February 2015
Membership #:           
Expiration Date:  
Local Councils:                         
In This Issue
Website Links
Dates to Remember

2015 IRC Conference
October 1-3, 2015
Peoria, Illinois

 Program Proposals Due
March 1, 2015

Registration and
Housing Opens

April 15, 2015

Future Dates of the Annual IRC Conference
Sept. 29-Oct 1, 2016
October 5-7, 2017
Peoria, Illinois

Welcome to iCommunicate, IRC's monthly e-newsletter!  Here you will learn, share, and enjoy information on timely topics and cutting edge projects. We'd love to hear your thoughts.  Please contact us with your comments, suggestions, and ideas at icommunicate@illinoisreadingcouncil.org.   
2015 Illinois Reads Program
By the Illinois Reads Committee


  • Classic Bedtime Stories, il Scott Gustafson 
  • hello! hello! by Matthew Cordell
  • If You Were a Panda Bear by Florence Minor, il Wendell Minor
  • May There Always Be Sunshine by Jim Gill, il Susie Signorino-Richards
  • Pugs in a Bug by Carolyn Crimi, il Stephanie Buscema
  • Toes, Ears, & Nose by Marion Dane Bauer, il Karen Katz 
  • Ben Franklin's Big Splash by Barb Rosenstock, il D. Schindler 
  • Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds, il Dan Santat
  • Edward Hopper Paints His World by Robert Burleigh, il Wendell Minor
  • Little Lucy Goes to School by Ilene Cooper
  • Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch, il Larry Day
  • Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider
  • Iggy Loomis, Superkid in Training by Jennifer Allison 
  • On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
  • Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
  • The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
  • Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
  • What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren

6 - 8

  • 33 Minutes by Todd Hasak Lowy
  • The Art of Secrets by James Klise
  • The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
  • Inhuman by Kat Falls
  • The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
  • The Ugly One by Leanne Statland Ellis
  • Boundaries by Sally M. Walker
  • Fault Line by Christa Desir
  • In The After by Demitria Lunetta
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green
  • Rotters by Daniel Kraus
  • Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill


  • The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
  • The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg
  • Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Identical by Scott Turow
  • Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football by Rich Cohen
  • While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell


The complete list of the 2015 Illinois Reads Books is also available in a PDF.  Bookmarks and posters can be ordered at info@illinoisreads.org.

To find out more information about the Illinois Reads Program and 2015 authors, visit www.illinoisreads.org.  Ideas to incorporate the books into your classroom and summer reading activities will be available soon. 

Join us on Facebook!
CCSS in Speaking and Listening Webinars 
By the Illinois Reading Council 

The Illinois Reading Council and Wisconsin State Reading Association are pleased to offer the FREE Webinar series that focuses on the Common Core State Standards in Speaking and Listening for IRC and WSRA members only!  To register for a webinar or view past webinars, visit  http://www.illinoisreadingcouncil.org/wiredwednesdaywebinars.html.


TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2015    

7:00 p.m.  

Collaborative Conversations and the Speaking and Listening Standards with Doug Fisher

  • Suggested Reading: Collaborative Conversations:  Speaking and Listening Standards Ensure that Students Communicate Effectively and Build on One Another's Ideas by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey (2013).  Principal Leadership, 13(8), 57-61.
  • Bio: Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is a member of the California Reading Hall of Fame and is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the Farmer award for excellence in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education.  He has published numerous articles on improving student achievement as well as books, such as Text-Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading (with Nancy Frey and Diane Lapp), Checking for Understanding (with Nancy Frey) and Common Core English Langauge Arts in a PLC at Work (with Nancy Frey). He is a board member of the International Reading Association and a past board member of the Literacy Research Association. 
  • Websitehttp://fisherandfrey.com/ 
The Power of Reading To Your Child
By the Illinois Reading Council

The benefits of reading to your children are abounding...at all ages. Special thanks go to the Wisconsin State Reading Association for sharing their research and The Power of Reading To Your Child video with all IRC members.  Give all the children in your lives the start they need!  Read to them!   


This is an excellent gift for new parents or parents with young children! Watch the video to see why this would be a great DVD to purchase for new parents, to give away at conferences, for baby showers, and much more!    


If you are interested in ordering The Power of Reading To Your Child DVD, click here for a PDF Order Form.

IRC Social Media Outlets
By the Illinois Reading Council


Lacking Literacy ... Add Social Studies!
By Kim Mogilevsky, Director of Professional Development, Studies Weekly

Even though informational text comprehension is tested, it seems one of the best subjects for teaching nonfiction reading strategies is often neglected.  The ugly truth is that some schools allow and sometimes even encourage social studies instruction to be pushed aside. Unbelievable?  No.  We all know it happens.  Unconscionable?  Yes.  We all know it shouldn't happen, but what are some ways teachers can change this trend?


Stop teaching social studies as a separate subject area. Just 180 days of school and five hours of the school day are hardly enough to even skim the surface of two major subject areas, let alone four to six subject areas (plus various support services like speech therapy and special classes for ESE, ELL and Language Impaired).  Teachers must teach social studies content during their literacy block.  Fortunately, Common Core State Standards require that students' reading materials be 50 percent informational text.  That means using social studies basal material is an easy, convenient choice during instructional reading time.


Stop just posting math, science and language arts terms on a classroom word wall.  A word wall takes up a large chunk of precious classroom real estate.  If you're teaching social studies content through your literacy or language arts block, then it only makes sense to include the domain-specific vocabulary, too.  Dr. Robert J. Marzano states, "Direct vocabulary instruction is fundamental to effective teaching in all subject areas." (Marzano, R.J. Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development [ASCD], 2004.)


Stop only using traditional, hardcopy textbooks.  "In spite of the fact that states and districts spend $5.5 billion a year in core instructional content, many students are still using textbooks made up of content that is 7 to 10 years old."  (Fletcher, G., Schaffhauser, D. and Levin, D. Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age.  State Educational Technology Directors Association [SETDA], 2012.)  Here's a quick list of ideas to ensure that you teach students using current content:

  • Use non-traditional basal material.
  • Use digital content.
  • Use primary sources: Use media centers, classroom libraries and online access, such as the Library of Congress (loc.gov).
Stop ignoring social studies.  At Studies Weekly, we encourage you to use a strong social studies curriculum that includes informational text, primary sources and digital content to address the literacy needs in your classroom.