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FUTURE DATES FOR IRC CONFERENCES
By IRC Executive Board
WOULD YOU PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY LINKED BELOW TO INDICATE THE BEST TIME FOR YOU TO ATTEND A FUTURE IRC CONFERENCE?
As an Illinois Reading Council member, we hope you have had an opportunity to attend one of the many premier IRC Conferences held in March. In keeping with our efforts to better serve the IRC Membership, we are seeking your input on when the conference would serve you best.
Some background information: The Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) has issued its guidelines for the amount of time schools will have to administer the new tests. At the 75% of the school term, (approximately March) there is a suggested 20 day window for testing time. At 90% of the school term, (approximately May) another 20-days is recommended.
In light of the above information, we are considering a change in the conference time. Would you please take the survey linked above to indicate which time of the year would be best for your attendance at future IRC Conferences?.
Thank you for your input!
WELCOME FELLOW EDUCATORS TO A NEW SCHOOL YEAR IN ILLINOIS!
By Susie Morrison, Deputy Superintendent/Chief Education Officer, Illinois State Board of Education
Welcome to a new school year in Illinois. I remain excited about a new focus as we continue the implementation of the Common Core standards in English language arts and mathematics.
As you well know, we are expecting more from our students as we work together to prepare each and every student for his or her future...to be college and career ready. The new Illinois standards bring focus and rigor to teaching and learning in our K-12 classrooms. Although fewer in number, the new standards are deeper in the level of understanding, internationally benchmarked and aligned to postsecondary expectations.
I know you have been working hard to prepare for your students' arrival, and I sincerely thank you for your hard work.
It is exciting that these new ELA standards reaffirm how instruction in reading, writing, speaking, listening and language is a shared responsibility within a school. A particular focus on developing literacy through history/social studies, science and technical subjects emphasizes the importance of supporting all students as they learn to read and comprehend across the curriculum.
Many Illinois educators have joined forces with ISBE staff to help create a Common Core webpage for your reference as we work together to continually improve teaching and learning in our state. I hope you will take a moment to visit http://www.isbe.net/common_core/ and access these Common Core resources.
Once again I would like to thank you for your passion for teaching and for your dedication to children. May the 2013-14 school year be the best ever!
SUPPORT STRUGGLING AND RELUCTANT READERS DURING DAILY INDEPENDENT STUDENT READING
By Karen Walker, IRC Research and Studies Committee Member
This column focuses on increasing independent student reading amongst adolescents. Independent student reading is a foundational necessity to achieving high levels of literacy proficiency (Krashen, 2004). A 2007 research report from the National Endowment for the Arts, To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence, reported trends showing that Americans are reading less and, in particular, early adolescents and young adults "read less often for shorter amounts of time when compared with other age groups and with Americans of the past" (National Endowment for the Arts, 2007 p. 7). However, there are many challenges with traditional Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) and we instead recommend implementing Scaffolded Silent Reading (ScSR) with reluctant and struggling readers.
The term ScSR is often used synonymously with Sustained Silent Reading (SSR); however these literacy practices are not the same. ScSR is very different in that it is scaffolded--that is, supported--and places a focus on providing students with the necessary support, guidance, structure, accountability, and monitoring during the class time allocated for independent student reading (Reutzel, Jones, Fawson, & Smith, 2008, p. 196). Struggling and reluctant readers will benefit greatly from participating in a scaffolded independent student reading program that includes the following components:
- An accessible, organized and leveled classroom library
- Active teacher instruction along with guidance, interaction and monitoring of students
- Appropriate matching of students and texts
- Quarterly reading goals set by students
- Regular book conferences with students
- Student- and teacher-led book talks
- Book response opportunities
- Independent student reading log and response portfolio
Implementing an independent student reading program will positively impact all of your readers. Be sure to include independent reading in your 2013-14 plans!
Visit the IRC Studies and Research Committee's Wiki Page for more information: http://ircstrugglingreaders.wikispaces.com/.