October 2019 Vol. 19


October brings (dare I say it) pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkins, scary creatures, and candy galore. It should also be a continuation of building relationships and engaging environments for student and teacher learning.

As we are settling into a new school year, we hope relationships are being fostered and students needs are being met. We fully embrace the quote of "Students have to Maslow before they can Bloom". Now that we know our students and their academic progress to this point, it is time to dig deeper into literacy and English Language Arts concepts and skills. Are we having academic conversations where teachers are acting as the facilitator and students are driving discussions using critical thinking?

Wabisabi Learning Critical Thinking Cheat Sheet

Did you know?

October is National Book Month! Let's celebrate by creating a comprehensive list of books for K-12 students to fall in love with reading. One way to increase student engagement through reading is by providing engaging texts. Help us build a database and earn Professional Growth Points (PGPs) by sharing your favorite texts and sample lesson plan ideas here using the Mentor Text Lists form. For every 5 texts you share, you will earn 1 PGP. Just email Rose Tomishima to receive your PGPs.

Highlight from the field:

Instead of dreading Mondays, Clarksville Elementary School is using #CelebrateMonday to find a way each Monday to reflect on something positive to start their week. Whether it be lunch with the Principal for good cafeteria behavior or high fives in the hallway, Clarksville is really making the most out of Mondays!

Literacy Updates from IDOE

Literacy Framework

The Literacy Framework is a tool you can use to curriculum map and plan for this upcoming school year. Does your school utilize a curriculum map, scope and sequence, or pacing guide? Use the Literacy Framework to dive into each standard through I can statements, question stems, practical examples, and digital resources!

A huge thank you to over 400 Indiana educators who contributed to the development of the Literacy Framework. Click here to see this list of amazing educators!

Over the course of the 2019-2020 school year, additional resources will be added. Stay tuned!

Have special requests for support? Feel free to reach out to us at any time. That's what we are here for!

Ideas and Insight

Five Components of Reading: Phonics Overview

What is Phonics?

The knowledge that letters can represent phonemes and that these sounds are blended together to form written words.

Systematic, explicit instruction is designed to increase accuracy in decoding and word recognition skills, which also helps comprehension. These skills must be taught with the development of phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension.

Ways to incorporate Phonics into Instruction:

  • Systematic, explicit instruction
  • Teacher modeling processes and/or skills while reading
  • Cumulative review of skills

  • Multisensory introduction and practice of skills

  • Small groups
  • Through a progression:
1. Consonants and short vowel sounds

2. Consonant digraphs and blends

3. Long vowel/final e

4. Long vowel digraphs

5. Other vowel patterns

6. Syllable patterns

7. Affixes

Find it in the Literacy Framework

Using the search tool, click on Reading Foundations to access Indiana standards that utilize phonemic awareness skills. For example, third grade reading foundation standard 3.RF.4.6 states: Read multi-syllabic words composed of roots and related prefixes and suffixes; read irregular contractions (e.g., will not = won’t) and possessives (e.g., children’s, Dennis’s).

Practical Examples for 3.RF.4.6:

-Using complex texts, pull out multisyllabic words and have students identify roots, affixes, prefixes, suffixes, and syllable patterns in the word. Have students decode and share findings.

-Use a concept map for a root word. Students create words by adding prefixes and suffixes.

-Illustrate the meaning of words.

-Use anchor charts to model and display breakdown of multisyllabic words.

-Build a word wall of multisyllabic words as they are found and discussed in everyday whole group reading.

These examples and considerations come from the Indiana Literacy Framework. For additional resources, guidance, and practical examples please visit the Literacy Framework here.

What does this look like in the secondary setting?

We need to ensure all of our secondary students have basic phonics skills in place. Instead of isolating phonics skills with secondary students, we should expose students to texts that interest and excite students. When we pull in high-interest texts, this gives students a want to read.

One way to incorporate phonics skills is through modeling. When a teacher reads aloud, they should model their thinking about reading. This allows students to hear the processes going on while the teacher is reading or decoding words. The teacher can also focus on a certain skill, then have students read and share when they found a word with the involved skill.

Middle School High Five Reading Strategies

Teaching Teens Who Struggle with Reading

Reading and Writing Haven for High School Students


Book Suggestions

Dyslexia Professional Awareness

IDOE will ensure all teachers working for school corporations and charter schools receive professional awareness on dyslexia. This professional awareness will include information on the characteristics of dyslexia, evidence-based interventions, and evidence-based accommodations for dyslexia. This information is offered through IDOE’s Moodle course website. Please visit IDOE’s dyslexia page under the “Dyslexia Professional Awareness” tab for a link to the professional awareness course, and directions on how to set up and log into IDOE’s Moodle website. (IC 20-35.5-6-2(B), as created by SEA 217 (2018)

Fall Opportunities to Check Out!

$12,000 Renewal Grants for Indiana K-12 Educators

Lilly Endowment announced its 33rd Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program (TCFP). This renewal program supports Indiana educators to take intentional time to pursue their dreams and passions, explore new areas of interest, and expand existing talents or develop new ones. Renewal times encourage new experiences, exploration and reflection to discover renewed energy and enthusiasm, spark innovative approaches to teaching and leading, and reveal thoughtful ways to enhance creativity in students and classrooms. Up to 100 grants, each totaling $12,000, will be awarded in 2020. Learn more about TCFP at lillyendowment.org.

GRAMMY Museum Opportunity

My name is Kait Nader and I’m the Director of Community Engagement at the GRAMMY Museum. We have a national program called the Jane Ortner Education Award that honors a non-music educator who uses music in her or his classroom. The application is short and straight-forward with educators being asked to submit an original lesson plan that they have used in their classroom. The winning educator is able to attend the GRAMMY Awards telecast with a guest (paid for by the museum) gets a $3,000 personal honorarium, a $1,000 honorarium for their school and is honored at a GRAMMY Museum event. Additionally, there are both in-person and online professional development programs for those interested in learning how to use music in their classroom.

Please find our 2020 flyer attached and more information on our website: https://www.grammymuseum.org/education/janeortnereducationaward.

Literacy and Tech: Thought of the Month!


LearnStorm is Khan Academy’s free, fall program that gives teachers a fun way to help students gain skills, foster growth mindsets, and build teamwork.

Check out Khan Academy's LearnStorm here.

Connect on Twitter!

It's been reported that over 4 million educators use Twitter for professional conversations. As educators, there is so much we can learn from each other. We invite you to connect with us and each other!

1. Tweet about all things LITERACY using #INspirEDlit

2. Follow the hashtag and connect with other coaches and educators

3. Follow @EducateIN for the latest updates from Indiana Department of Education

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