The wind, rain, and snow have moved into the Chicago area. Soon it will be winter. We here at Concept English have settled on a theme for this year’s spoken word competition:  Lost & Found:  What’s Hidden in the Words & Music? Hopefully, working on their poems will provide our students with a great indoor activity. 

We also wanted to remind you that teachers throughout the network have asked for Webinars focused on two areas. Both are listed in SIS under PD offerings as Grouping Students for Learning and Creating Assessments for Classrooms and Teams. We are looking forward to working with you to develop and implement alternative, formative assessments and differentiation in small groups.

You may also remember last month that we responded to the many folks who  asked about ways to implement writing into their instruction.  We shared some ideas then, and will continue to do so each month. 


For most of us, however, we start small with daily writing in journals or quick writes, move on to weekly assignments, and then monthly tasks that are usually like our PBA (performance based assessments).  The key is not to get hung up in the overwhelming task of grading everything.  Students need lots of time to just move from oral speech to writing down the arm and on to the page.


Two years ago we began using a framework that was  recommended to us by Jamie Pryslak at Noble Cleveland.  It is from a text called The Core Six:

This is a great way to look at the different purposes of writing and it fits into the Concept English framework of balanced literacy very well:


Maybe you feel as we do that it is important to talk about our apprehensions about the writing process and how our students will respond.  Feel free to reach out to us at any time.  In addition, if you are not aware of the National Writing Project it is an amazing resource for professional development, and there may be a local chapter in your area as well.  Here is a list of wonderful resources:








Finally,  back to the Spoken Word Competition.  Check out the video below with the original song that inspired the model poem by Andy Flaherty.  Followed by screenshots of the source/model in the video, the upcoming brochure on ways to get started,  and a list of contacts per school.