Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Assessment (ICLA): Standard I Language Learning and Literacy Development

Today, I will be taking the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Assessment (ICLA) Standard I: Language Learning and Literacy Development test. This series of three (soon to be four) tests, measures knowledge and skills needed for research-based literacy instruction. All Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Special Education graduates from the Idaho State University College of Education recommended for the initial Idaho certification must obtain passing scores (70 or above). These qualifying scores are also a graduation requirement for these teacher preparation programs.

ICLA Standards
  • Standard I: The practicing educator has knowledge, strategies, and beliefs about language structures and literacy instruction that are based on current research and best practices to maximize student reading success.
  • Standard II: The practicing educator understands and applies/promotes research and best practices that maximize student reading success in comprehension.
  • Standard III: The practicing educator understands and promotes/applies appropriate strategies, multiple assessments, and interventions to maximize student reading success*.
In preparation for this test, I have studied the prepared ICLA I guide found here. In addition, I have created a Quizlet set of the vocabulary words found here. On Quizlet, I am very fond of playing the matching game where you drag corresponding items (term to definition) onto each other to make them disappear. I also like to create a test on Quizlet with multiple choice, true or false, and matching to assess my knowledge of the vocabulary words. Then, I turn to the ICLA Study Guide for the practice items given to assess vocabulary knowledge, identification of spelling patterns, and best instructional practices. This practice test provides an answer guide which allows you to further assess your abilities. Once I have received a passing score on my own, I know that I am ready to head to the testing center and complete the examination.

In the last Quizlet test I took, I have received a 95% on the vocabulary of ICLA standard I. In the last practice test I completed, I received a 89%. This has personally given me the green light to take the test.

Wish me luck!

* ICLA information from the website.

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

Conventions of Standard English
  • CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language
  • CCRA.L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
  • CCRA.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression. 

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening

Comprehension and Collaboration
  • CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
  • CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. 

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing

Text Types and Purposes

CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and
sufficient evidence.

CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through
the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well structured
event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing
  • CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others. 
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing

  • CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. 

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading

Key Ideas and Details
  • CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
  • CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Craft and Structure
  • CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
  • CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.*
  • CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
  • CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
  • CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. 

Pre-Internship: Pre-Test

Social Studies Pre-Test
In April, I will be teaching the second grade class a week long Social Studies unit. In order to assist me in creating my plan, I gave them a pre-assessment of the vocabulary words we will be discussing throughout the lessons: citizen, law, suburb, rural area, etc. I used Google Forms to complete the pre-assessment with the students. This allowed me to create the multiple choice questions for them to complete and I did not have any papers to correct! I also am quite impressed with the spreadsheet that I was provided with each students responses to each question and the number they received correct. The form also provided me with the frequently missed questions in the class and I can see what percentage of each question was answered. This is extremely beneficial data to help me in planning my unit.

When giving the assessment, I gave them a link to type into the address bar. This was a
bad decision on our end, the students were not ready for such a task. Even though they type in their names and passwords daily and use the computer for various activities they were not ready for a tinyurl I created. After getting all the students onto the right page it went very smoothly. We were able to do each question one as a time as a group. I read them aloud so that this was an assessment of the content not of their reading ability. We we completed the assessment, my CT and I were in agreement that I would be able to send an email to them with a link.

Prep Time
My CT and I spent some time discussing the unit plan and the official dates that I will be completing it. Since we have extra time on Tuesdays and not any time on Wednesdays, I will be doing Monday, Tuesday & Thursday one week and then Tuesday, Thursday & Friday the next. I have begun to complete my layout of what topics and I CAN statements will be discussed on each day.
I have also have approval from both CT and my professor of what the summative assessment will be. I am so very excited about the idea! We will be completing activities everyday relating to the Essential Questions: How do we live with one another? The standards have them understand:
  • Why rules are necessary at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
  • Identify people at home, school and in the neighborhood who create & enforce rules and laws. 
  • Explain consequences for breaking rules and benefits to obeying rules at home, school and in the neighborhood.
  • Identify characteristics of a good citizen. 
Each day, students will apply the lesson learned of that day to their own lives: home, school, neighborhood, and citizenship. Then on the final day they will place each one of the activities on a single sheet. I will have them hang them up around the room and allow the students to complete an art walk, so they can see what their classmates have completed. The layout of the idea is pictured here:

Then I will compile all of the sheets and create a scrapbook for my own keeping to add to my portfolio of things I have done in the classroom.

CapEd Grant

My CT won a grant from CapEd Idaho! The principal and the representative from CapEd came in and surprised her with a check that will allow her to purchase 2 magnet engineering kits and instruction book from iStem. This will be a great learning activity to accompany the Wonders program unit that discusses magnets. The principal asked me to join in with him, the assistant principal and my CT with the giant check! After we turned the giant check to the stack of items to be laminated, I had my CT show me how to request grants from CapEd and was able to read her proposal of the grant she just had won. 

