Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Are you ready for World Read Aloud Day

Lit World believes everyone in the world should get to read and write. On World Read Aloud Day (WRAD), people around the world read aloud together and share stories to advocate for literacy as a human right. 
Download your resource packet here that includes how to host a WRAD event, decorations, spreading the word, a read aloud guide and tips on connecting with authors. 
Please share your WRAD celebrations on social media!

Upcoming Professional Learning

Questions?   Contact Dr. Cathy Fleischer

*Note, the Learning First, Technology Second workshop with Dr. Liz Kolb that was cancelled on December 14th is RESCHEDULED for March 22 at Huron High School.   If you can no longer make it, please contact Cheryl Taylor at 

If you'd like to attend on this new date, you can register HERE


Friday, December 1, 2017


What Are We Reading? 

SOEL 2: Reading Instruction in Early Literacy

No More Reading Instruction without Differentiation by Lynn Bigleman and Debra S. Peterson.

In SOEL 2, where our focus is PreK-3 Reading Instruction, this text guides us in learning targets and performance tasks, student self assessment, project based learning goals and individual learning goals.  Teachers are taking their learning from this text and applying it to their teacher action research question around small group reading instruction in their classrooms.

IDLL: Inquiry into Disciplinary Literacy and Learning
Learning First, Technology Second: The Educators Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons by Liz Kolb

This text guides us in every discipline around the Triple E Framework for time-on-task learning, using technology for authentic learning experiences, appropriate tech integration and lesson planning.   Author Liz Kolb will join us in the next IDLL meeting on December 14th-  everyone is welcome.

Upcoming Professional Learning

Check out the many virtual courses offered now!  

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Professional Texts in Literacy Networks

SOEL is reading Every Child a Super Reader

Part of our professional learning networks involves reading at least one practitioner book per year.  This year SOEL 1, focused on Equity, Engagement and Motivation, is reading Every Child a Super Reader by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell.    
Every Child a Super Reader is geared toward K-8 teachers and is organized around a strength based framework, detailing the seven strengths inherent in super readers: belonging, curiosity, friendship, kindness, confidence, courage, and hope.  Listen to the authors speak on the importance of a strength based (vs. a deficit model) instructional framework.

SOEL and Responsive Mathematics is hosting Dr. Ernest Morrell again on January 18th at EMU. Everyone is welcome. See our flyer for details. 

IDLL is reading Argument in the Real World: Teaching Adolescents to Read and Write Digital Texts

Every day, our students are inundated by information—as well as opinions and misinformation—on their devices. These digital texts influence what they buy, who they vote for, and what they believe about themselves and their world. Crafting and analyzing arguments in a digital world could be our greatest possibility to improve dialogue across cultures and continents… or it could contribute to bitter divides.

IDLL hosted Dr. Hicks on October 26th to learn teaching strategies and tools for crafting arguments in our digital world, such as StoryMap.  Follow our learning here.

Upcoming Professional Learning

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Literacy Networks Start Strong! 

Saline High School Hosts IDLL

The Inquiry into Disciplinary Literacy and Learning network kicked-off the year by meeting at Saline High School. Through a tour of the school, including the culinary arts and automotive technology programs of the South and West Washtenaw Consortium, our group saw examples of disciplinary literacy in action. Shelly Venema, IDLL member and Saline HS teacher, also presented on the district wide literacy goal of speaking and listening.   

Join us when IDLL meets next on October 26th at WISD to host Dr. Troy Hicks on Argument in the Real World: Teaching Adolescents to Read and Write Digital Texts

SOEL 1: Equity, Engagement and Motivation 

  Musical artist, educator and professional vocalist Imani Gonzalez visited the Study of Early Literacy network on October 3rd to present Building Reading Comprehension Through Sound and Rhythm.  Ms. Gonzalez taught SOEL teachers the Soundscape process- using sound and rhythm to explore ways to develop reading comprehension strategies and make connections between music and language. This learning process will help students attend to sensory images, use questioning strategies, respond to inference, and determine importance, helping students develop a better understanding of the text. Through Soundscapes, children will develop listening skills through collaboration, build interpretation and oral presentation skills through communication, and improve reading fluency through creativity.

Upcoming Literacy Professional Learning 

Monday, September 18, 2017

K-12 Literacy Updates

Elementary Literacy

  • SOEL- Study of Early Literacy, now has our own website.   Check here for our history, articles, Teacher Action Research examples, photos, and eventually, lesson plans.  
  • Do you have questions about the Third Grade Retention Law?   Check out this GUIDE  I keep updated.  This was updated today with new IRIP information. 
  • The Essentials in Literacy Instruction for PreK, K-3, 4-5, Building, and Coaching, can now all be found in one PDF document HERE.
  • Are you registered for the MEMPSA Literacy Summit at WISD?   It's October 4th and features Dr. Nell Duke and Dr. Pat Edwards.  Register HERE.

