Read the Common Core standards for kindergarteners

The new Common Core State Standards are being implemented — with a lot of controversy — in most states, and there’s a great deal of discussion about them. But it is unclear whether everybody who is opining for or against them has actually read them.

To get an idea of what they say, below are the English Language Arts and math standards for kindergarteners. You should know that some early education experts have criticized the English-Language Arts standards, arguing that they do not square with what is known about early childhood development.

The one that may well be my favorite is this:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.4 Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

I can just picture a class of kindergarteners learning how to read emergent-reader texts with great purpose and understanding.

Here are Common Core standards for kindergarteners. Each standard is numbered; for example, RL.K.1 stands for Reading, Literature, kindergarten, standard 1.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS FOR KINDERGARTENERS

READING — LITERATURE

 

Key Ideas and Details

Craft and Structure

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.9 With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

 

 READING — INFORMATIONAL TEXTS

 

Key Ideas and Details

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.3 With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Craft and Structure

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.8 With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.9 With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

READING — FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS

Print Concepts

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.1 Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.

    Phonological Awareness

    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2 Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

      Phonics and Word Recognition

      • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3a Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3b Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3d Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.

        Fluency

         

        WRITING
        Text Types and Purposes

        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.1 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is…).
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.3 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.

        Production and Distribution of Writing

        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.6 With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

        Research to Build and Present Knowledge

        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

         

         

        SPEAKING AND LISTENING
        Comprehension and Collaboration

        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

        Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

         

         

        LANGUAGE

        Conventions of Standard English

      • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
      • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

      Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

      • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.4a Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a bird and learning the verb to duck).
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.4b Use the most frequently occurring inflections and affixes (e.g., -ed, -s, re-, un-, pre-, -ful, -less) as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word.
      • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5a Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5b Demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites (antonyms).
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5c Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful).
        • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5d Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.
      • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

      Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Range of Student Reading in Kindergarten

      Literature: Stories, Drama, Poetry

      • Over in the Meadow by John Langstaff (traditional) (c1800)
      • A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer (1967)
      • A Story, A Story by Gail E. Haley (1970)
      • Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola (1978)
      • Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (2004)

      Informational Texts: Literary Nonfiction and Historical, Scientific, and Technical Texts

      • My Five Senses by Aliki (1962)
      • Truck by Donald Crews (1980)
      • I Read Signs by Tana Hoban (1987)
      • What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (2003)
      • Amazing Whales! by Sarah L. Thomson (2005)

      MATH for KINDERGARTENERS

      COUNTING AND CARDINALITY
      Know number names and the count sequence.

      Count to tell the number of objects.

      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
        • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4a When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
        • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4b Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
        • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4c Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.5 Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.

      Compare numbers.

      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.1
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.7 Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.

      OPERATIONS AND ALGEBRAIC THINKING
      Understand addition, and understand subtraction.

      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.1 Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.2 Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.3 Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.4 For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.5 Fluently add and subtract within 5.

       

      NUMBER AND OPERATIONS IN BASE 10
      Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value.
      CCSS.Math.Content.K.NBT.A.1 Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (such as 18 = 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.

      MEASUREMENT AND DATA
      Describe and compare measurable attributes.

      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.A.1 Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.

      Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category.

      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.B.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.1

       

      GEOMETRY
      Identify and describe shapes.

      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.1 Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.3 Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).

      Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.

      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.4 Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.5 Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.
      • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.6 Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”

       

       

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss · August 13, 2013