Have you applied for a grant? What was the process like?

Pre-Internship: Friday

Morning Meeting
I love morning meetings! It is such a great way to prepare for the day. My CT goes over reminders and what they will be doing today. The only difference in my future classroom, is that it would be after bell-work so I can get my administrative duties done and it would be done at the calendar on a meeting rug. That way when the meeting is over you can switch gears into the calendar/ daily number circle for math. I really like this area from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits (without the rocking chair, I am fearful of fingers and toes getting smooshed)

What does your meeting place look like?

Language ArtsThe students worked on the interactive whiteboard as a class with sentences. Each of the sentences needed to have the nouns circled and the verbs underlined. Students sitting at their desk were encouraged to be prepared to help students at the whiteboard, so they needed to know what the nouns and verbs were. I really like this interactive start of the day to get the brain and body moving.

Spelling Test 

Students placed their folders up at their desks and prepared a piece of paper for their weekly spelling test. My CT gives them 3 sentences that include some of the words they worked on this week. This week they were focused on the -tch and -ere sounds. When the students write the sentences, they are to focus on the correct spelling of the words, capitalization, and correct punctuation. If the sentence includes a word that they may not be familiar with she writes it up on the board. Not sure if the students at practice with contractions she wrote don't on the board.
I am not a fan of the folders to separate their space, I have seen different ideas for testing time. I would rather the students use their folders for the assignments they are currently working on. I found this one on Pinterest that uses the dollar store trifold poster boards and uses pretty duct tape to fold over the cutting edge! You could make a class set for $15.

AR Testing/ Reading
The students are finishing up the quarter, trying to meet their AR goal of 20 points. My CT is giving the students time to read books and take tests so that they can reach their goal (today is the last day). Students who have finished their AR goal are encouraged to complete iStation or another reading game.

Recess/ Quick Prep
With a half a day, there is no prep time. So my CT and I quickly scrambled to get last minute preparations for the remainder of the day ready during recess. I spent the time with final preparations on my mini-lesson #4.

Mini Lesson #4
For my last mini lesson for observation in the second grade classroom, I created a M&M graphing lesson. The focus was CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.D.10, using the I Can statements:

  • I can solve word problems using the data from a bar graph.
  • I can draw a bar graph to represent data with up to four categories.

I created a handout for the students to complete:

As a class, we did the activity together on the interactive whiteboard:

I created M&M's for the board by taping pictures of M&M's onto magnets I found at the Dollar Tree. I placed them into an empty package of snack size M&M's, so they appeared to be a giant size M&M's! This way we could use the manipulatives on the board as a class.

I then passed out the snack size M&M's and handout to each student and assisted them as needed. The lesson was a big hit with the students and I think that learned a lot. When I was finished, I spent some time grading the papers.

I chose to eat a cold lunch with the students today! We had a good time socializing outside of the classroom. That was a lot of fun! When they went out to recess, I snuck into the classroom to finish grading papers.

Cartoon & Snack
We finished the remaining 30 minutes of the day with a treat! The quarter is complete and the report cards are finished. My CT had them watch Scooby Doo and eat Ice Cream sandwiches she purchased while on lunch break. What a great ending to a fantastic day!

Pre-Internship - Thursday

Reading & Spelling
The students enjoyed some reading from my CT of The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau. I recently read the following information about reading out loud to our students, "Children can listen on a higher language level than they can read, so reading aloud makes complex ideas more accessible and exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech. This, in turn, helps them understand the structure of books when they read independently (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). This is such a good practice for teachers to make time for in the classroom. I am to be sure to make the time to do this daily. I think a reading during morning snack time would be good timing. A moment to pause and enjoy a story. Then a quick brain break with something like GoNoodle afterwards to get them moving and ready to get back to work! How do you incorporate daily read alouds to your students?

Then, I led some fun spelling practice through the game of hangman at the students request! This was a quick and simple way to get them practicing their spelling rule for the week, before heading to specials.

2nd Grade Team Meeting
The second grade teachers met to discuss a miscellaneous of items; brag tags (school wide student progress awards for the quarter), summer school recommendations, data collection for Bridges & Wonders, and check in on progress regarding the RTI time. Communication is very valuable between the team and these quick moments to connect can be very beneficial to stay accountable in the classroom and get ideas to better meet the needs of your students. I am in hopes that I will be apart of a great team in my future role as a teacher.

