Common Core “I Can” Statements (Updated 5/30)

My I Can Statements for 9-10th grades.

My I can Posters for 9-10th grades.

Standards-Aligned Question Stems for grades 9-10.

CCSS Vertical Progressions ELA for grades K-12.

Update 5/30:  So, you’re looking for help with all the grade levels?  April Wulber, Darke County Ohio ESC ELA Specialist and ORC Ambassador, has posted her I Can Statements for all grade levels (K-12!) on the ELA page at DCESC website.  Check them out!!  (*She also has tons of other common core resources available.)

Figure out how to deconstruct the common core standards using my guide based on Jan Chappuis’ Classroom Assessment for Student Learning (2011)

Have you heard about “I can” statements?  The idea has been around for awhile.  Basically, you take the standards and turn them into student-friendly language.  The idea would be that you would tell and show the students exactly what they should be able to know and do as a result of learning the standard.  When I started looking at the CCSS, I decided I had to try to create these kinds of statements primarily for myself–to understand what I am supposed to be teaching–but also for my students–to show them what they are supposed to be learning.

My goal for this year is to incorporate my student-friendly CCSS into both my lesson plans and my classroom.  I’m going to create a chart for each unit to show students what specific objective they will meet and how they will meet it.  Because I’m also incorporating an interactive journal this year, students will be able to keep track of their own learning and whether they’ve met the learning objectives in a unit.

My three goals for this year for an overall overhaul of my classroom are…

1.  Incorporate more technology:  try out the resource for bell ringers, open up my project assignments to include more digital media possibilities, and move away from the “Death by Power Point” teaching methods.

2.  Find ways to lessen the grading I have to do while increasing learning opportunities for the kids:  I need to accept that not everything has to be graded, and that formative feedback is an acceptable alternative to line-by-line grading.  Ok, accepted.  Now, I’m going to work on figuring out what that looks like in my classroom.

3.  Make learning more transparent for everyone:  Use the “I can” statements to show kids what I want them to know and do.  I’m going to work more on directly telling them what I want them to be able to do, how I want them to be able to show they can do it, and give them opportunities to take control of their learning.

Ambitious goals, but finishing these “I can’s” was such a huge step in the right direction.

42 thoughts on “Common Core “I Can” Statements (Updated 5/30)

    • I’ve definitely thought about it. I’ll have to take a look at them. I can’t believe it’s so hard to find any “I can’s” online. I guess people don’t want to share the work. Did you check out the vertical alignment progressions chart I did? As a classroom teacher myself, I think that is going to be really helpful to figure out what the kids have learned and where they need to go from there.

      Check back in the future, and I’ll try to work some on those younger grades 🙂


      • We just started unpacking this year. I looked at the “I Can” statements and realized that the students had to have so many skills to ultimately understand the standard. I did as you did: Unpack, and deconstruct. I did it for two standards and then the rest of the year kicked in. The issue at my school is that I am one of four ELA teachers – middle school – and I am to follow the curriculum that is already in place. We do spelling (which is only ONE standard out of the one hundred in the ELA standards) and grammar lessons daily (again, distinct grammar topics/parts of speech only a few mentioned in the hundred standards for ELA). Therefore, I ended up unpacking and deconstructing only two before I was lost in a sea of daily papers. I am ready to go for broke and ditch the current curriculum to do the common core even if I end up catching it from the principal who favors the other teacher (because the other teacher is ‘somebody’ in our small community). In other words, doing the right thing with common core doesn’t match what has always been done. Thanks for your unpack and deconstruct – it will help me get a jump on what students need to “know” as well as what they need to “do”. This was a great help.


      • We’ve been talking a lot about focusing, because you’re right, it is a lot. And when you see hundreds of learning targets (and when you know that as a language arts teacher, these all kind of go hand in hand) it is an unbearably huge task. We are focusing on specific “power standards” (for lack of a better term) at specific times of the year. That is helping with our vertical alignment and ongoing assessment toward mastery 🙂


    • I just ran across your blog. Don’t know if you have created I can statements for 3rd grade yet but would be willing to share the unpacking document my team has created and will use to create I can statements.


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  6. This work is very well done! Where do you find the time? I think I can adapt these to 7th grade language arts easily. You and your colleagues should work together to do the entire grade span. I would certainly buy this work off of Teachers Pay Teachers.


  7. Pingback: Common Core “I Can” Statements grades 9 & 10 (Updated 5/30) | Common Core Oklahoma |

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  17. I was looking through your document, but noticed that Speaking/Listening wasn’t in there. Did I miss it or was it not included. Before answering, though, know that I can’t say THANK YOU enough! I have expectations that students have to sign each year, and I’d love to include the checklist in their portfolios!


    • I’ve missed this comment somehow. Honestly, I can’t remember if I included SL strands, but if they’re not in there, I probably didn’t 😦

      The only thing I would caution you about is thinking of I cans as checklist themselves. Remember, it’s not a “I can do it….moving on” mentality; really, if you think about it, students should always be “developing” not “mastering” these skills (except the low-level, fact-specific statements that are master-able, lol). But reading skills will always be developing because the texts get harder.

      Best of luck to you!


  18. Fantastic!!!! Thank you so much for doing this – I know it must have been a monster job! I’m on the Unit Development Team for our county, and these I Can statements have been a godsend.


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  20. You are amazing–thank you SO much for sharing your I Can statements. I’m a first year teacher and having these is going to be such an enormous help with getting my curriculum in order.


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