November Coordinators Newsletter



H – How have you encouraged your students to find humor/joy in

their learning?

O – How are you encouraging optimism in your choices and in your

students’ choices?

P – How are you encouraging a positive perspective on the

opportunities available to you and your students?

E – How are you encouraging expectations for yourself and your

students of the good things each day has to offer?


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PLC Tip of the Month


Student Services News

Related Services Corner

The school psychologists have begun administering standardized assessments through the use of technology. Q-interactive is a digital system that streamlines the assessment process by utilizing two tablets that "talk" to each other via Bluetooth connection. Within our district, school psychologists can now use one iPad to administer instructions, record and score responses, take notes, and control visual stimuli, while the students can use the other iPad to view and respond to the stimuli.

This system is one of the most advanced assessment tools, as it keeps students more engaged, provides a more accurate representation of student strengths and weaknesses, utilizes real time scoring so students can be informed of their performance, and improves administration accuracy and speed that allows for increased instructional time for students.

Power IEP

Power IEP System Updates!!

10/24/2016: PowerDS
Provider Accuracy Reports are now available for admin level users in the PowerDS system.

10/21/16: PowerIEP
Speech/Language Referral Form has been updated to reflect the most recent HFS guidance on who is a Licensed Practitioner of the Healing Arts.

10/7/16: PowerIEP
On the Goals and Objectives page, Core Standards will now filter correctly by grade.

10/4/16: PowerIEP
Progress Reporting for V1 and V2 IEPs is now available. To print progress reports from your Student List, click on the “Print Progress Reports” button on the Student List screen, select the student(s) for whom you want to print progress, and click the “Print Progress Reports” button. Progress from active Legacy meetings, as well as active Version 2 meetings, will populate in the progress reports.
To print progress from an IEP meeting, click on the “Print Forms” button inside the meeting date and select “Print Progress Report”.

10/3/16: PowerIEP
Hearing Itinerant (Consult) and Vision Itinerant (Consult) have been added to the list of related services for more accurate reporting of student services.


Recognizing the Positives

It is not always easy to recognize the positives, but more positive interactions with students when they are behaving responsibly will get you out of the negative trap!

TIP- Strive to Provide a High Ratio of Positive Interactions

Plan to interact at least three times more often with each student when he or she is behaving appropriately than when he or she is misbehaving (that is, at least a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions). CHAMPS 278


“Missing even a little school has negative effects. Missing a lot of school throws students off track to educational success.”- Robert Balfanz

TeacherToolKit from

Teacher Tools

Use technology in the classroom to clone yourself!

Last year a Gompers Jr. High teacher utilized an iPad in a very creative way to teach a math lesson in a sixth grade class. The teacher streamed a YouTube video of another teacher demonstrating how to execute a math concept. The iPad was used a station in the classroom. When working independently, if students had difficulty remembering the math concepts, they could go to the iPad station to view the video as the teacher circulated the room to provide more intensive assistance to other students. In essence, the video acted as another teacher in the classroom.

Upcoming Professional Development

Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) for Multiplication & Division

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/7/2016

Meeting Times: November 7, 2016 3:45 pm-5:15 pm

Location: KEEP Open Area

Participants will be provided with hands-on engaging CRA activities that support the instruction of multiplication and division. Manipulative materials will be demonstrated throughout the session.

Google Calendar -Admin. Training (a.m.)

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/7/2016

Meeting Times: 9:30-11:00

Location: JFK-Upper Open Area (old lab)

Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) for Decimal Computation

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/9/2016

Meeting Times: November 9, 2016 2:45 pm-4:15 pm

Location: KEEP Open Area

Participants will be provided with hands-on engaging CRA activities that support the instruction of decimal computation. Manipulative materials will be demonstrated throughout the session.

ELA - Session V - (3-5) Elementary - Word Study: Creating Strategic Readers Through Word Consciousness (No Walk-Ins)

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/9/2016

Meeting Times: November 9, 2016 @ 4:00-5:30 PM

Location: Jefferson Elementary

In this session, intermediate teachers will gain a deeper understanding of the Continuum of Learning for Word Study beyond FUNdations and review the Illinois ELA Foundational Learning Standards represented in our Joliet Public Schools District 86 Balanced Language and Literacy Framework for Literature & the Content Areas. Participants will learn more about analyzing word patterns and structures, word meaning & vocabulary, word-solving actions and developing word consciousness. There will be collaborative discussions about how to effectively incorporate Word Work Principles in Whole Group, Small Group and Independent Practice through interactive, research-based instructional activities.

ELA - Session V - (K-2) Elementary - Next Steps in FUNdations (No Walk-Ins)

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/9/2016

Meeting Times: November 9, 2016 @ 4:00-5:30 PM

Location: Singleton Elementary

In this session, primary teachers will review the components of our FUNdations Core Instruction and gain a deeper understanding of the Illinois ELA Foundational Learning Standards represented in our Joliet Public Schools District 86 Balanced Language and Literacy Framework for Literature & the Content Areas. Participants will learn more about early literacy concepts, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, letter-sound relationships, and high frequency words. There will be collaborative discussions about FUNdations' structures, routines and procedures as well as how to effectively utilize data to support independent practice.