Response to Intervention
We finished the robots week with a session of coding and playing. Using various problem solving skills and team collaboration skills the students were able to get Milo to do a variety of tricks. I currently read an article on We Are Teachers written by Jennifer Williams about the important skills kids learn through coding: critical thinking, persistence, courage to try new things, math skills, processing skills, and more. I found a lot of value to the article, because some may say that the students are just playing and this is not a valuable learning experience. This article and other research says differently. These skills developed are extremely beneficial to them as students and their future roles in society.

Math Practice
While students went to Title 1 for math, students remained in the class worked on their Minibeast assignments (creating a bug and writing about them). My CT and I had a small group of students at the back table working with place values with manipulatives.

First, they created different numbers from 99 to 500 and then they created two different numbers to assist with addition. Creating 131 and 289, then writing an equation on the table with dry erase marker 131+289= and using the manipulatives to help them add and see how re-grouping process works. The students were better engaged with the manipulatives and the writing on the table. This small group time is such a valuable experience for the students who are not quite low enough to receive special assistance in Title 1, yet not quite ready for current math lessons. I am really glad that I had the opportunity to see the students work out these problems with these tools and see how they are processing their understanding of numbers, they are such hard-workers! How do you find the time to do small groups in the classroom?

One more day this week! I am really looking forward to being able to do this everyday in my own classroom... My countdown says 419 days until I am eligible!

Pre-Internship: Wednesday

Number Circle Time - Bridges
Calendar time at the back room. All students came together behind all of the desks and say
on the floor to discuss the calendar. March has Geometry; discussing the shapes, faces, vertices, and edges. Each day has a picture that they are to find the shapes, decide what they are called, and how many edges, vertices, and faces they have.

Subtraction Lesson
Students returned to their desk for a mini-lesson on subtraction with their whiteboards. My CT led them through a number of problems; double digit subtraction w/o borrowing.


In order to complete these as a group she said: "Hold up 5, takeaway 1" Then, "Hold up 2 tens, take away one ten." What is the difference?

The students wrote their answer on their board, she asked them to show her their boards. One problem she saw many students with different answers. So she completed it with them. At the end she had those who did it incorrectly do it over again on their boards. This way the students could practice doing the problem correctly. 

Prep Time
Discussion of a new student on an IEP and preparation for my social studies unit. She is receiving assistance in special education most of the morning; however she stays during the afternoon. She is very low in language, reading, and math. During my unit, I will have to make accommodations for her reading. The best way to do so is to provide oral readings. For my assessment, I am going to give her a paper copy and allow her to watch a video I will create with the test questions being read aloud. While the other students complete a google form assessment. This way she will be able to be assessed on her knowledge of the information rather than her ability to read. I will do some research on different ways to assist her while completing my unit.

Response to Intervention
Learning together how to code Milo! In their small groups we learned how to code Milo as a team. It was a lot of trial and error; however, they did a great job with figuring it out and getting him to do some fun tricks; making music, roll forward, roll backward, spin around, etc. Allowing the students to take the time to problem solve and acquire the knowledge on their own to make Milo move was an excellent opportunity for group work collaboration. They each took turns completing a code and they figured out what worked and what did not work. This was a great way of instruction rather than providing them with a worksheet that had a list of things they could have him do and check off that they completed it. 

Have you worked with Legos in Education? 

Pre-Internship: Tuesday

Spelling Around the World
Students were in a circle around the room. They were practicing their spelling words for the week by spelling a word together; each student saying a different letter. If they are wrong, they sit down. At the end of the word, the student says,"that is how you spell ____." I like playing games in the classroom to learn. Especially when the students do not know that the learning process is occuring. My CT suggests that they spell the word in their head for extra practice. I think it would be good for those who sit down, to get a piece of paper and write out the words for extra practice, especially the one that caused them to return to their seat.

Spelling Handout & a Meltdown
Students were to put the list of words in alphabetical order and then find the six misspelled words in the paragraph. I walked around and assisted students as they needed it. They were mostly in need of sharpened pencils. One student had a meltdown because he only had 8 pencils, he knew that he had 10. He immediately thought that one of his classmates took his pencil as he looked around and saw students with pencils that looked liked his.
This could be avoided with community supplies; however, we have to keep student supplies together. I suggested that he placed his pencils in his pencil box when they were not in use. Having our own individual supplies was a responsibility and if he wanted to keep all 10 of his pencils he needed to keep them in his box. His classmate offered to give him a pencil; however, he declined and said that one was not his. [Later on my CT stated that this student often has meltdowns and we just needed to let him do his own thing, has he will take even longer process of getting back to work if you let him. This is something I have to work on knowing my own students of which one would need to work on his own feelings or those who need to be seeked out as it is not within their character.]

Response to Intervention
Today we are able to build Milo with those in our reading intervention group. We have it set up similarly to how we did it in STEM club on Monday after-school. I find if was beneficial to be able to observe the club complete it, because now I am walking around assisting students completing the task. Today's task was just to build it, tomorrow we will be able to program him to do different things. Some students were unable to finish building him today, we will be able to do so tomorrow. They were excited to be building a lego that will be able to do something in the end. Their conversation in their groups just hummed of excitement!

