EL Department attends the WIDA National Conference

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Two team members of the EL and Compensatory Education Department, Maura Sedgeman and Kellie Bugajski, attended the WIDA 2016 National Conference which provided opportunities for professional learning, idea sharing, relationship building, and strategic collaboration.  The theme, “Drawing on Life’s Experiences: Designing Bright Futures,” expresses that English Language Learners bring an amazing array of knowledge and experience that must be valued in development of language ability and to be successful upon graduation from high school.  They specifically attended the Migrant/Refugee/Newcomer sessions with a focus on best practices that support students academically, socially, and emotionally and allowed us to reflect on improving the educational outcomes of ELs.  The new learning will be incorporated to upcoming district professional development opportunities.

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Trauma

Many of the refugees that register for school in the US have often lived in a country with an unstable infrastructure for years due to extreme conditions like poverty, war and disasters.  To date, we have about 349 refugee students enrolled in Dearborn Public Schools.  They enter our school system with many basic needs.  Part of educating the whole child is ensuring that both their affective and academic needs are met.  Helping children and adolescents cope with trauma will strengthen their social and emotional skills.  Feeling safe at school translates into higher academic achievement, increased student well-being, and greater engagement

What is trauma?

“Trauma” is often thought of as physical injuries. Psychological trauma is an emotionally painful, shocking, stressful, and sometimes life-threatening experience. It may or may not involve physical injuries, and can result from witnessing distressing events.  Traumatic events threaten our sense of safety.

Reactions (responses) to trauma can be immediate or delayed. Reactions to trauma differ in severity and cover a wide range of behaviors and responses.  Frequently experienced responses among children after trauma are loss of trust and a fear of the event happening again.

What can school personnel do to help?

There are steps that adults can take that can help them cope.  These include creating safe conditions, remaining calm and friendly, and connecting with others.  Being sensitive to people under stress and respecting their decisions is important.

If a child brings up an act of violence that he/she experienced or their feelings about it, let them know:

  • You care about them.
  • The event was not their fault.
  • You will do your best to take care of them in school.
  • It’s okay for them to feel upset.


·         Allow children to cry

·         Allow sadness

·         Listen to children

·         Let children talk about feelings

·         Let them write/draw about feelings

·         Accept their feelings

·         Try to keep regular routines.





·         Expect children to be brave or tough

·         Force children to tell their stories

·         Probe for personal details

·         Make promises you cannot keep

·         Say what you think people should feel

·         Say how people should have acted

·         Argue about their feelings

·         Get upset if they begin acting out

·         Get angry if children show strong emotions

·         Ignore severe reactions


Source: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

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Technology Department

3D Community Meeting

The 3D Community was established five years ago when three departments (EL & Comp Ed., Special Education and General Ed) came together with the purpose of serving the needs of all students in our district.  Each of the three departments brought a different dimension to the table, hence the name.

The first 3D community meeting of 2016-17 was launched today with our first collaborative learning opportunity which focused on co-teaching.  Special Education team members facilitated the morning session where school teams discussed the benefits and approaches to a successful co-teaching model.

Dr. Glenn Maleyko was even able to capture a selfie at the meeting.


The learning continued through the afternoon where departments met separately.  The EL Department team members focused the discussion on the role of the bilingual resource teacher working collaboratively with classroom teachers to meet the needs of the growing population of English Learners.  The learning continued by examining what specially designed instruction looks like for newcomers (newly arrived immigrants with limited English proficiency) and ended with a sharing of resources.



Dearborn Teachers participate in SIOP Trainers’ Reunion

The Michigan Department of Education hosted a SIOP Trainers’ reunion in Lansing on Friday, May 6.  Several Dearborn teachers who are state-certified SIOP trainers attended the continuous learning opportunity.  In addition, Maura Sedgeman and Kellie Bugajski presented on Academic Language and Literacy.  Trainers also had the opportunity to collaborate with English Learners in mind using a variety of strategies and reflective questioning.

