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

Here are some of the latest PD opportunities and resources!

Resources for Teachers To Talk About January 6, 2021

MCSS Members,
You're fantastic educators.  You have the best lesson on Stevens T. Mason ready to go tomorrow.  You've built an amazing scaffolded discussion on the development of Empires for a fishbowl discussion.  You've gotten your students fired up about Cuneiform and are about to blow their minds with Hieroglyphics.  
But when your students come in tomorrow, they're going to have questions about what happened today.  And if I heard one thing from you tonight on social media, via texts, and through e-mail - many of you are trying to find the best way to start the conversation.
A fantastic group of social studies folks got together tonight to build something that - while raw and built quickly - we hope will give you some ideas on how to tackle the events of January 6, 2021 through a variety of lenses.
So as you have conversations in your classroom, be it tomorrow or ongoing over the coming weeks, we hope you find something useful here to spark an idea to get you going.
You are all incredible, knowledgeable professionals who have the future of this country in your charge every day.  Don't fear the conversations you're undoubtedly going to have tomorrow.  Embrace the opportunity to continue to underscore how our fragile our freedoms and systems can be if not nurtured and respected. 
If there is anything we as a board can do to support you in supporting your students, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Yours in education,
Dave Johnson
MCSS President
For Teachers on January 7th

Spring Series: "How to Teach About the Middle East -- And Get it Right!"

The Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies at the University of Michigan, in partnership with the Duke-UNC Center for Middle East Studies, is offering Grade 6-14 educators a series of five interactive 90-minute trainings, "How to teach about the Middle East -- and Get it Right!" SCECHs from the MDE are available!
The first session will be on Thursday, January 28th. Educators may register for any or all of the sessions. Please register and share widely. 

U of M: Middle East/North Africa/SE Asia Teacher Program is Accepting Applications

The 2021-2022 MENA-SEA Teacher Program at the University of Michigan is now accepting applications from Grade 6-14 educators. For more details and to apply, please visit: 
2021-2022 MENA-SEA Teacher Program!
The deadline to apply is Friday, March 19th, 2021. 
This program builds a community of Grade 6-14 educators who will enrich and revitalize their teaching together around the topic of religious and cultural diversity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and in Southeast Asia (SEA).   
Highlights of the 2021-2022 MENA-SEA Teacher Program:

  • $1000 honorarium;
  • Expert-led workshops about religious and cultural diversity;
  • SCECHs from the Michigan Department of Education (for Grade 6-12 educators); 
  • Free tickets to cultural events, artistic performances, and museums;
  • Travel reimbursement and overnight lodging
  • International trip to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, or North Africa with GEEO (Global Exploration for Educators).

Please share widely with your colleagues. Any questions should be addressed directly to me.
We welcome your applications by Friday, March 19th, 2021!
Rima Hassouneh
Community Outreach Coordinator
Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
University of Michigan | International Institute
Weiser Hall, Suite 500 | 500 Church Street  | Ann Arbor, MI | 48109-1106
Please note: I am (still) working remotely, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foundational Skills Training for Administrators and Coaches postponed until Late January or early February 2021

*Please note all of these offerings will be held virtually for the 2020-2021 School year.  Please register at the links provided and as the date for the session gets near you will be sent a link to zoom at access the meeting.

  1. Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding: Supporting Administrators and Coaches
    Late January/Early February 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
    Regular Price: $30.00
    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

Save the Date - Join us for Constitutional Conversations in February!

Join us each Wednesday evening in February from 6:30 - 8:00 PM EST for this free virtual workshop series presented by the National Constitution Center and hosted by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. Deepen your constitutional knowledge and enhance your strategies for fostering civil dialogue around Constitutional questions.
Attendees will:
  • Join an opening session that introduces the framework for creating space for Constitutional conversations, debates, and deliberations in the classroom
  • Discover historical content through virtual tours of both the NCC's and the Gerald Ford Museum's exhibitions
  • Participate in modeled classroom activities using online resources, including the Interactive Constitution
  • Receive lesson plans and other classroom-ready educational materials
  • Develop and practice skills necessary to facilitate civil dialogue for all learners
  • Apply learned information and share resources while participating in a Constitutional conversation with colleagues in the final session
  • Michigan educators can apply to earn six SCECHs
Please note, this is a sequential series. Attendees are encouraged to participate in all four sessions; however, we understand there may be schedule conflicts. 
Please register for all of the sessions you plan to attend. 
Michigan educators wishing to apply for six SCECHS will be required to attend all sessions. 
Register for February 3rd Session  
Register for February 10th Session  
Register for February 17th Session  
Register for February 24th Session  
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation


ELs and Special Education: Protocol & Practices for Separating Difference from Disability

English Learners are the fastest growing student group in Michigan. Across the state, schools and districts are over- and under- identifying English Learners as students with disabilities. It is likely that you will be called upon to problem solve about an English Learner with learning difficulties. Are you familiar with the document Oakland Schools Guidance: Big Ideas When Considering a Special Education Evaluation of a Student Learning English as a Second Language? Come learn about a structured protocol, which includes new tools, and examine case studies to help you when you have an English Learner with suspected disabilities. An outcome of this two-part series is to assist educators in thinking about their own short- and long- term plans for non-discriminatory identification practices. Multidisciplinary teams which include district EL and Special Education leaders are especially encouraged to attend.

Presenters: Dr. Susan Koceski and Suzanne Toohey, Oakland Schools

21EL0202P: ELs and Special Education: Protocol & Practices for Separating Difference from Disability on
Tuesday 2/2/2021 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Wednesday 3/3/2021 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
for Consortium members in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan & Muskegon: $0.00

Please follow the link below for the specific Web address for this course:
  • 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

Just released! President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge 2021

President Gerald R. Ford 
Student Writing Challenge
Do you know a talented student writer who could use 
$1,000 for college? 
Do you know a teacher (maybe yourself!) who could benefit from a $500 gift card for classroom supplies?  Read on to learn about this year's 

President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge!
Each year the theme for the President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge reflects on an important part of Gerald R. Ford's character. High school students nationwide are invited to participate in the contest. 
Students from Michigan are eligible to receive the following awards:
  • First Place: $1,000 (plus a $500 gift card for student's teacher)
  • Second Place: $750 (plus a $250 gift card for student's teacher)
  • Third Place: $500 (plus a $100  gift card for student's teacher)
  • Up to 7 Honorable Mentions: $250 each
* One $500 award will be given to a submitting student
living outside of Michigan. 
Special thanks to Meijer for providing our teacher gift awards!
2021 Writing Prompt:
Life presented Gerald R. Ford with unexpected twists and turns - events that would divert him from his plan and propel him in a new, uncharted direction. This created a sense of resilience that would not only allow him to thrive through the changes he was facing, but prepare him for the challenges to come. The year 2020 has brought great uncertainty and many challenges to our nation. In some way, we have all been affected by unforeseen and unprecedented events. Our resilience has been called upon again and again to face the challenges and chart a new course.
We invite you to write 500 - 750 words sharing your thoughts on the topic of resilience. Some ideas include:
  • How do YOU define or measure resilience? 
  • Tell about a time that your resilience was tested, or a challenge you faced that helped you grow. 
  • Is there someone in your life, or in history, that you admire for their ability to face adversity and come out stronger?
For a complete list of rules and guidelines and  submission information, visit:
Click Here to Download a PDF of Rules and Guidelines
Entries must be received on or before March 12, 2021.
For questions regarding the President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge, please contact:
Clare Shubert at or 616-254-0409
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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