Glossary of Terms
The following words and phrases have a meaning unique to the Common Core State Standards:
- textual evidence: facts, figures, details, quotations, or other sources of data and information that provide support for claims or an analysis and that can be evaluated by others; should appear in a form and be derived from a source widely accepted as appropriate to a particular discipline, as in details or quotations from a text in the study of literature and experimental results in the study of science.
- text complexity band: a range of text difficulty corresponding to grade spans within the Standards; specifically, the spans from grades 2–3, grades 4–5, grades 6–8, grades 9–10, and grades 11–CCR (college and career readiness).
- text complexity: the inherent difficulty of reading and comprehending a text combined with consideration of reader and task variables; in the Standards, a three-part assessment of text difficulty that pairs qualitative and quantitative measures with reader-task considerations.
- technical subjects: a course devoted to a practical study, such as engineering, technology, design, business, or other workforce-related subject; a technical aspect of a wider field of study, such as art or music.
- scaffolding: temporary guidance or assistance provided to a student by a teacher, another adult, or a more capable peer, enabling the student to performa task he or she otherwise would not be able to do alone, with the goal of fostering the student’s capacity to perform the task on his or her own.
- rebus: a mode of expressing words and phrases by using pictures of objects whose names resemble those words.
- general academic words and phrases: vocabulary common to written texts but not commonly a part of speech; in the Standards, general academic words and phrases are analogous to Tier Two words.
- focused question: a query narrowly tailored to task, purpose, and audience, as in are search query that is sufficiently precise to allow a student to achieve adequate specificity and depth within the time and format constraints.
- emergent reader texts: texts consisting of short sentences comprised of learned sight words and consonant-vowel-consonant words; may also include rebuses to represent words that cannot yet be decoded or recognized; see also rebus.
- domain-specific words and phrases: vocabulary specific to a particular field of study (domain), such as the human body; see Tier Three words.
- Tier One words: the words of everyday speech usually learned in the early grades, albeit not at the same rate by all children. They are not considered a challenge to the average native speaker, though English Language Learners of any age will have to attend carefully to them; see general academic words and phrases.
- Tier Two words: words that are far more likely to appear in written texts than in speech. They appear in all sorts of texts: informational texts (words such as relative, vary, formulate, specificity), technical texts (calibrate,itemize, periphery), and literary texts (misfortune, dignified, faltered, unabashedly). Tier Two words often represent subtle or precise ways to say relatively simple things: saunter instead ofwalk, for example. Because Tier Two words are found across many types of texts, they are highly generalizable.
- Tier Three words: words that are specific to a domain or field of study (lava, legislature, circumference, aorta) and key to understanding a new concept within a text. Because of their specificity and close ties to content knowledge, Tier Three words are far more common in informational texts than in literature. Recognized as new and “hard” words for most readers (particularly student readers), they are often explicitly defined by the author of a text, repeatedly used, and otherwise heavily scaffolded (e.g. made part of a glossary).