Two Mindsets

Fordson High School teachers spent their Thursday afternoon engaging in Professional Development.  The EL Department facilitated a Culturally Responsive Teaching session on Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets and their effects on student achievement.  Growth Mindset is the belief that intelligence, talents and abilities can be developed.  Students that demonstrate a growth mindset:
  • significantly outscore others in the areas of math and literacy
  • are more likely to recognize the importance of effort in academic success
  • seek out challenging academic tasks to enhance learning
  • value critical feedback
The teachers explored how to build a classroom culture that supports a growth mindset regardless of student background or experiences. It’s important to understand that it isn’t just about effort; students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they’re stuck. Students need this repertoire of approaches—not just sheer effort—to learn and improve.  Keeping in mind that “Smart is something you become, not something you are”, the teachers committed to one action that will create a positive mindset in their classroom practices.

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Action!

The EL Department team facilitated a workshop on Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) for the Dearborn Teacher Academy this week.  It is essential to include CRT in all of our schools due to Dearborn Public Schools’ demographics.

New teachers were actively engaged in activities that focused on educational considerations for our refugee students and students in poverty.  They explored the importance of how CRT impacts student outcomes by defining their own personal values.  They also learned what it means to be in poverty and explored poverty myths. Lastly, the different types of poverty were introduced with discussion on the effects they have on student learning. 

The first level of CRT is awareness which includes acknowledging that where there are differences, unless one is mindful, assumptions tend to arise.  It’s encouraged to view students’ experiences and norms with a positive perspective rather than with a deficit perspective rooted in negative beliefs and assumptions.


Volunteers Needed

Hello Everyone!
As you might already know, Dearborn Public Schools is hosting a FTC State Qualifier AND FLL Jr. Expo on Saturday, December 9th at McCollough Unis School (7801 Maple Street, 48126).
They are still SHORT the necessary VOLUNTEERS needed to have a SUCCESSFUL EVENT AND NEED YOUR HELP!
If you have volunteered for FIRST before, please log in and choose our Dearborn FTC event.
If not, please go to for detailed steps on how to REGISTER TODAY.
The screening/background check takes about a week.  You can fill a role even if you are not available the entire time.  Just indicate your availability when you register as a volunteer for the event. Most roles have on the job training.
Please, please, please HELP!  WE NEED YOU!  Your support will benefit 36 FTC teams and 14 FLL Jr. Teams of which 15 are DEARBORN ROOKIE ROBOTICS TEAMS.

New Teachers get “SIOP”ized!

Several of our new teachers participated in Day #2 of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) training at Woodworth Middle School last week.  They applied instructional strategies that align with the Common Core and other content standards to deliver lessons that address the academic and linguistic needs of our English learners.   Our emphasis this session was on building background and oral language development using structured reading and writing activities.  Participants also worked in small groups to collaborate on the most effective way to implement these best practices in their individual classrooms.

Professional Learning Day

Language and Literacy Trainers facilitate learning at the school level on the district’s PD day.


Salina Intermediate staff engaged in a full day interactive workshop on establishing a language-rich interactive classroom.  The morning focused on reviewing the WIDA Standards Framework to deepen understanding of the performance definitions and appropriate linguistic accommodations based on students’ language proficiency.  Teachers also actively engaged in a variety of strategies related to comprehensible input and output to support students’ conceptual understanding and language development.  They appreciated the opportunity to dialogue with their colleagues to reflect upon and benefits of the strategies and how they could be adapted for their own classroom.

The staff at Becker explored ways to increase rigor in their daily instruction.  They viewed a video clip from the movie “Inside Out” that made connections to Bloom’s Taxonomy.  They then explored Webb’s Depth of Knowledge using a Close Reading strategy and a sort.  Lastly, the teachers worked in grade level groups to plan language objectives and higher order thinking questions for Common Core State Standards.