ELA - Session I For SPED

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/10/2016

Meeting Times: 3:30 - 5:00

Location: JFK - Upper Open

During this session, participants will have a deeper understanding of the reading process, literacy stages, components of our Balanced Literacy Framework, and how to utilize various resources to strengthen the CORE. Participants will also develop an implementation plan as they identify the action steps which will be taken in order to transfer this knowledge into practice.

Working with your ELLs who are refusals

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/10/2016

Meeting Times: November 10, 2016 3:30-5:00

Location: JFK Lower Level

Participants will learn to identify their students who are ELL refusals, basic ELL concepts and strategies.

Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) for Solving Algebraic Equations

Program: District Catalog

Dates: 11/14/2016

Meeting Times: November 14, 2016 4:00 pm -5:30 pm

Location: KEEP Open Area

Participants will be provided with hands-on engaging CRA activities that support the instruction of solving algebraic equations. Manipulative materials will be demonstrated throughout the session.

District Interventions

Click here for the full list in the Google Shared Drive.
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Race influences teachers' referrals to special and gifted education, finds study

Curriculum & Instruction News

Assessment Corner

  • Progress Monitoring Goal for each student should be in STAR to reflect the target date of 1/13/16.
  • PARCC has updated their practice tests. Start a weekly routine now to get your students ready!


Going Google!

October 31st was Joliet's Going Google day! All staff and students have G-Suite accounts. Emails for staff will be coming shortly, so clean up your First Class accounts as much as you can.

MyON Reading Rockstars

The Quarter 1 results are in and our East side and West side MyON Rockstar Readers are Culbertson and Cunningham. Culbertson School has a total of 2,168 minutes read and Cunningham is right behind them with a total of 1, 265 minutes read. Congratulations to these Rockstar Reading schools!

ELL News

Last month I shared criteria from the WIDA CAN DO Descriptors for the language domain of Listening and a description for each level of proficiency. Just to refresh your memory there are 4 DOMAINS of language, Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. A student who takes ACCESS, the Illinois’ mandated English proficiency assessment, receives a score from 1 – 6. This score has been standardized and normed across large numbers of students across the country including Illinois and represents a proficiency level in English. On this scale 1 is the lowest (Entering) and 6 is the highest level (Reaching). In District, 86 you should know, that a Blue Cumulative folder should be found with the Student Cumulative (manila) folder for every student who QUALIFIED for services even if the parent has refused. The Blue Cum folder will contain a report for each year that the student takes the ACCESS.

The ACCESS scores can also be found in SISK. Click on the assessment icon for the student you wish to check. Then click on the ACCESS tab and you will see all 8 levels of proficiency for each testing year.

ELL students vary widely in those 8 areas of English proficiency. It is not uncommon for a student to have a Speaking proficiency level of 6 and Writing proficiency level of 3.2.

The WIDA CAN DO descriptors can be viewed as language activities your student can do. They SHOULD be used to help you plan instructional activities that match the student’s level of English language proficiency. Today’s chart covers the expressive domain of Speaking.

Here are general criteria of what a student at levels 1-5 (6 is considered native-like fluency) “CAN DO” in the expressive domain of Speaking. The domains of Reading and Writing will follow in the future.


Domain: Speaking

1- The student may be very silent; produces often-heard words, memorizes phrases, or self-generated language to express meaning or asks questions; supports communication with nonverbal cues; begins to produce the range of sounds of English

2- The student uses phrases and simple sentences, likely omitting key words, to communicate about common experiences and situations; begins to produce content and academic vocabulary; errors often inhibit communication

3- The student generates simple sentences with minimal errors, though more complex sentences contain errors that may inhibit communication; the student may appear fluent because of near mastery of social language, but content and academic language continue to develop related to concrete and abstract concepts; uses more precise and specific content and academic vocabulary and increasingly complex grammatical structures

4- The student generates grammatically varied speech in a wide variety of social and academic contexts using content/academic vocabulary related to concrete and abstract concepts, errors do not typically obstruct meaning

WIDA CAN DO Descriptors

Fine Arts

Why Music? Part 2

In the first newsletter, I shared some words from Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser – a world-renowned music educator and advocate – about why we should support music in our schools. [ ]CLICK HERE if you didn’t get a chance to read it.

This month, I am pleased to share some research compiled by the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. This foundation is dedicated to restoring music education in America’s public schools. The research they share demonstrates five key outcomes of access to a quality music education:

• Engages students in the classroom and increases graduation rates

• Improves early cognitive development and math and reading skills

• Enhances learning in other core subjects

• Develops critical thinking and leadership skills

• Fosters self-esteem and the ability to work cooperatively in teams.

They go on to argue that music has a number of benefits to the brain. If you would like to learn more about those benefits and read their research, [ ]CLICK HERE.


Math Questions and Discussions

Written by: Dr. Volker Ecke with Dr. Christine von Renesse

In the blog "Our Inquiry-Based Classroom", I invited you into one of my IBL classrooms for students in the Liberal Arts. We saw students working in groups on a series of Investigations, discussing their thinking. As I walk around listening to the student groups grappling with making sense of the mathematics on their own, how can I encourage and support their efforts without just giving them "the answers"? How to engage them in mathematical conversations that will make their thinking visible?

