Increase Student Engagement Using littleBits

According a Kaiser Foundation study conducted in 2010, children between the ages of eight and 18 spend an average of 7 hours 38 minutes a day with digital media.

Bill Gates started hacking computers at age 13. At just 10 years old, Mark Zuckerburg created a home network. And, Steve Jobs started tinkering with electronics before he even started grade  school. What do all of these men have in common? They all created products of technology (Windows, Facebook, Apple) that our students spend 7 hours a day using.

Our students love these technologies…but how many of them know how they really work? Continue reading Increase Student Engagement Using littleBits

Tackling Text Structures: A Nontraditional Approach

Few could argue the importance of understanding text structure. When it comes to reading, having a grasp of structure will help a reader’s brain focus in on the important aspects of a text, helping to connect points and enhancing comprehension. For writing, being able to effectively choose and apply the appropriate text structure for the purpose of an individual piece is key for expressing a big idea or opinion.

While text structure is important, teaching text structure can sometimes be…well…dry as toast. Simply serving up pre-planned graphic organizers and lists of transitional words for individual structures, while important, may not capture students’ attention, at least not to the degree intended to have young readers and writers truly internalize text structures in order to make the best use of them in their reading and writing work. We need to find a way to have students experience text structures where they will actually be able to remember them and distinguish one structure from another. Continue reading Tackling Text Structures: A Nontraditional Approach

The Xtreme Librarian Spreads the Love of Reading!

“School libraries are where it all begins. They are the opportunity to know yourself and to develop the great habit of reading. No matter what you are interested in there’s a book waiting for you and it starts in that place.” John Schumacher (http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/)

We all know reading is important.  In fact, students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school. For this reason, as well as many others, school districts place a lot of emphasis on literacy. Continue reading The Xtreme Librarian Spreads the Love of Reading!

Creating Digital Learning Experiences

Several years ago, Kent ISD developed the “IT Tool” and worked with a group of local educators to develop 16 courses that focused on core curriculum. These 16 courses were largely designed to be used  as “in-class” resources and assessments that lived within this new tool.

Fast forward to today, the IT Tool is now Kickstand System’s Edify, a learning management system with over 53 pre-built K-12 courses to be used by a teacher and their students.  The most recent initiative is to take the existing courses and adapt them so that they can be delivered as an  online learning experience. Continue reading Creating Digital Learning Experiences

Don’t Miss: West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium

On Thursday October 6, 2016, Gov. Snyder signed the Third Grade Reading Bill which is aimed at improving early literacy.  This new legislation renews an energy and sense of urgency around literacy in Michigan.  

The Reading Now Network (RNN), a collaborative partnership formed by ISD’s in West Michigan counties, has a mission to improve early literacy and student achievement.  Continue reading Don’t Miss: West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium

5 Misconceptions of Personalized Learning

In 2015, the Michigan State Board of Education identified as a priority, “Increasing the use of personalized teaching methods, including the integration of technology for K-14 students to improve learning and outcomes.” In 2016, The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released their plan to become a top 10 state in 10 years, which incorporated personalized learning as 1 of its 7 strategies. While  the state has a strong focus on personalized learning, many local districts in Michigan are just beginning to develop their understanding around this educational concept. Continue reading 5 Misconceptions of Personalized Learning

How to RAISE Yourself as a Leader

There are many responsibilities that the principal has throughout the year.  Principals are the instructional leader, motivator, assessment coordinator, many times counselor, behavior specialists among many other roles.

As you continue your growth this year as a principal, we want to offer you some strategies that will assist you to RAISE your leadership.  The topics we will be sharing are around Relationships, Assessments, how to Inspire, Shared Leadership, and how to Elevate.  It is essential to foster your own growth, so in turn you can support the growth of your students and staff. Continue reading How to RAISE Yourself as a Leader

Time is Running out to attend Adaptive Schools

I’m sure you have all heard what an amazing leadership course Adaptive Schools is and what a phenomenal  presenter Carolyn McKanders is.  (I just like to watch her!)

The Adaptive Schools Foundation and Advanced Seminars present a productive, practical set of ideas and tools for developing collaborative groups into becoming effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning. Continue reading Time is Running out to attend Adaptive Schools

AP Computer Science Principles Opportunity for Michigan High School Teachers

Kent ISD EdTech Blog

The Michigan Mathematics and Science Center Network (MMSCN), through a grant with Code.org, is pleased to announce a professional learning opportunity to support AP Computer Science Principles.

The grant will provide local schools with the following:

  • Resources for teaching AP CSP in the fall of 2017
  • A Sample AP CSP Course Audit
  • Professional Learning for 60 teachers throughout Michigan at no cost (Stipends for teachers are not included.)
  • A curriculum from Code.org for the AP CSP Course

Schools interested in taking advantage of this opportunity will be expected to have an AP CSP course on their school schedule for Fall, 2017.

Schools wanting more information on how to take advantage of this opportunity can visit our Michigan website at www.micoding.weebly.com. At this site, teachers who plan to apply should sign up to receive an application. Applications will be available in January.

When teachers apply in January, they will…

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Student Registration Open for Groundhog (Job) Shadow Day

“Young people who had mentors report setting higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college than those without mentors,” according to “The Mentoring Effect”, a January 2014 report from The National Mentoring Partnership.

Kent ISD’s Career Readiness Department is excited to announce that the student registration for Groundhog Shadow Day 2017 opens on December 1 (click here to register). This program will run on February 2, from 9:00 am -2:00 pm and will be open to all Kent County students grades 9-12 that register. Continue reading Student Registration Open for Groundhog (Job) Shadow Day

News from Kent ISD's Professional Development Hub