Louisiana Common Core English Language Arts Standards Raise the Bar

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1 Louisiana Common Core English Language Arts Standards Raise the Bar Louisiana adopted the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math in Aimed at ensuring that graduates of Louisiana high schools are fully prepared for college and a career, these standards are more rigorous for students than most states past standards. Common Core State Standards are targeted at the most important skills and knowledge that students need to know, so they are streamlined and clearer. Because there are fewer standards teachers can get to the heart of what matters for students to be successful. Whether in college or at work, you have to be able to communicate effectively. In addition to reading great works of literature, the Common Core English Language Arts standards emphasize reading informational text (a biology textbook) and literary non-fiction (e.g. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry). It is critical for both college and the workplace that students be able to deeply understand what they ve read and write and speak about it clearly. But these standards also ensure that students read stories and great works of literature. A key difference between the old state standards and Common Core is that students are expected to read high quality and more challenging books in earlier grades than before. Just as important, the literacy standards aren t just for ELA classes they are designed to make reading comprehension and effective writing a part of history, social studies, science, career-technical education and other content areas. The ultimate goal is for students to apply these skills to increasingly challenging texts as they progress through K-12 and into colleges, universities and the workplace. Below are a few examples of how the Louisiana Common Core ELA standards raise the bar for Louisiana students. Grade Third Comparison of Past Louisiana Standards to Louisiana Common Core ELA/Literacy Standards THEN - The past Louisiana standards required students to: Demonstrate oral reading fluency of at least 110 words per minute in third-grade text with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression. NOW - The Louisiana Common Core Standards require students to: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding. Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings Use context to confirm or Communication for the General Public The past standard required students to read at the appropriate pace, and with appropriate expression. No attention is given to the level of text that is read fluently or whether the student comprehends what is read. The Common Core standards require students to read grade-level text accurately (reading each word correctly) and fluently to support text

2 Fourth Fifth Writing: Use a variety of literary devices, including hyperbole and metaphor, in compositions Demonstrate understanding of information in gradeappropriate text using a variety of strategies including summarizing and paraphrasing information. self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary. Writing Standards: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. Literature: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text. Informational Text: Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text. Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity: understanding the ultimate purpose for reading. The Common Core standards expect third graders to read fluently with purpose and understanding using context to confirm or self-correct words that may be difficult to read or understand. The past standard is vague and requires students to use a variety of literary devices (e.g., hyperbole and metaphors) but does not define how students demonstrate knowledge or understanding of using literary devices. The Common Core standards are specific and expect 4th graders to write narratives that develop real or imagined experiences or events using descriptive details and a clear sequence of events. A narrative piece of writing should introduce the narrator or characters; include an organized sequence of events; use dialogue and description; use transitional words and phrases; use concrete words, phrases, and details to convey events precisely; and provide a conclusion. The past standard is vague and does not define the type of text that students are supposed to summarize. The Common Core standards separate genres (i.e., literary and informational) and expect students to be able to use strategies suitable to each to help with understanding the text. The Common Core standards not only expect students to summarize literature, but also expects 5th grade students to determine a theme and details of a piece of literature including how characters respond to challenges. Fifth graders are also expected to determine two or more main ideas of informational text, explain how they are supported by key details, and summarize the text.

3 Seventh Analyze grade-appropriate print and non-print texts using various reasoning skills. Write multi-paragraph compositions on student- or teacher selected topics organized in the following way: Establish a central idea Organizational patterns appropriate to topic Elaboration Transitional words and phrases that unify ideas and points Overall structure including introduction, a body/middle, a concluding paragraph that summarizes important ideas and details. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4 5 text complexity band independently and proficiently. Reading Standards for Informational Text: Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events). Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words). Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. The Common Core standards also provide grade specific text examples of the quality and complexity of student reading required. The past standard expects students to analyze texts using a variety of skills without guidance on what students are to analyze, how students can demonstrate the skill, or which type of text (literary or informational) is to be used. The Common Core standards are specific and aimed at either literary or informational text. When engaging with informational text, the Common Core standards expect students to cite text evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn; determine two or more central ideas and analyze their development; provide an objective summary; analyze interactions between individuals, events, and ideas; and compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text analyzing each medium s portrayal of the subject. The past standard expects students to produce a piece of writing with surface level information. It includes some technical aspects of writing (e.g., central idea, transitional words). The Common Core standards are specific and the expectations of what students are to include in an informative piece of writing are detailed. The Common Core standards go above and beyond the past standard by expecting students to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the analysis of relevant content. Students are expected to write an introduction that clearly introduces the topic and

4 Grades 9-10 Demonstrate understanding of information in gradeappropriate text using a variety of strategies including summarizing and paraphrasing information. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. Establish and maintain a formal style. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented. Literature: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. Informational Text: Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity: By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9 10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. previews what is to follow. Writing should include definitions, formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), precise language, and multimedia when useful to aid in comprehension. Appropriate and varied transitions should be used to clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts. The concluding section should support the information or explanation presented. The past standard is repeated, verbatim, across several grade levels (e.g., 5 th grade). It is vague and does not define the type of text that students are supposed to summarize or a specific strategy to use. The Common Core standards provide specificity and are written for each grade level or grade level span (e.g., 9-10) and specify standards for literary and informational text. Each grade level standard builds on the standard that preceded it. The Common Core standards expect students to provide an objective summary about a piece of literature. To demonstrate this, students are expected to determine the theme of the text and analyze its development, including how it emerges and is refined by details. Students are also expected to determine the central idea of informational text, analyze its development, and provide an objective summary of the text. The Common Core standards also provide grade specific text examples of the quality and complexity of student reading required. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and

5 Participate in group and panel discussions, including: Identifying the strengths and talents of other participants Acting as facilitator, recorder, leader, listener, or mediator Evaluating the effectiveness of participants performance poems, at the high end of the grades 9 10 text complexity band independently and proficiently. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse groups on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented. The past standard is not specific and only requires students to participate in discussions. The Common Core standard specifies that students are to initiate and participate effectively building on others ideas and expressing their own ideas clearly and persuasively. The discussions are based on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues. Students are to come to discussion having read and researched the material/topic and refer to evidence from texts as ideas are exchanged. Students are also expected to work with peers collegially and make decisions about the rules for their discussions. They are to respond to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and make connections in light of evidence and reasoning presented. These are all imperative skills to have in college and working environments.

6 The Common Core ELA standards have increased expectations of students through the type of texts that are expected to be read at particular grade levels. The table below presents a few examples of the increased expectations on the types of texts that students should be able to read at each grade level. More Difficult Text Reading Sarah, Plain and Tall is a story that was typically read at the fourth grade level; the Common Core expect second and third grade students to be able to read this story with deep understanding. Casey at the Bat, a popular children s poem, is typically read in middle school, but will now be read in upper elementary levels. The Letter on Thomas Jefferson, typically read at the high school level, will now be read at the middle school level. A Doll s House is a play that was typically read in eleventh or twelfth grade, will be read in ninth or tenth.

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