What does that sound like?

If you want to jump right in, take a look at the following two minute video showing a group of students working on figuring out for themselves how to solve the top layer of the Rubik's Cube. What do you notice about what I say? What do you notice about what I'm not doing? What impact do you see on the students?

Listening more closely

Now I would like to ask you to join another classroom where a group of students has just started to look at the series 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + … =? (from "The Infinite" book). Perhaps you have listened to students grappling with related concepts in your own classes.

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Science and Social Studies

Asking Questions: The Common Denominator

In all content areas, students asking questions is a relevant and necessary part of classroom discourse. Asking questions is 1 of the 8 Science and Engineering Practices (SEP). The skill of asking questions should be evident as we transition to engaging students in science through everyday phenomena. After observing, reading or being shown some certain scientific phenomena, students should generate questions and teacher should develop a Driving Question Board (DQB) that is referenced throughout the lesson. Students at any grade level should be able to ask questions of each other about the texts they read, the features of the phenomena they observe, and the conclusions they draw from their models or scientific investigations. For engineering, they should ask questions to define the problem to be solved and to elicit ideas that lead to the constraints and specifications for its solution. (NRC Framework 2012, p. 56)

During Social Studies, students may ask questions to begin a discussion. Questioning is the first dimension in the new national College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework. It is the engagement phase of any Social Studies unit. Student developed questions lead to inquiry and allow students to guide the discussion and lesson. Questioning is key to student learning. The C3 Framework encourages the use of compelling and supporting questions, both teacher- and student-generated, as a central element of the teaching and learning process (C3 Framework 2013, p. 17)

While asking questions is critical to all lessons and units of study, the objective is not for the teacher to answer the questions, it is the students. If students are to gain the skills needed to be successful beyond the classroom, they must not only learn how to develop and ask though provoking questions, but also how to research and seek out relevant and timely information to come to an educated conclusion.


Literacy Strategy Focus: Ask Questions

As educators, we know how important it is to spark the interest and motivation of our learners through asking powerful and essential questions. These questions should trigger discussions, promote reflection, and extend research. Asking questions stimulates the mind as curiosity becomes the catalyst of learning. We know our students are bursting through our classroom doors bubbling over with a variety of questions because they are active thinkers. As we pose questions throughout our units of study, this allows our community of learners to seek out information, solve problems, and heighten their level of understanding. Our learners then become investigators and researchers as they open doors and windows of discovery to gain a deeper understanding of our world with new information and gain new knowledge. The goal is to ask powerful questions that generate more inquiries of further exploration. Our questions help us to clarify confusion when we meet unfamiliar information, concepts, and vocabulary which then propels learners to read on and conduct further examination.

Instead of demanding answers all the time, we need to teach students how to ask thoughtful and insightful questions so they develop into critical, analytical readers and writers. Our role is to teach students to think about questions as they collaboratively and independently read to discover answers. We want our learners to approach everything they read with a skeptical eye and an inquiring mind. Students need to bring their curiosity to the forefront as it continues to drive and enhance the learning process. Quite frankly, a life without curiosity is simply a boring life. We need to continue the practice of asking powerful and essential questions so students learn how to think, reflect, and investigate their world as an intuitive learner of life.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
Albert Einstein

Spelling Bee

Joliet Public Schools District 86 Spelling Bee will be held on November 16, 2016 at Gompers Junior High. Each elementary building invited 5th grade students to participate in a building level spelling bee contest as every junior high building conducted a spelling bee contest to determine a winner who will participate in the District Spelling Bee Contest. A winner and alternate were identified and invited to participate in District 86's Spelling Bee Contest. We are proud to announce that the Junior High building winners will be recognized at this annual event. Please join us as we cheer on our building representatives!

Family Engagement and Family Involvement: What is the Difference?

Parent University

The Joliet Public School District 86 Parent University was held at Gompers Junior High School on October 22, 2016. This event was a great opportunity for parents to visit various breakout sessions and hear the phenomenal guest speaker Clay Roberts. The Parent University offered various information on the following topics: academics, college and career readiness, community resources, health and wellness, special education and technology. A special "Parent University shout out" to the staff and students at Gompers for hosting this event at their school.

Physical Education

Integrating Movement into Core Content Lessons for Kinesthetic Learners

Integrating core content material into a physical education lesson is an effective way to give students extra opportunities to practice these vital skills. The reverse can also occur in the classroom setting. Integrating movement concepts during core content lessons can enhance your lesson and increase student engagement. Movement breaks or "brain breaks" in-between subjects or classes is common, however integrating movement into the actual lesson can be difficult. Start small when integrating movement into your core lessons. This will allow your students an opportunity to try something new while not adding much more to your lesson planning. In the article, "Everybody, Stand Up! The Power of Kinesthetic Teacher and Learning" by Susan Griss, multiple ways to integrate movement are discussed. If you are looking to integrate more activities for your kinesthetic learners I encourage you to give it a quick read.

Out & About Joliet 86

Assessment Design