Literacy Newsletter masthead 5b June 2021

This newsletter has been created by Wayne RESA literacy consultants for literacy educators. In each issue, you will find Literacy Learning Network updates and information, statewide initiative updates, book synopses, teaching and coaching strategies, and upcoming professional learning opportunities. We look forward to partnering with you as we engage in best practices in literacy instruction for all students.

Literacy Learning Network logo with children reading books.

Literacy Learning Network Updates

The Power of Networks

Tree with puzzle piece branches

Collaborative support is at the center of a network, but working with others yields much more than that. Networks can provide sounding boards and think tanks that generate solutions to common issues. Furthermore, networks allocate time and space for members to learn and discuss. While names, audiences, and purposes may shift, there have been several literacy-focused networks at Wayne RESA. For example, as the number of literacy coaches continues to grow, our Wayne County Coaching Network expands and adapts to accommodate the different coaching models and diverse needs of our districts and PSAs. Similarly, the Wayne County Reading Apprenticeship Network provides regular opportunities for Reading Apprenticeship trainees to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of strategy implementation. As Harris and Jones (2017) note, “Putting professional collaboration at the heart of educational change […] is an important shift in thinking,” and Wayne RESA will continue to look for opportunities to bring educators together in an effort to improve teaching and learning.

Sand, pail and bucket clipart

Summer Learning at Wayne RESA

Your summer plans might include long-awaited vacations or visiting with family and friends, but wherever you are this summer, learning could not be more convenient! As you begin to plan for a return to school in the fall, consider joining us for either the Summer Tech Fest or the Summer Learning Blitz, or both! Are you curious about Wakelet and its many features? There is a session for you! Do you want to become better about practicing self-care? Register for the Zen Teacher session. Interested in a session but can’t make it? Register anyway so that you will have access to the recording. All sessions are free of cost, and SCECHs are available for those in attendance. We look forward to the opportunity to learn with you!

Wayne RESA COSA logo: Coach on Special Assignment

Coaching Connections

Wayne County Coaching Network Logo

While summer in Michigan usually signals warm weather and sandy beaches, many of our Wayne County coaches will continue to engage in and provide professional learning. Whether they will work on the Literacy Essentials Modules, attend Dr. Diane Jackson’s opening session, and/or lead teachers in book studies or other Essentials-aligned professional development, our literacy coaches will be busily preparing for the 2021-2022 school year.

Statewide Updates

⭐The National Writing Project of Michigan is offering both virtual and face-to-face opportunities for students and teachers this summer. Take some time to nurture your inner writer by looking into Summer 2021 programs throughout the state or even teacher and youth writing camps in our region.


⭐The Disciplinary Literacy Task Force is excited to offer another Introductory Institute on August 5, 2021, from 8:30 to 12:00pm, via Zoom. The cost is $25, and participants will earn 3.25 SCECHs. Register today!


⭐The Disciplinary Literacy Task Force will also be offering a condensed version of the Deeper Dive Institute from August 11 – 13, 2021. Synchronous sessions will be held via Zoom from 9:00 – 11:00 am each day; participants are expected to attend all synchronous learning sessions and engage in approximately two hours of asynchronous learning in between each session. The cost is $50, and participants will earn 12 SCECHs. Registration is now open!


⭐The Michigan Department of Education is launching the Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educators campaign for educators with expired credentials to return to the teaching workforce by reducing or eliminating professional learning recertification requirements. See the website for more information.


⭐In collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education, REL Midwest has created a series of easy-to-use guides designed to help families, afterschool providers, and other caregivers to support their children and students with early reading and early mathematics instruction. Districts may also wish to use these guides to enhance summer programming and assist with accelerated learning efforts for young learners.


⭐The Michigan Department of Education has compiled a collection of anti-racism, anti-bias, and anti-bullying resources and tools to guide deep and critical conversations designed to eliminate these expressions of hate.


