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CCR Anchor Standards in Reading: An Overview

By Dave Stuart Jr.

I'm going to begin with the college and career readiness (CCR) anchor standards in reading because, in the “Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects” document, those standards come first. (By the way, I bet the length of that document title makes about half of all prospective readers of the standards freak out; that, or maybe the 66 pages worth of material.)

How are the Anchor Standards for Reading Organized?

The 10 anchor standards for reading are broken up into four groups.

  1. Key Ideas and Details (R.CCR.1-3)
  2. Craft and Structure (R.CCR.4-6)
  3. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (R.CCR.7-9)
  4. Range and Level of Text Complexity (R.CCR.10)

Or, in everyday human terms, these anchor standards are dedicated to answering these questions:

  1. What does the text say? What does it not say? What does it mean? How can you prove it? (Kelly Gallagher clarifies these questions in Deeper Reading)
  2. How does the author use language to communicate? How is the text organized? Who wrote this and how/why does that matter?
  3. How does this connect with other sources? Does it measure up? Is it valid?
  4. Can kids read widely and deeply from a broad range of high-quality texts?

These are worthwhile questions for students to pursue, and I think they can generate a lot of interesting discussion in our classrooms. With that being said, I'll admit that I fail at teaching most of them.

A colleague shared a quote with me today: Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn.


**The CCSS use the following format for notating anchor standards: [Strand, e.g., Reading or Writing or Speaking and Listening or Language].[College and Career Ready, i.e., this is what kids should be able to do when they graduate; see my post on anchor standards].[Number of the standard]. So, the fifth anchor standard in the Speaking and Listening strand would be SL.CCR.5, and the ninth anchor standard in the Writing strand would be W.CCR.9.

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3 Responses to CCR Anchor Standards in Reading: An Overview

  1. VirtualTeacher May 31, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    I read through all of your Reading Standard posts and REALLY appreciate your insights and practical explanations of how you APPLIED the standards. They make sense in theory, but it’s so hard for me to apply them. Is there any other online resource similar to yours (not as good, I’m sure!) that you could direct me to? An organization or person who has high school level informational text lesson descriptions to give me even more ideas? Thanks so much!

  2. davestuartjr June 4, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks so much, VT — I have always appreciated theory and standards APPLIED; what do they look like in a real classroom? I’m glad you find the resources useful.

    In terms of other online resources made by real teachers working out the Common Core with actual students… I don’t know of any. There are a few good consultants I’ve interacted with online (Roz Linder and Dr. Dea, to name two), but otherwise I am not sure.

    However, I’d love to think about creating the resources you seek. Could you give me more details about the “missing resource” you seek? You said, “high school level informational text lesson descriptions” — give me an example of what that kind of lesson would be and I’ll add it to my list of future posts.

    Thanks VT!

  3. Becki Wallies December 3, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Is there any place to find the standards listed by level? If I’m teaching Level C or Level D, I’d like to see just the standards for that particular level.

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