Advanced ELA with Mrs. Dykes

ELA with Mrs. Dykes

Dear Parents and Students,

My name is Catherine Dykes, and I am one of the Advanced Learning Specialists in District 96. This will be my 9th year in District 96, and my 20th year of teaching overall! In my current role I have worked with students from grades 1-5, and prior to that I was a 5th grade classroom teacher. My husband is also an educator, and we have three children: Jillian (10), James (8), and Evan (5).

There will be a time for Advanced ELA built into each student’s remote half of their day. We will meet daily via Zoom for 30 minutes on Monday through Thursday. Our time on Fridays will be reserved for independent work. Advanced ELA activities are designed to enrich the district’s ELA curriculum, however multiple subject areas and real-world problem solving skills are also incorporated into the projects and activities. Zoom links, assignments, activities, and communications will be posted for the students within Google Classroom.

Lastly, remember to be kind to yourself! We are all adjusting to these new formats of learning and there will be bumps along the road! Do what you can, do not stress, and reach out if you or your child has questions or needs help. I look forward to working closely with all of you as we guide the students through a successful school year!


Catherine Dykes

Guidelines & Expectations

Class Rules

We will establish behavior expectations in each group in order to be Respectful, Responsible, and Safe. Expectations for conduct during Zoom meetings will be reviewed and include the following:

  • Be on time
  • Mute yourself unless instructed otherwise
  • Turn your camera on (WiFi connection permitting) 
  • Position yourself in an ideal work space, preferably away from distractions at a desk or table
  • In the instance there is a disruption to the district’s WiFi service resulting in the teacher unexpectedly leaving the Zoom, students are to 
    • Log out of the Zoom session
    • Monitor Google Classroom for an assignment and update

Growth Mindset 

My goal as an educator is to plan activities that are appropriately challenging for my students. ALL students deserve to show growth and learn something new, every single day, regardless of their current level of achievement. In order to accomplish this, we will be exploring the idea of a Growth Mindset, which is “the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed.”


Office Hours ~ Mon-Thu 8:20 - 8:40 and 11:55 - 12:15 ~ Meeting ID 263 458 1640

I will be hosting Office Hours on Mon-Thu from 8:20-8:40 and 11:55-12:15. This is a time for students or parents to join an open Zoom session with me in order to ask for help or clarification around a topic. Use this link to access my Office Hours Zoom. Meeting ID is 263 458 1640 Passcode 4CyA1w.


Students will occasionally be given homework to reinforce the content covered in class and to allow us to move through the curriculum at the appropriate pace. 


I will also occasionally use Flipgrid as a way to connect with students. Flipgrid can be accessed through Clever, is limited to students within D96, and does not collect personal information. 

I look forward to working closely with students, parents, and classroom teachers to make this a successful year!