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PA Core Standards in English / Language Arts - Professional Development Training


Participants Unpack the PA ELA Core Standards in Relationship to the Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content




PK-12 Teachers & Administrators


The PA Core English/Language Arts Standards describe what students should know and be able to do utilizing the English language from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. They provide the targets for instruction and student learning essential for success in all academic areas, not just in language arts classrooms. And although the Standards are not a curriculum or a prescribed series of activities, school entities use them to develop a local school curriculum that meets local needs. Five Standards are designed to provide a PK–12 continuum to reflect the demands of a college- and career-ready graduate:

  • Standard 1: Foundational Skills begin at pre-kindergarten and focus on early childhood, with some Standards reflected through Grade 5. These foundational skills are a necessary and important component of an effective, comprehensive reading program designed to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend text, both literary and informational, across disciplines.
  • Standard 2: Reading Informational Text enables students to read, understand, and respond to informational text.
  • Standard 3: Reading Literature enables students to read, understand, and respond to works of literature.
  • Standard 4: Writing develops the skills of informational, argumentative, and narrative writing, as well as the ability to engage in evidence-based analysis of text and research.
  • Standard 5: Speaking and Listening focuses students on communication skills that enable critical listening and effective presentation of ideas.

To ensure alignment with the Standards, significant instructional shifts are necessary:

  • Balancing the reading of informational and literary texts so that students can access nonfiction and authentic texts, as well as literature
  • Focusing on close and careful reading of text so that students are learning from the text
  • Building a staircase of complexity such that each grade level requires a “step” of growth on the “staircase,” so that students are college or career ready upon graduation from high school
  • Supporting writing from sources (that is, using evidence from text to inform or make an argument) so that students use evidence and respond to the ideas, events, facts, and arguments presented in the texts they read
  • Stressing an academically focused vocabulary so that students can access more complex texts

OnHand Schools helps teachers unpack the ELA PA Core Standards and demonstrates their relationship to the PA Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content. Teachers analyze the Standards and recognize the one-to-one correspondence between them and student learning outcomes. Teachers also engage in hands-on activities that help them implement the Standards.

Associated EdInsight System Tool: