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Idaho Core Standards

As you are probably aware, Idaho is fully participating in what is known as the Common Core Standards. Idaho has adopted the name of "Idaho Core Standards" or ICS to guide education for our students. We have been actively involved in teaching ICS for over two years. One of the areas that teachers are using on a daily basis in the classroom is an "Essential Question" for Mathematics and English Language Arts or ELA. In an effort to help parents more clearly understand the ICS, we are including the Essential Questions for each grade level for each unit.

Essential Questions are used by the teacher during the unit study in Math and ELA to help students increase their comprehension of the subject being taught. It provides direction, relevance, purpose, and guidance as the students and teacher are engaged in the classwork and discussion. These questions also help the teacher and students probe for a deeper meaning and help set the stage for future learning. It also helps students develop crucial skills in critical thinking, higher order functions such as problem-solving and understanding complex systems. Classroom inquiry-based discussions are more engaging and provide opportunities for student success.

Here are the "I Can" statements for each grade level in our current Math and ELA Units:






1st Grade:


I can read the first 30 sight words(Fry words)

I can read 10 words correct on an IRI passage.

I can use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast 2 things.

I can use my Venn Diagram to write two sentences.

I can write the sounds I hear in a word to help me spell it.

I can write a sentences using correct punctuation.

I can correctly print upper and lower case letters.

I can read and understand a grade level text.

I can read one-syllable words using word patterns introduced.

I can say the beginning, middle, and final sound in a word. 


I can Form the numbers 0-9 correctly.

I can write to 30.

I can count out loud to 50.

I can solve addition problems to 10 with drawings.

I can write a number sentence (equation) to match my drawing.

I can add Fluently within 10.


2nd Grade:


I can read 1st grade level slight words (Fry words 1-150).

I can correctly spell words using spelling patterns introduced (spelling test average).

I can read and understand a grade level text.

I can read 54 or more words correct per minute.

I can read words using phonics patterns introduced.

I can read words with more than one syllable.

I can correctly spell 1st grade high frequency words.

I can understand how different words are similar.

I can identify the structure of a story (beginning, middle, & end).

I can write a detailed narrative.


I can skip count within 1000.

I can identify ones, tens, and hundreds.

I can correctly solve word problems.


3rd Grade:


I can explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs and use them in sentences (it’s important to cover abstract nouns). (L3.CSE1a, c) I can write sentences using capitals, correct punctuation, and proper spelling. (L3.CSE2e,f) I can use a dictionary or spell-check to correct misspelled words. (L3.CSE2g) I can read and understand the following vocabulary words for unit one: abstract/concrete nouns, character traits, guide word, meter, simple sentence, stanza, subject/predicate, body, and the sentence types (declarative, exclamatory, imperative, and interrogative). (L3.AUV3) I can understand words have more than one meaning (eg. HM Teacher’s Manual pg. 89g). (L3.AUV4a) I can use a base/root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same base/root. (L3.AUV4c) I can accurately and fluently read on-level text using my knowledge of phonics, word clues, and decoding skills. (FS3.F4a) I can read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words. (See list provided in resources) (FS3.PWR3d) I can describe characters in stories and explain how their actions influence the sequence of events. (RL3.KID3) I can demonstrate my understanding of a text by answering text-based questions. (RL3.KID1) I understand that paragraphs and stories are written in a logical sequence. (RL3.CS2) I can use information gained from illustrations and the text to demonstrate my knowledge on a topic. (RL3.IKI7) I can write a narrative about a topic and support it with details with help from an adult. (W3.PDW4) I can use a computer to type my narrative. (W3.PDW6)


I can use properties of multiplication and division to multiply and divide within 100. (3.OA.C) I can fluently multiply single digit numbers. (3.OA.Cb) I can identify the relationship between multiplication and division. (3.OA.A) I can solve word problems using multiplication and division. (3.OA.A)


4th Grade:


  • I can produce a simple, compound, and complex sentence.
  • I can use nouns correctly in my writing.
  • I can read 4th grade level texts fluently to support comprehension.  
  • I can describe a story’s character, setting, or event in a passage with supporting evidence from the text.  
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey information clearly.
  • I can correctly use capitalization, spelling and punctuation.  
  • I can understand and use fourth grade words (academic/domain specific).  
  • I can gather information from multiple sources on a 4th grade topic to effectively engage in a discussion with a group.  
  • I can share information about a topic or text using organized facts and details.  
  • I can introduce a topic clearly as an introduction paragraph.
  • I can provide a concluding statement related to the information presented.
  • I can document what I learned about a topic by taking and organizing notes.  
  • I can use correct sentence structures to send a clear message to the reader or listener.  
  • I can describe and identify characteristics of the five major Native American tribes of Idaho.
  • I can explain how plants adapt to their environment.


  • I can explain the pattern as; when a number is multiplied by 10 it will move to the left one place value.  
  • I can read and write numbers up to 1,000,000.  
  • I can express numbers in different forms. (expanded form, standard notation, and word form)
  • I can compare whole numbers using the appropriate symbol.  
  • I can round and estimate to assess the reasonableness of my answer.  
  • I can continue to practice mathematical fact fluency


5th Grade:


  • Math Unit 1 EQ's
    • How does equivalence help us solve problems?
    • How can I use benchmarks to estimate sums and differences of fractions?
    • How does adding and subtracting fractions compare to adding and subtracting whole numbers?
    • What strategies can be used when adding and subtracting fractions (including mixed numbers) with unlike denominators?
  • Math Unit 1 I Can's
    • I can use number lines to represent equivalent fractions.
    • I can express fractions with unlike denominators in terms of the same unit fraction so they can be added or subtracted.
    • I can use bar models to visualize a sum or difference.
    • I can use equations and models to solve real world problems.
    • I can use benchmarks to determine whether answers are reasonable


  • ELA Unit 1 EQ's
    • How can forces of nature be described?
    • When and where do you encounter forces of nature ?
    • How can scientists use patterns to make predictions?
    • What can you conclude from observing patterns in nature?
    • How do nature’s patterns influence decisions that people make?
  • ELA Unit 1 I Cans
    • I can use grade level explicit vocabulary. (series, headings, digital source, plagiarism, explicitly) (L5.VAU6)
    • I can compare/contrast structure of informational text. (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) (RI5.CS5)
    • I can summarize based on evidence in informational text. (W5.RBPK8)
    • I can quote explicitly from a text. (RL5.KID1)
    • I can identify and write main ideas and support them with key details.(RI5.KID)
    • I can quote from a text when inferring.  (RI5.KID1)
    • I can analyze multiple accounts of the same topic. (RI5.CS6)
    • I can create and present a written or oral presentation (using facts and details to support the main theme). (SL5.PKI5)
    • I can work collaboratively to discuss relationships and draw conclusions. (SL5.CC1)
    • I can summarize information presented orally or visually. (SL5.CC2)

​​​Idaho Core Standard Examples for Math and English Language Arts by Grade Level​ Links Listed To The Right.