⭐Please participate in a quick summer learning opportunity that helps you and your students! In mid-March, the Michigan Department of Education launched the Children matter. You matter. Learn SEL! campaign. MDE is asking leaders and educators to complete an ‘Introduction to SEL’ online module hosted through Michigan Virtual. The goal is that as many educators as possible (a minimum of one school leader and two to four teachers per building across the state) will complete the module before Labor Day. The course is free, offers SCECHs, and takes about two hours to complete. This program is open to all districts.

Books and Strategies

Bookshelf with varying levels of children's literature.

Book Talk

Igniting Passion in Readers of All Ages

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
Kathryn Gibbs Davis and Gilbert Ford

Cover image of Mr. Ferris and His WheelUnder pressure to top the spectacular Eiffel Tower at the previous World’s Fair, a nationwide contest was established to build an even better attraction for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois. George Ferris introduced his design–a tall, moving wheel that passengers could ride. At first, he was turned away, but eventually, the judges chose George’s plan. He had to work fast throughout the cold Chicago winter to build the attraction, but on the first day of the fair, passengers loaded the cars with windows and velvet seats. By the end of the World’s Fair, over one million people took a ride on what we now call a Ferris wheel.

The Girl with a Mind for Math
Julia Finley Mosca and Daniel Rieley 

Cover image of The Girl with a Mind for Math by Julia MoscaThis motivational picture book describes Raye Montague’s incredible journey to attain her goal of becoming an engineer. Despite the many obstacles she encountered, she was determined to study and learn, even taking computer programming classes at night. When an urgent need for a submarine was requested by the President of the United States, only Raye could save the day by creating a computer-generated design. Finally, Raye received her long hoped-for title–engineer–and she went on to become the first woman to lead ship design for the Navy.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Teresa Toten

Cover image of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Adam Ross has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and he has just begun group therapy. There, Adam meets Robyn, his first adolescent crush. As he works through his complicated and confusing feelings for Robyn, readers learn that Adam is pulled in many different directions personally. His mother, a hoarder, relies on Adam emotionally, and so does his step-mother and half-brother. Despite these demands, Adam emerges as a leader in group therapy when he thinks of ways that can help his groupmates come to terms with their own OCD behaviors, and somewhere along the way, he starts to address his own.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
Meg Medina

 Cover image of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg MedinaWhen the building’s staircase crumbles into a pile of rubble, Piddy Sanchez’s mother has finally had it with their deadbeat landlord. They move to a new apartment, which means a new school for Piddy. Usually a good student, Piddy finds herself the target of Yaqui Delgado’s wrath. Apparently, Yaqui’s boyfriend noticed Piddy in the hall, and from there, things spiral downward quickly. Piddy struggles through the many abuses of Yaqui and her friends until a report is made to the office. While the immediate threat is removed, it takes Piddy a while to cope with the traumas of bullying. 

No More Random Acts of Literacy Coaching
Erin Brown and Susan K. L’Allier

Cover image of No More Random Acts of Literacy Coaching by Erin Brown and Susan L'AllierAs leaders of Michigan’s ISD Early Literacy Coaching Network, Erin Brown and Dr. Susan L’Allier have gently guided the learning of countless literacy coaches through network meetings, online studies, week-long coaching intensives, and more. Their recently released book initially describes typical obstacles encountered by teachers, coaches, and principals as well as practical ways to address such issues. In addition, the book details skills and strategies that coaches can use to build trusting relationships that move teacher practice and student learning forward.

A Teacher’s Guide to Vocabulary Development Across the Day
Tanya S. Wright

Cover image of A Teacher's Guide to Vocabulary Development Across the DayMSU Associate Professor of Language and Literacy Tanya Wright has worked side-by-side with educators throughout the state to improve literacy instruction for all students. Her latest book introduces K-3 teachers to a variety of ways they can bolster students’ vocabulary growth, such as read-alouds and content-area instruction.  In a deliberate attempt to move away from disconnected practices, such as writing out words and their definitions, Dr. Wright provides teachers with strategies that will reinforce students’ love of language.

