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

Wired Wednesday Webinar
October 14, 2015

2016 IRC Conference
Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2016
Peoria, Illinois

Future Dates of the Annual IRC Conference
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.   
IRC Book Club 2.0  
By the Illi nois Reading Council
If you missed participating in the book club, this is your opportunity to join educators from around the state in the online IRC Book Club 2.0!  

Choice of two booksTeach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess or The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.  

Sign up by October 31:  Syllabus will be sent to registered participants.  
Check in 1 due November 15:  Read first 1/3 of book and complete discussion questions.
Check in 2 due November 30:  Respond to others' discussion answers.
Check in 3 due December 15:  Read second 1/3 of book and complete discussion questions.
Check in 4 due December 31:  Respond to second set of others' discussion answers.
Check in 5 due January 15:  Read final 1/3 of book and complete discussion questions.
Check in 6 due January 30:  Respond to third set of others' discussion answers.

If you participate in all assignments, you will be eligible to receive 15 clock hours for each book.  No partial clock hour credit will be given.  Registration for the book club is FREE for IRC MEMBERS.  The cost for non-members is $45 for the book club, which includes IRC membership for one year.  The cost of books is not included.  Participants must use/establish a gmail email account for the online book club.

Sign up by October 31st at    www.illinoisreadingcouncil.org.  
Webinars:  Culturally Responsive Instruction
By the Illinois Reading Council
The Illinois Reading Council and the Wisconsin State Reading Association are pleased to offer the FREE Webinar series for IRC and WSRA members again.  This year's topic is Culturally Responsive Instruction

7:00 p.m.  
Reading Lessons from Martin: A Case Study of One African American Student
with Catherine Compton-Lilly
  • Description:  This webinar will address how being African American may have affected one child's experiences with learning to read. Specifically, how cultural differences in experiences and expectations affect learning and an awareness of times when teachers and students are out-of-sync.  It gives pause for reflection and subsequent changes that can enhance learning for young children. While Martin's story is certainly not generalizable to all African American children, it does reveal how careful reflection and analysis of one's teaching can reveal important insights into teaching children who bring different ways of being, knowing, and learning.
  • Bio:  Catherine Compton-Lilly serves as Associate Professor in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was an elementary school teacher for 18 years and is the author of Reading Families: The Literate Lives of Urban Children (Teachers College Press, 2003), Confronting Racism, Poverty and Power (Heinemann, 2004), Rereading Families (Teachers College Press, 2007), the editor of Breaking the Silence (International Reading Association, 2009), and co-editor of Bedtime Stories and Book Reports: Complexities, Concerns, and Considerations in Fostering Parent Involvement and Family Literacy (Teachers College Press, 2010). Dr. Compton-Lilly has authored articles in many journals and engages in longitudinal research projects.
Register today for the upcoming webinar!

The Power of Formative Assessment
By Margaret Mary Policastro, Becky McTague, and Diane Mazeski, authors of Formative Assessment in the New Balanced Literacy Classroom, 2016, Capstone Professional
Formative assessment is a rigorous pedagogy that can yield results preparing students for the mandated summative assessments. With all of the emphasis on these high-stakes tests, formative assessment allows for a deeper and more powerful way to track student learning, progress and growth. Moreover, when formative assessment is in classroom practice, differentiated instruction is a natural outgrowth.
In 1998, Black and Wiliam defined formative assessment as "encompassing all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by their students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged."The term formative assessment has built within it by nature, the merging of instruction with assessment. Shepard, Hammerness, Darling-Hammond & Rust (2005) discuss that the assessments are carried out during the teaching process for the purpose of informing and improving teaching or learning. Inherent in the word "formative" is formation, thus the forming of learning during instruction.
The formative assessment model below is driven by collection of student data, feedback to students, and having students self-monitor their learning.
Formative Collection: During the instructional process, teachers are observing and noticing students' reactions, responses, and decision making within problem solving along with many other behaviors within the continuum of the learning process. Collecting data on students learning relies heavily on being "clip-board ready" as a teacher. This means that the teacher is always in the mode to observe and document important information about the student. This takes place during all aspects of instruction including read-alouds, guided reading, language and literacy centers and independent reading and writing. The data collected will be based on the needs of the students and the purpose of the lesson.
Formative Feedback: As teachers collect data on students, "real-time" feedback is necessary in order to move students forward in their learning. Feedback that is formative is more than a compliment of "good job" and provides just the right information for the student to continue their learning, move forward and/or fill in a gap of any missing information. Feedback of this nature should be given frequently to students and parents as well.
Formative Self-Monitoring: The most critical dimension in the formative assessment process is the formative monitoring by students of their own learning. When students take responsibility for their own learning process and are aware of what they know and don't know, it influences and has a powerful impact on their overall student achievement. Inherent within the formative assessment model is students becoming owners of their own learning. This ownership requires students to reflect on and monitor their learning during instruction.
Black, P. & Wiliam, D., (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 5 (1), 7-73.
Shepard, L.A., Hammerness, K., Darling-Hammond, L., Rust, F. (2005). Assessment. In L. Darling-Hammond & J. Bransford (Eds.), Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Learn more at www.capstoneclassroom.com or locate the new professional resource by clicking the following link: Formative Assessment in the New Balanced Literacy Classroom .  

Literacy Links
By the IRC Educational Media Committee

Take a moment to review some of the Literacy Links provided by the IRC Educational Media Committee to help Illinois educators in today's classrooms. These links and past links will be available on the IRC Website under "Literacy Links" on the homepage.
Interactive Resources
Voki is a creative, easy-to-use tool that helps motivate students and improves lesson comprehension and student participation.

Reading Passages
This website provides informational text passages that allow the readers to complete the text by selecting the words that best fit the context of the passage. Then the reader can press the 'Check My Answers!' button to get immediate feedback for accuracy.
Web 2.0 Tools
This is a great tool to make infographics to encourage analysis and synthesis of information.  This tool is easy to use and it is free.