This is the second in a series of posts dedicated to helping teachers understand specific changes the Common Core requires them to make in their instruction and sharing how StarrMatica’s content can help facilitate that transition.  The first two posts can be viewed here and here.

A major focus of the Common Core is requiring students to answer questions of varying complexity about a variety of texts.

Students will be presented with a sequence of questions in which a question is related to and its answer may be dependent on the answer to a previously asked question.  A sequence of questions may also ask students to cite evidence from the story like in this Part B question from a fourth grade PARCC Assessment item example, “Which detail from the story best supports the answer to Part A?” 

This shift is related to the previous one in that students be will required not only to use evidence in their constructed responses but to choose the best supporting evidence from a given set to answer a direct question.

Embedded with these shifts is the Common Core expectation that in grades K-5 50% of a student’s reading will be non-fiction texts.  That is why as teachers make this shift, it is important for them to have access to an abundance of high quality fiction and non-fiction texts.

Planning Tip:  A science and social studies curriculum packed with high-interest non-fiction texts provides authentic opportunities to work on these shifts in other content areas.