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

Here are some of the latest PD opportunities and resources!

Literacy Leaders and Coaches Network 2021-2022

Dear Literacy Leaders & Coaches Network colleagues,

The 2021-2022 school year gifts us the opportunity to continue our LLCN Brief podcast!  Episode 6:  A Dialogue about Disciplinary Literacy Essentials with Jenelle Williams and Dr. Darin Stockdill launched earlier this month. 


Listen in to any of the five previous podcasts here:

We also held our first Twitter chat giving us a chance to delve deeper into the content of the podcast itself so please be sure to look up that rich conversation at your convenience at #LLCNBrief.

Please keep these future release dates for the podcast episodes this year handy:  

  • November 17, 2021 
  • January 12, 2022
  • February 23, 2022
Also please make a note of the dates of the ensuing Twitter chats. The chat will occur 8pm-9pm on the following dates:
  • December 1st, 2021
  • January 26th, 2022
  • March 9th, 2022

Accelerated Learning

MDE and the MiMTSS TA Center hosted a series of five webinars focused on accelerated learning. Each webinar in the series shared the common focus on strategically preparing students for success in grade-level content through the implementation of accelerated learning strategies. Webinar recordings can be found at MDE’s Accelerated Learning: Professional Development page.

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.

The Literacy Studio Institute with Ellin Oliver Keene

Kent ISD is pleased to offer an exciting webinar series: The Literacy Studio Institute with Ellin Oliver Keene. Literacy Studio is an approach to teaching reading, writing, and oral language that seamlessly integrates all three. Teacher who have experienced and adopted Literacy Studio have discovered the following benefits:

  • Saves time and improves efficiency – Implementing Literacy Studio greatly increases teachers’ time to confer with students and meet with needs-based small groups.
  • The focus on real-world, authentic content enhances teachers’ ability to integrate science and social studies into literacy instruction.
  • Students benefit by seeing the natural connections between reading and writing, and as a result become stronger readers and better writers.
  • Teachers who have experienced the Literacy Studio have discovered it brings the joy back into teaching by moving us beyond checklists of skills!

Registration is now open for this three-part series that begins on Monday, October 11th. This is an after school series, so no subs are needed and participants will get a sneak peak into Ellin’s book that will be released in 2022.
Teachers who participated in the live Literacy Studio Institute had this to say:
An inspiring opportunity to learn how to integrate reading and writing together in a meaningful way in the classroom. Ellin Keene’s knowledge and enthusiasm will inspire you and leave you with the tools to support students to grow deeply as readers and writers. I went to my classroom the next day and jumped in with my first graders!
Teachers at our school are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of curriculum to be taught. This institute helped me learn how to restructure a literacy block in a way that uses time efficiently by combining reading and writing instruction while also approaching  literacy instruction in a way that is a more authentic representation of what adult readers and writers do.
This workshop is a practical way to maximize your Language Arts block by combining reading and writing.  Ellin is an engaging presenter who is very real and knows the challenges of being in the classroom.  She is very open to answering any questions and coming up with practical solutions.  I highly recommend this conference – you will not be disappointed!
Register today at this link!

Afghan Arrivals PD

West Michigan is starting to receive arrivals from Afghanistan and we have a wonderful PD that we wanted to share in case anyone would like to attend – the presenter is from the Refugee Education Center and she has great information – there is no cost and you can register through the PD Hub – also, feel free to share this with any networks or colleagues who may be interested –
Afghan Arrivals: What Schools Need to Know
10/12/21 @ 12:30pm (in person at Kent ISD)
11/9/21 @ 3pm (virtual)
Casey L. Gordon
Supervisor of Special Populations
MV Grant Coordinator Allegan & Kent

Responding to Bigotry: Using Young Adult Fiction to Foster Critical Conversations

When: October 7, 2021

Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m. (Virtual Format)

Cost: $20, 2 scech credits available at no extra charge.

