Differentiation Tricks and Treats: High Impact, Low Stress

I just finished listening to a podcast entitled “Six high-impact, low-burnout strategies to differentiate your lessons for neurodiverget kids with Dr. Laura Fitzpatrick” (on the Truth for Teachers podcast). With Halloween around the corner I thought it would be the perfect time to share Dr. Fitzpatricks tricks for differentiation with all of you!

In this podcast, Dr. Fitzpatrick a sixth grade English Language Arts teacher, shared her ideas for ways that she has found success in differentiating her instruction without increasing her workload or stress levels. These tricks have provided her and other teachers with ways to streamline teaching and reduce fatigue.

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Getting Started with Essential Practices for Disciplinary Literacy

Recently on the LLCN brief podcast, Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker chatted with Jenelle Williams, Literacy Consultant, Oakland Schools ISD, and Dr. Darin Stockdill, University of Michigan, about the Essential Literacy Practices for Disciplinary Literacy Instruction: Grades 6-12. Mark and Darin discussed the differences between the terms “Disciplinary Literacy” and “Content Literacy.” A topic you may have read about in a past post by Jenelle Williams.

Darin and Jenelle also shared important starting points when first familiarizing yourself with the Disciplinary Literacy Essentials. Here is a rundown of how to get started. Listen to the full podcast for much more in-depth coverage on this topic. And don’t miss our first Twitter Chat on September 29 at 8 p.m. #LLCNbrief

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A Healthy Classroom Starts with You!

Written by: Rukshana Ilahi, Mental Wellness Consultant for Kent ISD

I don’t know about you, but I feel like last year can be erased from the books. While it was significant in so many ways, it also felt like it never happened. Nonetheless, here we are starting another school year, hoping for better and less tumultuous times.  

Truth be told, I love the start of the school year. It’s the only profession that I know of where you can start fresh each year. You have the opportunity to begin new habits, reorganize yourself, and introduce new ideas into your classroom. With that in mind, I’d like to challenge you to think about your self-help habits. Do you check in with yourself regularly? Do you recognize when you need to do something to center yourself? Is self-help incorporated into your daily routine? 

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Renovate Your Reproductive Health Curriculum

It’s that time of the year again where you are preparing to teach Reproductive Health. You need to send out letters to parents and secure a VHS player to show “the video.” You know the one…because you probably watched it when you were in 4th or 5th grade too.

Times have changed, laws have changed, but has your Reproductive Health Curriculum changed?

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What’s Mine is Yours And What’s Yours is Mine

The weight of the end of summer mingled with the excitement of starting the new school year can feel like a full on workout, mentally and physically. As you start to plan your lessons and set up your classroom, it’s easy to get caught up in a never-ending “To-Do” list. You’re probably thinking that there’s no room for professional learning on that list.

Don’t fret!

Virtual Make & Take learning opportunities are micro PDs that make professional learning easy to fit into your schedule.

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Join MiELA to Discover How You Can Incorporate Multiple Literacies to Enhance STEM in Your Classroom

Are you a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade teacher looking to incorporate STEM placed-based and project-based learning into your classroom? Are you looking for professional resources to help you get started in this type of teaching/learning? Keep reading to find out how to incorporate STEM project-based learning!

What is Multiple Literacies Project-Based Learning?

Dr. Annemarie Palincsar, distinguished educator and researcher at U of M, and Dr. Joe Krajick, director of Create for STEM, teamed up to create science project-based units that incorporate both language and mathematics literacy for upper elementary students. This approach, called Multiple Literacies Project-Based Learning (ML-PBL), engages students in phenomena to help them make sense of the world using writing; speaking and listening; representing and viewing; along with math skills. ML-PBL also includes English learner supports and lessons with an emphasis on equity. From figuring out why there are so many squirrels in our area but not stegosauruses, to learning about current weather and climate in regards to gardening, students will explore a vast array of phenomena. 

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Binge Worthy Podcasts for Your Summer Break

A beautiful view of the lake as the sun rises, a steaming cup of coffee, and ear buds streaming my favorite podcast. Yes! Summer is beginning and after this unforseen year, it is more welcomed than ever.

Although you craved professional learning this year, you probably had no time for it. Catch up on that missed podcast as you continue that cup of joe or go for a walk.

This year Literacy Leaders and Coaches Network dove into a new way to share learning. Mark Raffler (Literacy and Social Studies Consultant, Kent ISD) and Sarah Shoemaker (Literacy Coach, Kent ISD) met up with several notable experts in the field of literacy on their new podcast LLCN Brief.

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Reignite the Joy in Teaching and Student Learning

Kent ISD is proud to welcome Ellin Oliver Keene and Dr. Gholdy Muhammad to our 2021-2022 Professional Development line up!

As this unprecedented school year comes to an end, you may be feeling a sense of relief that it’s over, a sense of pride for all you’ve accomplished under the incredibly difficult circumstances of teaching in a pandemic, and even a sense of nostalgia for the relationships you’ve built with your students in a year like no other.

You might also be feeling an increasing sense of fatigue from the emphasis on teaching isolated skills that students struggle to engage with and remember. Many teachers have said they feel the joy has been sucked out of teaching as a result of the push to march students through a checklist of isolated skills that leave no time for authentic, real-world, sometimes spontaneous, and always engaging learning. 

As we emerge from the pandemic and look with hope to next school year, it is the perfect time to rethink and reimagine how we teach. Kent ISD is pleased to be offering two professional development opportunities next school year to help you and your students reignite the joy in teaching and learning. 

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If You Are Happy and You Know It, Show Your Badge!

Think back to March 2020 when life changed overnight. You went to bed on a Thursday evening like normal, but woke up on Friday the 13th to find out that school had been cancelled or moved to remote learning. As the days continued, anxious feelings about the health of others, and the daily struggle of engaging and empowering students remotely became the new normal. To overcome these struggles, you unleashed your superhero powers by learning more about resources, methods, and strategies to ensure continued learning for your students.

You watched everything from YouTube videos on how to schedule a post in Google Classroom to Instagram Reels on how to manipulate objects in Google Slides. You pushed through long and tiring nights of learning new methods, so that your students can succeed through these hard times.

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News from Kent ISD's Professional Development Hub