Common Core: Informational Reading Tools(Pre-Tests,Strategy Sheets,Skill Charts)

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We've added FREE BONUS materials to this resource!! Thanks to a request from TPT user Amandalyn1439, we've added CCSS Skill Growth Charts for all of the Common Core ELA Reading Literature Standards to the end of this resource!

Resource Includes:

- 3 Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Informational Reading Diagnostic Tests assessing Informational Reading standards for RI Anchor Standards 1-9, Grades 4 to 9-10. Answer keys and analysis sheets included for each test.

- 62 CCSS Informational Reading Strategy Sheets, with one sheet per standard for all Informational Reading standards for RI Anchor Standards 1-9, Grades 4 to 9-10.

- 9 CCSS Informaitonal Reading Skill Growth Tracking Charts, with one sheet per RI Anchor Standard (1-9), cross-references to CCSS Reading in History/Social Studies standards, and full articulation of the ELA Informational Reading standards strands from grades K to 11-12.

How to Use These Resources

Informational Text Reading Diagnostic Assessments:

As the transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) takes place, teachers will be faced with the challenge of figuring out to what extent each of their new student’s CCSS skills have developed in relation to the competency ladders that are laid out in each of the CCSS standards strands. The objective diagnostic assessments contained in this resource will allow teachers to begin assessing this efficiently for both the CCSS ELA Informational Reading Standards and Reading in History and Social Studies Standards.

This resource contains three diagnostic assessment tests that are designed to the CCSS for ELA Informational Reading, Anchor Standards 1 – 9. There is one objective diagnostic test for each cluster of Anchor Standards, including one test for Key Ideas and Details (Anchor Standards 1 – 3); Craft and Structure (Anchor Standards 4 – 6); and one test for Integration of Knowledge (Anchor Standards 7 – 9). Each item on the test is designed to a specific standard within the standards-strands and, together, the items assess competencies from the 4th grade level to the 9-10th grade level. Since CCSS Reading in History and Social Studies Standards closely parallel the ELA Informational Reading Standards (as have been mapped out in the Skill Growth Tracking Sheets that are also included in this resource), these assessments are appropriate for ELA or Social Studies use. While we have not mapped out the CCSS Reading in Science and Technology Standards in the Growth Tracking Sheets, they too closely parallel the ELA Informational Reading Standards. Therefore, science teachers could make effective use of these assessments as well.

Each test includes a number of reading passage excerpts with various Lexile levels, which are clearly marked on each reading passage. Each test also comes with an answer key and an analysis sheet. The analysis sheet correlates each assessment item with the CCSS Informational Reading standard to which it was designed. These analysis sheets allow teachers to easily map out each student’s responses in a way that organizes them by the CCSS standards. Once an entire class is entered into a sheet, the teacher will not only get a CCSS skill portrait of each student, but will also get a general portrait of the skill levels for Informational Reading for the entire class. This will allow teachers to plan for whole class, small group, and individual instruction and differentiation that will support students as they work to move toward the next CCSS competency level that is appropriate for them.

Given the nature of the Common Core State Standards, objective assessment items can only approximate the nature of the student work that is called for in each CCSS standard. Therefore, these diagnostic tests are not intended to give a definitive picture of where a student lies on each of the CCSS competency ladders that are laid out in the standards strands. Instead, these tests will give teachers enough information to get a general idea of a student’s range of skill levels within each of the strands. Teachers should then assign students writing tasks that fall within those ranges, which will further clarify the picture of to what extent their students’ skills have developed. For such writing tasks, teachers may use the Informational Reading Strategy Sheets that are provided in the next section of this resource.

CCSS Informational Reading Strategy Sheets:

This resource contains 62 individual CCSS Informational Text Reading Strategy Sheets that are designed to each of the CCSS Informational Reading standards for Anchor Standards 1 – 9 and grade levels 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9-10, and 11-12. Each standard (for RI Anchor standards 1 – 9) has a separate Strategy Sheet designed to it. Each sheet is clearly labeled with the CCSS Informational Text Reading Standard to which it was designed so that teachers may easily identify which standard the sheet addresses.

