What You Should Know about the Common Core Standards ELA Appendix

By Jared Myracle

The appendixes to the English Language Arts Common Core Standards include a variety of resources that are useful for parents and educators. Unlike the appendix to the math standards, which only addresses the upper grades, these appendixes include materials applicable to all grades:

  • Appendix A focuses on text complexity and the research behind the standards. Check out this section for more information on how to evaluate a text’s complexity and whether it’s appropriate for your child. Appendix A also reviews some of the research behind the standards and their use.

  • Appendix B contains examples of appropriate texts for each grade level and samples of student tasks. Consult this appendix for ideas on texts that are representative of the desired complexity for each grade level. You’ll find recommendations for literature, history, science, and other subjects. Another helpful aspect of this appendix is the inclusion of sample tasks that outline what your child will be asked to do with the material.

  • Appendix C includes samples of student writing aligned to the literacy standards. Take a look at this appendix to see some actual examples of student work with feedback on how well each piece of writing aligns to the expectations of the standards. These examples are particularly helpful in assessing your child’s performance and progress.

As a parent, you’re likely to find Appendix B the most useful of the three because it contains sample reading passages and tasks for students to perform. Appendix C is also useful because it contains a collection of student writing along with notes to help you distinguish good writing from not-so-good writing.

Appendix A goes more into the rationale behind using various measures of text complexity and the research related to the standards — something of greater interest to educators.