Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in

Minnesota

Academic Standards

English Language Arts K-12

2010

9.27.10 DRAFT

This is the final draft of the English Language Arts standards proposed by the Minnesota Standards Review Committee. These standards will proceed through the state’s formal administrative rulemaking process and will not be adopted officially by the Minnesota Department of Education until they are promulgated into administrative rule. Changes may be made to the standards language during the formal rulemaking process, although it is unlikely that any major substantive changes will occur. Therefore, educators may use these draft standards for curriculum planning.


Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in

History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects K–5 12

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading 13

Reading Standards for Literature K–5 14

Reading Standards for Informational Text K–5 18

Reading Standards: Foundational Skills K–5 22

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 25

Writing Standards K–5 26

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking,

Viewing, Listening and Media Literacy 31

Speaking, Viewing, Listening and Media Literacy Standards K–5 32

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 37

Language Standards K–5 38

Language Progressive Skills, by Grade 44

Standard 10: Range, Quality, and Complexity of Student Reading

K–5 45

Staying on Topic Within a Grade and Across Grades 47

Standards for English Language Arts 6–12 48

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading 49

Reading Standards for Literature 6–12 50

Reading Standards for Informational Text 6–12 54

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 58

Writing Standards 6–12 59

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking,

Viewing, Listening and Media Literacy 66

Speaking, Viewing, Listening and Media Literacy Standards 6–12 67

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 72

Language Standards 6–12 73

Language Progressive Skills, by Grade 77

Standard 10: Range, Quality, and Complexity of Student Reading
6–12 78

Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science,
and Technical Subjects 80

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading 81

Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6–12 82

Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects

6–12 84

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 86

Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science,

and Technical Subjects 6–12 87

Note: This document in its entirety constitutes the complete 2010 Minnesota Academic Standards in English Language Arts K-12. It consists of the Common Core State Standards plus Minnesota’s additions. A “bolded” version of this document is available that shows the Common Core State Standards in plain font and Minnesota’s additions in boldface type. View bolded version of standards.



Introduction

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (“the Standards”) are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K–12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school.

The present work, led by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA), builds on the foundation laid by states in their decades-long work on crafting high-quality education standards. The Standards also draw on the most important international models as well as research and input from numerous sources, including state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, professional organizations, educators from kindergarten through college, and parents, students, and other members of the public. In their design and content, refined through successive drafts and numerous rounds of feedback, the Standards represent a synthesis of the best elements of standards-related work to date and an important advance over that previous work.

As specified by CCSSO and NGA, the Standards are (1) research and evidence based, (2) aligned with college and work expectations, (3) rigorous, and (4) internationally benchmarked. A particular standard was included in the document only when the best available evidence indicated that its mastery was essential for college and career readiness in a twenty-first-century, globally competitive society. The Standards are intended to be a living work: as new and better evidence emerges, the Standards will be revised accordingly.

The Standards are an extension of a prior initiative led by CCSSO and NGA to develop College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language as well as in mathematics. The CCR Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening Standards, released in draft form in September 2009, serve, in revised form, as the backbone for the present document. Grade-specific K–12 standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language translate the broad (and, for the earliest grades, seemingly distant) aims of the CCR standards into age- and attainment-appropriate terms.

(Note: In Minnesota, the K-12 standards address viewing and media literacy, in addition to the standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.)

The Standards set requirements not only for English language arts (ELA) but also for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Just as students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, so too must the Standards specify the literacy skills and understandings required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines. Literacy standards for grade 6 and above are predicated on teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects using their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields. It is important to note that the 6–12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them. States may incorporate these standards into their standards for those subjects or adopt them as content area literacy standards.

As a natural outgrowth of meeting the charge to define college and career readiness, the Standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. Indeed, the skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace. Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally. They 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.

Common Core State Standards Initiative, June 2, 2010

Minnesota and the Common Core State Standards

Minnesota actively participated in the development of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Beginning with the draft College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards in the summer of 2009, the Minnesota Department of Education convened a series of educator focus groups. The groups provided detailed feedback on the CCR standards and each successive draft of the K-12 Standards until they were completed in June 2010.

Many of the suggestions provided by Minnesota educators were incorporated into the Common Core standards. Overall, there is strong alignment between the Common Core and Minnesota’s K-12 Academic Standards in Language Arts (2003), and the Minnesota College and Work Readiness Expectations—Language Arts (2008).

During the summer of 2010, Minnesota’s Standards Committee revised the state’s 2003 language arts standards, as required by law (Minn. Stat. § 120B.023, Subd. 2). Given the strong alignment between the Common Core and Minnesota documents, the state decided, as part of the revision, to adopt the Common Core standards as a basis for the Minnesota Academic Standards -English Language Arts K-12. States that choose the Common Core are required to adopt 100 percent of the Common Core K-12 standards (word for word), with the option of adding up to 15 percent additional content.

