IRA Supports Common Core Standards for Reading Part One

The International Reading Association (IRA) has issued a paper entitled, “Literacy Implementation Guidance for the ELA Common Core State Standards.” Their intention is to share the thinking of literacy leaders who “support thoughtful implementation of the Standards for student literacy achievement.”

IRA experts agree that simply using more challenging texts during reading instruction will not be effective in achieving greater literacy levels.  First of all, they note this requirement for the Common Core standards applies only to Grades 2 through 12 and does not apply to beginning readers in kindergarten and first grade. They maintain that:

A key aspect of learning to read conventionally in these early years involves cracking the alphabetic code – being able to decode words effectively and to develop solid word recognition skills. The most suitable texts for these purposes include features like decodeable words, common sight words, and predictable language, rather than the presentation of highly complex ideas and language.

 This section of the Common Core standards emphasizes two points:

  1. The process of reading instruction in the earliest grade levels does not change under the new Common Core standards. Students still need to learn basic reading skills in a research-based and proven manner.
  2. While these young students are learning reading basics, texts and techniques that have been commonly used at this grade level are still appropriate.

So what does this mean for our Califone community? Among other things it means that you can continue to rely on our AV2, Reading Fundamentals Center and our Card Programs as a central part of your early reading programs to teach phonics, vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Classroom teachers and reading coaches depend on card readers to enhance language instruction for native English speakers as well as ESL/ELL students. The card reader’s multisensory approach helps students make the connection between the written and the spoken word – helping them build vocabulary and comprehension. Educators can be confident that they don’t need to abandon their proven teaching strategies as this traditional instruction process is supported by the new ELA portion of the Common Core standards.

You can download the paper at

Read other Califone blogs about Common Core.




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