarized the shifts here:

Shifts in ELA

  1. balance of informational and literary texts
  2. emphasis on literacy across domains, with students learning from the text rather than referring to it
  3. scaffolding to support a staircase of text complexity
  4. commitment to text-based answers, students’ discussions stay connected to text, pulling evidence from the text
  5. writing to inform and persuade based on evidence
  6. focus on academic vocabulary in grade level complex texts

Shifts in Mathematics

  1. narrow the scope but deepen the understanding
  2. spiral learning so that “each standard is not a new event, but an extension of previous learning”
  3. fluency of math facts
  4. focus on building deep understanding so that students transfer concepts to new situations
  5. application of math in real-world contexts
  6. balance between practicing and understanding, creating a dual intensity in the math classroom
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