Innovation and Instruction

Resources on this Page 

  • Checklist for Using Teams and Class Notebook in Office 365


  • Charlotte Danielson Framework - A Deeper Look

  • Turning a 4 Point Rubric Into a Traditional Grade

  • The Pope Video Project

  • Flocabulary

  • Teacher Trunk Program

  • Holocaust Museum Resources

  • Quick Classroom Brain Breaks to Combat Stress

  • 5 Classroom Tools to Measure Student Learning

  • No More Zeros in Grading - Not Just Rachel G's Crazy Rule...

  • Turning a 4 point rubric into a traditional grade - great resource

  • How to Save Lesson Plans

  • Momentum Magazine

  • Catholic Teacher Online Link

My Catholic Faith Delivered – Catechist Certification Program
Please ensure that new and returning teachers have access to the “My Faith Delivered” catechist certification program foundhere. Catechist certification is a required component of all classroom teachers and it is part of what contributes to the integrity of our Catholic schools. If you have questions about supporting your faculty in fulfilling this element of teacher formation, please contact Kenneth Velasquez in the Office for Lifelong Formation or 312.534.8043.

Follow Up from November’s Faith Retreat

Silence is the First Prayer - It is definitely okay, if not strongly encouraged to create a time of silence (5 to 10 minutes) during the day for our students, no matter the age, for quiet time. You can make this a part of a prayer experience for students and a time to decompress. I ask however if you have your kids do this, please do this yourself. Adult need to model this for their children, and quite frankly, it is good for you, too.

Janet Caschetta, our retreat leader, also mentioned guided meditation prayers - these are great to do with students, especially if they are really stressed out or anxious about things. You can often find Catholic guided meditation prayers online. If you are unsure of how to do it, chat with me.

I’m also putting the link to Loyola’s 3 minute retreats. Each one is based on a theme so you can find things that speak to the kids. You can project it up and play it on your computer for the kids (and for yourself). Here is a link to the archives We can all find 3 minutes in our busy day to pray these silent prayers with out kids. It doesn’t always have to be religion. It can be after lunch/recess or whenever.

Janet also mentioned that Father Michael Schmitz had some great youtube videos - we watched the one about silence is prayer - here is the link to find more Depending on the subject matter, you might find them appropriate for your students.

Other APPS Janet Suggested for the Formation of Your Own Prayer and Faith: Laudate, Centering Prayer, Mary Undoer of Knots Novena App, Selfies with the Pope

Checklist for Using Teams and Class Notebook in Office 365

Click here


I’ve updated the ASPIRE scores comparison chart. It compares how we stack against the Average AOC school as well as against the national average. You can also see longitudinal progress for the last three years. Our goals this year are to try to move our Reading and Math to exceeding. Congrats on successful test scores and thank you for your efforts.

The writing scores have changed, but Dr. Rigg was able to get someone to figure out the breakdown of scores we need for writing. Please use these as well in your planning. Students gaining good writing skills is an essential goal for us and we all contribute to creating good writers. Remember, good writing often leads to deeper thinking. This really supports our mission statement and the 7C’s of successful students.


September 28th Professional Development PowerPoints

Please hit “From Beginning” under slide show and listen to narration and watch videos

Part One - Danielson Framework

Part Two and Three - Frontline Teacher Evaluation APP

ASPIRE overview

Charlotte Danielson Framework - A Deeper Look

Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument

Rubrics for Danielson Observation Training

FFT Smart Card

FFT Domains 2 & 3

2013 Evaluation Instrument Domains 1-4

DOMAIN 5 - Catholic Identity Rubric

Danielson Power Point Slides from March 5

CLICK POWERPOINT resource for Danielson or Frontline Teacher Evaluation Portal Forms

Teacher observation Timeline – Year One

Teacher Goal Sheets – Grades PK-5 and HS by October 2nd

Timeline for Observations Walkthroughs (10 minutes)

•#1 All teachers by Nov. 8

#2 All teachers by March 8

Informal Observations (20-30 minutes)

•#1 by Jan 18th

Formal Observation (full class)

•By May 15

Walk through Forms

Goal Setting Form

Walk through Form (PDF with electronic spaces)

