ELA, SS, and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Other Technical Subjects September 2022

Here are some of the latest PD opportunities and resources!

Literacy Leaders and Coaches Network 2022-2023 - Registration Open!

Dear Literacy Leaders & Coaches Network colleagues,

LLCN is going to meet again in person for the 22-23 school year. Please register here!
This year for LLCN we will meet for three (3) dates throughout the year. There will be a shift in the way we interact on these three days. The days that we will meet will be full days but in the morning we will be asking you to set aside some time to sit down and dig into resources that we will share for consideration. These resources might include our latest LLCN Brief Podcast, a current ASCD article, or a book that is supporting work in the field of education. This asynchronous morning time is 8:30am-11:30am. At 11:30 please prepare to meet colleagues at Kent ISD - gather any relevant materials for our afternoon connections and take time to reflect on your morning of learning as you take time for lunch. We will convene at Kent ISD from 12:30 - 3:00 for an afternoon of dialogue and conversation with LLCN colleagues around professional learning and the insights you’re gaining from your morning of study.

Don't forget the podcast!
The latest episode of the #LLCNBrief podcast focuses on formative assessment.  Join us as we connect with researcher, author, former UCLA Principal and Assistant Director, and independent educational consultant, Margaret Heritage.   Her work has long centered around formative assessment and ambitious teaching and spans multiple continents.

Making Formative Assessment Happen in the Classroom - a conversation with Margaret Heritage

We hope the podcasts continue to be a source of inspiration and conversation for you and your colleagues/staff.  We encourage you to use them as professional learning starting points for dialogue in PLCS, staff meetings, and professional learning days.  If you have any questions or want to connect further, please reach out to Mark or Sarah via email.

Listen in to any of the eight previous podcasts here:

Foundation Skills Training Registration at Kent ISD PD Hub

  1. Reading Foundation Skills & CCSS: Strengthening K Phonemic Awareness and Basic Phonics Ins
    Wednesday 9/21/2022 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
    Regular Price: $40.00
    Please follow the link below for the specific Web address for this course:
  2. Reading Foundation Skills & CCSS: Strengthening 1 Phonemic Awareness and Basic Phonics Ins
    Wednesday 10/12/2022 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
    Regular Price: $40.00
    Please follow the link below for the specific Web address for this course:
  3. Reading Foundation Skills & CCSS: Strengthening 2nd & 3rd Grade Phonics and Fluency Instruction
    Wednesday 10/26/2022 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
    Regular Price: $40.00
    Please follow the link below for the specific Web address for this course:
  4. Reading Foundational Skills & CCSS: Strengthening 4th-5th Grade Advanced Word Study & Fluency
    Wednesday 11/9/2022 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
    Regular Price: $40.00
    Please follow the link below for the specific Web address for this course:
  5. Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding: Supporting Administrators and Coaches
    Wednesday 12/7/2022 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
    Regular Price: $40.00
    Please follow the link below for the specific Web address for this course:
  • Click Here to Enroll Online
  • You may search for this course by entering the title or course number.
  • Enter your User ID and Password or Create a New Account.
  • If you don't know if you have an account, you may contact the PD Hub at 616-365-2235.
  • To obtain a receipt for payment, you may log on to your account

If you have any special needs, require accommodations or have questions contact PD Hub 616-365-2235 or


Check out the resources at the Michigan Learning Channel. These resources promise to be aligned to the Literacy Essentials, be used quickly and easily in your classroom, and provide an opportunity to earn SCECH hours in the process!

Join teachers from the TV series as they share favorite lessons that you can use immediately in your classroom. Each session will share the research and literacy best practices behind the lesson and demonstrate how each lesson ties into assessment and helps foster student engagement.

Read, Write, ROAR! Is an literacy instruction television series for grades K-3 that features Michigan teachers sharing literacy lessons and read-alouds. Each lesson is based on the Literacy Essentials, which are research-based Instructional Practices proven to make an impact in your classroom.

You can sign up for sessions scheduled this school year and view past sessions as well. Check out the latest options here!

The Michigan Learning Channel also offers opportunity for at home practice during the year and over the summer. So as you consider additional resources for parents and community in the year and beyond be sure to explore these resources as well.

2022 MLC Summer Program Resource Toolkit - Please note it is dated for Summer 2022 but has activities ideas that can be used now or considered for future use. This includes Toolkit Resources, Activity Guide Books, and more.

