ELA, SS, and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Other Technical Subjects August 2021

Here are some of the latest PD opportunities and resources!

Literacy Leaders and Coaches Network 2021-2022 - Update!

Dear Literacy Leaders & Coaches Network colleagues,
The LLCN Brief podcast is back for the 2021-2022 school year!  In addition to the fabulous episodes, we’ll be adding an interactive Twitter chat.  After continued conversation LLCN is maintaining a virtual format for this school year. We would like to announce that the release dates for the podcast episodes this year will be:  

  • September 15, 2021
  • November 17, 2021 
  • January 12, 2022
  • February 23, 2022
To increase the opportunity for networking within LLCN we are going to offer a Twitter chat that will occur two weeks after each podcast is released. This Twitter chat will be offered in the evening and will be moderated by Kent ISD LLCN staff. Each Twitter chat will focus on the same topic of the podcast that it follows and will have time for questions and answers as well as open dialogue. The chat will occur 8pm-9pm on the following dates:
  • September 29th, 2021
  • December 1st, 2021
  • January 26th, 2022
  • March 9th, 2022

Please make a note of all LLCN dates and Twitter chats on your calendar.
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we work to stay connected to Literacy Leaders & Coaches Network members. We are committed to maintaining the professional learning and networking around literacy that you have come to expect from the LLCN.    
Join us on September 15th, 2021 for literacy and leadership learning!
Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker
LLCN Smart Brief Podcast – Take a Listen

You are Invited to a Feedback Session: Reframing a Universal Screening Process

In June 2021, the MiMTSS Technical Assistance Center released initial guidance on how to reframe an equity-centered universal screening process for promoting social, emotional, behavioral health focused on:
  • Considerations for Ensuring Safe, Inclusive, and Equitable Environments
  • Considerations for a Strong Tier 1 System for Each and Every Student
  • Assessment Process: Considerations for Identifying and Responding to Needs
As the Michigan Department of Education and the MiMTSS TA Center plan to move forward with developing additional guidance in systematically testing that guidance, we want to pause and get your feedback and reactions to the June 2021 guidance. A part of centering equity in the SEB process involves intentionally seeking input and feedback from multiple and diverse perspectives.
Please consider reading the guidance and then joining us for one of two live feedback sessions on September 16th, 2021. We will host one feedback session from 7:30-8:30 am, and another opportunity the same day from 3:30-4:30 pm. 
Zoom Meeting Link:
Meeting ID: 616 843 5676
Passcode: mtss
We are seeking feedback from Michigan educators: classroom teachers, interventionists, principals, district leaders, regional leaders and consultants, Multi-Tiered System of Supports Coordinators, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leaders. If you are able to participate, please consider also inviting a colleague who serves in a different role to join as well. These are examples of the questions we will discuss on 9/16/21:
  • What equity-centered processes do you have in place to support student learning and the social, emotional, and behavioral health of all learners? 
  • How do you feel about your local universal screening process? What have you done in the past years to reframe the process? 
  • What have schools done to promote equity within the screening process regardless of the scope of racial diversity in your district? What detours to equity have you encountered? 
  • What are your reactions to the content of the guidance posted in June?
  • Have your perceptions of the risk and value of a screening process for the children you serve shifted as a result of reading this document? How?
  • How is what you are already doing related to what is described in the June document?
  • What additional information/guidance would help you next? How can we help?

7th grade Geographic Inquiry and New Temporal Sequencing in Social Studies (GIANTS) Network

4:00-7:30pm on 9/29/21, 10/27/21, 12/8/21, 1/26/22, 3/16/22 

Online via Zoom 

Collaboratively presented by Dr. Phil Gersmehl, David Johnson, Rebecca Bush, and Roy Sovis, this 5-part series examines the connections between spatial thinking and temporal thinking through analysis of cause and effect of major events in Ancient world history and Geography. Curricular units, as the foundation for the 7th grade course include instructional strategies unique for the inte-gration of temporal and spatial thinking skills through the Arc of Inquiry, hands-on activities, literacy strategies, and best practices in both formative and summative  assessment and will be modeled at each session. 

Because of the recent updates to Michigan's Revised State Standards, the focus on Ancient world history at the 7th grade level is a monumental shift with regard to scope and sequence in some districts. Combined with more rigorous demands in temporal and spatial thinking, the curriculum and accompanying professional  development network are the best tools to assist 7th grade Social Studies teachers. 

Cost: $0 

SCECH’s: Available pending state approval 

For more information and to register click here.

Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum Updates (MC3)

MC3 8th Grade, Unit 1 - COMPLETE

From Molly Gale, Oakland Schools Social Studies Education Consultant:

Hello all!

The MC3 8th grade Social Studies course is being revised this school year, and units will be posted on a rolling basis over the course of SY 2021-22.  The course description, pacing guide, and Unit 1 are already posted.  All lesson plans, supplemental materials for lessons, and lesson slides are formatted as Google Docs or Google Slides.  You will also find the approximate dates of publication for the rest of the units, so you know when to look back to get materials.

The new course is aligned to the 2019 standards, and it is framed through a lens of inquiry.

