Howard County Times
Howard County

What is expected of students under Common Core

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a uniform set of benchmarks children across the country must meet. Here's a sampling of what students must master at a certain age.

A complete list of standards is available at



• Know number names and the count sequence


• With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text

• Read common high-frequency words by sight (i.e. the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does)

1st Grade

• Add and subtract within 20

• Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses

• Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic and provide some sense of closure

2nd Grade

• Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication


• Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text

• Use collective nouns, form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (i.e. feet, children, teeth, mice, fish)

3rd Grade

• Multiply and divide within 100

• Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters

• Decode multisyllable words


4th Grade

• Understand decimal notation for fractions and compare decimal fractions

• Determine a theme of a story, drama or poem from details in the text; summarize the text

• Compare and contrast a first-hand and second-hand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided

5th Grade

• Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and decimals to hundredths


• Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably

• Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes

6th Grade

• Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area and volume

• Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution

• Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not


7th Grade

• Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations

• Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (i.e. soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning

• Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of ideas

8th Grade

• Analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations


• Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events or character types from myths, traditional stories or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new

• Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation

9th and 10th grades

• Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (i.e., parallel plots) and manipulate time (i.e., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension or surprise

• Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (i.e., Washington's Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), including how they address related themes and topics

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• Perform arithmetic operations on polynomials (in algebra)


• Build a function that models a relationship between two quantities (in functions)

11th and 12th grades

• Demonstrate knowledge of 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics

• Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (i.e., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes and arguments in works of public advocacy (i.e., "The Federalist", presidential addresses)

• Make inferences and justify conclusions from sample surveys, experiments and observational studies (in statistics and probability)

• Prove theorems involving similarity (in geometry)