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Connect to Comprehension

Common Core Standards

A More Rigorous Approach

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) represent a more rigorous approach to literacy instruction at all grade levels.  The main goal of these standards is that students be able to, “Read and comprehend literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.”

Among the foundations included in the new standards are:  the interconnected nature of reading and writing; the importance of informational text; the importance of evidence-based comprehension; the importance of making inferences, determining central ideas, and summarizing text using details.  All of these elements are part of the Connect to Comprehension (CtoC) reading program. 

  • The reading-writing connection is stressed through the use of daily writing activities that enable students to practice learned phonetic/structural analysis skills, answer factual and inferential questions pertaining to the text, summarize previously read material, and respond to text with personal judgments.

  • Informational text has been incorporated into the program through the use of paired nonfiction articles.  These short expository passages appear throughout the levels and are accompanied by scripted questions which align with the text structure.  (More specific information on the nonfiction articles can be found in the Paired Nonfiction section of the website.)

  • Evidence-based comprehension is stressed throughout the program, even at the beginning levels.  Students are encouraged to look back in the text to support their answers to questions. 

  • Upper-level comprehension skills such as making inferences, identifying main ideas and details, and summarizing text are taught and practiced at all levels of the program.  In fact, this is the main goal of the Connect to Comprehension materials.

Many of the specific CCSS for Language Arts, especially for grades K-5, are directly aligned to the instruction and practice provided in Connect to Comprehension. 

  • Retell, recount stories.

  • Compare and contrast two or more characters/settings.

  • Refer to details when drawing inferences.

  • Describe the logical connections between sentences and paragraphs in a text (sequence, cause/effect, compare/contrast).

  • Know and apply grade-level phonics and word-analysis skills in decoding words.

  • Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.

  • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

While the Connect to Comprehension program is skill-based rather than based on grade-level, the upper-level comprehension skills are taught and practiced while students are learning the foundational skills in phonics to be able to read more difficult and complex text.  More importantly, before the critical thinking skills stressed in the CCSS can be mastered, students must be able to comprehend at a literal and inferential level.  The skills provided in Connect to Comprehension serve to build and strengthen these skills.

For more information on the Common Core Standards, visit their website: