Master the 10 Anchor Reading Standards with a Cheat Sheet

Reading comprehension instruction must be rooted in the standards. This is not new information. However, to achieve this expectation, it’s important to recognize that text selection is secondary. Teachers first determine which standard their readers need next and then choose the text that best supports that instruction.

To do this kind of planning, it’s necessary to know the standards cold—to know what they say, what they mean, and all the subskills that they comprise.

Granted, the standards are cumbersome. Dozens of pages include codes and numbers and abbreviations and charts. But, one of the best new facets of these college and career‐ready standards is that all grade levels and subject areas target the same focus areas. These are referred to as the reading anchor standards. Regardless if teachers utilize the Common Core or state‐revised version of the CCSS, these anchor standards are pretty much the same across the nation.

To support your learning of these standards, Kristina Smekens created a “Cheat Sheet.” Notice the bulleted skills adjacent to each of the categories. These represent a range of skills within each grade‐level band (K‐5 version & 6‐12 version).

Remember, it’s essential to know these standards and what they include. Download the “Cheat Sheet.” Print off multiple copies–maybe on card stock and/or laminated. Carefully consider where this resource would be more helpful (e.g., wherever you do your lesson planning, at your small‐group guided reading table, within your science/social studies textbooks, etc.).

Once the targeted reading standard is identified, then select a text that would best fit that instruction.

DISCLAIMER #1 The Cheat Sheet does NOT replace the standards. It’s simply a quick list of highlighted skills. Plan to cross‐reference it with grade‐level standards. Remember, the cheat sheets encompass several grades at a glance (K-5/6-12); not every skill will pertain to your particular grade level and some specific skills may be omitted.

DISCLAIMER #2 The Cheat Sheet includes only the 10 anchor reading comprehension standards. There are additional standards for phonics, fluency, vocabulary, etc. The cheat sheet is merely a tool to help teachers learn the core comprehension standards.

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