December 2019 Newsletter
I hope each of you enjoyed a relaxing Thanksgiving with family and friends last week. I had a great time and, as sometimes happens to people at holiday celebrations, I ate too much turkey. That got me thinking…about reading.
I was thankful for the fact that food was plentiful for my family and friends and I was thankful for the warm, dry space where we could gather and enjoy each other’s company. Like the abundance of food on Thanksgiving, the warm houses, and the ability to watch the Lions blow it in the end of a game again, we tend to think of others’ situations as similar to our own. Many of us take these things for granted.
There is a mountain of research showing that the ability to read is the most important learning that can occur for a child. Reading leads to success in all other subjects and in life. Reading can take a person anywhere the child’s imagination allows. The ability to read makes self-directed learning possible. Like a great Thanksgiving meal, some children have an abundance of books to read, loved ones to read to them from a very young age, and a comfortable house in which to live. This cannot be said about a sizeable percentage of our EUP students. A home can certainly be filled with love and support regardless of income level, but the availability and focus on literacy becomes less of a priority when there are greater concerns for food and shelter.
What if we all stopped to think about the children who, through no fault of their own, are in situations that are very difficult? What do we control that could improve their lives? Can we be better about handling the students who tend to be more difficult this time of year? Can we care about each child, even when they make caring hard?
Finally, I am thankful for the tremendous educators in the EUP and the many efforts around literacy that exist and are expanding. I’m thankful that our local schools are the consistent, warm, caring places our students need. I’m thankful for the educators who show love to each student, especially when those students make caring difficult. Those are the children who need us the most.
As the year is steadily moving on, MTSS literacy teams are remaining focused on their goals. MTSS teams are working diligently on improving MTSS literacy systems through a professional learning series (five days). The series covers all three tiers of reading instruction and is differentiated to meet the needs of teams. Topics discussed include; delivery of high-quality instruction across Tiers, development of a literacy intervention system, system for selecting and aligning interventions, and a system of progress monitoring student performance. The teams will also develop an understanding of when and how to use the Student Assistance Team within a fully functioning tiered literacy system. Teams engage in a Reading Tiered Fidelity Assessment (R-TFI) and utilize the Essentials Screening tool for action planning. Please click on the link to read the EUPMTSS Newsletter for more information.
Resource: The National Center on Intensive Intervention provides basic information on MTSS, as well as examples of MTSS interventions and Free Learning Modules. The center also provides examples of screening and progress monitoring charts. Explore this resource for information on topics, such as how to intensify interventions and collaborate with families.
Michigan’s Integrated Continuous Improvement Process (MICIP)
The state-level Continuous Improvement Conference took place in November with over 1,000 participants learning together about Michigan's shift to a systems-minded Whole Child approach to improvement. For more information about Michigan's Integrated Continuous Improvement Process (MICIP), including some brief overview presentations, visit MDE's MICIP website.
Strengthening Systems Series
The second session of Strengthening Systems will be held on December 5. Participants will leave this series with a streamlined and fully functioning school/district improvement plan and an understanding of the MICIP and the Whole Child mindset in preparation for the launch of the MICIP platform in the fall of 2020.
Guiding Content for December:
- MICIP and the Whole Child Mindset
- Whole Child Data and Root Cause Analysis
- Re-prioritizing through a Whole Child Lens
Sessions are co-facilitated by Lindsay Brindley (EUPISD) and Nate Beelen (MDE). Register your team in Wisdomwhere today!
NEW From Wisdomwhere Registration System
List of trainings/meetings by month can now be easily viewed and is the default listing. Go to Wisdomwhere and then click Events. No worries if you still want to search by keyword, title, category, instructor, etc., just click Advanced Search.
Peer offerings are now automatically included in the search results and identified with a label that looks like [Peer: MARESA].
Reading Recovery®, Literacy Lessons™, & Literacy Support
Reading Recovery has been reviewed and will be listed as a professional learning program by MDE that can be used for the Additional Instructional Time Grant from MDE.
Edition 2 of 4 addressing implementation of Reading Recovery as well as connections for classrooms and parents. It will also highlight success stories and professional development opportunities through Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA).
The EUPISD Reading Recovery Site was well represented at the 28th Annual Reading Recovery Council of Michigan Institute. Over 300 administrators, Reading Recovery, Literacy Lessons, and Literacy Support educators from across the state came together for the Institute held November 21-22, 2019 in Troy, Michigan. This year’s Institute featured internationally renowned researcher and keynote speakers: Dr. Andy Hargreaves, Boston University, and Dr. Connie Briggs, Professor at Texas Woman’s University, as well as 10 other nationally and internationally recognized featured presenters.
Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC)
The Michigan School Health Coordinators Association (MiSHCA), of which our Regional School Health Coordinator is a member, has started a new quarterly newsletter: Whole Child Quarterly. Check it out.
A Silent Crisis 201-Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for LGBTQ Youth: Planning for Action
It was another amazing workshop! The Michigan Department of Education brought the second phase of the "A Silent Crisis" training to the EUP on November 25th. The day's theme was planning for action. Many EUP schools were present, as well as some from northern Michigan. Schools are working hard to create a safe, positive school climate for all students, to promote healthy, engaged learners ready to meet their maximum academic potential.
If you missed the 101, or the 201 (the 101 is required first), here is a link to a list of A Silent Crisis workshops still happening in the State.
Options for “Alternative to Suspension” around Vaping/JUULing (E-cigs)
New Social Studies Standards Roll-Out
MDE will visit the ISD for a roll-out of the new Michigan Social Studies Standards on January 24. The session will be open to administrators and teachers of all grades K-12; it will be co-facilitated by representatives from MDE’s curriculum and instruction unit, SS professional organizations, and members of the EUP Social Studies Teacher Leader Corps. We plan to offer a distance connection to further support attendance. Watch for additional details, contact Lindsay Brindley (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions, and register your team in Wisdomwhere today!
