Monday, December 5, 2016


Holiday Gift Guide: Build a Children's Book Library in Every Room!  

Share with parents the importance of books in the home!  
Scholastic Reading Club editors created a “top book picks” list for every room in the home and every age group from ages 0-17.  
Share this holiday gift list to help find the right book for every child. Happy Holidays!
  • 0-5 years: How to Dress a Dragon by Thelma Lynne Godin, illustrated by Eric Barclay
  • 6-8 years: Goodnight, Grizzle Grump by Aaron Blecha
  • 9-11 years: Jingle by Gordon Korman
  • 12-14 years: Camp Midnight by Steven T. Seagle, illustrated by Jason Katzenstein
  • 15-17 years: Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe  by Benjaamin Alire Sáenz
  • 0-5 years: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey! By Lucielle Colandro, illustrated by Jared D. Lee
  • 6-8 years: Judy Moody and Stink: The Wisbone Wish by Megan McDonald; illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
  • 9-11 years: Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
  • 12-14 years: Getting Over Garrett Dulaney by Abby McDonald
  • 15-17 years:  To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • 0-5 years: If You Give a Mouse a Brownie by Laura Numeroff; llustrated by Felicia Bond
  • 6-8 years: The Cheese Experiment by Geronimo Stilton
  • 9-11 years: Pie by Sarah Weeks
  • 12-14 years: The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Young Readers by Michael Pollan
  • 15-17 years: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Upcoming Professional Development

**This is in support of Essential #3 of the Essentials of Instruction in Early Literacy 
Click title for flyer

February 23:  Research Writing Re-Wired with Dr. Troy Hicks   
*For secondary teachers of all subjects.  Click title for flyer.

March 6, 7 and 21:  Reading Apprenticeship 3 Day Workshop
* Open ONLY to Washtenaw and Livingston County. Click title for registration.

SAVE the DATE:   March 23-   Reading, Writing, Speaking and Thinking Within the Disciplines with Releah Lent.   Registration to come!  

****For registration help, please contact Teri May at 734-994-8100 ext 1222 or****  

Friday, October 28, 2016


Engaging and Motivating Readers! 

In No More Reading for Junk: Best Practices for Motivating Readers, Marinak and Gambrell point out the research against extrinsic rewards for reading, such as tokens or food.  

Reading rewards should be related to reading!   
Reading related rewards include: 

  • "Book Blessings" (promoting books)
  • Encouraging social interaction around books
  • Allowing students choice of where and what to read
  • Honoring all print (books, comics, newspapers...)
  • Promoting reading for a variety of purposes
  • Encouraging honest critiques
  • Showing examples of a book you didn't like- and explain why. 
  • Celebrating all reading- not just completion of books. 
To learn more, read No More Reading for Junk.

Upcoming Professional Learning

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


No Longer Invisible: How Diverse Literature Helps Children Find Themselves in Books, and Why it Matters

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Council Chronicle published this piece last month. It showcases K-12 teachers around the country who have worked to include diverse literature in their classrooms and what a difference this is making in teaching and learning.   Also included is a resource list for teachers seeking to use more diverse texts.  See the article HERE.

Upcoming Professional Learning for October and November

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


K-12 Digital Resources for Text

Check out CommonLit for texts for upper level students.  Users can search by Lexile, grade level, genre, and theme. There are also paired texts and each passage includes text-dependent questions. 

Another wonderful free resource for text comes from  
Administered by the Library of Michigan in partnership with Michigan's libraries of all types, the Michigan eLibrary ( will provide all Michigan residents with free access to online full-text articles, full-text books, digital images, and other valuable research information at any time via the Internet; and provide an easy-to-use interlibrary loan system to allow Michigan residents to borrow books and other library materials for free from participating Michigan libraries.

Fall Professional Learning Opportunities

Middle and High School Teachers!
IDLL begins September 22! 

The Inquiry into Disciplinary Literacy and Learning is a professional learning network for secondary teachers of all subject areas. 

Through book study, lesson study, guest speakers and teacher practice, we will examine:
  • What reading, writing, speaking and listening looks like in the disciplines.  
  • What we can do to best prepare students to meet the disciplinary demands of college and career reading and writing, with attention to standards.
  • Dates: September 22, October 27, January 26, March 23, May 25
Register HERE

Life's Better...When You Blend
October 5, 2016    $25
Register HERE  and see more information
*This session, for grades 6-12 teachers of all content areas, will evaluate how blended learning can be used to personalize learning for students. 

Writing Collaborative Three Day Workshop

October 13, 14 and November 3   $125  
Register HERE and see full description
*This is most useful for grades 4-12 teachers of all subject areas. 
It is centered on writing in the content areas.
SCHECHs available

Essentials Instructional Practices in Early Literacy 

October 26, 2016 

PreK-3 Administrators, Literacy Coaches, and Literacy Leaders-

There is considerable interest across the United States in increasing the number of children who are reading at grade level by the end of third grade (e.g., Rose, 2012). Some responses to this interest, such as mandatory retention policies, are not supported by the weight of research evidence (e.g., Reschly & Christenson, 2013). In contrast, research offers substantial support for the impact of professional development, coaching, and specific instructional practices on literacy growth (e.g., Carlisle & Berebitsky, 2011; Purcell-Gates, Duke, & Stouffer, in press; Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007).

In Michigan, an Early Literacy Task Force has been formed to support professional development, coaching, and the use of research-supported instructional practices statewide.

The Essentials rely heavily on research and focus on high-utility instructional practices. Participants will get an awareness of the Essentials and determine the strengths and challenges of literacy instruction in their own schools in relation to these. 