Asian American History a Focus in MDE’s Next Comprehensive History Webinars

There are 2 webinar opportunities here!

This is the next in a series of webinars offering educators greater depth of knowledge for social studies instruction will cover the history and contributions of Asian Americans and provision of public resources for educators to teach comprehensive history, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced.

1. (3-part Series Starting Soon) Opening the fall sessions of the 2021-22 Comprehensive History Instruction webinar series will be a three-part free online webinar series from 4-5 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays in September – September 14, 21, 28, 2022 highlighting Asian American history.

“Our children deserve to learn about the full breadth of the history of the United States and world,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Some of history’s chapters are challenging, uncomfortable, or even searing—particularly those that deal with race, racism, xenophobia, and sexism—but our young people need to learn about all of history and to wrestle with the complexity of our history.”

Michigan educators can register by September 13, 2022 for the three sessions covering Asian Americans and the United States: Immigration and Citizenship by visiting the webinar registration page.

2. (1 Session later this fall) The fall 2022 sessions continue from 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, October 19 with a webinar entitled: Public Resources for Teaching Comprehensive History, which share with educators multiple online spaces to access materials that support educators’ efforts in teaching comprehensive history. Educators can register by October 18, 2022 for this webinar by visiting this registration page.

MDE is hosting this webinar series in collaboration with institutions of higher education, cultural centers, and the 12 federally recognized tribes of Michigan that form the Confederation of Michigan Tribal Education Departments (CMTED) to assist educators with the teaching of and learning about comprehensive history through thematic instruction. 

This webinar series will help educators learn more about historical movements, events, and peoples that are part of the rich, diverse history of our country and world. Presenters will help educators learn more about movements in and aspects of history about which educators may have had little if any background. 

Registration is open to all educators, with the understanding that the content may be more useful for teachers of particular grade levels than others. 

The series began in April with a three-session series on holocaust education and an initial session on Maawndoonganan: Using the Indigenous-Developed Social Studies Resource Guide to Teach To and About First Peoples. Additional webinars on other topics will be announced in the coming months.

Geo Adventures with 3rd Grade GIANTS

Join us as we explore 3rd Grade GIANTS with the original authors of the units. This year-long, virtual walkthrough of the curriculum will prepare you to learn about the mechanics behind inquiry based
instruction through the exploration of a years-worth of units targeting Michigan’s 3rd grade social studies standards.

Participants will:
• Explore existing resources such as GIANTS and Maawndoonganan, an Anishinaabe resource manual
• Apply an Indigenous perspective to their study of Michigan
• Integrate instructional resources on space and time

More Details and to register visit here!

NEW Teacher Mentor Program at Kent ISD

Local districts have been asking us for a new teacher mentor professional development. There has been a rise in new hires and success and retention is becoming a top priority. Almost all of the studies that we reviewed show that beginning teachers who participated in some kind of induction had a higher satisfaction, commitment, and retention.

Beginning teachers that have been mentored have been able to:
  • keep students on task better,
  • develop good lesson plans,
  • use effective discussion techniques,
  • had positive classroom environments,
  • adjusted instruction appropriately,
  • and managed classrooms effectively.
Plus, when new teachers participated in mentoring programs their student showed greater academic gains!

Your staff has the opportunity to join Kent ISD in a Mentor Network that begins this Fall. This network will meet for one hour virtually each month to connect with new teacher mentors across Kent county. Mentors will participate in a community where they can share best practices, refine mentoring skills, learn new strategies, and plan mentoring sessions. This network is for mentors in all stages of their learning journey.

Kent ISD will also be providing a Mentor Training in early August. This training will help mentors acquire skills needed to build trust, hold coaching conversations, and provide meaningful feedback. They will also learn how to use tools and protocols to engage in mentoring activities including: goal setting, co-planning, and observations. This training is perfect for new mentors or existing mentors to brush up on their skill set. Mentors that attend this training will also be invited to attend the Mentor Network for on-going learning. Please share with your colleagues!
Learn about the Mentor NETWORK
Learn about the Mentor TRAINING


Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy

" is our job as educators to not just teach skills, but also to teach students to know, validate, and celebrate who they are." Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

As you may already know, Dr. Gholdy Muhammad lead a professional learning in the spring based on her book Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. The demand for her return has been overwhelming! 