Informal Observation Forms

Observation Form

Post-Observation Form

Formal Observation Forms

Pre-Observation Form Formal

Formal Observation form (PDF)

Post Observation Form Formal

Summative Conference Form

Teachers Composite Score 

How to Upload Artifacts In Danielson/

Step by Step directions - Teachers go to:

  1. My  Evaluations (on the left)

  2. Artifacts (in the middle under “Evaluation”)

  3. Click “upload” green + button

  4. Type Name, Description, and choose Type, Category

  5. Align to categories and criteria

  6. Click Add Criteria

  7. Upload the file or URL

  8. Select admin to notify

List of Educational Apps and Such


Remember - We have subscriptions to FLOCABULARY and BRAIN POP  for your Lesson Support

We have digital subscriptions to Online educational videos and such - FLOCABULARY and BRAIN POP. Check out the directions below for FLOCABULARY. There is a link to BRAIN POP on Quick Links with the password info. 

Welcome back to Flocabulary! Bring the beat to their classrooms. 

Follow these three steps to kick off your new year with Flocab: 

  1. Start out strong with a refresher on how to use Flocabulary

  2. Set up your classes and student accounts

  3. Check out our tutorials and webinars to become an expert on all things Flocab

Need access for the first time? Use this activation link to set up your account: 

Finding the right content: Flocabulary supports all grades and content areas, and your teachers can get right to the best of it by checking our Standards Alignment tool and lesson plans for every subject. They're great places to start weaving Flocab into classroom instruction for the first time.

Checklist for Using Teams and Class Notebook in Office 365

Click here

Common Sense Media

The Archdiocese encourages all schools in the Arch to utilize the services of Common Sense Media in building digital citizenship for students, as well as providing opportunities to demonstrate good digital citizenship tips for parents to use at home.

As part of that encouragement, we want to share with you the following link to free webinars offered by Common Sense Media:  

As per data from Common Sense Media, children spend over 50 hours of screen time every week. 

So thank you for checking out the link above.   The media content our students consume and create has a profound impact on their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.  

And thank you so much for all you do in helping our kids learn how to use media and technology wisely as an essential skill for life and learning in the 21st century.

New Resources for Integrating Technology

For Some Suggested APPS for Digital Storytelling (click Here) 

For Suggestions on Student Collaboration Tools from Common Sense Media (click here) 

Power Point about ASPIRE Tests 


Quick Classroom Brain Breaks to Combat Stress

The Advent time can be a time of great stress for our students - families are under stress and they pick up that "home" tension and bring it to school. The weather isn't always as nice so the kids aren't getting as much physical activity throughout the day. There is a lot going your students combat stress as well as sharpen their focus. Using brain breaks is a quick, fun way to "take a break" from learning which actually translates into better learning. Give it a try! These brain breaks and focused-attention practices can help students cope with stress and trauma and focus on their learning.  Click here for a great article with simple ideas from Edutopia.

No More Zeros in Grading - Not Just Rachel G's Crazy Rule...

For those who think the No Zero in the Grade Book campus policy is bogus or lowering our standards, here is an article that helps to explain some of the good reasons why ZEROes should not be allowed in a grade average. CLICK HERE. It's not just is helping us move forward toward a more valid and accurate assessment of student learning. 

Turning a 4 point rubric into a traditional grade - great resource

Using rubrics to assess writing, projects and other forms of authentic assessment is critical for student success and clear, objective assessment. However, 4 point rubrics don't often translate into a traditional grading scale of A, B, C, etc. Erika Mickelburgh passed this great resource on to me just recently, so I am forwarding it to all of you. It helps translate a 3 of 4 (etc.) into a more accurate letter/percentage. If you need me to explain further after reading this, please see me or Erika. We'd be happy to assist.

The Pope Video Project 


Every month the Pope sends out a prayer video on a timely topic. The images are beautiful. It's certainly a great way to pray, meditate and discuss with children. 

Helpful Things to Put in Your Sub Lesson Plans - Please Do This if You are Not Already doing So 

I'd like to give a shout out to Emily McGuinn who prepares her subs in important ways. I'm copying the intro to her plans here below. Please prepare something like this for your sub plans. You will just need to adapt to your own class location. Having our sub teachers prepared to act in an emergency may help save lives in the event that we have a real situation. Thanks! Please see below for the example. 