6-12 Disciplinary Literacy Series
The 6-12 Disciplinary Literacy series kicked off last month, with many districts in attendance. Open to 6-12 teachers of all content areas, this instructionally-driven series helps participants increase their understanding of the 6-12 Literacy Essentials and apply that knowledge to their current classrooms, as well as looking more closely at vertical alignment with the K-5 Essentials. Visit this link to view the 6-12 Essentials document and explore connections to your current work. It’s not too late to register for the remainder of the series, the second session of which will take place December 6. Contact Lindsay Brindley (email@example.com) with questions.
Upcoming Student Events:
The regional science and engineering fair will be held on December 6 at LSSU. We are looking forward to seeing students, parents, and teachers again this year!
FIRST Robotics Kickoff
A FIRST Robotics Kickoff event will be held at Lake Superior State University on Saturday, January 4. Please contact Jeanne Shibley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Upper Peninsula Underwater Innovative Vehicle Competition - See brochure for details.
STEM Integrated Learning Teams (ILT) - Day 2 of our 5-day series will take place on Wednesday, December 18 for Math, Science, and STEM Teachers! Work collaboratively with other teachers to learn and increase capacity around Modeling in math and science, connecting with STEM resources in the community, and innovative STEM programming. Don Pata led us through a great day of learning how to use the practice of developing and using mathematical and scientific models in our classrooms and will be back up to work with us on day 2!
Next Generation Science Exemplar - Day 4 of NGSX will be held on Monday, December 16. We have been working to align our instructional practices to the Next Generation Science Standards and are fortunate to be learning from Beth Christensen of LSSU’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education who is also a Michigan NGSX facilitator!
Foundations of Math: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities - Kate Fanelli of Alt-Shift will be back to work our group on December 11. Foundations of Math: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities is a research-based training course for educators of students with significant disabilities in grades K-12. The course is designed to develop instructors' knowledge of the mathematics they teach by seeing mathematics through the lens of a well-delineated number sense. Instructors will also look at research and instructional methods for teaching students with significant disabilities, including those with moderate and significant cognitive disabilities and complex communication needs.
Job Olympics Awarded Mini Grant
The Michigan Transition Services Association has once again awarded annual mini grants to programs across the state of Michigan. The EUPISD Job Olympics Committee was the lucky recipient of such an award in the amount of $1,400.00. This year Job Olympics will move to the wonderful event space in the basement of the administrative building at Bay Mills Community College. Students will still experience a half-day event where they practice activities of daily living, work, and job readiness skills to demonstrate their current ability level and identify areas for further targeted instruction. Please consider volunteering at this year’s event on March 25, 2020.
Project SEARCH is recruiting potential candidates for the 2020-2021 school year. Click HERE for more information!
Occupational Therapy - Sensory Benefits to Wintertime Outdoor Play
As it is beginning to get colder outside, students may be tempted to stay inside more often. However, there are many benefits to playing outdoors (with appropriate clothing for the weather), especially for students with sensory needs. Having time at recess can stimulate all of our sensory systems:
--Vestibular: This system monitors the movement and the position of our heads and space. Swinging, sliding, and running or playing in circles can stimulate this system. Students who are seeking this type of input are often wiggly or have trouble paying attention in class, so it is important to have the opportunity to engage in activities that stimulate the vestibular system when possible.
--Proprioceptive: This is our sense of our position in space, mainly felt through our muscles and joints. Monkey bars, running, and jumping all stimulate our proprioceptive senses. When students have the opportunity to play outdoors at recess and get more proprioceptive input, they often demonstrate longer attention spans during class.
--Tactile: There are so many different things to touch outdoors, from the crinkly leaves, to the wet rain or fluffy snow, to our soft winter gloves, allowing for a variety of tactile input.
--Auditory: Recess is often fairly noisy, so students who seek out more auditory stimulation, or those that desire to make loud noises, may find that recess is an excellent time for that.
--Visual: From the bright sunlight reflecting off of the snow, to a dim space shadowed by a play structure, there are a variety of ways our visual system is stimulated outdoors. Playing catch, tag, or hide and seek can also encourage our visual motor and visual perceptual skills.
--Olfactory and gustatory: Our senses of smell and taste are not often thought about when we are outside. However, tasting a fresh snowflake or raindrop and smelling the fresh air can brighten up a student's day and is something that we are unable to do when always indoors.
So, as the weather keeps getting chillier, remember the sensory benefits of being outdoors, and get ready to bundle up!
Regional Data Systems/Instructional Technology
REMC 22 Classroom Lending Library
Get the materials you need for classroom learning. Consider special learning events on the days before Christmas break using materials in this library. Robots, Green Screen, Tools, Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, 3D Printing, and many other materials are available for check-out. Take a look at the library, and if you need an account, contact REMC22@eupschools.org.
NWEA MAP Skills
For those sites using NWEA Map Skills, rosters are set with student email addresses as usernames. The Quick Start guide should be viewed in preparation. Teachers will need to use the UnifiedID-Username-Password List in Illuminate to create student passwords. Read about how to enter student passwords so that student access will be complete.
NWEA MAP Growth Winter Testing Window
The MAP Growth testing window will be open starting January 2, 2019.
Scheduled testing: January 2-24
Make-up testing: January 27-31
Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code.
REMC Virtual Courses
The REMC Virtual Courses are free and open to Michigan school personnel. You can take courses “just to learn” or complete the course and assignments and earn SCECH credits. All courses are facilitated by Michigan educators.