CIA Tidbits


April 2021

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Lancaster Learning Institute- April Offerings:

Check back throughout the month for additional offerings.

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You can also access PDExpress through Classlink!

Some Gentle Reminders for Paid Virtual PD Training

  • The ONLY way we can verify your attendance for a training and ensure you are paid is through the sign in form we give in every PD. If you want to get paid, you MUST click on that form and sign in during the training time.
  • While keeping your camera on is always optional, we all know how hard it is to teach and collaborate to a blank screen. If possible, please keep cameras on to engage and participate in the course.
  • We are always trying to build courses that are engaging, relevant, and needed. Please complete the evaluations at the end of each course or email CIA/ITS with requests, affirmations, or needs for PD. :)

Recorded Professional Development and Helpful Resources

We have recently added convenient folders in our CIA Public Resources Drive that house our recorded PDs and helpful resources.

Click HERE to take a look!

Recently Added:

Using the Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers To Instruct on the High Priority Standards


LACOE PD OPPORTUNITY - On-Campus Learning for Physical Education

Physical education plays an important role in the development of the whole child. During this time, it remains crucial to provide quality physical education for all students.

Please join us on Monday, April 5, 2021 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for a presentation on Strategically Planning for In-Person Physical Education in K-12 schools.

Presentation will include:

  • resources that support instructional planning, while maintaining COVID-19 guidelines for in-person instruction.
  • templates to guide conversations with school/district stakeholders
  • COVID-19 and Reopening In-person Instruction Framework

It is important for physical education stakeholders take an active approach in shaping the future of physical education. Do not miss this opportunity to ask questions, connect with colleagues and receive valuable resources to guide physical education instruction.

*Because we don't have a way to verify attendance through most LACOE PDs or presentations, this event is not paid for by Lancaster School District. But it is free to attend for those that are interested.

Register here.

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ELA & Math Resources One-Pagers

It's amazing how quickly resources can accumulate and become forgotten or buried amongst so many others, especially in "the drive". In an effort to provide a one-stop-shop for the most important/necessary resources in ELA and Math instruction, we have created these one-pagers with active links!

ELA Instructional Resources One-Pager

Math Instructional Resources One-Pager


Click HERE to get more information about the best person to contact.


StudySync Blast + Text Pairings

Looking for a way to hook students and keep them engaged with grade-level texts? Try pairing a high-interest Blast with a related reading from the Library! With new Blasts posted daily, the themes are endless. We've made suggested pairings below, and included video instructions to make your job easier. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @studysync for weekly suggestions.

Go ahead and make it a pair! "Reaching for the Stars" is suggested for middle school.

Click HERE for additional pairings.


  1. Search the Blast title in the Blasts Library and Assign. Customize the assignment by toggling research links “on” and adding a Teacher’s Note.
  2. Search the Spotlight Skill title in the Skills Library and assign.
  3. Search and assign the Text(s) from the Text Library and customize the Writing Prompt.

For more detailed information on how to customize and assign Blasts & texts, click HERE and scroll down to the middle of the page.


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Scarborough’s Reading Rope

In 2001, Dr. Hollis Scarborough introduced Scarborough’s Reading Rope as a way to represent how related complex skills need to work together so an individual can become a skilled reader.

The Reading Rope builds on the concepts that Gough and Tumner (1986) had in their Simple View of Reading formula. This formula states:


And it shows us that both of these components are essential for a reader to understand what they are reading.

In Scarborough's Reading Rope, you can see that the two components from the Simple View of Reading, decoding and language comprehension, are part of the Reading Rope. In the Reading Rope, there are two main skills, Word Recognition and Language Comprehension. Each of these skills is comprised by subskills within the strands of the rope.

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For more detailed information about the subskills witihin the strands of Scarborough's Rope click HERE.


2020-21 CREATE Information

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This year, we would like to showcase the amazing creativity our teachers and students have exhibited throughout distance learning. Whether it's a project you've already done with your students or something yet to be created, we want to showcase it!

We will be collecting your submissions (no application process required), via this Google Slides template. Once we receive your submissions (by May 7th) we will organize a District website, for the public's viewing pleasure, to be launched on May 24th.

