The Common Core Standard Initiative is the collective name for a set of new standards and a new educational approach practiced in 42 states and the District of Columbia. The purpose of the initiative is to set consistent educational standards and ensure students graduate high school capable of handling the requirements of college. The Common Core practice affects all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade, and it presents a cohesive, comprehensive approach to teaching throughout the United States.

There are two types of test that assess Common Core material: the PARCC and Smarter Balanced.

The Common Core Standards determine educational and instructional goals for students in each grade level. The Common Core, therefore, is not a curriculum. Essentially, the Common Core State Standards establish goals and expectations, but they do not dictate how teachers should teach said goals.

The English Language Arts standards address five different aspects of English. In addition, the standards introduce students to more complex texts and academic language while requiring them to rely on the evidence found in those texts. Also, students are exposed to more nonfiction than before, which is used as a means to enrich their knowledge.

**Language –**Students are exposed to various vocabulary during reading, instruction, and conversation. This helps them to expand their knowledge and skills.**Listening and Speaking –**The Common Core approach utilizes discussions and group work to encourage students to develop the speaking, presenting, and listening skills they are sure to require later in life. Students are expected to express complex ideas and comprehend complex information using the spoken word.**Media and Technology –**The Common Core approach encourages students to learn to utilize various forms of media as a means to express complex ideas and present their thoughts.- Reading – Students are expected to challenge themselves with eclectic reading material ranging from the classics to the contemporary. Exposure to various texts should help students gain new insight, knowledge, and perspective, as well as the critical eye needed to analyze and understand complex texts.
**Writing –**Students are challenged to write logical arguments that express their opinions using reasoning and evidence. This new approach also addresses short and long-term projects requiring research, written analysis, and presentation skills, the likes of which students will encounter in college and in the workplace.

The Common Core mathematics curriculum attempts to deepen and focus mathematical teachings in the United States. Greater focus means teaching fewer subjects, but those subjects also call for greater conceptual understanding, which affects both mathematical content and the practice thereof:

- Mathematical Content – The Common Core Standards do not limit the topics students may be exposed to nor do they dictate to teachers how to teach. Instead, the Common Core presents schools with a set of material that all students must learn at each grade level. In high school, the standards are not organized by grades but by subjects.
- Mathematical Practice – The Common Core challenges students to develop a better and deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and principles. Students are presented with and expected to utilize different tools and approaches to solve and analyze given problems.

COMING SOON: The Common Core Standards now affect every part of a school's curriculum as well as teachers' approaches from kindergarten to graduation. The tools and techniques implemented by the Common Core are necessary not only for school, but also for a student's career and college years. Therefore, it is crucial to master the material, and not just for the day of the test. TestPrep-Online is developing Common Core preparation packs that will help your student practice throughout the entire year. Acquire the materials that can ensure your student's success now.

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