Since each strand of CCSS Literacy standards are designed as a continuum of competencies that build from year to year, teachers at Middle and High School levels can look forward or backwards along the strand for differentiation. For instance, if a student is not ready to begin work on the 8th grade Information Reading Standard for Anchor Standard RI.1 due to a lack of foundational skills leading up to that standard, the teacher can look back to 7th or 6th grade in order to see what skill should be work on next by the student. Similarly, for a student who has already mastered the 8th grade level competencies for that strand, a teacher can look forward to the 9-10th grade standard in order to ensure the student continues to grow his or her skills. These strategy sheets, used in conjunction with the diagnostic tests and the Skill Growth Tracking Sheets contained in this resource, can make such differentiation more manageable for the classroom teacher.

The Strategy Sheets are not specific to any text. Instead, teachers may use their own texts with any of the strategy sheets so long as the text’s complexity is appropriate for the standard level and contains the textual elements with which the CCSS standard calls for students to work.

The Strategy Sheets are intended to be used as a scaffolding step to help prompt students to engage in the thinking steps needed to perform the competencies outlined for that level of work in the CCSS Informational Text Reading standards. As students’ skills to achieve those competencies grow, they should be weaned off of the explicit prompting from the strategy sheets and moved toward performing those skills with independence. If students can consistently complete one of the Strategy Sheets successfully, the teacher can be confident that the student is ready to be moved away from reliance on the steps outlined on sheets and into performing the same skills independently. If a student can consistently perform the skills needed to achieve the competency laid out in a CCSS standard independently, the student has achieved mastery of those skills and is ready to begin work on the skills needed to accomplish the competencies described in the next CCSS standard within the same strand. To chart where each student currently stands within the CCSS Informational Reading Standards competency ladders, teachers may use the Skill Growth Tracking Charts included in this resource.

As a cautionary note, teachers should not confuse these Strategy Sheets as being a substitute for teaching students the reading strategies and skills needed for success when tackling tough informative texts. While these sheets can be invaluable to help clarify for students what types of thoughts they need to strive for, teachers must still regularly direct lessons, provide many and repeated opportunities for practice, and supply timely and meaningful feedback for students in relation to their work with informational texts. If teachers find themselves in need of resources to help them plan these Informational Reading lessons, they may wish to look into some of our other lessons available at our TeachersPayTeachers store (

The amount of student writing in response to the text(s) they read that is envisioned with these sheets typically falls in what is termed a “writing entry” length. A writing entry is longer than notes, and typically is written from putting together different thoughts that were gathered during note taking. On the other hand, writing entries are far shorter than formal essays. Writing entries need not have fully developed introductions, bodies, and conclusions. Typically, a writing entry will involve students writing a paragraph or two that centers on expressing and supporting one idea or aspect of analysis involved with the text that is being read. Most writing entries, however, can be expanded and developed into longer pieces of formal writing.

Skill Growth Tracking Charts:

As students grow the skills necessary to accomplish the competencies described in the CCSS Informational Reading standards, teachers will be challenged to keep track of where each student currently stands within the competency ladder of each standard strand. Without this information, teachers will not be able to target lessons and learning opportunities that will support students as they work to move forward along those ladders. Our Skill Growth Tracking Charts will make tracking this information more simple and efficient for both ELA and Social Studies teachers.

The Tracking Charts are designed to serve as a class-record to map out where each individual student currently standings in their work on developing skills toward CCSS Informational Reading competencies within a single standard strand. Each Informational Reading Anchor Standard has its own Tracking Chart, which includes full mapping of the grade-level competencies as described by each grade level’s CCSS standard from grades K to 11-12. Each Strategy Sheet also contains the correlating CCSS Reading History and Social Studies standards for the same Anchor Strand. To further facilitate collaboration between ELA and Social Studies teachers in growing students’ Informational Reading Skills, the ELA CCSS competency descriptions for each standard on the Tracking Sheets include bracketed references to illustrate how the competency translates for the CCSS Reading in History standards.

While we did not include the CCSS Reading in Science and Technology Standards on the Tracking Sheets, the close parallels between the Science Reading Standards and both the ELA Informational Text Reading Standards and History Reading Standards, science teachers could also make effective use of these Skill Growth Tracking Charts with their classes.
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Common Core: Informational Reading Tools(Pre-Tests,Strateg
Common Core: Informational Reading Tools(Pre-Tests,Strateg
Common Core: Informational Reading Tools(Pre-Tests,Strateg
Common Core: Informational Reading Tools(Pre-Tests,Strateg
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