Getting Started Guide

Before you even look at the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy (CCSS for ELA/Literacy), you should study the information presented in Appendix A. This is critical information for interpreting and implementing the standards. Each of the guided study exercises includes two components. You will have pre-reading directions with a suggestion for text annotation and directions for an activity to help you process and document your learning.

The guided study exercises are designed to be fairly brief, each taking 20 to 30 minutes to complete. They will also provide you materials for a portfolio if you would like to start a CCSS implementation collection at the local level.

Information and professional development activities provided throughout the CCSS modules for professional development all assume that you are familiar with the information in Appendix A. The professional development modules are grouped by “getting familiar,” “shifts and alignment” and “implementation.” These modules provide a roadmap for professional learning that you can do independently, as part of a team or in larger groups.

Once you complete your study of Appendix A, we suggest you begin your unpacking and alignment with reading, standard 10. This one must be implemented correctly, as it so profoundly affects the rest. Reading standards one through nine should be considered with the six standards in the language strand, as these are intended to be paired with or embedded in the instruction of each of the other strands. You should also get familiar with Appendix B and the Student Performance Tasks found there.

Moving to the writing strand, we suggest also beginning with standard 10. As you unpack standards one through nine, look again to the language strand to embed instruction and inform rubric development. Use Appendix C as a guide to consider student examples of the writing standards in action.

Speaking and Listening has only six standards, three for each area. These should also be considered with the language standards. Check our website frequently, as we add new information and tools often.