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Common Core State Standards
and 21st Century Learning Skills

Released in 2010 the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an important turning point in the adoption of national educational standards.

When I first read the CCSS I immediately looked for evidence of the 21st century learning skills that my school's teachers and I work so hard to integrate into our library program. I was delighted when several skills quickly became obvious as I read through the standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language.


 The new education standards explicitly call for higher-order thinking skills.

Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and information literacy are strongly represented.

 The good news is that many of our teacher resources simply need to be revisited and tweaked to reflect the new education standards.


Technology. A good point about the Common Core State Standards is that technology and media literacy are embedded throughout the standards and not treated as a separate component. The CCSS uses technology to enhance reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. 


To help educators select Web 2.0 teaching tools and other online resources that support the CCSS, I created a list of online tools by Common Core Standards for ELA.

You may download it and distribute it for noncommercial educational purposes. I will be happy for you to add it to your CCSS teacher resources. Please leave the credits on the bottom of each page.

"Online Tools Supporting the Common Core State Standards

Creativity is one skill that I found to be more implied in the CCSS, rather than actually stated, but it's there. In meeting the standards' expected outcomes, creativity should flourish if we remember to design learning activities that use real world situations and to make learning relevant to our students.

English Language Arts. Communication and collaboration are key components in the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and in the CCSS Speaking and Listening standards. I was elated to see in the Writing standard the strand "Research to Build and Present Knowledge." Critical thinking and information literacy are such large parts of the process in inquiry-based research projects.

Another thing I really like about the ELA standards is the inclusion of literacy in history and social studies, science, and technical subjects. This across-the-curriculum approach is so important in remembering not to teach these ELA skills in isolation.

Mathematics. I also read the CCSS Mathematics standards looking for evidence of 21st century skills. They were not as obvious to me as they were in the ELA standards, but they are inferred.

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