Heart made from two hands

Summer: A Time to Rejuvenate

For the past year, we’ve heard the same phrases over and over: “Take time for yourself” and “Make sure that you are practicing self-care.” Yet, since March 2020, most of us have been on a non-stop treadmill. Concerns about teaching and learning in new environments with new tools were coupled with COVID-imposed isolation as the deadly virus raged on across the globe. In addition, as we quickly discovered, the work/home balance became blurred without separate spaces or commutes, disrupting the opportunity to disengage from work at the end of the day. There is no doubt that we are exhausted, and many educators have expressed the strong desire to make July an unplugged month, holding sacred the traditions of a true summer break. August professional development will come soon enough as schools prepare to welcome back their students and teachers. Others, however, may have some school-related obligations they cannot ignore. Regardless, it is important to focus only on what is in our “sphere of control,” as nationally recognized literacy consultant and coach Elena Aguilar asserts. Her graphic

reminds us that there is very little that we can actually control. Relinquishing that thought, while initially unsettling, can be freeing and can realign our priorities. Over the past year, we often abandoned activities that bring us joy. Take time now to reignite a passion that was cast aside. The simple act of doing something for ourselves can renew our energy, brighten our spirits, and improve our relationships with others. Physical health might need a reboot, too. Exercise, diets, proper sleep habits, and hydration are all part of a healthy lifestyle, and while we know this, we may have struggled to maintain those efforts because they seemed to be one more thing added to an overly long day. As Linda Moon (2020) explains, “Self-care is vital and something we should practice all the time.” The lessons from the past year will be far-reaching; taking care of our minds and bodies should be one of the most important.

Noteworthy News

Our Wayne County COSAs engaged in over 15,000 hours of literacy leadership and direct coaching activities collectively, and they participated in over 5000 hours of professional learning to improve their coaching skills. 

