ELA Standards and Learning Targets

  • The Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy define general, cross-disciplinary literacy expectations that must be met for students (Standards) and characteristics of CCLS instruction. The Standards are organized into four overlapping strands: Reading, Writing, Language and Speaking/Listening. Because the CCLS present an integrated model of literacy, the Standards mutually inform one another.


    A successful integration of the Standards will provide students with necessary fluency, comprehension, analytic and communication skills necessary to be on track for college and career-readiness. The integration of the Standards into instruction will also require instructional shifts, which are born out in the specific fluency, comprehension, analytic and communication expectations stated in the Standards.

    As a result of CCLS-aligned instructions, students will readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They will habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print, and digitally. They will actively seek the wide, deep and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience and broadens worldviews.

    They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic. In short, students who meet the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.
    Instructional Shifts Demanded by the Common Core Learning Standards in ELA/Literacy
     Shift 2 6-12, Knowledge in the Disciplines
     Shift 3 Staircase of Complexity
     Shift 4 Text-based Answers
     Shift 5 Writing from Sources
     Shift 6 Academic Vocabulary