The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8

The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8
What They Say, What They Mean, How to Teach Them

  • Jim Burke - Burlingame High School, Burlingame, CA
Companion Website

© 2013 | 280 pages | Corwin

That version of the standards you wish you had

All over the nation, teachers and administrators are poring over the Common Core State Standards to come up with meaningful plans for raising student achievement.  But as clear as the standards are, they are more of a sundial than a GPS for pinpointing just what to teach and how to teach it.

Enter Jim Burke with The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8. It’s that version of the standards you wish you had: a roadmap of what each standard says, what each standard means, and how precisely to put that standard into day-to-day practice across English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

Designed to provide schools, districts, and departments with a common language or set of reference points for effective school-wide implementation, The Common Core Companion clearly lays out:

  • Grades 6-8 standards side by side with key distinctions highlighted so teachers know what they must teach from grade to grade
  • All the different content-area versions of each standard arranged on one page to facilitate easy reference and school wide collaboration
  • Explanations of each standard on a corresponding page, written in accessible language, along with prompts and questions to help students learn and apply each standard
  • Essential content to cover and lesson ideas for modeling the literacy skills behind the standards
  • Instructional techniques for each standard based on Jim’s extensive teaching experience and current research on effective instruction
  • Complete glossary for each standard and adaptations for ELL students

Don’t spend another minute poring over the standards. Jim has already done that for you. Focus instead on how to teach them, using The Common Core Companion as your one-stop guide for teaching, planning, assessing, collaborating, and designing powerful reading and writing curricula.

“One cannot benefit from or use a document that demands more time than a teacher or administrator has each day. So I share with you, my fellow educators, the reformatted, parallel version of the standards I created to make the document itself more efficient, more usable, more helpful.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                         --Jim Burke

For a quick tour of The Common Core Companion
To view Burke’s Reading Standard 1
To view Burke’s Writing Standard 1
To view Burke’s Speaking & Listening Standard 1
Introduction: Getting to the Core of the Curriculum
Moving Forward--Together  
A Brief Orientation to The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8  
How to Use This Book  
Accepting the Invitation  
Quick Reference: Common Core State Standards, 6-12 English Language Arts
Quick Reference: Common Core State Standards, 6-12 English Language Arts in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
The Complete Common Core State Standards: Decoded
Part 1. Reading
Key Ideas and Details  
Craft and Structure  
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas  
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity  
Part 2. Writing
Text Types and Purposes  
Production and Distribution of Writing  
Research to Build and Present Knowledge  
Range of Writing  
Part 3. Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration  
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas  
Part 4. Language
Conventions of Standard English  
Knowledge of Language  
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use  
Resource A. Common Core Recommended Reading Lists  
Resource B. Text Complexity Tool  
Resource C. Planning Calendar Templates  
Teacher Notes
About the Author


CCSS were not approved in Texas.

Professor Rodrigo Joseph Rodriguez
English Dept, University Of Texas-El Paso
August 18, 2014

Extremely clear and useful! I had previous students explore the book to see what they though and they were all upset it wasn't out when they took the class. They've ordered copies on their own.

Dr Lisa Arter
English Dept, Southern Utah University
March 3, 2014

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ISBN: 9781452276038

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