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 includesEnglish 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.
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.
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.
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.
Free & Affordable Learning Options Online and In-Person
Written by Joy Walczak, Communications Specialist for Kent ISD
Hundreds of educational options for classes, camps, and learning connections are being offered for students at all grade levels again this summer as Kent ISD brings back Summer Brain Gain in 2021. After a year of multiple approaches to teaching, educators from school districts across Kent ISD are collaborating with partner organizations to keep learning going all summer for all students with many options free of charge.
Kent ISD’s Summer Brain Gain is a program that provides online learning, educational resources, and printable packets for students in grade K-12 in Kent County and Thornapple Kellogg Schools.
written by Sarah Wood, Education Technology Consultant for Kent ISD
In the 2020-2021 school year for high school students, each day has been relatively the same. The distance between friends and classmates, masks covering faces that would otherwise be exchanging nonverbal messages, and a device set up in the corner of the room so that those joining virtually can connect with those learning in person. Despite the virtual/digital connections, a handful of students are experiencing agitation, having a hard time focusing, and are having trouble completing work.
Although there are many visible differences from previous years, sometimes it is the things that are not visible that can weigh heavily on students and leave them seeking a refuge for relaxation, peace, and mental or physical relief. There are some things that can be made accessible to students to help them learn to manage their feelings and emotions. Utilizing technology to make resources available is just one way that teachers can help support the emotional and mental health of students.
Assistive and educational technology supports are an important component in every student’s education. The annual AssisTechKnow conference, held at Kent ISD in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focuses on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), educational technology tools and assistive technology strategies for diverse learners of all ages. However, with changing times, comes changing professional learning, so AssisTechKnow is On the Go!
Among the many things the pandemic has made challenging, the focus on the newly minted computer science standards is certainly one of them. As you’ve had to tighten and condense your content, you might feel like computer science has been squeezed right out of your curricula.
While you may not be intentionally focused on teaching or integrating computer science, consider the authentic practice you’ve engaged in through the pandemic. Here’s a few ways to consider how you and your learners have used computer science during the pandemic.
Written by: Sommer Jabbar, Office of Diversity, Belonging, Equity, & Inclusion at Kent ISD
When you think of the goals you have for students in your classroom, does Culturally Responsive Teaching come to mind? Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) relates to how your classroom environment and practices look, sound, and feel in order to best meet the needs of your students in a culturally appropriate way.
At our fingertips, we can send emails, surf the web, and talk to friends and family from all over the world. You can now add taking a professional learning course to that list. Through daily text messages, you can take a 15-minute micro-PD, and even earn SCECHs!
Not only did the pandemic create risks for health and well-being, but it’s forced educators to take on new roles, try new instructional methods, and implement new class structures to meet the needs of their learners. For our educational technology team, that meant that we needed to seek new ways to provide meaningful, relevant, and flexible professional learning opportunities to help educators acquire new digital skills.