Developed by the authors of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), these criteria are designed to guide publishers and curriculum developers as they work to ensure alignment with the Common Core State Standards in developing reading materials for the early grades.
The criteria articulated below concentrate on the most significant elements of the Common Core State Standards for literacy in kindergarten through 2nd Grade and lay out their implications for aligning materials with the standards. They are intended to direct curriculum developers and publishers to be both purposeful and strategic in what to include and what to exclude in instructional material. By underscoring what matters most in the standards, the criteria illustrate what shifts must take place in the next generation of curricula, including paring away elements that distract or are at odds with the Common Core State Standards. These guidelines are not meant to dictate classroom practice, but rather to ensure that teachers receive effective tools.
At the heart of these criteria is the belief that reading — in this case, learning to read — is central. In the early grades, this includes due attention to the foundations of reading.
The goal for readers of all ages is to be able to understand and learn from what they read and to express such knowledge clearly through speaking and writing about text. Encouraging this expectation from the start is vital to developing purposeful readers who expect what they read to make sense to them.
This document has three parts: The first articulates criteria that should guide the teaching of reading foundations, the second details the criteria that should guide the selection of texts, and the third outlines criteria for the development of high-quality text-dependent questions and tasks so that students are able to read closely and gain knowledge from texts.
I. Key Criteria for Reading Foundations
II. Key Criteria for Text Selections
III. Key Criteria for Questions and Tasks