Common Core Learning Standards

6 Shifts in ELA/Literacy

  • Read as much non-fiction as fiction
  • Learn about the world by reading
  • Read more challenging material closely
  • Discuss reading using evidence
  • Write non-fiction using evidence
  • Increase academic vocabulary

6 Shifts in Mathematics

  • Focus: learn more about fewer, key topics
  • Build skills within and across grades
  • Develop speed and accuracy
  • Really know it, really do it
  • Use it in the real world
  • Think fast AND solve problems

ELA/Literacy Shift

ELA/Literacy Shift 1: Read as much non-fiction as fiction

Students must... Parents can...
  • Read more non-fiction
  • Know the ways non-fiction can be put together
  • Enjoy and discuss the details of non-fiction
  • Supply more non-fiction text
  • Read non-fiction text aloud or with your child
  • Have fun with non-fiction in front of them

ELA/Literacy Shift 2: Learn about the world by reading

Students must... Parents can...
  • Get smart in Science and Social Student through reading
  • Handle "primary source" documents
  • Get smarter through texts
  • Supply series of texts on topics of interest
  • Find books that explain
  • Discuss non-fiction texts and the ideas within

The more we read the more we can read!

  • By age 3, children from affluent families have heard 30 million more words than children from parents living in poverty (Hart and Risley, 1995).
  • Children who have larger vocabularies and greater understanding of spoken language do better in school (Whitehurst and Lonigan).
  • If children aren't reading on grade level by third grade, are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma (Hernandez, 2011).

ELA/Literacy Shift 3: Read more complex material carefully

Students must... Parents can...
  • Re-read
  • Read material at comfort level AND work with more challenging stuff
  • Unpack text
  • Handle frustration and keep pushing
  • Provide more challenging texts AND provide texts they WANT to read and can read comfortably
  • Know what is grade level appropriate
  • Read challenging stuff with them
  • Show that challenging stuff is worth unpacking

Support their Reading. Read Challenging Texts Aloud.

Grades Example of Complexity: Nonfiction Example of Complexity: Fiction
K-1 A Tree is a Plan
Read Aloud: Fire, Fire!
Are you My Mother?
Read Aloud: The Owl & the Pussycat
2-3 Martin Luther King and the March on Washington
Read Aloud: What the World Eats
Fire Cat
Read Aloud: Charlotte's Web
4-5 Hurricanes: Earth's Mightiest Storms
The Kids' Guide to Money
Bud not Buddy
The Secret Garden

ELA/Literacy Shift 4: Discuss reading using evidence

Students must... Parents can...
  • Find evidence to support their arguments
  • Form judgments
  • Become scholars
  • Discuss what the author is "up to"
  • Talk about text
  • Demand evidence in every day discussion/disagreements
  • Read aloud or read the same book and discuss with evidence

ELA/Literacy Shift 5: Writing from Sources

Students must... Parents can...
  • Make arguments in writing using evidence
  • Compare multiple texts in writing
  • Write well
  • Encourage writing at home
  • Write "books" together and use evidence/details
  • Look at Appendix A

ELA/Literacy Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary

Students must... Parents can...
  • Learn the words that they can use in college and career
  • Get smarter at using the "language of power"
  • Read often and constantly with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and children
  • Read multiple books about the same topic
  • Let your kids see you reading
  • Talk to your children; Read to your children; Listen to your children; Sing with your children; Make up silly rhymes and word games with your children

Mathematics Shift

Mathematics Shift 1: Focus: Learn more about less

Students must... Parents can...
  • Spend more time on fewer concepts.
  • Know what the priority work is for your child for their grade level
  • Spend time with your child on priority work
  • Ask your child's teacher about their progress on priority work

Mathematics Shift 2: Skills Across Grades

Students must... Parents can...
  • Keep building on learning year after year
  • Be aware of what your child struggled with last year and how that will affect learning this year
  • Advocate for your child and ensure that support is given for "gap" skills—negative numbers, fractions, etc

Mathematics Shift 3: Speed and Accuracy

Students must... Parents can...
  • Spend time practicing — lots of problems on the same idea
  • Push children to know/memorize basic math facts
  • Know all of the fluencies your child should have and prioritize learning of the ones they don't

Key Fluencies

Grades Required Fluency
K Add/subtract within 5
1 Add/subtract within 10
2 Add/subtract within 20
Add/subtract within 100 (pencil and paper)
3 Multiply/divide within 100
Add/subtract within 100
4 Add/subtract within 1,000,000
5 Multi-digit multiplication

Mathematics Shift 4: Know it/Do it!

Students must... Parents can...
  • UNDERSTAND why the math works. MAKE the math work.
  • TALK about why the math works
  • PROVE that they know why and how the math works
  • Notice whether your child REALLY knows why the answer is what it is
  • Advocate for the TIME your child needs to learn key math
  • Provide TIME for your child to work hard with math at home
  • Get smarter in the math your child needs to know

Mathematics Shift 5: Real World

Students must... Parents can...
  • Apply math in real world situations
  • Know which math to use for which situation
  • Ask your child to DO the math that comes up in your daily life

Mathematics Shift 6: Think Fast/Solve Problems

Students must... Parents can...
  • Be able to use core math facts FAST


  • Be able to apply math in the real
  • Notice which side of this coin your child is smart at and where he/she needs to get smarter
  • Make sure your child is PRACTICING the math facts he/she struggles with
  • Make sure your child is thinking about Math in real life