Friday, September 26, 2014


Look What's Happening in our Literacy Networks

Study of Early Literacy- SOEL 

In our first meeting of the school year we reviewed our learning from our first year, and planned for our action research this year with Dr. Cathy Fleischer from EMU.   We are working on implementing best practices in early literacy around vocabulary, inquiry and collaboration, classroom culture, integration and assessment.

Reading Apprenticeship- Disciplinary Reading

Dr. Elizabeth Moje from the UM visited our group to discuss disciplinary literacy. Dr. Moje reinforced the importance of how "developing navigational skills (in disciplinary reading) allows for literate, educated citizens."  

Writing Collaborative- Disciplinary Writing

Dr. Troy Hicks from CMU visited our group to share his new book Crafting Digital Writing with us and kick off our year of study around this text. By looking at the MAPS- Mode, Media, Audience, Purpose and situation we can think about how best to approach 21st century writing.  Our notes, with links to tools, can be seen on Troy's Wikispace.


Upcoming Literacy Professional Development

Fall K-12 Literacy Summit on Speaking and Listening with Erik Palmer

Many states have changed standards to increase emphasis on the most important language art: speaking. This presentation centers on the art of effective oral communication. Speaking skills are broken into manageable, teachable parts to speak well in a variety of settings.  Participants will come away with an understanding of the elements of successful speaking.

Drawing upon twenty years of success, the ideas presented will change how participants think about speaking.  Whether the goal is improved class discussions, improved formal speeches, or improved one on one communication, this presentation will give teachers a new framework to improve student speaking in the classroom and beyond.

Visit the site devoted to speaking and listening ideas:

Outside WISD/LESA Literacy Network Guests REGISTER HERE

Inside WISD/LESA Literacy Networks: contact Melissa Brooks-Yip


Writing Collaborative- Helping teachers and students understand writing in the content areas in order to make explicit the processes and strategies needed to improve student writing, including:

  • What we do when we write
  • Practice of successful writers
  • Helping students measure metacognition
  • Four sure things teachers can do to improve student writing
All trainings are three days in length: 

  • Fall 2014-  October 21, 22, and November 5
  • Winter 2015- February 25, 26, and March 12


Reading Apprenticeship-

 Participants will:

1. Learn about the RA framework and instructional practices that
    support students' reading improvement
2. Develop and refine their own classroom practices in RA
3. Learn powerful instructional strategies that support
    content-area reading, writing, and thinking
4. Learn a set of rich routines to support the
   'metacognitive' conversation at the heart of RA

Training- Winter 2015: February 3, 4 and 24.   REGISTER HERE

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

K-12 Literacy Summits

Existing literacy networks at WISD, Study of Early Literacy (SOEL) Reading Apprenticeship (RA), and Writing Collaborative (WC), each focus on particular elements of literacy instruction and grade levels.  However, the literacy umbrella is wide, and often topics arise that are of interest and importance to teachers of all subject areas and grade levels.

       The K-12 Literacy Summits scheduled for this year will bring together K-12 educators on:

  • Speaking and Listening: October 1, 2014 with ASCD author Erik Palmer

  • Socially and Culturally Relevant Literacy: January 21, 2015 with Dr. Ernest Morrell of Columbia University.

  • Digital Literacy: April 23, 2015 with Dr. Troy Hicks of Central Michigan University
K-12 Literacy Summits.png

Contact Melissa Brooks-Yip with questions: 734-994-8100 X1266 or

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Building Classroom Libraries

for all grades and all subjects!

We should be curators of our libraries, not just collectors. Offering students an engaging, diverse classroom library requires more than buying books and putting them on bookshelves . . . managing a classroom library requires curation -- selecting the best most current materials for both curriculum needs and student interests.         -Donalynn Miller
If you are wondering how to get started on a classroom library, how to strengthen your existing one, or how to create reading nooks, check out these articles by Choice Literacy teachers:
Reading Nooks


Bring TED to your classroom with TED-Ed Clubs!

TED-Ed Clubs is a flexible, school-based program that supports students in discussing, pursuing and presenting their big ideas in the form of short TED-style talks. Watch the video or check the site to learn more.