Three dimensional pie chart image in primary colors

Professional Learning

Upcoming Events at Wayne RESA
See the Professional Growth pages on the Wayne RESA site for links to course offerings, their descriptions, and online registration in Learning Stream. Many of our professional learning events will continue to be offered virtually in the coming year. If the format for a session or series is unclear, please contact any of the Literacy Team members for details.
Early Literacy
Prekindergarten Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy, Cohort A
Prekindergarten educators will participate in eight half-day sessions of intense training focused on the MAISA-GELN Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy, Prekindergarten. To support Michigan Department of Education’s mission to improve literacy learning equitably across the state, participants will closely examine the ten essential instructional practices that research has shown to be necessary for all Michigan prekindergarten children to demonstrate adequate progress toward literacy. The intended audience is current Wayne RESA GSRP Instructional Staff. For additional information, contact Debbie Reeves.
Prekindergarten Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy, Cohort B
Prekindergarten educators will participate in eight half-day sessions of intense training focused on the MAISA-GELN Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy, Prekindergarten. To support Michigan Department of Education’s mission to improve literacy learning equitably across the state, participants will closely examine the ten essential instructional practices that research has shown to be necessary for all Michigan prekindergarten children to demonstrate adequate progress toward literacy. The intended audience is current Wayne RESA GSRP Instructional Staff. For additional information, contact Debbie Reeves.
Elementary
Leveled Literacy Intervention Training, K – 2: December 6 – 9 and February 15 – 16 
The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Program System (LLI) is a scientifically-based early intervention program designed to prevent literacy difficulties before they turn into long-term challenges. Participants will learn effective small group instructional strategies to provide the intensive support necessary for some primary students to achieve grade level competency in reading and writing. The intended audience for this online course includes teachers of grades K-2 and literacy interventionists. For additional information, contact Debbie Reeves.
Leveled Literacy Intervention Training, Grades 3 – 5:  January 24 – 27 and March 22 – 23
The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Program System (LLI) is a scientifically-based early intervention program designed to prevent literacy difficulties before they turn into long-term challenges. Participants will learn effective small group instructional strategies to provide the intensive support necessary for some intermediate students to achieve grade level competency in reading and writing. The intended audience for this online course includes teachers of grades 3-5 and literacy interventionists. For additional information, contact Debbie Reeves.
Secondary
Disciplinary Literacy Introductory Institute: August 5
The Disciplinary Literacy Introductory Institute generates an initial understanding and awareness of disciplinary literacy and the Disciplinary Literacy Essentials document; in addition, this workshop will expand participants’ understanding of the research around adolescent literacy needs. Participants will experience a compelling vision of what this might look like in the classroom and begin to consider implementation within their current context. For additional information, contact Laura Gabrion.
Disciplinary Literacy Deeper Dive Institute: August 11 – 13
As a continuation of the Disciplinary Literacy Introductory Institute, this professional learning series will expand participants’ understanding and awareness of disciplinary literacy and the Disciplinary Literacy Essentials document using a blended learning format, including both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Additional emphasis will be given to effective use of approaches that maximize student motivation and engagement and further expand participants’ understanding of the research around adolescent literacy needs. For additional information, contact Laura Gabrion.
Coaching
Building Coaching Strategies – Entering into the Conversation: July 27, October 21, January 20 and April 28
In this four-part series with Dr. Diane Jackson, coaches will explore their current beliefs and how those beliefs might facilitate or debilitate their coaching relationships. Coaches will acquire a vast knowledge of effective coaching skills to mediate their coachee’s thinking, and this will enable the teachers to think deeply about their practice to monitor and adjust as necessary. Coaches will understand the link between effective coaching and the transformation of teacher practice. The intended audience is instructional coaches and literacy specialists, though it is appropriate for anyone in an instructional coaching role. For additional information, contact Laura Gabrion.
Wayne County Coaching Network: October 21, December 14, February 16, April 5 and May 24
This network is designed to offer opportunities for deep study of research-based practices using collaborative inquiry (Problems of Practice), common texts, and discussion of the Essential Coaching Practices for Literacy. Building and sustaining relationships between both teacher-coach and principal-coach roles, developing assessment literacy knowledge and skills, and promoting equity through coaching will be unpacked. Forums/Round Table Discussions led by district coaches and WRESA consultants will provide additional focused learning. The final session of the series will be a celebration of our growth. The intended audience for this course is new or experienced literacy coaches. For additional information, contact Colleen Whalen or Mary-Lu Strimbel.
All
Cultural Responsiveness and Engagement in Today’s Literacy Classrooms: July 19 OR December 7
Students in today’s classrooms are unique individuals; they are also simultaneously members of multiple communities. During this session, educational leader Dr. Ernest Morrell will speak on how culturally responsive instruction, both as a curriculum and a pedagogical approach, embraces these identities and works to positively enhance student voice and engagement. The intended audience includes teachers, literacy coaches, building administrators, and community stakeholders. For additional information, contact Rosalyn Shahid.
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Resources: Where can I find...

☑️ Looking for a clean copy of a web article to share with students? Try the Just Read Chrome extension. It will eliminate ads and pop-ups so that a distraction-free copy can be printed or saved as a PDF.

☑️ Don’t worry if you’ve accidentally closed an important tab! Simply hit Control + Shift + T, and your tabs will instantly reappear.

Wayne RESA Literacy Team

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, and you’d like to subscribe to it, please contact Laura Gabrion.

33500 Van Born Road • Wayne, MI 48184 • 734.334.1300 • 734.334.1620 fax • www.resa.net
Board of Education
James S. Beri • Mary E. Blackmon • Danielle Funderburg • Lynda S. Jackson • James Petrie
Randy A. Liepa, Ph.D., Superintendent