June 2014
Membership #:           
Expiration Date:  
Local Councils:                         
In This Issue
ISBE License Renewal
Danielson Domain 1
What Hats Do You Wear
Literacy Links
Website Links
Dates to Remember

2014 IRC Conference
October 2-4, 2014
Springfield, Illinois

 Early Registration Ends
August 15, 2014

Housing Closes
September 10, 2014

Future Dates of the Annual IRC Conference
October 1-3, 2015
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.   
ISBE Educator License Renewal
By the Illinois Reading Council

Requirements for Illinois educators renewing their license have changed under the new legislation.  As of July 1, 2014, the Certificate Renewal System is being eliminated.  The new process for renewal will be the License Renewal System.  Important highlights include:
  1. Educators will no longer earn CPDUs after June 30, 2014.  
  2. CPDUs earned prior to June 30, 2014 from an approved Professional Development provider, such as the Illinois Reading Council, must be entered as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2014. 
  3. Attendees from the March 2014 IRC Conference should have found the ISBE Evidence of Completion Form at the back of their Final Program Book to record the CPDUs earned.   
  4. CPDUs completed on or before June 30, 2014 will be credited on a one-to-one basis as the new clock hours that will be earned under the new License Renewal System.
  5. Educators can now earn clock hours from the current list of approved Professional Development providers, including the Illinois Reading Council through December 31, 2014, provided that the professional development aligns to the requirements of Section 21B-45 of the School Code.   
  6. Providers approved under the new License Renewal System will be identified before January 1, 2015.   
The Illinois Reading Council will be applying to continue being an approved Professional Development provider under the new system.  Under Section 21B-45 of the School Code, Illinois professional associations that are approved by the State Superintendent of Education shall be approved to provide professional development activities.  IRC plans to continue bringing Illinois educators an outstanding conference with nationally renowned authors, researchers, and illustrators to improve the quality of literacy instruction at all levels along with other PD opportunities to support educators as they promote and teach lifelong literacy.

Complete details on the new License Renewal System are available at http://www.isbe.net/licensure/html/license-renewal.htm

Danielson + Common Core + IRC = A Perfect Partnership :  Focus on Domain 1       
By Roberta Sejnost, IRA State Coordinator 
In the last iCommunicate, we provided an overview of how IRC, the Common Core and the Danielson Framework for Teaching are intertwined. 

In this issue we identify the components of Domain #1 and what teachers need to show evidence of this component in their teaching.


1a:  Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy

To successfully demonstrate knowledge of content and pedagogy, teachers need to:

  • Create lessons based on current best practice
  • Enroll in advanced courses in content and techniques
  • Develop instructional artifacts that illustrate student work products
  • Foster instructional interactions with students

1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students

To show evidence that teachers know their students, they:

  • Create inventories, surveys and communications to families to gather information about their students at the beginning of the year
  • Use school records, i.e., test scores, permanent records, IEPs, etc., as primary sources of knowledge of students as well as secondary sources such as conversations with prior teachers and other school personnel
  • Develop a classroom structure that appropriately classifies students by learning abilities and other indicators such as 2nd language and/or other ethnic-cultural issues and/or medical, social and educational special needs

1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes

Teachers who set effective instructional outcomes develop goals that are:

  • Age/level appropriate
  • Suitable for diverse learners
  • What students will know, understand, and be able to do
  • Assessable

1d: Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources

If teachers are to show their knowledge of appropriate and effective resources, they need to know and utilize a range of resources, services and aids such as texts, instructional aids, field trips, experts from the community, and technology.


1e:  Designing Coherent Instruction

To successfully show evidence that their instruction is coherent, teachers need to develop:

  • Unit plans that reflect at least three weeks of work with daily topics and activities that reflect organization, sequencing, and a variety of materials and groups
  • Lesson Plans that provide a description of students, instructional objectives, assessments, activating, cognitive, and summarizing strategies, materials, and potential misunderstandings
  • Lesson Plans that reflect grouping patterns with a student focus such as large group, small group, and individualized instruction as well as students maintaining leadership roles by making presentations, etc.

1f: Designing Student Assessment

Finally, to show evidence that students are assessed in appropriate ways, teachers need to develop:

  • Methods of assessing goals through tests, data analysis, production of findings, and collaboration
  • Scoring systems/rubrics that establish measurable criteria that are shared with students
  • Authentic, real world applications of learning
  • A system of feedback to students to guide their teaching or re-teaching

The parameters of Domain #1 clearly illustrate the enormous challenge of implementing the Common Core State Standards within the model of the Charlotte Danielson Framework.  But, we are reminded of Danielson's advice that this can be best accomplished when teachers have an opportunity to work together and have interactions and conversations about whether they are implementing the standards with fidelity as well as about the kind of responses they are getting from their students and the kind of evidence needed to validate that students understand what they are learning.  And, we are also reminded of how membership in the Illinois Reading Council and any of its 32 local reading councils can provide this opportunity for collegial interaction and conversations.  Through IRC membership teachers can partake in such professional development opportunities as the yearly state conference as well as a myriad of local council activities with a focus on short literacy presentations and workshops, longer mini literacy conferences, and book study groups, many of which revolve around the Common Core State Standards in ELA, science, social studies and even math.  Moreover, belonging to a professional organization satisfies a major requirement of Danielson's Domain 4.  All in all, IRC is clearly a vibrant partner to Danielson's Framework and the Common Core.


What Hats Do You Wear? 
Community-Building Activity
By Patricia Tylka, IRC Vice President Elect

During the first weeks of school, many teachers have a goal of creating a positive learning environment by getting to know their students and helping students learn more about their classmates.  Here's an idea: create a mindmap that shows the different hats you wear or would like to wear, based on your interests and activities.  Your mindmap not only serves as a model for your students, it also gives them a little insight into you!  Ask students to produce their own mindmaps. (You may want to provide clip art images that students can trace or copy so that they don't spend too much time trying to get the drawings just right.)  Then have students share their mindmaps with a partner and let partners introduce each other to the class, using the mindmap as speakers' notes.  Or have students round-robin share their maps with their base-team members.  Need a writing sample?  Assign a paragraph using the mindmaps as a prewriting activity.  Other follow-up activities include graphing the commonalities, creating short-term research partnerships based on shared interests, and generating a whole-team or class mindmap.  If at all possible, post the completed mindmaps so that students get to know each other; you might even trade the central hat for a photo of the student!


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.




Poll Everywhere

Students can create a feedback poll or ask questions and teachers can see the responses in real-time.

Comprehensive Resources


Library of Congress  

This website has excellent resources including classroom resources, professional development resources, lesson plans, etc., which are organized by Common Core standards for each grade level.

Interactive Resources


PBS Kids     

This resource has a variety of games available to make learning fun, including games for teamwork, spelling, vocabulary, reading and many more. 


Reading Passages


Mr. Nussbaum's Site

This website has many short articles about a variety of topics at different reading levels, organized by grade level, skill and topic. There are also reading comprehension questions available for each article.


Web 2.0 Tools



This tool is a virtual corkboard of sticky notes that allows for students to collaborate with other students and teachers using both text and pictures.




School Tube

This website has a variety of videos that have been created by both teachers and students on a variety of topics.