Colorin Colorado in Dearborn Schools

Colorin Colorado  will showcase Dearborn Public Schools on an upcoming project.  The goal is to create a produced video piece and companion resources about the ways in which Dearborn schools support ELs, immigrant students, and their families.

Their initial visit to Dearborn was on April 13, 2018 by Christian Lindstrom.   The purpose of the preliminary visit was to help arrange filming schedules, logistics, and necessary permissions before filming.

During this visit, Christian had the opportunity to explore how Dearborn comprehensively and systematically supports students and their families, specifically immigrant and English Learners.  She started her day by sitting in on a parent meeting hosted at Salina Elementary, followed by parent interviews about their experience in the country and the school.

She also visited several classrooms where newcomers were scheduled.  She observed whole group instruction, teacher-led small group instruction as well as student-centered group work. Additionally, Christian interviewed support staff, including social workers, parent liaisons, counselors, secretaries, ELD Specialists as well as building and district administrators.

Christian was also welcomed into the homes of two families.  She was given the opportunity to interview them and learn about their experience coming to the United States and their journey learning a new language and acculturating.

Teacher and students in the classrom

SIOP Professional Learning Opportunity this Summer

Moving ELs Toward Proficiency by Implementing SIOP

Date: July 17, 18, 19, 2018
Location: Wayne County Community College District -EPAC Room
Downriver Campus
21000 Northline Road
Taylor, MI 48180

There is NO FEE for this workshop and LUNCH is provided.  Participants should purchase the text and bring it with them.

Outcomes for Participants:
• Analyze SIOP components by actively participating in structured speaking, reading, and writing tasks.
• Apply strategies for English learners by planning and adapting them for use in the classroom.
• Infuse formative assessment into daily instruction

Required text: 99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with the SIOP Model 1st Edition by MaryEllen Vogt and Jana Echevarria. This book is practical for classroom teachers and has an excellent overview and essential features for each component. In addition, it gets right to the lesson planning using the components.



MSU Global Educators

On Friday, March 23, MSU students from the Global Educators Program (GEP) led by Dr. Margo Glew visited Dearborn.  The partnership with Dearborn has been seven years long.  The yearly visits to Dearborn have been a very positive experience for the students and a highlight of the program.

They spent their day visiting classrooms and then gathered for a culminating task and reflection led by the EL Department team. The focus was on positive classroom environments, instructional strategies, student engagement and parental involvement. Thank you to the staff at Edsel Ford HS, McCollough-Unis, Henry Ford, Geer Park and Miller for opening their doors.

Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit. Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit. Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit. Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit.

Oakman Teachers Lead Learning

Oakman teachers participated in Culturally Responsive Teaching during their late start last week.  The topic was Leading Learning for Children from Poverty.  After reading an article and discussion they collaborated to create anchor charts that represent six effective practices for teachers to help students to succeed.  These effective practices include:
  • Connecting and Validating students is accomplished when effective educators build relationships and believe all students can be successful.  Validating means the focus is shifted from what a student doesn’t know  to what a student can do.
  • Educating and Responding allows students to soar in welcoming, inviting, and structured classrooms.  Students are given multiple opportunities to succeed and are allowed to demonstrate mastery through learning style.  Responding includes ensuring time is built into the school day for the teacher to teach, reteach, and advance instruction.
  • Leading and Succeeding involves working together to develop the best environment for students. If every child is taught to his or her strengths, every child will preform and master content at higher levels.

Resisting Inequity: Language as Power and Right

Dearborn EL and SIP members teamed up to attend the 2018 National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) 47th Annual Conference.  The NABE is a non-profit membership organization that works to advocate for educational equity and excellence for bilingual/multilingual students in a global society.  Our team had the opportunity to attend several high-quality sessions that focused on improving instructional practices for linguistically and culturally diverse children.

The pre-conference institute, Empowering English Learners: A TEAM Approach for School Leaders was l​e​​d​ by John Seidlitz who is a familiar face in our district.  This institute was organized around four keys to administrator success in promoting achievement in bilingual students ​as a TEAM​:

       Transform Professional Development

       Elevate Program Expectations

       Advocate for English Learners

       Monitor and Adjust for Improvement

Another high impact session attended ​by members ​was Creating a Culturally Responsive School. We examined questions such as, “How do we create a school atmosphere where every student and staff member is seen and valued?”  Together, the participants explored what it will take to create a truly multicultural, responsive school community. 

​The EL and SIP teams are excited to implement some of these best practices with our Dearborn students.

EL and SIP team members pose next to a NABE conference sign

New Teachers Meet SIOP

EL Language and Literacy Trainers led an after school session for new teachers with a focus on Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) strategies.  The session focused on developing academic language through structured word work, listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Here’s what teachers had to share in their feedback after the session:

The portion of the session that was the most helpful was…

“…going through a lesson ourselves so we could hands on see the strategies.”

“…working through the lesson and figuring out how to use the strategies in my classroom.”

“…the variety of strategies, questions, and the opportunity for communication and interaction with other groups.”

“I found that when we actually participated in the reading activities… it helped me get a better grasp on the intentions and benefits of the activity.”

New Teachers engage in group work as presenter facilitates workshop in Stout team room.

Teachers interact with vocabulary word cards before they read.


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.