October 2013
Membership #:           
Expiration Date:    
In This Issue
Science Standards
Illinois Reads S.T.E.M.
IRA Awards and Grants
Website Links
November 1, 2013

IRC Service Award
November 1, 2013

Legislator of the Year
November 1, 2013

Obama Library Award
November 1, 2013

Rural Library Award
November 1, 2013

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.   
Next Generation Science Standards    
By Rita Januszyk, Illinois Educator from Gower District 62




"Early one morning the wind blew a spider across the field. A thin, silky thread trailed from her body. The spider landed on a fence post near a farm yard...."
Like Eric Carle's spider, another silky thread is spreading across the country bringing a new generation of science standards--Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Capturing the natural curiosity of children with core ideas and meaningful practices, NGSS bring coherence and rigor to science learning. NGSS are a K-12 progression of learning that leads to career and college readiness.  The new standards are written as performance expectations that include disciplinary core ideas K-12 and science and engineer practices (skills) blended with crosscutting concepts (linking ideas). Unlike the Common Core State Standards, NGSS addressed diversity and equity issues from the beginning of writing rather than after release.
All Standards, All Students.  The title of NGSS Appendix D states the imperative of the inclusive intent of the new standards.  At a time in our nation's history when demographics are shifting and achievement gaps are persisting, NGSS call for rigorous, high quality science education for all students.  The charges of equity and diversity work were broad in scope:  review the standards for language clarity, inclusiveness, and avoidance of bias or stereotype language; write Appendix D describing the practicality and utility of implementation of effective teaching strategies; and offer case studies from classrooms that show the implementation of effective classroom strategies with diverse student groups engaging in NGSS.  As NGSS were reaching final form, the equity and diversity group analyzed language usage and recommended choices that included real world context and local materials, especially important for diverse student groups.  The standards have been adopted by several states already, and Illinois is poised to adopt pending review.
NGSS Design
On first view of the new standards, you will see an architecture that is unique compared to typical standards.  The architecture has key components to assist teachers, administrators, and curriculum developers, but NGSS are not curriculum.  They are written as performance expectations that will be the goal of instruction. Performance is the key word here.  In the assessment, students are asked to demonstrate they know core ideas of science and engineering by doing science, for example: ask questions, define problems, construct explanations using evidence, revise models, etc.  The architecture includes foundation boxes with three dimensions that will blend together as curriculum is created.  
Dimension 1:  Practices of scientists and engineers as they investigate and solve problems.
Dimension 2:  Crosscutting concepts, links, across disciplines of science and other subjects.
Dimension 3:  Disciplinary core ideas, concepts of scientific knowledge, written as a progression of learning K-12.
Connections to Common Core State standards: CCSS as a prerequisite or inclusion, related to the performance expectation
Example from the Case Study, Students with Disabilities:

Appendix D and Case Studies
Appendix D and Case Studies are on the NGSS website.  Appendix D demonstrates strategies grounded in research with 3 parts.  First, opportunity for learning and challenges are included for traditionally under-served groups:  students in poverty, major racial and ethnic groups, students with disabilities, and English language learners.  The groups are expanded to include girls, alternative education, and gifted and talented students.  Second, research based strategies are identified.  While the effective strategies are not an exhaustive list, they do exemplify excellent instruction for all students and particularly for the demographic groups featured in the case study.  Finally, the context of student diversity is illustrated with information from national testing and demographic data. The case studies show a student group engaged in science learning that exemplifies the blending of the three dimensions with effective strategies. The chart summarizes the demographic group, grade, science strand, and core idea of the case study.

Blending 3 Dimensions, Effective Strategies, and CCSS Example
The case studies demonstrate blending of the 3 dimensions with teaching strategies, leading students to meet NGSS.  The case study of 6th grade Space Science, featuring students with various disabilities in a mixed ability science classroom, shows students engaging with practices and core ideas about Earth's place in the universe.  In addition to students' IEP, effective strategies were included:  (1) multiple means of representation, (2) multiple means of action and expression, and (3) multiple means of engagement.  In the case study, a middle school class engaged in learning about the phases of the moon:  using planetarium software; recording observations on a calendar; viewing the moon from space with models and from earth with models; role playing; and creating a foldable illustrating earth views of the moon.  Next, they partner to read The Moon by Seymour Simon (2003) with student mentors and audio supports while revising their conceptual models.  The effective strategies are beneficial for all students, but especially students with disabilities.  You can read more about the unit in the case study on Students with Disabilities.
All Standards, All Students
NGSS has a vision that all students can become career and college ready. Science and science education are vital to all students and all Americans. Too frequently students from some groups miss science instruction, particularly in the early grades, and students get short changed on a solid foundation from early grades on.  The vision that all students can achieve the standards is an important one.  The case studies provide a starting place for teachers, administrators, and curricular developers to begin implementation planning.   
As the silky strand of NGSS implementation finds its way into your school, making the vision a reality will require some important planning to address the needs of diverse student groups and include the students in science instruction, hence the title All Standards, All Students.
Carle, E. (1989). The very busy spider. New York, NY: Philomel.
National Academies Press. http://www.nap.edu/NGSS/
NGSS and Appendix D. http://www.nextgenscience.org
NGSS Lead States. 2013.The next generation science standards: for states by states. Washington, D.C: The National Academies Press.
Simon, S. (2003). The moon. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Illinois Reads S.T.E.M. Titles  
By Tammy Potts, Illinois Reads Committee Chair



Bugs and Us by Patricia J. Murphy  
Whether you find bugs icky or fascinating, one thing is for sure...bugs can be very helpful.  This book shows all the ways bugs are useful to humans.