** See flyer and register HERE

Echoes and Reflections & Wiesel's Night

November 2, 2016  $25
Register HERE and see full description
*This is most useful for middle and high school ELA 
and social studies teachers.
SCHECHs available

Writing Collaborative:  SAT Essay Edition

November 17    $25
Register HERE and see more information
*High school ELA and Social Studies teachers 
will understand SAT writing in order to support students.
SCHECHs available


STAY TUNED for Winter Professional Learning offerings!

  • Reading Apprenticeship 3-Day Training
 (interest survey)

Click to find out! 

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Back to School! 

Literacy Activities to Build a Healthy Classroom Culture

ReadWriteThink, a collaboration of the International Literacy Association (ILA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), is a trusted source for teacher created and teacher approved literacy based activities for the K-12 classroom. ReadWriteThink has a plethora of resources for back-to-school, including community building, booklists, autobiographies, literacy centers, and team building activities.  Check it out! 

Fall Professional Development Offerings

Life's Better...When You Blend
October 5, 2016    $25
Register HERE  and see more information
*This session, for grades 6-12 teachers of all content areas, will evaluate how blended learning can be used to personalize learning for students. 

EdCamp:  Total Contact Literacy 

October 15 at Eastern Michigan University  FREE
More information to come! 
This is relevant for K-12 teachers.

Writing Collaborative Three Day Workshop

October 13, 14 and November 3  $125  
Register HERE and see full description
*This is most useful for grades 4-12 teachers of all subject areas. 

It is centered on writing in the content areas.

Echoes and Reflections & Wiesel's Night

November 2, 2016  $25
Register HERE and see full description
*This is most useful for middle and high school ELA 
and social studies teachers.


Writing Collaborative:  SAT Essay Edition

November 17    $25
Register HERE and see more information
*High school ELA and Social Studies teachers 
will understand SAT writing in order to support students.


STAY TUNED for Winter Professional Learning offerings!

  • Research Writing with Dr. Troy Hicks

Monday, June 27, 2016


Summer Reading for YOU!

For Literacy Instruction


"By the end of each book in this series you will understand both what not to and what to do to improve student learning."
-Nell Duke and Ellin Oliver Keene, Series Editors

Much like the diet phenomenon Eat This Not That, this series aims to replace some common, existing teaching practices with approaches that are more effective—healthier, if you will—for our students. We hope to draw attention to widespread practices around important instructional topics that have little support in research or professional wisdom and offer alternatives that have greater support. Each text is collaboratively written by authors representing research and practice. By the end of each book, you will understand both what not to do, and what to do, to improve student learning (from  

* These texts will be among the book club choices for the SOEL network. 


Disciplinary Literacy is about to go from theory to game plan—taking students from superficial understanding to deep content expertise. And guess what? ReLeah Lent’s big secret lies in highlighting each content area’s differences—advancing a discipline-specific model in which literacy is used as a tool for strategic thinking, reading, writing, and doing within each field.
That’s right—no more reading strategies used uniformly across the curriculum. Instead, This Is Disciplinary Literacy helps content-area teachers put into action the key literacies of their specialties. Teaching science? Students must evaluate evidence and question as they read. History? Comparing and contrasting sources and interpreting the import of events are key. Writing in Math? Accuracy is favored over elaboration and craft. Reading fiction in ELA? Synthesizing and attuning to voice and figurative language reign supreme. Students fully own knowledge because your instruction zeroes in on the academic habits that matter most.  

* This text will be a book club choice this year for the IDLL network.

For Pleasure Reading

NPR's 100 Best Summer Beach Reads Ever!  

Looking for something to read on the beach?  These 100 titles are recommended by NPR listeners!  

Summer Professional Learning

Friday, May 27, 2016


Preventing Summer Reading Loss

If you haven't checked out the Michigan eLibrary lately, do so before your students leave for the summer!  The Books and Literacy Gateway is full of FREE PreK-12 reading materials for students to access.  You may also want to listen to this archived webinar from MeL on Summer Reading 2016.

Summer Professional Learning

Monday, May 2, 2016


SOEL and the Essential Instructional Practices of Early Literacy 

     Going into it's fourth year, the Study of Early Literacy of WISD and LESA (SOEL) will continue working on PreK-3 literacy instruction, and now has the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy to grow our work around best practices. I've been fortunate to continue collaboration with literacy educators from around Michigan on the Early Literacy Task Force of the MAISA GELN. Members of the Task Force include Dr. Nell Duke of UM and Dr. Tanya Wright of MSU, along with representatives from a number of educational organizations in Michigan, including not only ISDs, but also MRA, MDEMACUL, MEMPSA, and REMC,  among others.

We created two documents:
In developing the documents, we relied heavily on research and focused on high-utility instructional practices.  
Additional documents, such as Essential Practices in Literacy Coaching and Literacy Essentials School-Level Companion Document are also in the works. Task Force leaders Joanne Hopper (MAISA GELN Director), Naomi Norman (Interim Assistant Superintendent, Achievement & Student Services at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and the Livingston Education Agency), and Susan Townsend (Director of Instruction & Learning Services at the Jackson Intermediate School District) continue to pull the group together for collaboration on this work. 

Ed Tech News from REMC 

 (Regional Educational Media Centers)

Free Tools Available for Teachers and Administrators

The REMC Association of Michigan offers a variety of free tools for teachers, including:
  • Professional development courses:
o   Blended Learning in the Classroom

Administrator resources available to REMC members include 

    Connect with the REMC Association of Michigan and its resources:

Summer Literacy Professional Learning  Opportunities