The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) include three main instructional "shifts" for teaching and learning. These shifts are explained below (summarized from "Making the Shifts" by Sandra Alberti http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec12/vol70/num04/Making-the-Shifts.aspx):
1. Building Knowledge Through Content-Rich Nonfiction: Reading more nonfiction creates a more well-rounded reader by providing background knowledge in the areas of science, social studies, history, and the arts. Literature is not ignored but supplemented by informational text in and out of the English/Language Arts classroom.
2. Reading and Writing Grounded in Evidence: Readers and writers develop and utilize evidence, analysis, argumentation/debate, and clear communication. The Common Core does not include reader-response but focuses on close and critical reading to prepare students for post-secondary education.
3. Regular Practice with Complex Texts and Academic Language: Focus on the adjectives in that heading! Complex texts must be read frequently and discussed/analyzed using academic language that students will encounter as they continue to study texts both in high school and in higher education.