Unfortunately, due to our current circumstances, there will be no mini-grants awarded this year. That said, if you are still interested in doing some CREATE-ive projects with your students, Gina Wilson has put together some great presentations that include low cost/no cost ideas for "Distance Learning Engagement through Arts Integration." Take a look below!

If you haven't already, check out our School Buzz podcast where we discuss the CREATE Festival and how we are adapting it for this school year.

If you have any questions please reach out to Kristi Zenno ( and/or Gina Wilson (

We look forward to celebrating and showcasing all of your CREATE-ive endeavors!

CREATE 2020-2021 Important Dates:

  • May 24th- The district CREATE website will be active and available for public viewing.

________________________ Differentiation Options

ReadWorks content makes it easy to differentiate to meet your students' individual needs—whether you're printing or assigning to your digital class.

There are even more differentiation tools available if you create a digital class. See those supports here and learn about offline mode here.

Differentiate with Reading Passages

Teachers can differentiate in their classrooms by assigning or printing related reading passages at different levels for their students. Students never see the grade level—online or printed out.


eBooks are available for over 100 of our reading passages to engage and support comprehension for readers at all levels. eBooks feature rich illustrations and expressive human-voice audio, both helpful for prefluent, struggling, or reluctant readers. Some of the lower-level eBooks also have the option to have the words highlighted along with the read-aloud.
Find eBooks


For 2nd through 12th grade, StepReads preserve key text structure attributes, vocabulary, syntax, and content of the original passage but scaffold emerging, beginning, or struggling readers by allowing them to read a more accessible version of a passage before tackling the original grade-level text. Teachers assign these in addition to the original text so that students can read the StepRead first and then challenge themselves to read the more complex version.

For kindergarten and 1st grade, StepReads contain words with a higher rate of decodability that stretch beginning readers to apply their phonics skills to informational texts. These StepReads still preserve the content and some of the vocabulary of the original passage but focus on repeated practice of sound-letter correspondences. We recommend that students still listen to or read the original passage in order to fully answer the comprehension questions.
Find reading passages with StepReads

Differentiate with Article-A-Day

Boost and Challenge Articles:

Boost and challenge articles are texts that are topically relevant to the overall Article-A-Day set but at varying text complexity. Research has shown that readers can become frustrated and discouraged when reading below grade-level texts because they feel "babyish." Instead, boost articles are grade-appropriate in topic while written at a lower level, allowing students to fully participate in background-knowledge building with their peers. Challenge articles provide higher complexity for students who are reading above grade level and/or are motivated by their interest in the topic. Teachers can assign boost and/or challenge articles as part of an Article-A-Day topical set to the whole class, groups of students, or individual students.
Find Article-A-Day sets with boost and challenge articles

Collections for EL:

ReadWorks provides Article-A-Day text sets with passages on topics that may be familiar or interesting to varied groups of ELLs. Many of them are about food, clothing, sports, or cultures that may be relevant to students' backgrounds. Research has shown that starting with familiar and concrete topics can support ELL students in learning the English words and labels for the things and concepts they already know. Teachers can assign these sets to their whole class, groups of students, or individual students.
Find Article-A-Day collections for ELLs


Understanding Proficiency- Learning From Student Work on Performance Tasks

Click HERE to develop a deeper understanding of the Common Core State Standards (ELA & Math) by learning from student work on performance tasks.

  • Real student work from Smarter Balanced performance tasks
  • Scores and annotations by practicing educators
  • Tools and videos to support professional learning


April EL Newsletter

Take a look at this month's EL Newsletter HERE!

In this issue:

  1. Important Dates
  2. ELPAC Information & Schedule
  3. Strategies for EL Instruction
  4. Ways for Strengthening Your EL Program
  5. EL Professional Development Opportunities for Administrators, Coaches, Teachers, and SDC Teachers.


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Congratulations to our lucky March gift card winners:

Cynthia Broadbent (EN) & Brittany Symons (DI)

Complete the Google Form below to enter April's drawing!

