Full Steam Ahead

Bilingual Resource Teachers had a full day of learning today.

  • The day started by delving into Language and Literacy to review the 7 Steps of a Language-Rich Interactive Classroom using the 12-minute research strategy.
  • The learning continued by revisiting the RAN strategy and discussing benefits and adaptations for all levels from Kindergarten to 12th grade. (see previous blog for more information on how to implement this strategy with students.)
  • Another important focus included a topic essential to English Learners… Oral Language Development!  With explicit instruction and the right resources in hand, ELs can learn the patterns of the English Language by repeated encounters with language structures that have a gradient of difficulty.
  • Finally, Resource Teachers spent an adequate amount of time sharing important feedback by participating in WIDA’s validation survey before the finalization of the NEW 2016 Can Do Descriptors.



Learning Through Reflection

Susan Stanley, Principal at Salina Elementary reflects on this week’s Language and Literacy work related to Planning and Teaching with the ELA Standards in Mind:

“We have had some very powerful learning this week at Salina Elementary.  I truly believe that our staff has made great leaps in their understanding of Content and Language Objectives as they apply to their grade level standards.  Taking the time to dissect and plan those standards into meaningful learning for our ELs with a common vocabulary, stretched our beliefs and learning for us all.

The teachers left excited and renewed.  It was the definition of an effective PLC.  Amy Markos is such an excellent facilitator.   We are all going to see the results of this week of learning.

On behalf of the teachers and students of Salina, thank you again for bringing this learning to our building.”

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Keeping the Focus

The successful implementation of standards-based instruction requires teachers to embrace a continuous improvement cycle that focuses on effective teaching and learning practices.

With guidance by Dr. Melissa Castillo, the principal trainer of MelCast Educational Consulting, teachers at Oakman Elementary are reflecting deeply on their content and language objectives aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

They have committed to looking at the standards to make good decisions about the skills they need to teach aligned to those standards.  The planning continues by then designing an academic task aligned to the standard that can be used to measure how well students are meeting the standards.

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Planning with the Standards in Mind

Dr. Amy Markos, National Language and Literacy consultant and trainer, is back in town working with dedicated staff from Geer Park and Salina Elementary.  The goal for the PD is to help teachers understand the ELA standards and how they look like when teaching and learning within the literacy framework.  She also worked to guide them toward planning measurable, observable Content and Language Objectives during reading instruction.  It was a great, meaningful day of learning!


Have you RAN lately?

Unis Middle school students have been busy practicing Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction (R.A.N.) in all content area classes.  This strategy helps students organize their ideas on a chart to make their thinking visible. 
The chart is divided into columns labeled with headings that include:
  • What I Think I Know
  • Confirmed information
  • Misconceptions
  • New Learning
  • Wonderings
The R.A.N. strategy helps students keep track of facts they are gathering while still giving them the freedom to discover information on their own.  In addition, this strategy gives students an opportunity to practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students have reported that the strategy is fun because it is engaging and hands-on!!
R.A.N. strategy #1 R.A.N. strategy #2

ESL Endorsement Courses – WSU

If you are interested in starting an ESL Endorsement with Wayne State University, please attend the following:

WSU ESL Informational and Enrollment Meeting
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
3:30 meeting
4:30 meeting
ASC Room 25
Dr. Elizabeth Hopkins and Dr. Mary Walker will both be here to explain the program and to register students into the program and/or into a Winter class here in Dearborn.  If you are not already enrolled in WSU, bring your unofficial transcripts with you. 
If you have any questions, please e-mail Maura Sedgeman.

Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) Grant

It’s official!  The MDE grant, focusing on teacher preparation, was awarded to the University of Michigan-Dearborn on September 28.  This is a partnership with Dearborn Public Schools for 30 K-12 teachers to receive 6 credits towards their ESL Endorsement.  The two classes will take place on Saturdays at ASC in the Fall and Winter terms.  One class focuses on Second Language Teaching through SIOP and the other class concentrates on the foundationf reading with an emphasis on adapting reading instruction and assessment for English Language Learners. We are very grateful to Associate Professor Martha A. Adler, University of Michigan-Dearborn for seeking this grant for Dearborn Public Schools, and to Jill Chochol, Rose Aldubaily, Maura Sedgeman, Ross Groover and Nadra Lamberti for making this vital opportunity a reality.

Human Line Graph  U of M class


EL Identification and Placement

To register their children in the Dearborn Public Schools, parents complete the home language survey during the enrollment process.  If a student has any language other than English in either “Home Language” or “1st Language spoken”, he/she will be considered as potentially eligible for English language acquisition services.  The bilingual resource teacher then administers the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) to assess the student’s academic language development.  An additional reading (and writing) assessment is administered for more information.  The resource teacher reviews the data to determine eligibility for English language acquisition services.

The testing and placement process must be completed within 30 days from the beginning of the school year or within 10 days of enrollment thereafter.

Bilingual Resource Teachers have been busy screening potentially eligible English Learners since the start of the school year.  So far for 2015-16, over 1,500 English Learners have been screened and enrolled into the EL program based on the entrance criteria set by the Michigan Department of Education. 

Feeder Tracks

The EL Department has been reorganized to reflect the feeder track model. Among other duties, each Language and Literacy SIOP trainer has been assigned to a feeder track:

Maura Sedgeman–Dearborn High feeder school track

Kellie Bugajski–Fordson feeder school track

Nadra Shami–Edsel Ford feeder school track

Ameena Elder–New K-12 Departmental Teacher Support