Video Update


Core Classes – Unit 2 grades 6-12 Collections (see the Instructional Overview pages)

Performance Based Assessment (PBA) – work backwards from the product:  What skills do you need to teach throughout the unit to help students perform the task?

Writing Process should be explicitly taught.  Our students need to learn that writing is a process and that it takes time.  Resources I  have looking at and a few that I  have heard about from our colleagues:

  • A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher – students need lots of time, and a place, to explore and think.  Pre-writing is best not graded.  Here is a great link for visual prompts you can use in pre-writing:
  • The Writing Revolution by Judith C. Hochman and Natalie Wexler.  Their Six Principles may be a good way for you to join the writing conversation: “Sentences are the building blocks of all writing.”
  • Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.  Yes, 3-6, is what we use because the systems and protocols are clear and succinct.
  • We are also exploring a company called ThinkCerca to do a pilot with as they can provide writing infused curriculum that is aligned with Collections, in addition to other writing support.  If your school is interested, and has a budget, please let us know.   In terms of writing in the school, they say:
  1. Establish a clear vision
  2. Generate buy-in from teachers
  3. Have ELA teachers lead the charge
  4. Use a standard writing framework across grades and subjects
  5. Set aside time for teacher collaboration
  6. Support teachers with personalized and continuous training
  7. Track performance to targets

Here is a link to their blog:



Having a few good ones under your belt that you can use at any time, is essential.  We would welcome the opportunity to help you discover the ones that work best for your style.  Here is a throwback to the late 1990’s and Reciprocal Teaching: A Variation.  

Assessing Learning

A new feature was added to Concept SIS this year.  You are able to find a video (on other subjects also) under the support drop down:

Select the standards mastery tab:

A video has also been created by Ayhan Caputlu, Director of Math, that will walk you through the steps.

Technology Resources

Our new Director of Primary Education, Tamara Lieb, recently attended a webinar on technology.  She shared with us a list of 50 top edtech tools for the classroom. The have been uploaded into google drive.  Check them out: 



Many of our schools have elective and core classes may teach up to three novels.  Did you know that we can provide Novel Units if you let us know?  It might help you get started with your own planning.

Professional Development

Great Podcast for ideas and data about students and how to motivate them.


In addition to the PD’s we provide to departments or whole schools, there are many opportunities for you to learn, talk, and collaborate.  Below are some of the titles we offer.  Perhaps you have just gotten your NWEA data and want to have a data chat to determine what to reteach?  Maybe you are struggling with some aspect of instruction, you can request observations and/or model lessons (to travel we like to have at least two teachers within a building). 

Also, note that we are offering two webinars, for a limited time, on topics selected by our teachers:  Creating Assessments and Grouping Students for Learning.


Each year we do many events at Concept Schools.  Concept English will be responsible for the Writing Competition and the Spoken Word event.  

We are looking for volunteers who want to help with this year’s themes.

  • Writing Competition – March 21, 2020
  • Spoken Word Competition (Indianapolis) March 27, 2020


By the Numbers

11 Professional Development Sessions including Differentiation, New Teachers Induction, and Standards Unpacking for Rigor

12 Classroom Observations

8 Webinars on a variety of topics

27 email conversations on best practice, brainstorming ideas, review of programs or materials, and with new teachers

2 Model Lessons