Tag Archives: teacher

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

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

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

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

Literacy- Making Every Minute Count

Written by Melissa Buurstra, Early Childhood Specialist

Do you ever wonder about the time at school children spend waiting for their turn to use the bathroom or another class to finish in the gym?

In Kent County’s Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) classrooms, we do wonder about this time. We have a name for it and we even plan for it on our weekly lesson plans. We call it “transition time”.

These 3-5 minute waits really add up. For instance, a GSRP classroom waiting in line 5 minutes every day amounts to 650 minutes or almost 11 hours which is close to 2 entire days of school.

“We take this time seriously and use transition time activities as an important part of our lesson planning,” says Ashley Karsten, Kent ISD GSRP Supervisor. Continue reading Literacy- Making Every Minute Count

Save Time with Homework Management Tools

Written by Joe Phillips, Design Lab Instructor at Kent ISD

If you are one of the many teachers embracing technology and having your students submit paperless writing assignments, perhaps you have experienced this:

It’s late at night and you are trying to grade your students’ papers before tomorrow’s class.  You search through your e-mail to find the link to the assignment from the first student in your grade book.  You click on the link only to find you do not have permission to view the file.  The student did not share the document with you properly!  You make a note in your grade book, send the student an e-mail about the problem and search your e-mail for the next student.  There must be an easier way!

How I Save Time

For the last several years I have used two tools to help manage and grade digital writing assignments: Doctopus (think octopus for documents) and Goobric (think Google + rubric).  If you have students turn in digital papers, these two tools are essential! Continue reading Save Time with Homework Management Tools

Why YOU should attend SCICON 2017!

SCICON is back for another exciting year.  

On May 17th, Kent ISD will be hosting the annual SCICON GR. This one day conference will feature Wendy Johnson. Wendy is a Ph.D. Candidate in Science Education, and writing her dissertation on “Fostering Three-Dimensional Science Learning: The Role of Curiosity in Productive Classroom Discourse”, at Michigan State University.  Area teachers will be sharing classroom stories and experts from STEM and education technology will  facilitate sessions.

Reasons to Attend SCI CON this year:

Continue reading Why YOU should attend SCICON 2017!