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UM-D Title II ESL Endorsement Classes End with a Bravo!

Last Saturday was the culminating session for the 30 new Dearborn teachers who participated in the Title II Teacher Quality Grant with the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  And what a day! Three words sum it up—Creativity, Collegiality, and Competence!  Teachers worked on their “Synergy Reports”—individual posters displaying their learning from the two ESL Endorsement classes—EDD 547/447 “Teaching English as a Second Language”, and PDED 418CC/518AT “Aligning Reading Theory and Best Practice to Curriculum and Instruction.” Then teachers did a “Gallery Walk” to see and hear from their peers.



Following an “Expert Panel” question and answer session with Dr. Martha Adler and Dr. Jamie Lee from UM-D, Dr. Ross Groover and Maura Sedgeman from Dearborn Public Schools, teachers then gathered in grade level teams to “List, Rank, Compare, and Illustrate” their expert knowledge of “Exemplar SIOP Lessons”:

“A SIOP exemplar lesson is like…

…a box of legos, because you can build academic language and literacy.

…a road map because both provide a guide to a final destination, with a variety of options along the way.

…a “butterfly life cycle.”  Students start as caterpillars, wrapped in the SIOP chrysalis, and emerge literate butterflies.


To end the day with a Bravo, teachers created a visual representation of their learning from the two classes using “stuff”—playdough, sticks, pipecleaners, and recycled fillers from computer boxes.  Take a look here and outside room 18 at ASC to experience their “creation-synthesis”!  Bravo Dearborn teachers!

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Images and Perceptions: Empowering Communities by Embracing Diversity

The EL Department team had the opportunity to attend the 13th Annual “Images and Perceptions” Diversity conference.  It was a day committed to creating unity within the community and promoting cultural awareness across all boundaries.

The diversity of speakers and topics were interwoven to deliver a powerful message.  Diversity is appreciating that every individual is unique and by embracing diversity, we ultimately empower our community.  Two reoccurring take-away messages worth mentioning were (1) the importance of educating oneself by distinguishing between the media’s intentional distortion and truth itself and (2) the importance of building and sustaining relationships to attain the epitome of an empowered community.

Overall, the conference inspired others to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion in any and every capacity.

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Reflections from our SIOP Teachers

SIOP has been around for a long time.  It was first introduced in our district back in 2002 and has really evolved since then.

New teachers enrolled in ‘Integration of Content and Language’, also known as the “SIOP class”, share their experiences as they wrap up the semester-long Saturday course with a renewed understanding of what it means to teach English Learners in Dearborn.  

Exploring and learning about the SIOP model has benefitted me immensely. I feel like I understand the “why” of what I do instead of just the “how”. I appreciate the diversity in my classroom so much more because I now know what my students are teaching me about how to teach them is invaluable. Learning about SIOP-based instructional strategies has reignited my passion for teaching. Every time I implemented a strategy that worked for my students, my motivation for teaching was renewed.   – Saffiyah

Today, I am a different educator.  My teacher toolbox is loaded with strategies; my mind is clear of teaching misconceptions; and my classroom will be a learning haven for students of every kind.   – Mona

SIOP training was easily one of the most worthwhile endeavors in relation to my role as a teacher. Not only will it help me accommodate ELLs, it also provided me with tools for all of my students…If I could give one nugget of advice to educators everywhere, it would be to invest some time in SIOP.  Even if you can only take one hour long workshop, do it.  SIOP is a supremely worthwhile style of teaching, and the more you put in to it, the more you will get out. Simply put, I feel like twice the educator I was before starting this training.  – Matt

I found that the key to success in the realm of planning and executing lessons in the SIOP model is to be open minded to new ideas. Being open minded allows us to become better teachers because we can find success in strategies we thought were not relevant to our students’ needs.  – Amy

