CIA News Update

GSL Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Department

Trimester Two

Dear GSL Staff,

This trimesterly update is intended to provide you with brief tidbits of information related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment within the Glencoe-Silver Lake School District. If you have specific questions, please address them to Dan Svoboda (Assessment) or Michelle Wang (C & I). We also suggestions for future CIA News Updates.

Assessment Resources

Common Core State Standards

The Minnesota Department of Education has created a draft of new English Language Arts (ELA) standards. When adopted (2013), we will join 45 other states. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) also contain standards related to "technical subjects" (Social Studies, Science, and Media) An excellent resource for learning more about the standards can be found here. I would also strongly recommend viewing Appendix B as this contains exemplar texts (both read aloud and independent reading), along with test samples.

What is Close Reading?

Close reading essentially means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. The Common Core State Standards and our focus on preparing students to be College and Career Ready, requires us to shift from measuring student reading success by the ability to complete a packet, to the ability to think about thinking and activate "good reader" strategies. Here is an article to explain more.

WIDA Standards

Did you know that our ELL (English Language Learner) students have standards specific to their language learning? These are the WIDA standards. These five standards address the academic language of (1) Social & Instructional Language, (2) Language Arts, (3) Mathematics, (4) Science, and (5) Social Studies. The intent of the WIDA standards is for general education teachers and ELL teachers to work collaboratively in advocating and promoting ELL student success. Careful attention to the language development of our students will help us create lessons that build on students' current abilities and allows them to expand their learning to the next level. Visit the WIDA website for more information.


At the intermediate level, the word "PIRATES" is conjures up more than just thoughts of Hollywood movies or Halloween costumes. Instead, this is a research-based test taking strategy that many of our students have successfully used, especially during high-stakes MCA testing. If you'd like to learn more about PIRATES, you can visit this Prezi. You could even use this in the classroom with your students!

Today's Classroom

What does teaching for the 21st Century look like? Two documents are attached to this email, comparing and contrasting yesterday's classroom to today's classroom. What major differences do you see? Which classroom are your students experiencing?

Assessment Schedule

Monday, Mar 18th, 12am

GSL Schools

March 2013

18-22 MCA Science (Grades 3-6)

April 2013

2-12 MCA Reading (Grades 3-6)

16 MCA Writing (Grades 9,12)

16 MCA Math Grade 11, Segments 1&2

17 MCA Math Grade 11, Segments 3&4

22-May 3 MCA Math (Grades 3-6)

29-May 3 MCA Math (Grades 7,8)

May 2013

6-10 MCA Reading (Grades 7,8,10)

13-17 MCA Science (Grade 10)

GSL Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment