Supporting the Common Core State Standards

The Eight Shifts

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts define the literacy expectations that must be met for students to be prepared to enter college or workforce training programs. Educators have identified eight major shifts in ELA instruction required by these new standards. The Voices curriculum embrace these shifts in the following ways:

  • Reading Text Closely. Voices provides for close listening of read aloud texts followed by close reading of challenging whole class texts as well as of leveled texts in small groups.
  • Text-Based Evidence. Close listening and reading comprehension questions require students to cite text-based evidence to support their positions.
  • Writing From Sources. Students write explanatory and argumentative short and long essays that cite the books and research they are reading.
  • Academic Vocabulary. Voices provides intensive instruction in oral language vocabulary related to the themes, listening vocabulary drawn from the read aloud texts, and reading vocabulary drawn from the whole class and small group texts.
  • Increasing Text Complexity. Voices provides read aloud and whole group shared reading texts that are at or above grade level as well as texts at all reading levels for each of the themes.
  • Building Disciplinary Knowledge. Students study the same universal themes with more sophisticated central questions each year and thereby build a body of knowledge related to each of the themes, including related titles, writing projects, and theme projects.
  • Balance of Texts. Voices provides a wide variety of texts (more than 50% non-fiction) for use as read alouds as well as for whole class and small group instruction, including a complete library of social studies and history texts.
  • Balance of Writing. Voices provides for writing in response to the texts as well as a systematic writing instruction that focuses on narrative, explanatory, and argumentative writing.

The Core of the Common Core

The central focus of the Common Core State Standards is on the ability of students to analyze and evaluate what they are listening to, reading, or observing; to provide text-based support and research for their positions; to present their positions orally or in writing; and to engage in sustained discussion and debate about their interpretations. These are competencies, strategies and skills that are at the core of Voices—authentic voice, deep comprehension, and critical writing.

The Voices Literature and Writing and the Voices 3C eLessons are fully aligned with the CCSS and have indices that align our curriculum content with the corresponding standards.

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