English Language Arts Common Core Standards: Reading Comprehension

The Common Core Standards for reading range from kindergarten through Grade 12 and are used with any genres students encounter in English and reading classes. These standards are designed to guide students over time to a place of reading proficiency and a state of reading preparedness (experience with a wide variety of text types) that is fitting for college or career.

It is of vital importance to keep up with your child’s progress in mastering the reading standards as he moves from one grade to the next. The easiest way to do this is to keep a copy of the standards close at hand and to make a note when your child finds a particular standard to be challenging.

If, even with your support, he can’t master a particular standard, take the opportunity to reach out to the teacher for assistance.

The reading standards are divided into three separate categories:

  • Literature: These standards emphasize the central skills and details that are vital to your child’s success in reading fictional literature in kindergarten through Grade 12, such as analyzing characters, determining the meaning or message of a piece of literature, and analyzing an author’s purpose.

  • Informational text: Standards in this category highlight essential components of successful and meaningful reading experiences with informational, nonfiction texts in kindergarten through Grade 12. Citing evidence to support ideas, using vocabulary correctly, and analyzing the structure and purpose of an author’s writings are all important components of the informational-text standards.

  • Foundational skills: In kindergarten through Grade 5, the foundational skills standards are designed to bolster students’ reading abilities. Basic skills and concepts related to topics such as syllables, phonics, and reading fluency and comprehension are outlined in the standards.

The Common Core Standards call for an appropriate balance between reading fiction and nonfiction as students move from grade to grade. The standards are designed to support instruction that consists of a 50/50 balance between nonfiction and fiction by Grade 4, with the emphasis shifting to 70 percent nonfiction in high school.

Note that these percentages account for the entire slate of reading materials that a student encounters during the school year. It’s safe to assume that a significant majority of time spent reading in English classes will include fictional literature. On the other hand, a majority of reading materials in science and social studies classes will most likely be nonfiction, resulting in the appropriate balance between fiction and nonfiction.

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