October Coordinators Newsletter



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PLC Tip of the Month

Building a Community of Collaboration and Learning...

Re-set your year. No more problems/ issues unless you bring a solution to the team.

What norms do you have for your team?

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Consultation Request Form

The Consultation Request Form is one of the new components to the district MTSS Flowchart. This proactive form provides teachers with opportunities to consult with the appropriate related service personnel once they have utilized strategies within their classrooms. The goal of this form is to intervene early and effectively in an effort to improve individual outcomes for students. For further information regarding this new MTSS component, please contact your Student Services Coordinator. Below are the steps to access the form on the district website:

For tutorial, please copy and paste this link into your web browser:


Steps to get to the Problem Solving Team (PST) consultation request form


  • Staff log in

- Multi-tiered system of support (MTSS)

- Tier 2

- Scroll down to link “consultation request form”

- Choose your school

- The google form will ask for student identifying information, areas of concern and it will ask you to answer 4 questions regarding the interventions that the student has already been a part of.

Parent University Update!

The First Annual Joliet Public Schools District 86 Parent University will be held on October 22, 2016 at Gompers Junior High. A variety of topics and sessions will be offered to parents. The topics will include, Academics, College and Career Readiness, Community, Resources, Health & Wellness, Special Education, and Technology. Parents may register at www.joliet86.org. Many sessions will be available in both English and Spanish.

See you there:)


#1 Some of our students come from very large, very loud households. Practicing how a "voice level one" and a "voice level two" sounds and having students model it can make a big difference.

#2 Use your attention signals early and often. Make sure that students know how to respond to your signal every time.

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District 86 is going Google! As of Sept. 1, all District 86 students and staff have a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account. This account may used to access any of the Google apps except gmail. For now, the district email platform is still First Class, but there will be a transition to gmail at some point in the future. Teachers are highly encouraged to attend one of the many Google trainings being offered after school.

The Google Apps for Education Level 1 is recommended for any new Google users in order to gain a basic understanding of Google Drive and the sharing and collaborating features of GAFE. Other app specific trainings such as Google Docs and Slides, Google Forms and Sheets, and Google Classroom will take a deeper dive into the more specific features of each app. All Google trainings will be posted on My Learning Plan started on Sept. 12.

iPad Features


  • App switching - 4 finger swipe to the side

  • Zoom in, zoom out - 2 finger pinch or release

  • Spotlight search - 1 finger swipe downward from the center of the home screen

  • Rotate picture or map - 2 finger twist at the middle of the screen

  • Closing apps - 1 finger swipe upward on the application still attempting to close

  • Accessing Control Center - 1 finger swipe from the bottom

Web Browsing

  • Safari icon

  • Address bar for website addresses

  • Line grid within the left side of the address bar for Reader option

  • Box with protruding arrow to the right opens menu that allows web page to be turned into an app

  • Can pinch and release to zoom in and out


  • Type address or landmark in the address bar

  • Choose the circled “i” in the bottom right to toggle on 3D and satellite view

  • Can pinch and release to zoom in and out and rotate image


  • Action plan for iPad usage with students

  • Incorporate iPad into lesson plans

  • Complete App request form and submit to me

  • Passcode has to be 8686 or 868686

  • No fingerprint code

  • If device is broken, put in a help desk ticket and email mdanielson@joliet86.org

ELL News

In District 86 it is very likely that every teacher has an ELL student. ELL students vary widely in English proficiency. Whether you have a student who refused services initially or was pulled from services by a parent you should be able to pull up ACCESS scores in SISK or review the Bilingual (Blue) Folder for ACCESS scores.

WIDA created the Can Do descriptors to help you with understanding the ACCESS scores. The Can Do Philosophy accentuates the rich assets that language learners bring to your classrooms. The Can Dos show what students “CAN DO” in terms of language skills depending on their level on the ACCESS.

In ACCESS you can see how proficient your students are in the 4 domains of Listening and Reading (Receptive), Speaking and Writing (Productive), and in comprehension and oral language on a rating scale of 1-6.

