Illinois Common Core Standards

Instructor: Eric Campos

Eric has tutored in English, writing, history, and other subjects.

While the Common Core Standards are meant to provide a degree of uniformity and structure in every student's education, that doesn't mean each state is bound to implement them in the exact same way. Read on to learn how Illinois approaches the Common Core Standards.

Role of the Common Core in Illinois

The state of Illinois has adopted the Common Core standards to ensure a consistent education for its students. However, the standards outline skill sets and expectations for students, not how they are achieved. Teachers have freedom to choose materials and lesson plans that will allow their students to develop these crucial skills.

The Illinois Common Core covers English Language Arts for grades K-12 and Mathematics for grades K-8. These standards provide a framework of different skills and knowledge students should attain at each grade level. Below are outlines of the standards' objectives.

ELA Standards

Students must be able to apply reading, writing, and analytical skills for success in all facets of life. To develop these skills, students will delve into written materials ranging from fictional works of literature to more informational and nonfiction texts. Emphasis is placed on studying fewer texts in order to study each piece more thoroughly. As grade levels increase, students will focus more on informational texts, through literature will still be included in the curricula.

Another major focus of the Illinois ELA standards is developing students' ability to draw upon evidence found in written materials and use them to analyze a text or form an argument. Students will hone such abilities through essays and other writing exercises. Vocabulary development is also prioritized. Below are a few resources to help illustrate what instruction aligned with these standards might look like:

Mathematics Standards

The Illinois mathematics standards were developed around the principles of focus, coherence, and rigor. There aren't a lot of standards per grade level, allowing students to focus more on developing their understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts. Mastery of these key concepts allows students to build on their math knowledge as they advance through a coherent progression of math classes that increase in difficulty.

The Illinois standards also emphasize a rigorous approach to problem solving in order to help students gain a concrete understanding of not only how to find the solution to a problem, but also the reasoning behind the mathematical processes being used. Students also work to develop speed and accuracy in their calculations and understand their real world applications.

By adopting the Common Core standards, Illinois actually sets what topics will be covered in each grade level. Students all over the state study the same math concepts at the same time, ensuring that if students transfer schools, they will be able to continue where they left off. See the resources below for examples of how Common Core math standards might be implemented in the classroom.

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