If you have any need to access the old course, it can still be found in the Atlas archives.


MiPAC Cohort 2 Participation Opportunity

Are you interested in learning how to develop and implement performance assessments in your district/school? Join the Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability (OEAA) as we work with the Michigan Assessment Consortium to develop performance assessments that are aligned to Michigan’s academic standards and model essential skills in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) in grades 3-8.

Preferred candidates for the Michigan Performance Assessment Cadre (MiPAC):
• have experience teaching mathematics or English language arts (ELA) in grades 3-5 and/ or grades 6-8
• have experience with/understanding of Michigan academic standards
• are employed in either general or special education

Educators with experience outside of general education or who work with students with disabilities are enthusiastically encouraged to apply.

You will:
• learn about the Michigan model essential skills for mathematics and ELA
• engage in a process to develop performance assessments and rubrics
• collaborate with peers from other districts
• practice using a rubric and calibrating the scoring of performance assessments
• take part in a research agenda focused on measuring student competencies through performance assessments
• (pending) earn up to 50 SCECH credits or alternative graduate credits

Participants are expected to attend and contribute to approximately 50 hours of job-embedded facilitated professional learning and assessment development over the 2021-22 academic year.

We anticipate virtual sessions will be scheduled in blocks of two-hour weekly engagements to meet designated project milestones.

These sessions include:
• collaboration with grade-span teachers in developing a performance assessment and corresponding rubric aligned to the state model competencies, with guidance and resources provided
• administration and collection of student responses for one performance assessment, revising items and rubrics as necessary for them to become part of a library of models
• collaboration with grade-span teachers in scoring student work that results from implementation of the performance assessment
• participation in project evaluation activities, such as observation, focus groups, and surveys

If you are interested in participating, submit your resume in an email to using the subject line “MiPAC Resume”.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation is proud to be a host for the
September 11th Community Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute.
This year, September 11th falls on a Saturday.
Please feel free to share this invitation with your students and school community.
Use the link below to print this flyer and send it home!
Download Printable Flyer
Welcome Back!
After an extended closure due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are looking forward to opening our doors once again and welcoming back our students!
At the time of this newsletter, we are still unable to faciliate groups inside the
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, but we are beginning to schedule future classes so please contact us to get your date on the calendar!
To save a date for your in-person
program, please contact:
For more information, please visit our website or download this year's program guide below.
Select programs are now available in a virtual format. Your students can enjoy Primary Source Detectives, Three Branches of Government, and Advising the President from anywhere! Visit our website for details.
(Please note that all in-person classes will follow health and safety regulations set forth by the National Archives and Records Adminstration and are subject to cancellation in the event of building closure.)
Visit our Website
Dowload Program Guide
You're Invited!
Join us for these upcoming special events...
Past, Present, Future: The Twists and Turns of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Quest to Put Equality in the Constitution
October 26, 2021 @ 1:00 PM ET
You and your students are invited to join Ann Compton as she moderates a discussion focusing on the history and future of the Equal Rights Amendment. Representatives from the National Constitution Center and the Center for American Women and Politics will join in the hour-long virtual talk.
To register your class for this virtual program, contact: or
Click Here
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel:
The Exhibition
October 22, 2021 - February 20, 2022
For more information about this unique and immersive exhibit coming to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, visit:
For information about registering student groups to visit the exhibit, please contact:
President Gerald R. Ford
Student Writing Challenge
Did you miss our virtual awards ceremony for the 2021 President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge?
Visit our website to view the ceremony and learn more about the 2021 awardees. Prepare to be inspired by this year's winners and our guest speaker, John Agar (pictured at left.)
Click here to view the 2021
Awards Ceremony!
Information about the 2022 Writing Challenge
will be released in November- stay tuned!
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation | 303 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Middle School English Language Arts Units Pilot Network: Call for Participants

We are looking for a group of teachers to pilot the newly-revised middle school ELA curriculum, provide support to each other, and give meaningful feedback on ways we can continue to improve these units of study.

Click here to access essential information about the units, as well as the units themselves.

Who might join us?

Middle School (6th - 8th grade) English Language Arts teachers interested in:

  • engaging students in authentic reading and writing experiences

  • support in providing integrated opportunities for reading, writing, speaking & listening, and language within units of study

What can teachers expect?

  • Six opportunities to meet (virtually) with fellow middle school ELA teachers throughout the school year

  • Time to collaborate with one another on implementation of the units, resources, tips and tricks

  • Deeper understanding of the foundational concepts behind the units, including UDL, Disciplinary Literacy, workshop model for Middle School, and diverse texts

  • Opportunities to give feedback on the units that will be used to inform the final revision in the summer of 2022.

What is the requested commitment?

  • Participants will be expected to pilot all four units during the 2021-2022 school year and provide feedback on each unit.

  • Attend at least four of the pilot network sessions

When and where will these pilot meetings take place?

All meetings will be held from 3:15-4:45 on Zoom.

  • September 16, 2021 

  • October 21, 2021

  • December 2, 2021

  • January 20, 2022

  • March 17, 2022

  • April 28 2022


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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