Sub Plan Friday, February 10th, 2017

Thanks for working in my classroom today. I will be out of the building. Please see another third grade teacher if you have any questions.

Please note the following phone extensions:

Heather Perez- School Nurse ex.  2330

Carol Dodovich- Secretary- ex. 1180

My classroom, Room 313 is ex. 3130

Lock down procedure- “Lock down, lock down, lockdown” will be announced on loud speaker. Close locked door. Hide in closet. No talking at this time

Fire exit – exit north stair case to courtyard toward Irving Park to Leavitt

Severe weather- North stairs, building 1 basement

Behavior System: Students can move their clips up on the rainbow chart. They move up if they are following directions, doing what they need to do etc. If they make a poor choice, they can move their clips down. Please remind students that even if they move down, they have the privilege to move their clip back up.

Teaching Trunk Program – Illinois Holocaust Museum

Is your school looking for innovative, age-appropriate ways to teach about the Holocaust, human rights and virtue education? The Teaching Trunk Program, sponsored by the Illinois Holocaust Museum, offers a variety of lessons and resources to address these important topics. Click on this link to learn more about this program and other programs offered by the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Momentum Magazine:  National Catholic Education Publication 

Want to learn what Catholic schools, administrators, teachers and communities are doing around the nation to improve and grow their schools, please click on this link for the electronic copy of their magazine. 


How Do I Save My Lesson Plans?

Early Childhood and Elementary School teachers:

  • format: Date (Monday of the week)_Subject_grade or preschool: Date_Theme_grade

  • What it looks like: 9_28_15_Math_1 OR 9_28_15_Apples_PS

Secondary School:

  • format: Date (Monday of the week)_class/course name_last name

  • What it looks like: 9_28_15_weighttraining_Hilty

More questions??  See Rachel Waldron

Teacher Resources for All Teachers - at Today's Catholic Teacher Online Subscription 

You’ll find these popular features in each digital edition

  • New teaching strategies in major curriculum areas including reading, math, social studies, and science.

  • New teaching strategies in major curriculum areas including reading, math, social studies, and science.

  • Great Ideas helps you to network and learn about what other Catholic schools are doing in their classrooms.

  • Technology in the Classroom articles bring you up to speed on the latest developments - written in laymen's language!

  • Reproducible Activities (2 per issue) to help reinforce the Catholic faith. Perfect for classroom use!

  • Letters to Parents – in English and Spanish – provide a quick and easy classroom-to-home connection!

  • Reproducible Prayer Services help you celebrate important events and feast days with your students.

  • Month of Sundays provides all you need to prepare students for the Sunday assembly.

  • Plus each issue is filled with new teaching ideas and other resources to help you in your education ministry.

To access the digital edition, go to our website at and click on digital edition.

You'll need to enter the user name and password you created. They are:

User name: stbenedict                        Password: gobengals

Updated Priority Standards and Supporting Standards for ELA and Math 

The Office of Catholic Schools led committees of teachers in the identification of Priority Standards and Supporting Standards in English/Language Arts and Math. This update to our Curriculum Benchmarks/Standards is now posted on the curriculum page of the OCS Resource Portal; and can be accessed in the table below.  
Priority and supporting standards
Link to curriculum page on the OCS Resource Portal

English/Language Arts Benchmark Reports

KindergartenDownload ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 1Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 2Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 3Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 4Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 5Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 6Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 7Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 8Download ExcelDownload PDF


Mathematics Benchmark Reports

KindergartenDownload ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 1Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 2Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 3Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 4Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 5Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 6Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 7Download ExcelDownload PDF

Grade 8Download ExcelDownload PDF










St. Benedict Preparatory School | 3900 N Leavitt St. Chicago, IL 60618 | Phone (7

Follow these four steps to kick off your new year with Flocab:  

  1. Start out strong with a refresher on how to use Flocabulary 

  2. Complete your Implementation Profile here  so we can best help you achieve your school goals

  3. Set up your classes and student accounts 

  4. Check out our Flocabulary 101 webinar to become an expert on all things Flocab