Here are general criteria of what a student at levels 1-5 (6 is considered native-like fluency) “CAN DO” in the receptive domain of Listening. More domains will follow in the future.


LEVEL 1. Begins to recognize often-heard words and phrases that are supported contextually; requires frequent restatement or paraphrasing, and begins to develop awareness of the sound system of English

LEVEL 2. Develops ability to respond to frequently heard language with continued dependence on context, paraphrasing, and repetition; begins to build content and academic vocabulary

LEVEL 3. Interprets meaning of sentence-level communication in social and general academic contexts; understands main ideas of more complex oral discourse, particularly when supported visually; continues to build repertoire of content and academic vocabulary and sentence structures


Understands social and academic discourse of differing lengths and levels of complexity; comprehends a wide variety of social and content/ academic vocabulary related to both concrete and abstract concepts, particularly with visual or contextual support


Comprehends a broad spectrum of social and academic discourse, attends to language with an increasing amount of linguistic complexity, understands most grade-level content/ academic vocabulary, approaches the range of grade-level performance exhibited by English-proficient peers

Anchor Charts

Every classroom should have have anchor charts.

We are all reading teachers & beyond.

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Partnering with Parents!

The Partnering with Parents pilot kick off was held the week of September 26th at both Keith and Marshall Elementary schools. Both sessions were well attended by parents and staff. The evening included hands-on activities as well as distributing ELA resources to parents.

A special "shout out" to the staff at both buildings for their amazing participation and making this event a HUGE SUCCESS.

Active Literacy is...

"Active literacy is the means to deeper understanding and diverse, flexible thinking".

-(Harvey and Goudvis)

Background knowledge is the foundation of our thinking, learning and understanding. When students read text, they automatically make connections to their own lives and the things they are familiar with .As teachers we must make sure we nurture this type of thinking and allow students to activate their background knowledge through questioning, connecting, discussing and inquiring. Harvey and Goudvis state that "when we apply our background knowledge as we read, we guide students to make connections between their experiences, their knowledge about world, and the text they read." In order for students to connect to characters and content, and fully understand new information they read, students must be able to tap into background knowledge and make connections. Text should be diverse, relevant and challenging. The more often this happens, the more often students will be able to connect what they are learning to what they already know.

Thank you for making the Worldwide Day of Play a HUGE Success!

September 17th was Worldwide Day of Play for Joliet Public Schools District 86 families. The students and their families participated in 7 different activities throughout the day. Worldwide Day of Play was held at both Washington and Hufford Junior High Schools and was a huge success with over 600 students and their families in attendance. There were 78 volunteers from our District 86 staff and they were phenomenal! Without their help and support the event could not go on and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work.

What's your MINDSET?

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Closing the Attitude Gap

  • Toward closing the Attitude Gap in your classroom, your IDENTITY matters.
  • INTENTIONALITY of what your students: See, Hear, Feel, Experience Matters. Students are capable. How do we daily reinforce positive mindset to the students?
  • What does your presence mean in that space? What do students think of you?

- Baruti Kafele

Out & About Joliet 86

Literacy Strategy Focus: Activate & Connect

One of the most inspiring quotes to share with our impressionable readers is best stated by David Pearson, “today’s new knowledge is tomorrow’s background knowledge.” Background knowledge influences every aspect of the learning process and has been identified as the foundation of thinking. When readers successfully activate their own thinking and connect that knowledge to new learning, the possibilities are endless. It is essential to continue to support our readers by showing them how to think about what they already know, make meaningful connections and explore those topics of interest in greater depth.

As readers are encouraged to closely read a variety of texts, they need to notice when they meet new information so they can think about it, keep track of this thinking and prepare to share it with an audience. Through this reflective process, our readers have the opportunity to extend their thoughts. This is when our readers demonstrate their own personal ability to make appropriate modifications to their thinking when they encounter new and more accurate information.

As they become specialists in a variety of genres and content areas, readers become knowledgeable thinkers with thoughtful opinions. Our readers become active learners as they successfully react, respond and question new information. Readers are merging and sifting through their thinking so they can make sense of their new learning and begin to integrate it into their ongoing understanding as they build a collection of knowledge.