GSRP classroom teachers and paraprofessionals applied Culturally Responsive Teaching strategies by actively participating in several structured tasks.  They collaborated to understand themselves as individuals, their colleagues, and their ​students—academically, socially, and culturally.

The Five Principles of CRT for Preschoolers are: Get your students’ names right, Encourage students to learn about each other, Give students a voice, Be aware of language constraints, and Hand out praise accordingly.

The expertise of  one of Dearborn’s Language and Literacy Trainers was extended to Wayne RESA where a workshop on SIOP was facilitated for teachers from across the county.

Teachers engaged in hands-on  strategies to learn about the SIOP components and features.  Teachers were excited to take back strategies to implement in classrooms.






























All in a Week’s Work…

The 3D community comprised of Instructional Coaches, Special Education Support Staff and ELD Specialists met to review the MTSS process.  The MTSS framework is grounded in the shared responsibility of assuring that all students have access to learning and are given instruction to be successful in school.   School leadership teams will facilitate ongoing professional learning on the  three tiers of support in their buildings.

District Language and Literacy Trainers facilitated a session for Title I support staff on collaborative teaching.  Teachers discussed strategies for building relationships and identifying roles and shared responsibilities.  They also explored the different co-teaching models by role playing classroom scenarios.  They wrapped up their learning by reflecting on their own practices and identifying next steps.


Day one of a 3 day workshop series was facilitated for new teachers in the Edsel Ford Feeder Track.  The workshop series provides a seven step process that creates a language-rich interactive classroom environment in which all students can thrive. Topics include instructional practices for students at a variety of language proficiency levels and creating powerful learning supports.  Strategies  focus on structured opportunities for listening, speaking, reading and writing.

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The EL Department district team participated in the Statewide Coaching Collaborative on November 1st and 2nd, 2017.  The two days were crafted  for participants who initially attended the Professional Learning Series for Kindergarten to 3rd Grade Institute.  The goal is to improve upon participants’ literacy knowledge and skills in order to support classroom teachers in the Essential Instructional Practices. The professional learning also explored the Essential School-Wide and Center-Wide Practices in Early Literacy, collaboration with families in supporting literacy, and planning for summer literacy initiatives to support student growth.

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Language and Literacy SIOP Trainers have been leading coaching cycles with school-level ELD Specialists as a form of learning.  The coaching is aligned to clearly identified goals specific to each ELD Specialist and the EL Department’s professional development goals. The focus remains on planning with standards in mind, best practices for English Learners, co-teaching collaborations and effective instructional routines.


United in Purpose, Unique in Practice

Team members attended the WIDA 2017 Annual Conference.  It is one of the largest and most prominent conferences dedicated to PreK-Grade 12 EL educators and administrators.  It provided many opportunities to hear expert voices and learn about what other states and districts are doing to meet the needs of ELs.  Presenters shared current information relevant to our teaching practices.  As always, our district team will use the information gathered at the conference to design and facilitate professional learning in our district.

The conference was launched with a keynote speaker that was able to completely awe the 2,000 audience members.  Alberto M. Carvalho serves as Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He is a nationally recognized expert on education transformation, finance, and leadership development.

Learn more at #WIDA2017


The conference offered a broad variety of topics to interest everyone from the classroom teacher to district administrators.

Words to ponder

Bridging the Gap for MI Students

Team members from the EL Department represented Dearborn by showcasing best practices at the MAS/FPS Fall Institute on Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Building Bridges to Understand Our Diverse Students
  • Fostering Academic Language and Literacy for ALL

The sessions had great reviews by participants!

New on Colorin Colorado – A Highlight on Dearborn’s Efforts

The team at Colorin Colorado, a bilingual site for parents and educators of ELs  had been compiling information on how schools are supporting immigrant families over the past 6 months through a series of Q&As. They were interested in learning more about the work our team does with ELs and immigrant students in Dearborn with a focus on our cultural responsiveness work and support for Arab-American and Muslim families in this climate.

Click here to read the interview