999 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

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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Language Arts

Reading Literature & Reading Informational Text

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Retell fiction text describing characters, setting and major events in a story through text read aloud or shared reading. (RL. K.2 & SL K.2 & K.4)
  • Retell nonfiction text describing individuals, events and pieces of information through text read aloud or shared reading. (RI K.2 & SL K.2 & K.4)
  • Compare and contrast the experiences of characters in stories referring explicitly to the text. (RL K.9)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Retell stories using key details
  • Pick the main topic of the story when given choices
  • Retell the key details of a text
  • Ask and answer questions about key details of information presented in multiple ways
  • Describe people, places, things, and events with details

*”text” refers to any content introduced through written text, audio, visual media (charts, graphs, diagrams, pictures, video, web pages, etc.)

*”explicit evidence” includes direct quotes, graphic details, paraphrasing, summary of author’s words/ideas


Additional Critical Content

  • Explain that a key detail is an important part of the text
  • Ask and answer questions before, during, and after reading a text
  • Name characters, setting, and events of a story
  • Talk about how:
    • Two individuals in a story are connected
    • How two events are connected in a story
    • How two ideas are connected in a story
    • How two pieces of information are connected in a story (cause/effect)
  • Find, ask and answer questions and meanings of words not known
  • Recognize when a text is a storybook, poem, play, etc.
  • Find the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book
  • Locate the authors and illustrators and explain that authors write text and illustrators create pictures
  • Look at the illustrations, text and story and describe what one sees
  • Identify the part of a text shown by the illustration and explain how illustrations help one understand a story
  • With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts)
  • Identify the points an author makes in a text (e.g., Everyone should recycle)
  • Tell what is the same and different about two texts and how the adventures and experiences of a character are alike and different
  • Actively engaged in in-group reading activities with purpose and understanding
  • Talk about a story with other students and listen to what other students have to say about it
  • Follow the rules the teacher gives for listening
  • Listen by facing the speaker, sitting still, and making eye contact
  • Ask and answer questions about what is being read
  • Share one’s ideas and listen to the ideas of others
  • Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems)

Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Reading texts critically – analyzing the author’s purpose, exploring the relationship between a work’s structure and meaning, and connecting the work to ideas outside the text – improves the reader’s comprehension, thinking and writing.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What strategies do good readers use to understand text?
  • Author’s choice: Why does it matter?
  • In what ways does creative choice impact an audience?
  • Whose story is it, and why does it matter?
  • What are the key ideas and details in a text?
  • How do they differ in different types of texts?
  • What is the purpose of fiction and non-fiction?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • How does one determine the key ideas and details presented in a text?
  • Why is inferential thinking important for understanding text?
  • How does one monitor one’s own comprehension?
  • Why is understanding of the organization and structure of a text important for comprehension?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • What makes a story “great”?
  • Is it important to read both fiction and non-fiction?


Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Reading as a process

  • Sequence of ideas
  • Retell
  • Use visual clues
  • Use context clues
  • Ask questions
  • Paraphrasing/Restate
  • Facts and details
  • Main idea
  • Inference
  • Predicting outcomes
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Recognizing emotions
  • Seeing cause and effect
  • Distinguishing fact from fiction
  • Recognizing propaganda
  • Supportive details


Common among all languages

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


English language specific

  • See language general transfer above


Spanish language specific

  • Distinguish between formal and informal style speaking according to audience and purpose (Tú vs. Usted)
  • Respect, honor and teach dialectical differences within cultures and regions


English language development

  • Visual support-context using pictures
  • Language scaffolding
  • Use home languages 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 between formal and informal style speaking according to audience and purpose. (Pronoun-verb usage)
  • Discourse Pattern: Situational, always changes
  • Form Regular plural nouns by changing the ending.
  • Word order
  • Russian specific capitalization and punctuation (Proper nouns, etc.)
  • Cyrillic alphabet
  • Umlaut
  • Accents


Polish language specific

  • Polish alphabet (vowels and consonants)
  • Digraphs
  • Hard vs. soft sounds
  • Syllabication
  • Accents
  • Seven types of verb conjugations
  • All parts of speech can be conjugated:
    • Gender (feminine, masculine, neutral)
    • Number (singular or plural)
    • Case
  • Dipthongs
  • Vowel combinations
  • Orthography
  • Specific rules for words with: Ó, u, rz, ż, ch, h, ą, ę, om, em, en, nie
  • Polish specific punctuation:
    • Commas
    • Quotation marks
  • Distinguish between formal and informal language usage



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

In the language of instruction students will…

  • Demonstrate comprehension by speaking and writing what they read
  • Anecdotal notes from a variety of settings (whole-group, small-group, independent journal entries) reflecting the students’ ability to:
    • Use of text evidence to support thinking
    • Use of academic, domain-specific language
    • Make logical inferences
    • Retell favorite stories
  • Ask and answer questions using the five “Wh” words about stories and texts
  • Identify characters, setting, and major events in a story, using key details
  • Compare and contrast characters, events or themes in a story.


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…

  • Retell orally or in writing what was read
  • Demonstrate comprehension by speaking and writing what they read