It is hard to believe that we are already entering the month of October.   We have been busy traveling to schools from Youngstown to St. Louis, as well as providing professional development to teachers new to the Concept network and observing/coaching all teachers.  The growth we are seeing in returning teachers is excellent and the opportunity to work with schools on their Literacy PLC’s, appreciated.

This year we did our new teacher induction program, so we have not yet seen all of you in person or visited your buildings. Whether you are coming back, or you are new, thank you for the service you are providing to our students.

Curriculum – This year we updated our units in SIS (6 per year, per grade) and provided models from some of our teachers throughout the network for the first unit.  Not only can you reach out to us, you can reach out to those teachers as their emails are in the notes section of the unit. We have asked that you review each unit titled and then break down the units with your additions and subtractions as Unit 1, Part A, B, and C respectively.

Most of you should be wrapping up Unit 1 and moving into Unit 2 by the middle of this month.  Elective curriculum is different, but you can reach out to the director for additional assistance in planning these courses.  NOTE: Remember to plan backward from the PBA at the end of each unit.

Resources – We have updated our units with about 230 new resources, bringing the total to well over 1, 500.  Those of you who have connected novels to your units of study can reach out for unit plans from Book Rags. If you are looking for additional resources, or have questions, we are a phone call or email away.  Also, Ms. Sarah Newton from GSA Fyler has created some wonderful lessons for “What of this Goldfish, Would You Wish” and “from Texas v. Johnson Majority Opinion” by Justice William J. Brennan and “American Flag Stands for Tolerance” Newspaper Editorial by Ronald J. Allen.  Let us know if you would like to see these exemplars.

Technology – As you know, this year we are focused on Technology integration.  Mr. Tan, Director of Technology has compiled a very nice list of materials for us.  Check out this link to google drive :


Double click on the link and when it opens double click on Google Drive.  The first item listed is Reading/Writing lessons. FYI – the focus this year for the writing contest will likely be on poetry and there as some nice ideas in here!

Professional Development – We have revised our professional development sequence around three key areas: Building Relationships with Urban Students, Differentiation, and Standards- Based Curriculum and Instruction.  Depending on your comfort/skill level, professional development opportunities range from basic to advanced (1-4) for you to choose from. NOTE: Some schools have already scheduled PD and observations. If you need help with your Literacy team, as some schools do, please schedule it under Building Relationships and note it in your request.

Programs/Events – As was announced to your building Spelling Bee Coordinator, the Concept Bee, themed: Rhyme and Reason It’s Spelling Season, will be in Chicago again this year. It will be held on November 17th at the UIC Student Center, as it was last year.

Here are the local school bees that have been scheduled:  

HSA Youngstown – 9/25

HSA Belmont – 10/10

HSA Columbus Elementary – 10/12

HSA Columbus Middle School – 10/18

Noble Cleveland – 10/19

HSA Springfield – 10/25

GSA Middle School – 10/25

MMSA Milwaukee – 10/30

IMSA West – 10/31

HSA McKinley Park – 10/31

Here is the poster (a few corrections-address, etc.- are being made and will be on the website for downloading by October 3rd – end of day):

August/September Visits 2018