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Common Core Literacy Classroom Practices

Implications of Common Core Instruction

The CCSS emphasizes a broad range of competencies including reading narrative and
text, and writing in multiple genres. There needs to be a 50/50 balance of narrative & non-fictio
text throughout the school day.
Extensive reading and writing needs to occur during the literacy block. Students are
engaged in explicit, strategic reading instruction and authentic writing tasks, rather than
in peripheral tasks that are about reading and writing, such as worksheets that are not
reflective of a strategy or skill.
The CCSS for literacy needs to be integrated during science and social studies, with an
emphasis on vocabulary development. Such integration increases capacity for using
reading and writing as tools for learning and communicating information.
When teaching the CCSS, plan for the students activity to be in relation to meaningful
acts of reading, writing, and communicating. Rather than teaching an isolated skill or
strategy just so children will learn to demonstrate competency with it, teach it so that it
will actually be used, in their own Independent Daily Reading (IDR), writing and literacy
discussions. The CCSS sees all areas of literacy developing in tandem.
Explicit instruction occurs through whole class, small group, and one-to-one
demonstration. The CCSS provide guidance for determining skills to teach but the
childrens actual demonstration of knowledge should inform the specifics of instruction.
So, there needs to be many opportunities to conference with individual students to
determine competency and needs. Use formative assessments to determine individual
students needs, and group accordingly.
Implement clearly defined procedures and routines in which students know the
expectations for group/partner discussions, finding materials at their independent
reading level, and transitioning to flexible reading groupings.
Approach teaching as if all students can. Differentiate instruction so that all students
find classroom experiences challenging but achievable, providing extra support for those
who need it.
Independent activities in CCSS classrooms are literacy based. Students who are not in
reading groups need to be reading, writing about reading and or doing meaningful word
work activities that reflect the sorting patterns from Words Their Way.
CCSS classrooms provide opportunities for students to access information in a variety of
ways. Online resources and other digital sources need to be accessible and utilized, when
TTrail; Waterloo Elementary, 2013
Information adapted from The Common Core Lesson Book
by Gretchen Owocki and Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy

Teachers need to be flexible and confident in making instructional decisions that will
move students through the standards. Teachers have the authority to spend more time
on some standards and explore others to a lesser extent; and to determine which are
most appropriate for emphasis at any given time. Use variety, common sense and clear
sense of purpose at all times when planning instruction. Teachers need to stay current on
best practices and create autonomy within their classrooms, teams and school

TTrail; Waterloo Elementary, 2013

Information adapted from The Common Core Lesson Book
by Gretchen Owocki and Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy