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Knowing about Common Core State Standards (CCSS) helps you support your child. Here's how:

The Common Core clarifies grade level expectations for your child.  You can also look at the grade levels behind and ahead to see the progression of skills on the continuum. This can help you support your child in learning at home.

Look for the key items your child should be working on at each grade level. Ask at your school about these items. Talk to your child about these items at home and reinforce them with reading and discussion.

Mostly, be excited about reading with your child. It is fun! Talk about books, magazines, and articles. You are the best model for a lifelong love of literacy.

At your parent/teacher conference you received a summary of your child's grade level standards with suggestions for how to work with your child to reach the standards. In addition, you received a "Parent's Introduction to the Common Core State Standards" which answers frequently asked questions. These are handy references that will help you better understand your child's path to college, career and community readiness.

How CCSS for English Language Arts and Literacy are structured:

The Common Core is divided into three main sections, a K-5 section and two 6-12 sections, one for English Language Arts and one for Literacy in History, Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

Each section is made up of strands. The K-5 and 6-12 sections have the same strands for English Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language, with one addition to K-5, the Foundational Skills. In 6-12, the strands for Literacy in the subject areas are Reading and Writing.

Each strand is headed by an Anchor Standard. This standard defines what students should be able to do by grade 12. Each grade level details the skills the student must accomplish, increasing in difficulty each year, to reach success by grade 12.

The Common Core is elegant in its simplicity; it is focused and coherent, and it empowers students to be deep thinkers and analyze what they are reading in literature and non-fiction.

Visit mmsd.org/commoncore for what your child needs to know in English Language Arts grades K-12.