Built from the Common Core Standards for ELA and Content-Area Literacy

Code X was built from the ground up to help teachers teach, practice, and master the Common Core State Standards for ELA/Content-Area Literacy. HMH has identified five principles that represent the key shifts in curriculum and instruction within the Common Core. Code X uses these principles as the framework for instruction to support teachers in enhancing their pedagogy to have the greatest impact on student learning.

Key Instructional Shifts

  • Balancing Informational & Literary Texts
  • Complex Text that Builds Content Area Knowledge
  • Text-Dependent Questions & Tasks
  • Academic & Domain–Specific Vocabulary
  • Structured Approaches to Teaching Writing
  • Code X texts are engaging, content-area focused, diverse, and complex for the grade-level band 6–8. Students will engage in content-rich Unit studies, Independent Reading, collaborative Literature Circle discussions, and in-depth discussion and writing of grade-level literature through two full-length novel studies.

  • Each Code X Unit exposes students to on- and above grade level texts that span a variety of genres, including literary nonfiction, informational, and fictional text types at an appropriate range of text complexity. Scaffolded Instruction gradually decreases over time as teachers monitor student learning and understanding of content-area text.

  • Instruction in Code X focuses on Close Reading of text and gathering evidence at the word, phrase, sentence, and text level. Questions and short tasks are all in service of deep reading of the texts that are then used as sources for speaking and writing assignments.

  • Code X vocabulary instruction is systematic, efficient, and intensive. Instruction focuses on academic vocabulary, words with abstract or multiple meanings or uses, domain-specific terms, and words that are part of a word family or semantic network to build students’ knowledge and understanding. Students are also taught to access a range of strategies to determine word meanings in context.

  • Throughout Code X, students compose both on-demand and process writing as well as short, focused research projects. Students become proficient with the key writing types identified by the Common Core: informative essay, argument essay and narrative writing.

Next Generation Assessments

  • Unit Assessments Modeled on the Next Generation Assessments
  • Daily On-Demand, Writing & Assignments
  • Rigorous, Authentic Assessments that Measure Mastery of Key Standards
  • The Code X Assessment Guides include Unit assessments modeled on the sample Next Generation Assessment items. They provide evidence-based selected-response and constructed-response items in order to assess students’ understanding of the Unit texts, give teachers multiple data points for determining grades, and provide practice with each of the new assessment items.

  • Formative assessments throughout each Unit provide opportunities for students to demonstrate comprehension of text, vocabulary, and measure mastery of key Common Core standards. These daily on-demand writing assignments focus on Key Ideas and Details and Craft and Structure throughout each Unit.

  • Each Written Unit Performance Task focuses on reading, writing, speaking and listening, and research claims. These tasks measure capacities such as depth of understanding, interpretive and analytical ability, synthesis, and research. They take place over the course of the one-month Unit analysis.