Common Core Curriculum highlights by Elementary School by grade level

Years after the adoption of the “New” common core curriculum standards, many of us are still confused about what they mean, how they are addressed in the classroom, and how we can support them at home with our children. It took some searching to find a concise resource, but I finally found the California PTA website which provides an easy to use resource, listed by grade level.

Here are some of the highlights:

2nd grade

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Read at home every day and assist your child by reading every other paragraph. Encourage your child to read to younger siblings, cousins, or other children you know. To find recommendations of books for your child to read, visit www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_B.pdf
  • Have your child write a thank you note or letter to family members or friends
  • Ask your librarian to suggest books about people or places that are important to your child or family that you can read together. Encourage your child to explain what he or she has just read.

Mathematics

  • When saving for a purchase, compare the cost of the item to the amount of money you have; then ask your child to determine how much more money he or she needs to buy the item.
  • When measuring your child’s height, ask how many inches he or she has grown since the very first measurement.
  • Play “draw the shape.” For example, ask your child to draw a hexagon with one side longer than the others, or ask him or her to shade in a quarter of a rectangle.

3rd Grade

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Reading closely to find main ideas and supporting details in a story.
  • Describing the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in stories (e.g., first, second, third; cause and effect)
  • Comparing the most important points and key details presented in two books on the same topic
  • Writing opinions or explanations that group related information and develop topics with facts and details
  • Writing stories that establish a situation and include details and clear sequences of events that describe the actions, thoughts, and feelings of characters.
  • Independently conducting short research projects that build knowledge about various topics.
  • Asking and answering questions about information he or she hears from a speaker or while participating in classroom discussions, offering appropriate elaboration and detail that build on what others have said.
  • Reading stories and poems aloud fluently, without pausing to figure out what each word means
  • Distinguishing the literal and nonliteral meanings of words, such as something’s fishy and cold shoulder
  • Spelling correctly and consulting dictionaries to clarify meanings of words A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 3rd Grade Keeping the conversation focused. When you talk to the teacher, do not worry about covering everything.

Mathematics

  • Multiplying and dividing up to 10 × 10 quickly and accurately, including knowing the times tables from memory.
  • Solving word problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Beginning to multiply numbers with more than one digit (e.g., multiplying 9 × 80).
  • Understanding fractions and relating them to the familiar system of whole numbers (e.g., recognizing that 3 ⁄1 and 3 are the same number).
  • Measuring and estimating weights and liquid volumes, and solving word problems involving these quantities.
  • Reasoning about shapes (e.g., all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares).
  • Finding areas of shapes, and relating area to multiplication (e.g., why is the number of square feet for a 9-foot by 7-foot room given by the product 9 × 7?) .

4th Grade

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Describing the basic elements of stories — such as characters, events, and settings — by drawing on specific details in the text.
  • Paying close attention to key features of informational books and articles: these include understanding the main and supporting ideas; being able to compare and contrast information; and explaining how the author uses facts, details, and evidence to support particular points.
  • Comparing ideas, characters, events, and settings in stories and myths from different cultures.
  • Writing summaries or opinions about topics supported with a set of well-organized facts, details, and examples.
  • Independently conducting short research projects on different aspects of a topic using evidence from books and the Internet.
  • Paraphrasing and responding to information presented in discussions, such as comparing and contrasting ideas and analyzing evidence that speakers use to support particular points.
  • Reporting orally on a topic or telling a story with enough facts and details.
  • Writing complete sentences with correct capitalization and spelling.
  •  Relating words that are common in reading to words with similar meanings (synonyms) and to their opposites (antonyms).

Mathematics

  • Using whole-number arithmetic to solve word problems, including problems with remainders and problems with measurements.
  •  Adding and subtracting whole numbers quickly and accurately (numbers up to 1 million).
  •  Multiplying and dividing multi-digit numbers in simple cases (e.g., multiplying 1,638 × 7 or 24 × 17, and dividing 6,966 by 6).
  • Understanding and applying equivalent fractions (e.g., recognizing that 1 ⁄4 is less than 3 ⁄8 because 2 ⁄8 is less than 3 ⁄8).
  • Adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions in simple cases (such as 2 3 ⁄4 − 1 1 ⁄4 or 3 × 5 ⁄8), and solving related word problems.
  •  Understanding simple decimals in terms of fractions (e.g., rewriting 0.62 as 62⁄100.
  •  Measuring angles and finding unknown angles in a diagram.

