IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW YORK STATE COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS (CCSS) IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
The new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics “define what all students are expected to know and be able to do” to succeed in college and careers. This means that the standards established grade level benchmarks and a trajectory of skill development. The benchmarks emphasize that student progress and growth takes time and that it is not the sole responsibility of one teacher, but a shared responsibility across the K-12 curriculum.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW YORK STATE COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS (CCSS) IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS K-12
To familiarize the staff at each school with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in ELA K-12, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction provided workshops and presentations during faculty meetings, staff development half-days, and delayed openings. Each presentation was designed to introduce teachers to the organization of the CCSS with its ten anchor standards, related domains, and clusters for each standard. Additionally, at the elementary level, Mrs. Ferne Chase, Elementary AIS Coordinator, also presented workshops and reviewed the Literacy Continuum with the faculty at each elementary school.
Teachers identified CC standards and indicators already addressed in their curriculum areas and those that will need to be included or strengthened as a result of the new standards. It is important to note that the Standards set requirements not only for English Language Arts (ELA) but also for literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical subjects. Therefore the critical work that occurs in Literacy must also be addressed in social studies, science, and math and all teachers are expected to support literacy.
As a result of the CCSS’s stronger emphasis on higher-level comprehension skills and the importance of students learning to read books and texts of increasing complexity, we have increased professional development in early literacy and purchased materials for classrooms and school libraries that represent a balance of information books and fiction materials. Our Leveled Literacy Intervention materials and leveled libraries in each classroom support differentiated instruction for all learners. Director of Special Education, Denise Campbell and Principal Lynn Herschlein led this particular effort as part of the Response to Intervention (RtI) initiative. In support of the RtI work, professional development and resource materials in the area of Differentiated instruction was also provided this year, promoting collaboration across grade levels and schools. Teacher feedback from the Differentiated Instruction workshops was very positive with teachers noting “Choice Homework” and formative assessments as highlights.
Finally, our work with Teachers College, Columbia University kept a focus on ELA Standards for the development of three mutually reinforcing writing capacities: writing of opinion pieces to persuade and support a point of view, writing of informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly, and the writing of narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. A full copy of the P-12 CCSS is available at the following website: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/common_core_standards/