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The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8

The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8
What They Say, What They Mean, How to Teach Them

  • Jim Burke - Burlingame High School, Burlingame, CA
Additional resources:

October 2013 | 280 pages | Corwin
That version of the 6-8 standards you wish you had

Don't spend another minute poring over the standards. Jim Burke has already done the hard work for you with this roadmap of what each standard says, what each standard means, and how precisely to put that standard into practice across English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Jim clearly lays out:

Grades 6-8 standards side by side with key distinctions

Different content-area versions of each standard

Explanations of each standard, with student prompts

Content to cover, lesson ideas, and instructional techniques

Glossary and adaptations for ELL students

Introduction: Getting to the Core of the Curriculum
Moving Forward--Together

A Brief Orientation to The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8

How to Use This Book

Accepting the Invitation

Quick Reference: Common Core State Standards, 6-12 English Language Arts
Quick Reference: Common Core State Standards, 6-12 English Language Arts in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
The Complete Common Core State Standards: Decoded
Part 1. Reading
Key Ideas and Details

Craft and Structure

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

Part 2. Writing
Text Types and Purposes

Production and Distribution of Writing

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Range of Writing

Part 3. Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Part 4. Language
Conventions of Standard English

Knowledge of Language

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Resource A. Common Core Recommended Reading Lists

Resource B. Text Complexity Tool

Resource C. Planning Calendar Templates

Teacher Notes
About the Author


“I love what Jim Burke has done to make the Standards less threatening and more useful for teachers. In particular, the indicators for what students and teachers should be doing, given the Standard, are extremely helpful; as are such a clear glossary and illuminating examples. All in all, The Common Core Companion is bound to be enormously useful and thus dog-eared!”

Grant Wiggins, President
Authentic Education, Hopewell, NJ

“Fundamentally different from other Common Core books, The Common Core Companion is s a user’s guide designed by a teacher who actually uses the standards in his daily work with students. Jim Burke gently demystifies the Common Core State Standards and offers a practical tool for curricular alignment. I think you will find The Common Core Companion helps schools help themselves.”

Carol Jago, Member
Common Core State Standards Feedback Committee

“I have never read a book for teachers so well laid out and highly useful.  I predict administrators across the country will purchase this book for their secondary teachers to use in their staff meetings, individual department meetings, their PLCs, and for individual teachers to use as Burke puts it as ‘a personal compass to navigate the complexities of the Common Core Curriculum.’” 

Debbie Silver, Ed.D., Author of Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers and Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8

“I must say, I am duly impressed.  This book gives the kind of ‘hands-on’ support classroom teachers and curriculum committees really need in doing the work of ‘unpacking’ the standards and interpreting those standards into curriculum documents.  The very detailed, complete discussions of the standards and the breakdowns that the Burke does are, in my opinion, exemplary . . . Well done!”

Joe Crawford, Author of Aligning Your Curriculum to the Common Core State Standards

"This very practical guide makes a complex topic easier to understand and less formidable. Schools will want to purchase copies for all teachers and personnel working with the Common Core."

Library Media Connection, August/September 2014

CCSS were not approved in Texas.

Professor Rodrigo Joseph Rodriguez
English Dept, University Of Texas-El Paso
August 18, 2014

Extremely clear and useful! I had previous students explore the book to see what they though and they were all upset it wasn't out when they took the class. They've ordered copies on their own.

Dr Lisa Arter
English Dept, Southern Utah University
March 3, 2014

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

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ISBN: 9781452276038