SIOP has changed my teaching dramatically. While registering for this course I was really hesitating due to the fact that class was on Saturday.  However, I am glad that I did take it because of all the strategies I have learned. Every strategy that I learned I implemented in my classroom.  I have noticed a change in our classroom environment and in students’ academics.  Students are encouraged, motivated and excited to learn.  – Hind

Being in an ELL classroom, my mind has opened up to provide the most effective practices of teaching and preparing for my lessons. When I deliver a lesson, I have plenty of tools to use to ensure my students are taught in the most efficient way. This SIOP class taught me new strategies that not only benefit my ELL students but also my class as a whole.  – Noor

The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) training has been a mind shift for me!  I am leaving this class as a stronger and more effective teacher with a whole new treasure in my teaching “toolbox” which will make my teaching experience much more fulfilling and satisfying. – Israa

This SIOP class has absolutely opened my eyes to the numerous new teaching methods not only for my English Learners, but for all students.  This is my first experience working with such a large number EL students and it amazes me to see how quickly they truly do catch on to the content as well as the language.  Teaching is such a rewarding profession and I will continue to push these SIOP strategies into my future lessons because of one simple reason, they work!  – Lauren

SIOP has really enlightened me on different areas to focus on during my daily classroom practices.  The biggest area I have gained a greater understanding is in the content and language objectives.  Content objectives help teachers get a clear focus on content lessons with the state standards, and language objectives determine the language skills to be developed and the language to be practiced.  – Sonya

From taking SIOP training, I feel as though my teaching, planning, and thinking about instruction has changed dramatically.   Through SIOP, my perception of ELLs has changed because I now see how I can be a successful teacher to them even without knowing their L1. Most importantly I have learned to hold the expectations high for ELLs and give them the structure and practice to use English successfully.   I also see how using these strategies benefit ALL students not just ELLs and how it makes me a better all-around teacher.  – Michelle

My perception of ELs has definitely changed throughout my experience in SIOP class.  I thought going in that I already knew quite a bit because I have some experience with teaching ESL students, but in a different manner.  I will go into future years with more confidence and excited to use these strategies and have this mindset from the beginning of the year. – Ryan

I have gained so much respect, once again, for the teaching profession and the SIOP model.  It has shown me an insight into the world of learning that I, as a student, had forgotten.  Sometimes we are so engrossed in the routines that we have been taught to become rigid and inflexible.  Like they say, “out with the old, in with the new”; let’s make learning fun again. – Mohamed

Although I had many successes I feel the biggest success I had was learning how to write content and language objectives. Another strategy that I think has had a positive impact on my classroom is using structured talk and providing sentence stems.  I have seen such a difference in my student’s academic language… I truly feel my students are getting way more out of my teaching now that I have learned all of the SIOP features.  -Heather


Dearborn Welcomes MSU Visitors

Michigan State University students visited several Dearborn Public Schools on Friday, April 8, 2016.  Dr. Margo Glew, coordinator of MSU Global Educators Cohort Program, has partnered with Dearborn schools to arrange these visits every spring for the past six years.  Over 50 MSU students who are primarily freshmen observed classrooms at Edsel Ford High School, Salina Intermediate, Unis Middle School, Henry Ford Elementary, Geer Park Elementary and Miller Elementary.  As students visited classrooms they observed and took notes on classroom environment, instructional strategies, and student engagement.  They then reconvened at our Administrative Service Center (ASC) to learn more information about Dearborn and reflect on their day.


Dr. Glenn Maleyko addressed the students and shared information about his educational career, student and community demographics and the hiring process for teachers.  He positively encouraged the students to continue on their teacher preparation path.  Maylee Mosallam, English Language (EL) Coordinator, welcomed the students and shared information about EL services and the instructional support we offer.  Lila Amen, District Community Liaison, spoke to the importance of parental involvement and communication as well as our community values. Lastly, the students participated in an interactive task to reflect on their classroom visits.  Dr. Glew expressed that this visit is the highlight of the MSU Global Educators Cohort Program.

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