Smooth Shift Blog

Smooth Shifts: A Parent’s Primer on How Common Core Standards Affect Your Child’s Reading Instruction
The new Common Core Standards are being rolled out across the country, heralding some big changes in your child’s classroom. At Early Scholars, we’re poised to help you and your child understand the main “shifts” that will be occurring in your child’s reading instruction and help your child develop and strengthen the reading skills that will help them master the Common Core Standards.

More Content Based Learning

Two of the instructional shifts described by the Common Core Standards involve incorporating more nonfiction texts into the reading curriculum and focusing on teaching knowledge through rich content from a range of disciplines. Our Science-Reading Academy can help your child learn active, practical reading skills while broadening their knowledge base through content-rich texts from the sciences.

Complex Texts and Conversations about Texts

Another major shift will be seen in the reading level of your child’s assigned books. The Common Core Standards call for more rigorous texts at every grade. In addition, students and teachers will be shifting classroom discussions towards “close readings” of each assigned text. You can start helping your child by reading books in the home and picking certain paragraphs to discuss together. Our Summer Programs are also geared to help your child meet these new standards by giving them a chance to practice challenging discussions in small, supportive groups.

Writing and Vocabulary

The Common Core Standards are all about preparing students to be strong critical thinkers equipped to tackle real world problems in a constantly changing world. The final two “shifts” involve writing with evidence from text based sources and learning transferrable academic vocabulary that students can use across multiple disciplines. By focusing on nonfiction readings in our preparatory sessions, we help students build a strong, content-rich vocabulary while also emphasizing the importance of looking closely at the meaning of each text.

Learning about the new curriculum in New York State is a chance to give your child a leg up in their coming academic year. By preparing your child to read nonfiction, think deeply about texts, and build their comfort with writing and academic language, you’re helping to give them a strong, holistic foundation for mastering academic standards and real-world skills.