Weekly Coaching Communication

Make it a great day -- every day!

08 - 12 February 2016

On the Standards Front . . .

Addressing the literacy standards, whether as an English-Language Arts teacher or if you are using the literacy standards for Social Studies, Science and other technical courses, can be daunting because of the sheer length of the standards and the work to unwrap such a large standard.


The key with unwrapping any standard is to identify the necessary parts: verb(s) or skill(s), the noun(s) or content, and the context(s). When a standard is written with several parts, the more careful you have to be in identifying the parts. The goal of unwrapping the standards is to develop the learning targets ("I can . . ." statements).


The following standard is from the literacy strand for Social Studies, Science and other technical subjects, but it reads nearly identical to the ELA standard.


WHST.11–12.8

Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the specific task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and over-reliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.


As noted, the length of the standard, alone, is daunting. However, with the help from a literacy consultant at Grant Wood, Melody Cassidy, the standard has been unwrapped into learning targets:


  • I can gather relevant information from authoritative print
  • I can gather relevant information from digital sources
  • I can effectively use advanced searches
  • I can assess the strengths of each source in terms of.... 1. task 2. purpose 3. audience
  • I can assess the limitation of each source in terms of ... 1. task 2. purpose 3. audience
  • I can selectively integrate information into the text to maintain the flow of ideas
  • I avoid plagiarism
  • I do not rely heavily on only one source
  • I follow a standard format for citation


Melody provides this advice, as well:

Any assessment, whether it be formative or summative must address the learning targets. One formative assessment may cover two of the learning targets; in other words, you don't need a separate assessment for each learning target. I think two of the learning targets could be assessed through a short conversation with the student, specifically assessing the strengths and limitations of each source, or, this could be assessed through a graphic organizer.


Regardless of the assessment type or how many learning targets are assessed at one time, eventually ALL learning targets must be assessed to determine a student's proficiency with the standard.

Quick Clicks

Quotation of the Week . . .

Starting somewhere goes for a lot of things. When a student would look at the blank screen with writer's block and say they do not know how to start, I would encourage them to start with an anecdote or their most well-known material just so they had somewhere to start. When deciding on a project for remodeling our house with so many things that urgently needed fixing or updating, Rick and I had to decide to start somewhere. When I began working as an Instructional Coach, I was overwhelmed with questions of what to do since I had no model to follow or experience, but I had to start somewhere.


The difficulty with starting somewhere is because of the complications that arise from the possibilities, the what-ifs and a lack of confidence. Each opportunity for change, whether it be in a paper, a remodel, or a new position, comes with the simple task of starting somewhere. Regardless of the kind of change, something is going to have to be done at some point. Digging in my heels to resist the change is not only futile, as the change is inevitable, but resistance to change can be detrimental to myself and others.


Time is a precious commodity that becomes a four-letter word in conversations about implementing change through new initiatives or additional work to further professional learning or to ensure the fidelity of the teaching we currently practice. When procrastination or resistance to change becomes the norm, time passes and opportunities to start somewhere are lost. By making the choice to start somewhere with change, even if the starting point is that recognition of change, progress can be made. The more time used effectively in change, the more opportunities we have to make the change successful.


Make the choice to start somewhere with the changes that are challenging you -- it doesn't matter where you start, as long as you do. #makethechoice

Coaching Schedule -- see Google Calendar for specific "Busy" times **schedule subject to change**

Monday, 05 February

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources
  • GWAEA Meeting w/ Science Consultant Julie Foltz @ 3:00PM


Tuesday, 09 February -- Secondary SBL/G Council @ 7:30 AM HS Office

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources
  • Webinar: Reading for Meaning -- Fluently 11:00 AM


Wednesday, 10 February -- Morning Meeting @ 7:45 AM Art Room

  • 10:00 AM Meeting w/ Jeremiah McGraw
  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources


Thursday, 11 February

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • 11:30-2:00 English Department Meeting -- Priority Standards & Alignment


Friday, 12 February

  • IC/Principal Weekly Meeting 7:30 AM @ HS Office w/ Libolt & Popenhagen
  • PL Planning w/ Jennifer Burkhart 9:00-11:00 AM
  • IC Team Meeting
  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Research & Resources
Pope's IC Weekly Communication Archive & Index 2015-2016


Click on the link to access prior weekly communications.

Contact Information

Instructional Coach

Center Point - Urbana CSD