The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur: A Prehistoric Tale by Cheryl Bardoe
Once upon a time, seven tiny duck beaks pecked their way out of their eggs, but the eighth egg was a little bit different.  What emerged wasn't a duck at all-he was a dinosaur!  Everyone notices how different he is.  He doesn't waddle!  His teeth are too big! Feeling ugly and outcast, the dinosaur duckling leaves his family and ventures out on his own.  Again and again he tries to make friends, but everyone runs away!  Over time he grows bigger and bigger but still can't seem to find his rightful place.  One day he unexpectedly comes across other dinosaurs that look just like him, and he discovers he's really a T. rex!  This humorous and charming take on The Ugly Duckling also includes an author's note about the dinosaurs depicted and the early ancestors of modern ducks who lived side by side, and features scientifically accurate illustrations of the creatures.


Shipwreck Search:  Discovery of the H. L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker
Join divers and archaeologists as they discover and explore the H. L. Hunley, a Civil War submarine.  Learn how the sub operated, why it might have sunk, and who was on board.


Dark Life by Kat Falls
The oceans rose, swallowing the lowlands.  Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water.  Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor:  The Dark Life.  Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea.  When outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from Topside, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life.  Secrets that threaten to destroy everything.

Plan now to attend one of the Illinois Reads
Family Reading Nights across Illinois!

Illinois Family Reading Night is an annual statewide event sponsored by Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian, and the Illinois Center for the Book at the Illinois State Library that encourages families to spend quality time reading together. Participating organizations create programming that works best for their group.  This year, IRC's ILLINOIS READS Program has partnered in the program:  Read Across Illinois.

November 6, 2013
Western Illinois Reading Council will host a Skype Visit with Illinois Author Aaron Reynolds at 6:00 pm at Monmouth College, Huff Athletic Center 012A & B, 700 E. Broadway, Monmouth, Illinois. The cost to register is $2 for WIRC members, $2 for Preservice Teachers, and $5 for non-members.
November 7, 2013
Central Illinois Reading Council will host the Illinois Reads Community Read Alouds from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Old State Capitol, 1 SW Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, Illinois.  This is a FREE event!
November 18-21, 2013
Will County Reading Council will host What's Your Reading State of Mind? at the Barnes & Noble Stores in Joliet, Bourbonnais, Bolingbrook, and Orland Park.
November 21, 2013
Sauk Valley Reading Council will host a Family Reading Night and Skype Presentation with Illinois Author Sally M. Walker at the Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, Illinois.
November 21, 2013
Two Rivers Reading Council will host an Illinois Reads Family Reading Night from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Barnes & Noble, 1577 Illinois 50, Bourbonnais, Illinois.
November 21, 2013
Vermilion Valley Reading Council will host an Illinois Reads Family Reading Night at 5:00 pm at the Danville Public Library, 319 N. Vermilion, Danville, Illinois.
November 21, 2013
Vermilion Valley Reading Council will host an Illinois Reads Family Reading Night from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Danville Public Library, 319 N. Vermilion, Danville, Illinois.
November 21, 2013
Prairie Area Reading Council will host an Illinois Reads Family Reading Night at Barnes & Noble, 297 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, Illinois.
November 21, 2013
Northern Illinois Reading Council will be hosting an Illinois Reads Family Reading Night from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Mt. Morris Library, 685 Van Buren Ave, Mt. Morris, Illinois and an Illinois Reads Book Fair at the Barnes and Noble, Oakland Center, 2439 Sycamore Road, DeKalb, Illinois. 
November 21, 2013
Illinois Reads Author Joan Bauer will be spending the day at a middle school in Hanover Park.  Thank you Joan!

For more information, visit the website at IllinoisReads.org.
IRA Awards and Grants 
By Roberta Sejnost, IRA State Coordinator


Many awards and grants are available from the International Reading Association. Why not make applying for one of these a local council goal this year?  It will bring attention to your council and celebrate all the good things we do for the students of Illinois.  For more information, visit the IRA Website at reading.org.




Celebrate Literacy Award 

Recognizes organizations, institutions, individuals making significant literacy contributions at local, state level.



Local Community Service Award 

Honors a local, student or special interest IRA council for outstanding service to its community and literacy.



Pearson Foundation-IRA-Rotary Project Award

Implement a literacy service project jointly undertaken with Rotary clubs.



Arbuthnot Award 

Honor an outstanding college or university teacher of children's and young adults' literature.



Award for Technology and Reading Award 

Honors educators of grades K-12 who are making an innovative contribution to the use of technology in education.



Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award 

Honors an outstanding college or university teacher of reading methods or reading-related courses.



John C. Manning Public School Service Award

Honors reading professors who demonstrate commitment to public education; spend time working with teachers/students to improve reading instruction.



Maryann Manning Outstanding Volunteer Service Award 

Annually honors four (4) dedicated volunteers within North America and one (1) dedicated volunteer outside of North America.



Nila Banton Smith Award 

Honors teacher who shows outstanding leadership in translating theory, current research into practice in developing content area literacy.



Regie Routman Teacher Recognition Grant 

Honors mainstream, elementary classroom teacher dedicated to improving teaching/learning of reading/writing, across curriculum in real world contexts in grades K-6. 60% of school's students must be eligible for free/reduced lunch.



Special Service Award 

Honors unusual and distinguished service to IRA.



Travel Grants for Educators 

Support educators to attend Association-sponsored meetings that are held outside the educators' own continent.



Teachers as Researcher Grant 

Supports teachers with grants from $1,000-$4,000 who undertake action research inquiries about literacy and instruction.