5th Grade

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Summarizing the key details of stories, dramas, poems, and nonfiction materials, including their themes or main ideas.
  •  Identifying and judging evidence that supports particular ideas in an author’s argument to change a reader’s point of view.
  •  Integrating information from several print and digital sources to answer questions and solve problems.
  • Writing opinions that offer reasoned arguments and provide facts and examples that are logically grouped to support the writer’s point of view.
  •  Writing stories, real or imaginary, that unfold naturally and developing the plot with dialogue, description, and effective pacing of the action.
  • Coming to classroom discussions prepared, then engaging fully and thoughtfully with others (e.g., contributing accurate, relevant information; elaborating on the remarks of others; synthesizing ideas).
  • Reporting on a topic or presenting an opinion with his or her own words, a logical sequence of ideas, sufficient facts and details, and formal English when appropriate.
  • Expanding, combining, and reducing sentences to improve meaning, interest, and style of writing.
  • Building knowledge of academic words with an emphasis on those that signal a contrast in ideas or logical relationships, such as on the other hand, similarly, and therefore.
  •  Producing writing on the computer.

Mathematics

  • Adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators (e.g., 21 ⁄4 – 11 ⁄3), and solving word problems of this kind.
  •  Multiplying fractions; dividing fractions in simple cases; and solving related word problems (e.g., finding the area of a rectangle with fractional side lengths; determining how many 1 ⁄3-cup servings are in 2 cups of raisins; determining the size of a share if 9 people share a 50-pound sack of rice equally or if 3 people share 1 ⁄2 pound of chocolate equally).
  •  Generalizing the place-value system to include decimals, and calculating with decimals to the hundredths place (two places after the decimal).
  • Multiplying whole numbers quickly and accurately, for example 1,638 × 753, and dividing whole numbers in simple cases, such as dividing 6,971 by 63.
  • Understanding the concept of volume, and solving word problems that involve volume.
  • Graphing points in the coordinate plane (two dimensions) to solve problems.
  • Analyzing mathematical patterns and relationships.

6th Grade

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Analyzing how chapters of a book, scenes of a play, or stanzas of a poem fit into the overall structure of the piece and contribute to the development of ideas or themes.
  • Gaining knowledge from materials that make extensive use of elaborate diagrams and data to convey information and illustrate concepts.
  • Evaluating the argument and specific claims in written materials or a speech, and distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • Presenting claims and findings to others orally, sequencing ideas logically, and accentuating main ideas or themes.
  • Writing arguments that provide clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources.
  • Writing brief reports that examine a topic, have a clear focus, and include relevant facts, details, and quotations.
  • Conducting short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and sharpening the focus based on the research findings.
  • Reviewing and paraphrasing key ideas and multiple perspectives of a speaker.
  • Recognizing variations from standard English in his or her own and others’ writing and speaking, and using this knowledge to improve language use.
  • Determining the correct meaning of a word based on the context in which it is used (e.g., the rest of the sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 6th Grade Keeping the conversation focused.

Mathematics

  • Understanding ratios and rates, and solving problems involving proportional relationships (e.g., if it took 7 hours to mow 4 lawns, then at that rate, how many lawns could be mowed in 35 hours? At what rate were lawns being mowed?).
  • Dividing fractions and solving related word problems (e.g., how wide is a rectangular strip of land with length 3 ⁄4 mile and area 1 ⁄2 square mile?).
  •  Using positive and negative numbers together to describe quantities; understanding the ordering and absolute values of positive and negative numbers.
  •  Working with variables and expressions by generalizing the way numbers work (e.g., when adding numbers, the order doesn’t matter, so x + y = y + x; likewise, properties of addition and multiplication can be used to rewrite 24x + 18y as 6(4x + 3y), or y + y + y as 3y).
  •  Understanding the process of solving simple equations.
  •  Writing equations to solve word problems and describe relationships between quantities (e.g., the distance D traveled by a train in time T might be expressed by an equation D = 85T, where D is in miles and T is in hours).
  •  Reasoning about relationships between shapes to determine area, surface area, and volume.

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