Thursday, March 7, 2013

Connecting Common Core

What is Common Core?
The Common Core State Standards outline what ALL students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.  The standards are designed to outline the knowledge and skills that students need in order to be college and career ready.  You can access more information on the CCSS at

Why is Common Core important for School Counselors?
Common core specifically states that the standards are to be addressed in all content areas.  Also, the main goal of common core is "college and career readiness".  The standards do not define the intervention or the methods necessary to get there, however, there are many aspects of college and career readiness that apply to school counseling. 

How do I connect Common Core and School Counseling?
I have found that I can easily incorporate the Common Core standards in my classroom guidance lessons, especially in the areas of speaking and listening, writing and reading.  Our district required that each teacher submit information showing how Common Core will be used in their classroom.  This is what I have come up with so far:

This first chart shows the ASCA standards paired with Common Core Competencies:
ASCA Standards
Common Core (Skills/Competencies)
Standard A:  Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute o effective learning in school and across the life span.
o   Students will explore the information and arguments from various points of view to think critically and creatively and to solve problems.
Standard B:  Students will complete school with the academic preparation essential to choose from a wide range of substantial post secondary options, including college.
o   Students will learn how to apply the academic, critical, practical, technical, and employability skills needed for success in higher education and the work place and to manage their lives.
Standard C:  Students will understand the relationship of academics to the world of work and to life at home and in the community.
o   Students will actively explore the world of ideas.
o   Students will demonstrate the effort and persistence needed to be successful in school, work and life.
Standard A:  Students will acquire the skills to investigate the world of work in relation to knowledge of self and to make informed career decisions.
o   Students will embrace career as a part of their future; acquire employable skills; demonstrate positive attitudes toward work; demonstrate attitudes and habits that are valued in the workplace; explore a range of careers; explore post secondary educational opportunities; manage data and use problem-solving and analytical skills to make reasoned decision.
Standard B:  Students will employ strategies to achieve future career success and satisfaction.
Standard C:  Students will understand the relationship between personal qualities, education and training and the world of work.
Standard A:  Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and interpersonal skills to help them understand and respect self and others.
o   Students will work and learn independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
o   Students will gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures.
o   Students will demonstrate a sense of ethics and take responsibilities for their actions. 
o   Students are active, constructive embers of the larger community.
o   Students will develop and maintain behaviors that promote lifelong health.
o   Students will understand the implications of living in a finite world.
o   Students will understand the role of systems throughout our society.
o   Students will understand the dynamic nature of society and the universality of change.

Here is a list of ASCA Standards that can be connected to Common Core:

A:A2.3 Use communications skills to know when and how to ask for help when needed

A:A3.2 Demonstrate the ability to work independently, as well as the ability to work cooperatively with other students.

A:B1.1 Demonstrate the motivation to achieve individual potential

A:B1.2 Learn and apply critical-thinking skills

A:B 1.3 Seek information and support from faculty, staff, family and peers

A:B1.5 Organize and apply academic information from a variety of sources

A:B1.7 Become a self-directed and independent learner

A:B2.2 Use assessment results in educational planning (ELA & Math CCSS)

A:B2.5 Use problem-solving and decision making skills to assess progress toward educational goals

A:B2.7 Identify post-secondary options consistent with interests, achievement, aptitude and abilities

A:C1.3 Understand the relationship between learning and work

A:C1.6 Understand how school success and academic achievement enhance future career and vocational opportunities

C:A1.1 Develop skills to locate, evaluate and interpret career information

C:A1.2 Learn about the variety of traditional and nontraditional occupations

C:A1.4 Learn how to interact and work cooperatively in teams

C:A2.1 Acquire employability skills such as working on a team, problem-solving and organizational skills

C:A2.2 Apply job-readiness skills to seek employment opportunities

C:B1.5 Use research and information resources to obtain career information

C:C1.1 Understand the relationship between educational achievement and career success

C:C2.3 Learn to work cooperatively with others as a team member

PS:A1.5 Identify and express feelings

PS:A1.9 Demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups

PS:A2.1 Recognize that everyone has rights and responsibilities

PS:A2.2 Respect alternative points of view

PS:A2.3 Recognize, accept, respect and appreciate individual differences

PS:A2.4 Recognize, accept and appreciate ethnic and cultural diversity

PS:A2.6 Use effective communications skills

PS:A2.7 Know that communication involves speaking, listening and nonverbal behavior

Finally, these are the Common Core standards that I will be addressing in my classroom guidance lessons:  
Reading Standards: [RL.x.1-10]& [RI.x.1-10]
Key Advances and Fluency Considerations Per Grade Level:
K-2 RL1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
3-5 RL 1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly.
K-2 RL1 
3-5 RL 2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text.
K-2 RL 3  Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
3-5 RL 3  Describe characters and how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
K-2 RI 1  Ask and answer questions about key details in a text
3-5 RI 1Refer to details and examples in text.
K-2 RI 2  Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text
3-5 RI 2 Determine the main idea of a text and how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
3-5 RI 4  Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to grade topic
3-5 RI 7  Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively and explain how the info contributes.
3-5 RI 9  Integrate information from 2 texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
K-2 RI10 Read age appropriate informational texts.
3-5 RI10 Read age-appropriate informational texts.

Writing Standards: [W.x.1-10]
Key Advances and Fluency Considerations Per Grade Level:
[Review PARCC Progression Chart & CCSS]
K-2 W1  Write opinion pieces, supplying supports for that opinion.
3-5 W1  Write opinion pieces on topics, supporting a point of view.
3-5 W4  Write clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Speaking & Listening: [SL.x.1-6]
Key Advances and Fluency Considerations Per Grade Level:
[Review PARCC Progression Chart & CCSS]
K-2 SL1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners.
3-5 SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, groups, teacher led).
K-2 SL2 Ask and answer questions about details presented orally or through other media.
3-5 SL2 Determine the main idea, paraphrase information, or summarize text read aloud or presented in diverse media.
K-2 SL3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, increase understanding, or gain additional information.
3-5 SL3 Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, identify reasons and evidence a speaker provides, summarize the points a speaker makes.
3-5 SL 4  Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts...
3-5  SL 5 Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
College and career ready:  Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on other’s ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 

I will give some examples of lessons in future posts!


  1. Heather,

    I am presenting at ASCA on July 1st with colleagues about Counselor Educators and Common Core. We have referenced your post about Common Core. Just wanted to let you know as I think it is a fabulous writing and others will be directed to your work. Of course, we are giving you full credit. Please e-mail me direct at if you have any questions/comments. Thanks!

  2. I really like how you aligned ASCA and Common Core. I think the alignment is even better now with the Mindsets and Behaviors (more flexibility)