Literacy Assistance Center: Common Core Shifts for Literacy Instruction

National Standards

The Common Core educational standards were designed to help teachers ensure that their students have the skills and knowledge they need for success in post secondary education and career after graduation by providing goals for student learning from K-12.  

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) determine what students should know before they graduate high school for every aspect of ELA. All K-12 grade level standards are aligned with these ultimate objectives.  There are Anchor Standards for each subject and specific grade level standards follow:

    • Reading Standards for Literature, Informational Texts, and Foundational Skills 
    • Writing Standards
    • Speaking and Listening Standards
    • Language Standards
    • Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, & Technical Subjects
    • Appendices A, B, and C

If you own a smartphone or tablet, one helpful tech tool is this free Common Core Standards app that will allow you to "[q]uickly find standards by subject, grade, and subject category (domain/cluster). This app includes Math standards K-12 and Language Arts standards K-12. Math standards include both traditional and integrated pathways (as outlined in Appendix A of the common core) and synthesizes Language Arts standards with the Corresponding College and Career Readiness Standards (CCR's)."


New York State's Common Core Learning Standards

In 2010 New York adopted what they call the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). New York has created a site to support CC alignment for the K-12 system called Engage NY.  The website provides access to free: 
  • CC Curriculum and Assessments (Click on this hyperlink to find examples of free ELA modules, units, and lesson plans that you can adapt for your classroom)
  • Resources for Teacher/Leader effectiveness
  • Resources for Data Driven Instruction 
  • Video Library
  • Resources for Professional Development
  • Parent and Family Resources (these resources may be helpful to the parents we serve)
To help schools and teachers make sense of the standards, NYS proposes that we can begin to implement these new ELA standards by thinking of six instructional shifts or changes that we should make in our reading, writing, and language instruction.  These shifts serve as the framework for this site; however, you will see that they have been rephrased and re-sequenced.  

NYS ELA Instructional Shifts 
Balance informational and literary texts
Building knowledge in the disciplines
A staircase of complexity
Text based answers
Writing from sources
Academic Vocabulary


Adult Education Standards

Finally, taking into account the fact that the average adult student only gets roughly 100 hours of instruction per year, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) recently adapted the CCSS for the field of Adult Education.  The College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) are designed to be manageable for adult educators and more appropriate for/relevant to adult learners.  It uses the same organization as the CCSS but uses 5 levels:
  • A = Beginning ABE/Literacy
  • B = Beginning ABE
  • C = Low/Intermediate 
  • D = High Intermediate
  • E = Adult Secondary Education
New York State has yet to adopt OCTAE's CCRSAE standards, but they are a promising advancement for our field.  You can view or download the standards by clicking the link above. 

Literacy Assistance Center                   
Shannon Allen: shannona@lacnyc.org