Using the Responding to Bigotry Guidebook (Educators for Social Justice), this workshop will engage participants in an exploration of bias and how to use young adult fiction to stimulate critical conversations. Participants will examine common triggers and discuss the importance of creating both safe and brave spaces for carefully engineered discussions about bigotry within and beyond the classroom. Participants will receive 2 of the YA books used. This course is appropriate for grades 6-12 educators. For additional questions, contact David Hales ( or Laura Gabrion (

To Register, Click on: 3240 Responding to Bigotry

Reading for Action: Engaging Youth in Social Justice Through Literature

When: November 11, 2021

Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Cost: #25, includes 2 scech credits at no extra cost

Learn how to use diverse young adult (YA) literature to address adolescent concerns about contemporary issues. The book Reading for Action will be provided to participants and is an essential resource for educators who want to introduce students to an array of social justice issues with texts that students will actually want to read. Using meaningful and relevant activities, participants will explore ways to create student agency, increase and sustain students' interest, and encourage social action as a response. This course is most appropriate for educators in grades 9-12. For questions, contact David Hales at

To Register, Click on: 3785 Reading for Action

If you have not registered at a course at Wayne RESA before, you will be prompted to set up an account first. There is no charge to do this.

JustWrite Competition

Hello fellow English Teachers, 

My name is Jessie Belote, from Duncan Lake Middle School in Caledonia, and I am the JustWrite Coach. JustWrite is a nonprofit organization that organizes creative writing competitions across the States of Ohio and Michigan. In Michigan, they host regional and state tournaments for 7-12 grade students, and the program is endorsed by Siena Heights University. 

I am reaching out to you directly to inform you that JustWrite is hosting a virtual season this year and I would love for you to consider joining us. This is an awesome program that helps students discover their creative voices, gives them a platform on which to create, and truly celebrates their voices. JustWrite Ohio and Michigan are truly rooted in the celebration and support of creative writers. 
Please note, I am sending this email to you, please forward it to any other English teachers in your building or district! 

I understand that you might have some questions about the program, and while you can reach directly out to me, you can also learn more about JustWrite Michigan by going to their website here. I have also included three of the most common questions and answers. 

Question: How many students are on a team? 

Answer: JustWrite Michigan Junior (the ⅞ grade program) operates under two divisions-one for each grade. Divisions can have up to six participating writers. Teams are composed of either one or both divisions. 
JustWrite Michigan (the high school program) operates under two divisions. Division I is for your 9/1th0 graders, and Division II is for 11/12th graders. Divisions can have up to six participating writers. Teams are composed of either one or both divisions.

Question: When are the tournaments? 

Answer: The VIRTUAL Michigan tournament is being held on March 5, 2022. Feel free to view the website to obtain those dates or reach out to the Executive Director, Michael Nelson, at 

Question: How do I get started? 

Answer: JustWrite provides a coaching manual and a general timeline of events under the “Coach’s Corner” portion of the website. Once your team is registered and paid, you will receive a unique password that will give you access to the many coaching materials that JustWrite provides. Also, you can view the short video about how easy it is to start a team, by clicking here 

I hope that you consider joining us at the Virtual Regional Tournament. This program is sure to offer exciting and engaging opportunities for your student writers. 
If you have questions, feel free to reach out directly to the organization’s Executive Director at 

Jessie Belote
7th-grade teacher, DLMS
9757 Duncan Lake Ave.
Caledonia, MI 49316
(616)891-1380 ext. 7115

Bill of Rights Institute - Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 20th Century United States History