Minnesota’s Standards Committee analyzed the Common Core standards and identified additional knowledge and skills in order to address particular legislative requirements and better reflect research and evidence-based best practices in English Language Arts. The resulting document is the 2010Minnesota Academic Standards English Language Arts K-12. Students must satisfactorily complete these standards beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

The Common Core built on the foundation laid by states in their decades-long work on crafting standards. Minnesota, in turn, built on the work of the Common Core by adding critical knowledge and skills deemed important for higher education and work in the twenty-first century global economy. Given this strong foundation of standards, Minnesota students will be well-equipped with the literacy skills needed for success in college, careers and active participation in civic life.

Minnesota Department of Education, August, 2010

Note: Students are required to master only the standards and benchmarks. Other kinds of standards-related materials in this document such as examples in the benchmarks, notes in the margins, “Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, and Range of Student Reading K-5,” information in the appendices, and so on, are provided as supportive materials. These materials should not be interpreted as standards.



Key Design Considerations

CCR and grade-specific standards

The CCR standards anchor the document and define general, cross-disciplinary literacy expectations that must be met for students to be prepared to enter college and workforce training programs ready to succeed. The K–12 grade-specific standards define end-of-year expectations and a cumulative progression designed to enable students to meet college and career readiness expectations no later than the end of high school. The CCR and high school (grades 9–12) standards work in tandem to define the college and career readiness line—the former providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity. Hence, both should be considered when developing college and career readiness assessments.

Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards, retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades, and work steadily toward meeting the more general expectations described by the CCR standards.1

Grade levels for K–8; grade bands for 9–10 and 11–12

The Standards use individual grade levels in kindergarten through grade 8 to provide useful specificity; the Standards use two-year bands in grades 9–12 to allow schools, districts, and states flexibility in high school course design.

A focus on results rather than means

By emphasizing required achievements, the Standards leave room for teachers, curriculum developers, and states to determine how those goals should be reached and what additional topics should be addressed. Thus, the Standards do not mandate such things as a particular writing process or the full range of metacognitive strategies that students may need to monitor and direct their thinking and learning. Teachers are thus free to provide students with whatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify as most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Standards.

An integrated model of literacy

Although the Standards are divided into Reading, Writing, Speaking Viewing, Listening, and Media Literacy and Language strands for conceptual clarity, the processes of communication are closely connected, as reflected throughout this document. For example, Writing standard 9 requires that students be able

1In Minnesota, the grad- specific expectations are called “benchmarks.” Minn. Stat. § 120B.023

to write about what they read. Likewise, Speaking and Listening standard 4 sets the expectation that students will share findings from their research.

Research and media skills blended into the Standards as a whole

To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new. The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than treated in a separate section.

Shared responsibility for students’ literacy development

The Standardsinsist that instruction in reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and media literacy and language be a shared responsibility within the school. The K–5 standards include expectations for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language applicable to a range of subjects, including but not limited to ELA. The grades 6–12 standards are divided into two sections, one for ELA and the other for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. This division reflects the unique, time-honored place of ELA teachers in developing students’ literacy skills while at the same time recognizing that teachers in other areas must have a role in this development as well.

Part of the motivation behind the interdisciplinary approach to literacy promulgated by the Standards is extensive research establishing the need for college and career ready students to be proficient in reading complex informational text independently in a variety of content areas. Most of the required reading in college and workforce training programs is informational in structure and challenging in content; postsecondary education programs typically provide students with both a higher volume of such reading than is generally required in K–12 schools and comparatively little scaffolding.

The Standards are not alone in calling for a special emphasis on informational text. The 2009 reading framework of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) requires a high and increasing proportion of informational text on its assessment as students advance through the grades.

Distribution of Literary and Informational Passages by Grade in the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework

Grade

Literary

Informational

4

50%

50%

8

45%

55%

12

30%

70%

Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2008). Reading Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

The Standards aim to align instruction with this framework so that many more students than at present can meet the requirements of college and career readiness. In K–5, the Standards follow NAEP’s lead in balancing the reading of literature with the reading of informational texts, including texts in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. In accord with NAEP’s growing emphasis on informational texts in the higher grades, the Standards demand that a significant amount of reading of informational texts take place in and outside the ELA classroom. Fulfilling the Standards for 6–12 ELA requires much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary nonfiction—than has been traditional. Because the ELA classroom must focus on literature (stories, drama, and poetry) as well as literary nonfiction, a great deal of informational reading in grades 6–12 must take place in other classes if the NAEP assessment framework is to be matched instructionally.1 To measure students’ growth toward college and career readiness, assessments aligned with the Standardsshould adhere to the distribution of texts across grades cited in the NAEP framework.

NAEP likewise outlines a distribution across the grades of the core purposes and types of student writing. The 2011 NAEP framework, like the Standards, cultivates the development of three mutually reinforcing writing capacities: writing to persuade, to explain, and to convey real or imagined experience. Evidence concerning the demands of college and career readiness gathered during development of the Standards concurs with NAEP’s shifting emphases: standards for grades 9–12 describe writing in all three forms, but, consistent with NAEP, the

overwhelming focus of writing throughout high school should be on arguments and informative/explanatory texts.2

  1. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy

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  3. Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (2)

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