Math Practice
Students went to Title 1 for math, the rest of the class went on to MobyMax for some individual math practice. My CT and I took a small group (of those students at level 2.1-2.3) and worked on greater than/ less than and adding three single digit numbers. The students were engaged by this small group activity, they were writing on the table with dry erase markers. They thought it was so cool! (I thought the activity was pretty cool too!) My CT allowed each student to process out loud the different steps in figuring out which number was greater than the other. Using the places as the key to finding out the answer.
I really like the activity and the use of writing on the table for easy practice; however it became really messy really fast. I found the following picture to create an easy access on a small group table, allowing students to use a dry erase marker when needed.

In what ways have you engaged students during small group time?

Pre-Internship: Monday

AR Testing/ Reading
Students have library today so they had an opportunity to complete this AR test as they try to reach their AR goal of twenty for the quarter. Nine students have already receive this goal already in the class.
I have experience with elementary schools completing AR and those that do not. What I have determined is that we need a consistent reading system in the school that allows plenty of reading and some accountability. We need to ensure we develop the love of reading in our students and we need to ensure that they are comprehending reading. Similar to the rule in writing; we should not be grading everything they read. It is important for students to find their own intrinsic reward to reading.

During prep time today we prepared for Response to Intervention. With an interesting day Ozobots/coding and lego challenge small groups. My CT and I will be doing these two groups by ourselves.
on Friday, we are doing another day of

Response to Intervention
I completed another round of lego challenge with a group of students. We had more time, so some finished building their word before the time ran out. I gave them the opportunity to create another word. As the second word was being built, I noticed a few of them getting tired of completing the challenge and was more interested in the Ozobots across the room.

I attempted to keep things interesting to see if they could create the letters in a different way, it was really hard to compete with the other side of the room. After the first session was finished, my CT gave me the opportunity to work with those same students at the Ozobots table. I have never had the opportunity to use them so I let the students who were familiar with them teach me how to do it. I created a code line based on the instructions and I was able to get the Ozobot to go backwards and spin around. I really tried to get it to do the tornado; however, I was unsuccessful.

I think when I allowed the students to show me how to complete them, it gave them a lot of self-confidence toward our time spent with the Ozobots. Many were trying new things. While, those who were not familiar with the Ozobots attempted to create the coding lines alongside me. Some were very frustrated when it did not work the first time. I encouraged them to continue to try and we discussed the importance of not giving up. Before we had to finish up for the day, two of the students having difficulty finally was able to get the Ozobot to complete a trick, they were so very excited at their accomplishment.

Students went to Title 1 reading group and the rest of the class finished to work on their Minibeasts project that they started earlier today. I worked with three students on the back table with their google slides presentation on Volcanoes, Tsunamis, and Earthquakes. These students have not finished due to being absent, have had a difficult time making slides or staying focus on creating them. I sat in between the latter two students, giving me the opportunity to assist them one-on-one with what they needed.
A student I have worked with one-on-one before got a lot done with me coaching him each step of the way. I know that he can do it by himself, he just has not captured that ability yet as he lacks in self-confidence. But he was pretty impressed with himself as they shut their computers down to go home. He told our CT at all he accomplished during our time.

I was asked by my CT (who is one of the leaders of the club) to observe the students in building Milo with the WeDo Lego Robotics during their afterschool program. The second graders from my 3309 class that is in attendance was excited to have me there. I spent the time observing the students and watching their interactions between each other. They were to work together in small groups to create the robot. A step by step guide on their laptop instructed them with how to build him. The students were told to rotate around the group one step at a time. The students who have done this before, had a difficult time allowing the newbies to have an opportunity. Many were told to allow the students to do their part, even if it took longer. Many of the groups was able to build Milo before it was time to go home. I really enjoyed watching them achieve their goal and watching the teachers lead a group of students outside of the classroom role. There was a different dynamic; however, classroom management was still something to consider. Their one main rule; if you do not participate or cannot follow instructions your parents can be called to come pick you up. This set the stage for the students so they knew that being there was a privilege and they should act accordingly. 

Idaho Education News: Read Across America Day

PHOTOS: Read Across America Day in Idaho

Originally posted on on March 2, 2018

It was all about Green Eggs and Ham and a lot of Dr. Seuss rhymes for Read Across America day in Idaho on Friday. The National Education Association created Read Across America 21 years ago to celebrate reading.
Read Across America Day is celebrated every year on March 2 in honor of the birthday of author Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. The day is focused on encouraging families to read together.
Check out the photos below of students, teachers and elected officials participating in the reading event.