Because you are interested in literacy professional learning, we wanted to send you a special invitation to attend a two day workshop that will help you grow as an educator. Please join us on September 14 & 15, 2022 as Dr. Gholdy Muhammad leads TWO full day workshops to help us reignite the joy in teaching and learning. In this workshop, she will provide a repeat of the popular spring session by guiding participants through her Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy Framework to expand their focus beyond skills-only teaching and learning. The second day she will extend that learning into curriculum planning and unit writing. If you already attended last spring you can come to one or both days!
Reserve Your Seat Today!
The power in Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s framework is that it allows us to expand ALL of our lessons beyond just teaching skills in order to teach in a way that is inclusive of each child’s identity. It brings deep thinking and perspective bending into our classroom discourse and elevates the joy in both what is being learned and in the learning itself. 

Dr. Gholdy Muhammad will help us refocus our lessons
to include each of the following pursuits:
  1. IDENTITIES- Teaching students to know their histories and identities while also learning the truth and knowledge about others who are different from their own identities. This also involves teaching students to make sense of their own values and beliefs.
  2. SKILLS-Skills are central to the ways in which we “do school” today and typically define achievement standards. Skills are also central in designing the learning standards that govern teaching and learning in schools. Each content area has its own descriptions and set of skills that youth are expected to master and teachers are expected to teach.
  3. INTELLECT- The capacity for knowledge—is what we learn or understand about various topics and ideals. Intellect is knowledge into action and involves learning to think deeply.
  4. CRITICALITY- The ability to understand power, oppression, anti-racism, and anti-oppression. Criticality calls for teachers and students to understand the ideologies and perspectives of marginalized communities and their ways of knowing and experiencing the world.
  5. JOY- Advancing students’ happiness and triumphs by elevating beauty and truth in themselves and within other people, stories, and histories.
Seating is limited for this event and this workshop will fill quickly,
reserve your seat by enrolling today.

Echoes and Reflections September Online Courses and Resources

In September, join our online courses to deepen your understanding of Holocaust history and how it continues to impact our world today. Take a short course on teaching media literacy and a three-part course to support instruction on contemporary antisemitism.
View below to learn more and sign up today!
MINI COURSE: Analyzing Propaganda & Teaching Media Literacy Skills
Media Literacy September MC
With the high rates of daily media consumption, it is crucial that students feel equipped to scrutinize the information that constantly crosses their paths.
After completing this module, you will be able to:
  • Support students to examine propaganda using media literacy skills.
  • Identify opportunities to connect the lessons of the Holocaust with current examples of hate propaganda.
  • Understand and construct activities that show the link between ideology and propaganda.
The course is open for two weeks and takes 3-4 hours to complete. Participants receive a digital package of all resources explored in the course as well as a certificate of completion.
Course Dates: September 5-20, 2022
3-PART COURSE: Addressing Contemporary Antisemitism
September  CAS 3-Part CourseAntisemitism continues to persist at a disturbing level, and, unfortunately, many students don't understand what it is, why it is harmful, and much less how to combat it.
This course introduces learners to:
  • Traditional and contemporary
    manifestations of antisemitism and the scope and scale of antisemitism in today’s world.
  • Features of “new antisemitism,” including white nationalism and Holocaust denial.
  • Actions that students can take to recognize and actively respond to and prevent antisemitism and other forms of hate.
Course is interactive, asynchronous, and released over a three-week period; estimated 6-10 hours to complete. Certificate of completion provided and option to earn graduate-level credit through the University of the Pacific.
Course Dates: Sept. 12-Oct. 8, 2022
*NEW* Student Activities: “Explore the Past, Shape the Future”
Explore our new short digital student activities to increase knowledge about core topics in Holocaust history and antisemitism. 

Michigan Council for History Education Teaching Historical Literacy for Civic Learning Professional Learning (15 SCECH)

Hello social studies teachers and leaders!

MCHE is proud to support an upcoming professional learning opportunity on teaching historical literacy for civic learning. Interested educators should click here for more information and the link to register. These sessions are scheduled for this October - see the link above for more details.

Please reach out to Dr. Tamara Shreiner ( with any questions.

PL Series for Teaching 8th Grade U.S. History

Hello social studies teachers and leaders!

