999 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Hours: 8AM – 4PM

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

School Board & Administration



CCSD21 is a school district comprised of 13 schools across 6 different communities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.



School District 21 prides itself on its Professional Learning Community and its rich tradition of professional collaboration, high levels of professional development, and family-like atmosphere. If you see the opportunity to work with colleagues in making a difference in the lives of students and families in a truly diverse setting, School District 21 seeks your application.

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First Grade

Reading Foundations

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the distinguishing features of a sentence, phonological awareness, and word analysis and decoding skills in order to read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. (RF 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Identify letters, words, and sentences
  • Recognize that words are combined to make a sentence
  • Recognize that the first word in a sentence is capitalized
  • Recognize that words are separated by spaces before and after them
  • Recognize that a sentence ends with a punctuation mark
  • Say letter sounds
  • Read and distinguish long and short vowel words
  • Blend and distinguish sounds to make words including consonant blends
  • Chop up a word and put it back together
  • Break words into beginning, middle and ending sound segments
  • Identify the sounds each letter makes
  • Read and spell words with two letters that make one sound (th, wh)
  • Decode one and two syllable words by sounding out each letter
  • Identify the silent -e at the end of a word
  • Identify the number of syllables in a printed word
  • Read words with inflectional endings
  • Read irregularly spelled words
  • Read with purpose and understanding
  • Read orally with accuracy, fluency, and with expression
  • Self-correct to understand what one is reading

Additional Critical Content

  • Explain major differences between books that tell stores and books that give information, drawing on a wide range of text
  • With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1
  • Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggests feelings or appeal to the senses


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Understanding the features, structures, and characteristics of print can facilitate the reader’s ability to make meaning of the text.
  • Fluency helps the reader process language for meaning and enjoyment.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What do good readers do?
  • What do good writers do?
  • How do sounds and letters create words?
  • When a word doesn’t make sense, what does one do?
  • Why does fluency matter?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • Why are sounds and letters important?
  • How do good readers understand what they read?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • How do reading and writing support each other?
  • How does having a reading toolbox help one with reading comprehension? (e.g., pictures, cues, high frequency words, sight words, context clues, letter sound fluency, etc.)


Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Reading as a process

  • Lines or other spatial contrasts to writing
  • Understanding speech print relationships
  • Directional organization
  • Figure ground awareness


Sensory-Motor Skills

  • Auditory Skills:
    • Auditory perceptions
    • Auditory memory
    • Auditory sequencing
  • Visual Skills:
    • Visual discrimination (ability to match and distinguish similarities and differences in letters, words, objects, pictures, etc. saw vs. was; p//b//q//d)
    • Visual sequencing (ability to correctly reprocess symbols and/or sequences of symbols previously seen)
    • Visual perception
  • Spatial Skills:
    • Directional organization
    • Top-to-bottom orientation
    • Lateral orientation
    • Spatial integration

Common among all languages

  • Develop Oral Language
  • Match speech to print
  • Contextualized literacy instruction
  • Meaningful
  • Active
  • Comparative
  • Recurrent


English language specific

  • Syllable patterns (CVC)
  • Sight words
  • Short and long vowels
  • Word families (rhyming)
  • Onset-rime
  • Silent “e”
  • Plurals (adding “s”)
  • Digraphs/Blends


Spanish language specific

  • Distinguish between formal and informal style of speaking according to audience and purpose (Tú vs. Usted)
  • Respect, honor and teach dialectical differences within culture and regions
  • Syllable reading (CV) or (CVCV)
  • Diagraphs
  • Diphthongs “B” and “V”
  • Hard “C” “Q” “K”
  • soft “c” and soft “g”
  • “C” “S” “Z”
  • Las letras mudas “H” “U”
  • Dieresis
  • “G” “J” “X”
  • High frequency words
  • Alphabet
  • Cognates
  • Punctuation
  • Spacing


English language development

  • Visual support-context using pictures
  • Language scaffolding
  • Use home language to support English language development
  • Build upon background knowledge
  • Cross-linguistic transfer for reading and instruction
    • Concept of the letters, sounds, syllables, words, sentences
  • Meta-linguistic Awareness


Russian language specific

  • Distinguish hard from soft syllables in spoken word.
  • Recognize and name upper and lower cases of the Cyrillic alphabet
  • Syllable reading (CV or CVCV)
  • Plurals (changing endings)
  • Soft and Hard vowels
  • Soft sign (making the consonant soft or not blending the vowel with the consonant)
  • Hard sign (making a slight pause between syllables)
  • How to break a word into multiple syllables
  • Distinguish between formal and informal style speaking according to audience and purpose. (Pronoun-verb usage)


Polish language specific

  • Recognize and name all upper and lower cases of the Polish alphabet
  • Recognize and name all vowels and consonants
  • Syllabic reading (CV, CVCV)
  • Plurals
  • Gender agreement (feminine, masuline, and neutral)
  • Soft and hard vowels
  • Digraphs
  • Distinguish between formal and informal style of speaking
  • Syllables and accents
  • Prefixes
  • High frequency words



Informal Assessments are used during the process of brainstorming, drafting, revision and editing or class discussions.

In the language of instruction students will participate in…

  • Decode one-syllable words by sound out each letter
  • Decode two-syllable words by breaking them into vowel sound segments
  • Self-correcting misread or misunderstood words using context clues


Formal Assessments are used as a measure of student achievement towards mastery of a skill and Power Standard. Often a formal assessment will result in a grade.

In the language of instruction students will participate in…

  • DRA2 (English) or EDL2 (Spanish)
  • AIMSweb
  • Reading sight words