Join the Math Coach's Symbaloo!

Looking for math resources you say? Well! Look no further. Join the Math Coach's Symbaloo today. What’s a “Symbaloo?” It is an amazing housing place for all the math resources (along with District 86 links, like MLP and JPSD 86) you could ever hope for.

“Sign me up,” you say! Well you can do just that with two easy steps:

(1) Open up an email in First Class from any math coach or the Math Coordinator (Sheila)

(2) Scroll Down to the signature line and click on the Symbaloo link (highlighted in blueJ)

As soon as the window opens, you may think---hmmmmm…. Not much here……..well you’re not quite there…………….click on the Blue Box that says “Add this Webmix.”

Do you want to join?………..Well of course you do….so click that Blue Box (or the Symbaloo link that's right here in blue) and Wham-O----you have just joined the Symbaloo. The only thing left for you to do is click on any of those very colorful boxes (which are links) and start using all those math resources!! It will become your Core Curriculum Guide's Bestie!!!

Too many links to look at? Ask your Math Coach to take the wheel and guide you through its navigational beacons.

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Fresh Starts for Difficult Students

Even though your toughest students are just kids at the mercy of emotions they don't understand or can't control, it can be hard for a teacher to stay calm and not take these ongoing behavioral problems personally. My advice: it's time to hit the reset button!

Tough kids are usually covering a ton of hurt. They defend against feeling pain by erecting walls of protection through rejection. Efforts to penetrate those walls by caring adults are generally met with stronger resistance expressed through emotional withdrawal and/or offensive language, gestures, and actions. Like a crying baby unable to articulate the source of its discomfort, these kids desperately need patient, determined, and affectionate adults with thick skin who refuse to take offensive behavior personally. Here are some ways to connect or reconnect with students who make themselves hard to like.

1. Express gratitude to your difficult students.

For two weeks, try expressing something positive every day to each of your difficult students. Hard as it might be, make your first interaction each day something welcoming. For example, when a chronically late and uninterested student arrives, fight the temptation to ignore, tersely request a viable excuse, or hand out a late slip. Instead, make your first comment an expression of appreciation for coming. For example:

Carson, I was hoping you'd show up -- and you did. Welcome! By the way, we're on page 62.

Wait until there is no audience around before you express concern and/or give a consequence for the student's behavior.

2. Use encouraging statements every day.

Words of encouragement get and keep students connected and motivated. Find an excuse to share at least a few of these every day.

  • You really hung in there by _______.

  • That was really cool.

  • Wow, you pushed yourself today, and it really worked out.

  • I was so impressed today when you _______.

  • It was awesome to see you _______.

  • It's not easy to _______, but you are making it happen.

  • Congratulations! (And then be specific about what you are congratulating.)

3. Act toward your worst student the way you act toward your best student.

Who is your best-behaved or most motivated student? When you think about that student, what adjectives come to mind? When you interact, what comments come naturally? When the student makes a mistake, how do you usually react? For one week, try acting toward your worst-behaved or least-motivated student in the same way, and see what happens.

4. Send the parents a "positive postcard."

Prepare an email or note home that briefly describes positive behavior or an achievement that you've recently observed. Show it to the student before sending it. If you haven't seen positive behavior that you can genuinely acknowledge, write a positive note or email as if a behavior you are seeking has already happened. Show it to the student. Ask him or her to tell you when it would be a good time to send it.

Parent-Teacher Conferences, October 28

Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents: The Harvard Family Research Project produced these tip sheets with English and Spanish versions. Each sheet has sections written specifically for parents, teachers, and principals, and is available as a free PDF download. Two other insightful resources from the Family Research Project are Academic Parent-Teacher Teams: Reorganizing Parent-Teacher Conferences Around Data and Reimagining the Parent-Teacher Conference.

Assessment Design

October is...

Nationals Principals Month

National Bullying Prevention Month


How are you building a capacity for HOPE?

The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started. -Norman Cousins

H-#Live, Love, Laugh

O-#Dream Believe Achieve

P-#Be the Change

E-#Just Do It