We hope you have had a wonderful summer so far and are feeling reenergized for the upcoming school year.  Please see below for an opportunity for 8th grade teachers and leaders, and please forward this opportunity to anyone you know scheduled to teach 8th grade U.S. history this school year who may not be on our listservs.
The fully revised 8th grade U.S. history MC3 course is in Atlas, and it consists of ten units of study, aligned to both the 2019 social studies standards and the C3 Framework.  In order to support teachers as they use the revised course this school year, we will be holding a FREE 11-part monthly series on Zoom.  There is no requirement to attend a minimum number of sessions.  You may attend one, two, or all of the sessions…it’s up to you!  Please see the smore for all of the details and registration information.  Please note, you must register for each session in advance.
While the majority of the sessions will run for 1½ hours after school, our first session will be 3 hours in order to allow time to introduce the new pacing, provide an overview of the course, explore Unit 1, prepare for opening classroom activities, and learn how to support students with this curriculum’s scaffolds.  This next session will be held on Thursday September 22 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on Zoom.

Resources from the Center for Civic Education


New Video Series From iCivics and the Center for Civic Education

Two of the leading national civic education nonprofits, iCivics and the Center for Civic Education, have partnered to create a new series of videos explaining basic facts about the U.S. Constitution in everyday language. "The Constitution Explained" is a collection of brief, 2- to 3-minute videos that explore key concepts of the U.S. Constitution and explain how the American system of government has changed since the founding period. The series, which students of all ages can use, is particularly primed for use by teachers to engage their students in learning about the Constitution. The series is scheduled to launch on Friday, September 9, in time for Constitution Day and Citizenship Week, September 17-23.

"I'm incredibly excited to announce the launch of 'The Constitution Explained,'" said Christopher R. Riano, President of the Center for Civic Education. "This collaborative effort shows what is possible when sister organizations work together and has produced a rich collection of resources that can be used by students of all ages to make core constitutional concepts accessible to everyone. We've made a special effort to tell the story of American constitutional democracy in an intellectually and visually engaging way and are very proud of the result."

Julie Silverbrook, Senior Director of Partnerships and Constitutional Scholar in Residence at iCivics, said, "At the heart of our work at iCivics is the shared goal of making the foundational elements of our constitutional democracy understandable and relatable for every young person in the nation. We are thrilled to partner with our friends and colleagues at the Center for Civic Education to use compelling short-form videos to bring to life the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. We know this will not only be a valuable tool for educators across the country, but also for adults and families who are looking for a fun and engaging way to learn more about the text and history of these founding documents."

A virtual launch event for "The Constitution Explained" will be held on Monday, September 12, featuring constitutional scholar and author Linda R. Monk, as well as Julie Silverbrook, and Christopher R. Riano. Participants will learn how to implement the series in their upper elementary, middle, and high school classrooms during Constitution Day and Citizenship Week and throughout the year. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation of the videos. "The Constitution Explained" was made possible by the generous support of Kenneth C. Griffin.

Register Now

The Friends of Publius Release Resources for We the People Content

Last month, we shared that the Friends of Publius launched a new series of YouTube videos that give an overview of the major concepts in each unit of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution Level 3 text. Now, they have released even more episodes to their "The Constitution in American Life" channel! These videos can be valuable for new We the People educators, seasoned teachers, and state coordinators.
Watch Videos


Introducing a Brand-New, No-Cost, and Self-Paced Open Course on the U.S. Constitution!

We've launched a new open course! The U.S. Constitution: Its Foundations, Transformation, and Challenges explores events that led to the transformation of the U.S. Constitution and our system of government from its foundation to what it is today. Available at no cost, this self-paced course is perfect for all learners who want a deeper understanding of American constitutional democracy. This open course is made possible by a U.S. Department of Education grant.
Learn More


Possible Professional Learning for the 6-12 Disciplinary Literacy Essentials

The 6-12 Disciplinary Literacy Task Force is proud to announce learning opportunities for secondary English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Career Tech, Visual/Performing Arts, and World Languages teachers, as well as building leaders, instructional coaches, and educators at higher education institutions. These opportunities have been designed with flexibility and relevancy in mind.

Review the opportunities here.

Mark Raffler
Kent Intermediate School District
Educational Consultant
2930 Knapp NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: (616) 447-3075
Fax: (616) 364-1489
Resource Website:
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Kent Intermediate School District · 2930 Knapp NE · Grand Rapids, MI 49525 · USA

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