Secondary Literacy

  • Did you know that the grades 6-12 Discipline Specific Essentials are coming soon?   Stay tuned for more!
  • IDLL - The Inquiry into Disciplinary Literacy and Learning network is going strong!  We are meeting in area schools this year, as well as hosting experts at WISD.  This fall, join us September 28th at Saline HS, and October 26th at WISD with Dr. Troy Hicks on Argument in the Real World-  Register HERE.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back to School!

The First Week of School:
Community Building, Writing, and Goal Setting

From scavenger hunts to "Dear Me" letters, you might find some new ideas here to shake-up your back-to-school routine of building community and getting to know your students as readers, writers, and learners.   Create-Abilities shares five activities here.  

Knowing our History to Build a Brighter Future

Books to Help Kids Understand the Fight for Racial Equality provides K-12 text resources to "help us move beyond tokens and icons to a deeper understanding of our history and its legacy, toward our own march for liberty and justice for all." 

Essential Instructional Practices for Literacy

While SOEL (Study of Early Literacy) moves into our fifth year at WISD and LESA, we continue to follow the most recent research (last two-three years) supported instructional practices through the Essential Instructional Practices in Literacy. 
The updated collection includes:
*Coming soon!  Grades 6-12 Discipline Specific

The SOEL Family Grows !  

During two SOEL Summer Institutes, the Study of Early Literacy welcomed 72 new members for the 2017-2018 school year. After three days of collaborative learning, teachers chose a learning path for the school year around early literacy instruction.  

Inquiry into Disciplinary Literacy and Learning (IDLL)

Secondary teachers of all subjects, you won't want to miss our IDLL line-up of professional learning and guest speakers for 2017-2018!
Save these dates:

September 28-  hosted at Saline High School with "From the Classroom" presentations. 

October 26-  at WISD with guest speaker Dr. Troy Hicks on Argument Writing in the Real World  Register HERE

December 14- at WISD with guest speaker Dr. Liz Kolb on Learning First, Technology Second  Register HERE

February 22  - hosted at Mill Creek Middle School in Dexter with Project Based Learning demonstrations.

March 22- TBD

May 17- TBD

*If you have any questions, please e-mail Melissa Brooks-Yip

Friday, June 9, 2017

Literacy Book Club Discussions!

Join the Conversation: Teacher Professional Book Clubs in Washtenaw and Livingston County 

     We are fortunate to have so many outstanding titles for educators to read on literacy instruction!   Teachers in our counties chose to meet before school, after school, online and in the Study of Early Literacy to read and discuss some of these texts.  Would you like to join the conversation? 

No More Reading Instruction Without Differentiation   (see a summary and download a sample of the book by clicking on the title)

Click HERE to read and/or contribute to our thoughts on specific passages in the text.  Please only leave thoughtful and respectful comments and/or questions for fellow readers and contributors.   

(see a summary and download a sample of the book by clicking on the title)

Click HERE to read and/or contribute to our thoughts on specific passages in the text.  Please only leave thoughtful and respectful comments and/or questions for fellow readers and contributors.   

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Summer Resources for Students

Michigan residents have free access to many resources through the Michigan eLibrary.  Families can find resources to help ease the summer slide, read eBooks, conduct research, create reading lists, and prepare for college, careers, and high stakes tests like the SAT.

There is a playlist on the MeL YouTube Channel ( and a 2017 Summer Resources Letter that can be either emailed (or printed and sent home) to Michigan K-12 families.  Please help distribute this letter to as many schools and families as possible.  You may also want to subscribe to the MeL YouTube Channel, so you keep up to date on the latest with the Michigan eLibrary!

The letter is available in the following formats:

Summer Professional Learning Opportunities


Personalize Your Learning  A New Professional Development Opportunity 

E​ducators now have the ability to participate in nine self-paced modules drawn from the 21 Things 4 Teachers content​. Each self-contained module covers current educational topics that make connections between curriculum, technology and best practice strategies. ​It takes about ten hours to complete a module.​

The complete list of modules can be found on the 21 Things 4 Teacher website. Here are two examples: Media Literacy: Real or Fake, educators can learn the difference between real and fake news. In Creating Efficiency & Productivity learn how using technology can actually increase and improve classroom productivity, efficiency and organization.
D​istricts may use the modules​ internally for professional development.

​Educators can earn 10 SCECH for each completed module and up to 90 SCECHs if they complete all nine. The modules can be started and completed between May 1 – June 30 and July 1- September 5. An instructor facilitates each course. More information can be found at

Friday, May 5, 2017


Summer Reading for All

The Library of Michigan is part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program.   Please share these resources with families for information on early literacy, elementary, teen, and adult literacy programs available at their local library this summer.  A short PSA was also created to build awareness of library resources available.

 Professional Learning Opportunities

SAVE THE DATE! MAY 20-22, 2017

The 2017 4T Virtual Conference will be held on May 20, 21, and 22.  Register HERE

June 27, 28, 29, 2017 at EMU Student Center
This workshop will help you become part of the school reform conversation as you learn to develop your own personal stories into a public narrative. By day three, you'll have an action plan to take back. Register here.  Facilitated by Dr. Cathy Fleischer, co-director of the EMWP and author of Teachers Organizing for Change