The intent of the Common Core State Standards is mastery of grade-level content by the end of the school year by building a solid foundation. Standards paced in each quarter serve as the focus of instruction through which a deeper understanding of the content is built. It is important to note that the order in which the Standards appear within each quarter does not necessarily indicate the order in which they must be taught.
The Standards should not be taught in isolation. Due to connections between and among Standards, teachers are encouraged to integrate, where applicable, related Standards within their instruction. For example, a comprehensive reading lesson might include learning targets from the Reading Literature, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language Strands. The learning targets provided in the Unwrapped Standards provide additional direction for lesson planning.
A lettering convention has been applied to individual Learning Targets (Knowledge: KT, Reasoning: RT, Performance: PF, Product: PR) within the Unwrapped Standards to facilitate lesson planning by allowing teachers to identify specific learning targets (lesson objectives) within a single Standard that can be combined differently with other targets across multiple lessons and units to support student mastery of the Standards by the end of the school year. Organizing curriculum in this manner fosters a spiraled curriculum; one in which the student repeats the study of a subject multiple times, each time at a higher level of difficulty and in greater depth (Jerome Bruner, 1960).
As the District continues to build curriculum for the core English language arts classes at the high school level, a distinction between an individual unit's overarching idea and a specific standard's essential question and big idea must be made. Within the sample units of study included on the Curriculum Engine, the unit's overarching idea allows students to study a topic or theme in depth through interaction with multiple and diverse literary and informational texts. Whereas, the essential question and big idea invite students into the learning, define the standards-based learning expectation, and capture what students are meant to discover as a result of their learning.
During the transition from the Nevada State English Language Arts Standards to the Common Core State Standards, it is necessary to identify the Nevada State Assessed Indicators which remain tested items for the High School Proficiency Exams. The Pacing View on the Curriculum Engine helps teachers plan the pacing of instruction to ensure that all Nevada State Assessed Indicators are taught. The Nevada State Assessed Indicators have been paced under the most closely connected Common Core State Standard(s).