Bill of Rights Institute (BRI) is hosting professional learning next month in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We are excited that Chester Pach, Ph.D. from Ohio University will be our guest scholar for this free event on Tuesday, November 9 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, Grand Rapids East. Here are the details:
Program Date: November 9, 2021
Program Title: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 20th Century United States History
Program Location: Hilton Garden Inn, Grand Rapids East
2321 East Beltline Avenue SE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546
Time: November 9th 8:00AM-3:00PM ET
Registration Link is HERE
  • Participants will also model and explore the pedagogical approach of Socratic practice, with a focus on practical applications for their classrooms.
  • BRI will provide complimentary breakfast and lunch for participants.
  • Participants will receive a certificate for 6 classroom hours.
The focus is on 20th century U.S. History, and the seminar will explore how the American experiment has played out in the foreign and domestic policy of modern America.  Inspired by the new digital resource, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, this in-person PD will combine new content and a rich examination of recent history.  Participants will have the opportunity to engage with Dr. Pach on the topic of 20th century America and interact with the BRI staff and fellow teacher colleagues to share ideas of pedagogy and practical classroom applications.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Thank you!
Christopher Janson
Manager, Outreach and Communications
1310 North Courthouse Rd., Suite 620
Arlington, VA 22201
Mobile: (703) 347-2149

An invitation for you and your students! Explore the journey of the ERA with our panel of experts.
Exciting Virtual Opportunity for Your Classroom!
Past, Present, Future:
The Twists and Turns of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Quest to Put Equality in the Constitution
Tuesday, October 26
The Constitution was created in 1787 as a living document that can be modified by the people of the United States when the need arises through the ratification of amendments. To date, 27 amendments have been ratified. 
Perhaps the most well-known unratified amendment, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), was first introduced in 1923 by feminist and suffragist Alice Paul. When Paul introduced the ERA she said, "If we keep on this way they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are.… We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government." 
The debate over this Amendment roiled on into the 1970s with lobbyists on both sides. First Lady Betty Ford joined supporters and worked to ratify the ERA by making phone calls and publicly supporting the Amendment. Despite these efforts, the opposition continued to organize and the ERA fell short of the necessary 38 states needed for ratification.
On January 27, 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia made history to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Nearly forty years past the deadline, the question remains – what is the future of the ERA?
Join Ann Compton as she moderates a panel discussion delving into the Equal Rights Amendment, exploring its history and its future.

Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Center for American Women in Politics
Sarah Harris, National Constitution Center
Do your students have questions for our panelists?
Submit them prior to the program by emailing:
Please include the name and location of your school when submitting a question.
About the Speakers
ANN COMPTON, Retired ABC News White House Correspondent 2021
Ann Compton has always been a pioneer. As the first woman assigned to cover the White House on network television and with 41 years on the air for ABC News, her longevity and impact are unparalleled. After retiring from daily coverage in 2014, Compton reignited her legendary career by returning to ABC to cover the 2016 political conventions, as well as accepting a fellowship at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government focusing on media coverage of the 2016 election.
She also holds a seat on the Governing Council of the prestigious Miller Center for presidential studies at the University of Virginia. Compton’s career at ABC News spanned seven presidents and 10 presidential campaigns. Assigned to the White House in 1974, she reported for ABC News broadcasts from Washington and around the globe, traveling with Presidents, Vice Presidents, and First Ladies.
KIMBERLY PEELER-ALLEN, Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University
Kimberly Peeler-Allen has been working at the intersection of race, gender, and politics for over 20 years. Kimberly is currently a Visiting Practitioner at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University where she served as an advisor on CAWP’s ongoing election analysis, and guest lectures in various graduate and undergraduate courses. She is the Co-founder of Higher Heights, the leading national organization dedicated to building Black women’s collective political power from the voting booth to elected office.  Kimberly serves as Board Chair of the ERA Coalition, Co-Chair of Higher Heights for America PAC and is a board member of the Fund for Women's Equity and NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation. 
SARAH HARRIS, National Constitution Center
Sarah Harris is the Director of Education at the National Constitution Center, where she has worked for the last three years. At the Center, Sarah works with educators nationwide through professional development opportunities and through the Scholar Exchange program, which brings scholars to students across the country to discuss big, constitutional topics. Prior to entering the museum field, Sarah was a high school history teacher in New Jersey, where she taught for five years. She is a graduate from the College of New Jersey and is currently pursuing a Master of Education from Penn State University. 
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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