2018/2019 PD Plan is LIVE

It is that time of year again. The students (and teachers) are starting to get excited for summer break. The days are getting longer and the weather warmer. And, we are starting to plan for next school year.

Click here to view the current Professional Learning Plan for 2018/2019 school year! 

Before we start to plan for the future, it is sometimes nice to reflect on where we have been.  Recently, I gathered some data from the past five years of professional learning offered at Kent ISD to see how our organization has evolved to meet the ever changing needs of our local education agencies. Continue reading 2018/2019 PD Plan is LIVE

Making Students Accountable for Their Learning

Do you ever run out of ideas to keep students engaged?  Have you ever wondered how to keep the students’ brains stimulated?  Do you want to create a safer classroom for your students?  Have you ever had trouble keeping students’ attention?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, “Structures for Active Engagement” is the professional learning you need.

Twenty four years ago, I took a very similar class.  My principal sent me to North Carolina to see what Kagan Cooperative Learning was all about.  The week that I spent there changed my entire teaching career, as well as, all of my students’ educational experiences in my classroom. Continue reading Making Students Accountable for Their Learning

AssisTechKnow – Addressing the Needs of Every Learner

As Michigan strives to become a Top 10 educational state in 10 Years, four focus areas have been identified as key targets.  One of these focus areas, “Learner-Centered Supports”, includes personalized learning, aligned curriculum and differentiated learning.  In order to attain this, all of our students will need to have equitable access to learner-centered education environments that are academically challenging and personalized.

Assistive and educational technology supports are an important component to consider as we work toward more equitable access.  As an educator, how can you learn about the tools and strategies that can help students achieve? Continue reading AssisTechKnow – Addressing the Needs of Every Learner

Blended Coaching:   A Full Cup of Coaching with a Pinch of Technology

Written by: Andrew J. Smith, Math Consultant at Kent ISD

“Great teachers are much like jazz musicians, both deliberately setting the stage and then improvising. Great teachers have plans yet to respond to student learning and needs in real time…great teachers need to know the tools of their craft.” – Hattie, Fisher & Frey, Visible Learning for Mathematics, p. 17-18

Acknowledging the power and effect that individual teachers possess, but also recognizing our capacity as a regional service agency to support individual teachers was on the minds of Kent ISD’s Math Team, as they began strategically planning for the 2017-2018 school year.  They believe in both the power of professional learning and providing districts with the resources and opportunities to implement professional learning.  As a regional support, the Kent ISD Math team wanted to be able to stay connected and provide support to classrooms and individual teachers.   Continue reading Blended Coaching:   A Full Cup of Coaching with a Pinch of Technology

Co-Author of “Fostering Resilient Learners” Keynotes at School Mental Health Conference

Veteran school administrator and professional development agent Pete Hall has dedicated his career to supporting the improvement of our education systems. Besides partnering with Alisa Simeral on three ASCD books including “Fostering Resilient Learners”, he authored The First-Year Principal (Scarecrow Education, 2004) and Lead On! Motivational Lessons for School Leaders (Eye on Education, 2011).

Hall currently works as an educational consultant as a member of the ASCD faculty and trains educators worldwide. And this June, we are honored to have Pete Hall as one of our keynotes at the School Mental Health 2018 Conference. Continue reading Co-Author of “Fostering Resilient Learners” Keynotes at School Mental Health Conference

The Importance of Informational Text

What were you reading before you turned your eye onto this article?  Chances are it could be categorized into informational text reading. 

With the shift to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards also came a heightened focus on informational text reading, writing, and analysis. And, why shouldn’t it be.

Learning is a journey Continue reading The Importance of Informational Text

Paul Gorski: Cultivating Equitable Classrooms

Paul C. Gorski is the founder of EdChange and the Equity Literacy Institute. He has spent the last 20 years working with educators, schools, and school districts around the world committed to strengthening knowledge, skills, and leadership related to educational equity. Since earning his doctorate in Education at the University of Virginia he has worked as a district-level equity consultant, a teacher educator, and an author and designer of diversity-related resources for teachers.

Paul has written more than 60 articles and chapters, as well as, written, co-written, or co-edited 10 books on educational equity including Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education (with Seema Pothini) and Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap. Paul’s Web site for educators, the Multicultural Pavilionhas won more than a dozen awards and hosts nearly one million visitors each year.

Paul will be visiting Kent ISD on Thursday, May 3rd to talk about Cultivating Equitable Classrooms and Schools for Each Student. 

Continue reading Paul Gorski: Cultivating Equitable Classrooms

Improving Literacy: Essentials Documents In Action

Written by Lisa Brown, MDE

Improving literacy is part of Michigan’s strategic plan to become a top 10 in 10 State. While it will take a multi-faceted approach, beginning with quality tier one, instruction is key. The Early Literacy Task Force (ELTF), a subgroup of the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), General Education Leadership Network (GELN) set out to collect the highest quality research around literacy instruction and compile it in a way that would be easily understood by educators.

Early Literacy Task Force: glen General Education Leadership Network a MAISA collaborative. MACUL, MASSE, MDE, MRA, MAME, MAISA ELA LT, MAC, MiBLSi, MSU, ECAN, MV, MEMSPA, ISDs/k-12, GVSU, MI ASCD, U of M

The Product: The K-3 Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy.

This document is not their only document designed to support improving literacy throughout the state. In fact, the ELTF has produced a continuum of supports including the Prek- K Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy, 4-5 Essential Instructional Practices in Literacy, School-Wide and Center-Based Practices in Literacy, Essential Coaching Practices in Elementary Literacy and 6-12 Practices in Literacy in progress.  Continue reading Improving Literacy: Essentials Documents In Action

Connecting MTSS and Third Grade Reading Law

Written by: Mark Raffler, Kent ISD

The Kent ISD Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) team has been working for the past six years to develop the understanding and capacity of local districts to balance the behavior and academic demands put forward by the State of Michigan.

The latest legislation put into place, focused on academic content, is the Third Grade Reading Law (Public Act 306).  This legislation comes with many requirements and considerations for districts in order to increase the number of students reading proficiently by the end of third grade.
Continue reading Connecting MTSS and Third Grade Reading Law

Focusing on Read Alouds: K-3 Literacy Essentials

Written by: Christi Gilbert, Literacy Coach/Kent ISD

Essential #2 states: “Read Alouds of age-appropriate books and other materials, print or digital”

Why read alouds?

There is a STRONG research consensus that supports literacy development through read alouds. Children learn about reading and writing from read alouds. They also increase their vocabulary hearing new words during a read aloud.

But, our reality:

Tanya Wright, a lead researcher with the Literacy Essentials, did a study on read alouds.  She visited four classrooms  and conducted over 55 visits. Throughout those visits she noticed two important things: Continue reading Focusing on Read Alouds: K-3 Literacy Essentials

News from Kent ISD's Professional Development Hub