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



Michigan’s Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy

Members of the EL Department and several instructional coaches attended a valuable four day workshop delving into Michigan’s released “Essential Instructional Practices in  Early Literacy: K to 3“.

Michigan educators launched the workshop by making a case for research.  They reminded the audience that just because something is written in a book or article does not make it research-informed.  They strongly encouraged educators to rely on resources for literacy that are deeply informed by research just as the work they did to put together the Essential Instructional Practices.

If you download the document, you will notice that the focus is on classroom-level practices.  Each of these ten practices are research-informed and can have a positive impact on literacy development.  In fact, we were informed that they should be viewed as presenting a ‘minimum standard of care for Michigan’s children. The belief is that the use of these practices in EVERY classroom EVERY day could make a positive difference in Michigan’s literacy achievement.

Special Populations

Members of the EL Department attended the 2-day Special Populations Conference organized by the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Field Services.  Field Services’ primary goal is to support schools in helping all students learn and achieve high standards.  Kellie Bugaski, Ameena Elder and Nadra Shami shared their expertise by facilitating sessions at the conference.  The workshop sessions included: Specially Designed Instruction for Newcomers, Building Bridges to Support Diverse Learners, and Oral Language & Writing Strategies for ELs.  The sessions were very well received.  The team also brought back some great learning!


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Welcoming A New Member to Our EL Department

Jeannine Oynoian is the new face in the EL Department.

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Jeannine filled Maura Sedgeman’s position after Maura retired in July.   Jeannine comes to us from Whitmore Bolles and previously Oakman Elementary where she served as an Instructional Coach.  Her new title is Language and Literacy SIOP Trainer. She is here to serve the department and schools in supporting the needs of ELs.  Her focus will be working with schools in the Dearborn High feeder track.

Jeannine brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment.  We are lucky to have her!

Jeanine’s extension is 73126 and email is

Summer Learning at FHS

Fordson teachers paused their summer vacation to review Language and Literacy TIPS for a Language-Rich Interactive Classroom this August in preparation for the new school year.
These TIPS include:
  • Total Particpation of all students
  • Incorporating Academic Language
  • Promoting Academic Literacy and Language
  • Scaffolding for all Literacy Levels.
This dedicated group of educators shared lots of wonderful ideas with each other and had some fun too!!