Winners will receive a gift card through their school email.

*Past winners, be sure to look for the email from Starbucks in your inbox!

Not sure if you are a past winner? Click HERE to see the list.


Who says you can't go back?

Past CIA Tidbits Newsletters/Highlights:


October- CCSS Anchor Standards, RACE strategy, Number Talks, SBAC Content Explorer

November- Reading Foundations, CCSS Staircase of Complexity, Close Reading/Text Dependent Questioning, CCSS Templates/Bookmarks, Growth Mindset

December- Math Coherence Maps, CA Healthy Youth Act, Literacy Points, E+R=O Student Behavior Reflection


January- CAASPP Writing Exemplars, CA Career Zone, AV Community Resource Guide

February- Black History Resources, Remembering Kobe Bryant Through Literacy, 3-Act-Tasks (math), Wonders Tier 2 Intervention, Leap Year Resources

March- DV VAPA Night, Women's History Resources, Verbal De-escalation, Narrative Hooks, Standard Templates/Instructional Clarity, i-Ready Data Trackers, Text Features

April- COVID/Remote Learning Resources/Updates, Digital Curriculum Resources/Help

May- LSD Teacher Care Page, Virtual Arts Resources, CIA/Tech PD offerings (distance learning), McGraw-Hill Initial Program Training

June- Demo Codes, ELA Handbook/Priority Standards, Math Priority Standards, TWIG Implementation Modules

August- Lesson Design Resources, ELA Priority Standards diagram, Digital Curriculum Resources/Help

September- ELA Priority Standards "I Can" one-pagers, District-wide PDs (videos/slides presentations), DESMOS Platform, BPST Skills Assessment in Illuminate, Math e-Assessments (ConnectEd), StudySync Priority Pacing, Sync Blasts, Using Visuals to Inspire Thinking (One Upon a Picture), Digital Whiteboards

October- Connecting Curriculum to the HPS (PD), Nearpod "Draw It" Tool, i-Ready Teacher Toolbox, Deleting Old Classes in ConnectEd, Wonders Priority Pacing/Remote Resources, IMPACT Help/Student View, Addressing Learning Loss, Digital Timer/Name Generator

November- i-Ready Virtual Learning Tips, Monitoring Program Participation, StudySync Remote Resources, Digital Escape Rooms, Kami/Google Classroom, Snipping Tool, Classroom Screen

December- StudySync Updates, i-Ready Teaching and Learning Pack, Recorded PD Folder, UDL Remote Learning Flow Chart, Digital Graphic Organizers


January- Wonders Instructional Routines Handbook/Model Lesson Videos, StudySync HPS Pacing and PD (recording, slideshow), i-Ready New Improvements, i-Ready/Nearpod District Library Lessons, Arts Integration in Distance Learning, Conga Kids Dance Lessons (videos)

February- 2021 Poet Laureate, StudySync Webinar Series/Deleting Students from Roster, Wonders Culturally Responsive Lessons, iReady Standards Mastery, Black History Month Resources, Math Intervention Strategies, Parent Conferences vs. SSTs, Coaches Corner- Building & Maintaining Relationships in a Virtual Environment

March- 6-8 Science adoption, CAHYA Instructional Unit, LACOE SS offerings, Virtual Math Manipulatives, SBAC Tools for Teachers, Nearpod Updates, Scaffolding vs Differentiation, 2021 Virtual CREATE Festival info


2020-21 Instructional Coaches

We Are CIA!

Krista Thomsen, ext 301 - Director Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Katie Weber, ext 301- CIA Admin Secretary II

Connie Hobson, ext 321 - Induction Administrative Secretary I

Renee Rubio, ext 322 - Induction Facilitator

Michelle Lambeth, ext 323 - Induction Facilitator

Kristi Zenno, ext 311 - District Instructional Coach (ELA, History/Social Science)

Gina Wilson, ext 312 - District Instructional Coach (Reading Intervention, Arts Integration)

Allison Harmon, ext 314 - District Instructional Coach (MTSS and Inclusive Practices)

April Gridler, ext 313- District Instructional Coach (Math, Science/NGSS)

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