Strategies to Create an Equitable Learning Environment for English Learners

Integrating digital resources into every day instruction can help close the digital divide, address differentiation needs, and provide multiple ways for English Learners (ELs) to both access and respond to content.  Today’s learners need to develop multi-literacies and use multimodalities to develop language and content together. How can teachers support language development of academic and non-academic language equitably?  

As stated by Rubin, Estrada, and Honigsfeld in the book, “Digital-Age Teaching for English Learners: A Guide to Equitable Learning for All Students,” you can leverage the following eight strategies to support English learners and ALL learners.

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Leading with HEART Builds Team Connection and Collaboration

John Maxwell said it well when he expressed, “To  lead yourself, use your head;  to lead others, use your heart.” Great words to which we all likely can agree, but what does that really mean? How do we, as leaders, connect with others in ways that positively impact our students, staff, and communities? 

In a world where leaders are pulled in a hundred different directions, intentionality behind our leadership matters. Understanding the power of small, daily actions can build lasting impact when there is a clear focus. Leading with HEART is a way to connect with your team, build greater collaboration, and have fun!

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Define Your Classroom Expectations with CHAMPS

Creating a classroom environment that is welcoming, structured, and has an overall positive feel is something all educators strive to achieve. One of the most essential components in creating such a classroom environment is to have identified and defined classroom expectations.

Developing truly defined expectations for transitions and classroom activities can be challenging to clarify or maintain consistency, leading to confusion for students, increased misbehavior, and a feeling of disorganization. If classroom and behavior management has been a challenge, then the CHAMPS Classroom Management Approach is an excellent professional development opportunity for you. 

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Using These Resources Makes Disciplinary Literacy Easier!

Written by Wendi Vogel, Kent ISD Science Consultant and DLE Task Force Member 

Essential Practices for Disciplinary Literacy Instruction in the Secondary Classroom: Grades 6 to 12 focus on literacy in the content area. This brings up a lot of questions around how teachers all over the state might access resources that already utilize Disciplinary Literacy Essentials (DLE) instructional practices in an equitable manner. Then, thinking from a system’s lens, how does a district provide this opportunity for each teacher in grades 6-12?

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May Brings Mental Wellness Activities for All Educators

Written by Rukshana Ilahi, Kent ISD Mental Wellness Consultant

Chance for educators to win a free 30-minute massage during the month of May!

Did you know there are nearly 120,000 students throughout Kent and Barry County? They rely on thousands of educators to teach, support and help them reach their full potential. These teachers and educators work tirelessly on behalf of their students every single day. These same educators rely on Kent ISD for support, training, resources, and so much more.

We see you, educators. Not just those who are in the classroom everyday, but also the ones who make sure our attendance records are up to par, the ones who serve our lunches, the ones who swoop in and help kids with challenging feelings, and the ones who stand before school boards answering really difficult questions. We see all of you.  

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3 Signs That Your Students are NOT Engaged

Written by Diane Titche, Kent ISD Early Literacy Coach

As educators we are always striving to engage our students in their learning. But what exactly does it mean to have engaged students? When you step back to observe your students and see the work they have produced, how can you tell if they are truly engaged in their learning? 

Let’s consider some of the behaviors you might see in students who are NOT engaged. Then we can dig a little deeper into those behaviors, and consider how we can increase their levels of engagement.

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5 Tips for Educators to Plan Professional Learning

Now is the perfect time to prepare for professional learning for the 2022-2023 school year!

Why Does Professional Learning Matter?

According to neaToday, professional learning is an investment that helps educators ensure career growth and academic growth for students. Here are a few more reasons according to their article:

  • It sets you up for success.
  • It expands your knowledge base.
  • It boosts your confidence.
  • You can network with other educators.
  • It helps you set and achieve goals.
  • It helps you become a better educator.
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How to Build a Diverse Classroom Library

Written by: Sommer Jabbar, Kent ISD Project Coordinator of Equity and Student Success

"There is no such thing as a child who hates to read, there are only children who have not found the right book." Frank Serafini

Building a diverse classroom library may feel like an overwhelming task, however, there are so many resources and tips available to help! Below you will find some guidelines for building a diverse classroom library and the importance of doing so!

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Rethinking How We Teach Computer Science

“From phones to cars to medicine, technology touches every part of our lives. If you can create technology, you can change the world.” Susan Wojcicki, SVP, Google

We have all heard that computer science education is becoming more and more important, some even say urgent. But if you are not a computer teacher, does this apply to you and your curriculum? The answer is yes!

70% of computing occupations are outside the information technology industry.
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The Right Climate for Microlearning

Written by: Keith Tramper, Kent ISD Education Technology Consultant

Professional learning for educators is shifting dramatically with the challenges schools and educators face today. With sub shortages, staff illness, a shrinking teacher workforce and frequent disruptions due to Covid 19, professional learning is hard to even consider. At the same time, the circumstances our schools and educators face right now increase the need for professional learning to meet the evolving needs of our learners. 

With limited time, energy and capacity, the question becomes how do we provide relevant, meaningful and flexible professional learning under the current circumstances? At Kent ISD, we are exploring microlearning as a way to meet the needs of our educators.

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News from Kent ISD's Professional Development Hub