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Drew: Connected to the Community

Drew Transition Center is a world-class school serving a remarkable population of students. A Detroit Public School, Drew is a place for students between the ages of 18-26 who have cognitive learning differences. Young adults at Drew take courses that address practical life skills for daily living. Many of the students have paying jobs at a variety of businesses and organizations throughout Metro Detroit. Drew's Farmstand Program features the kind of hands-on project-based learning that serves a significant need in any community - it feeds people. It has been featured in many media outlets such as this article in The Detroit Free Press. Michael Craig, a finalist for the Michigan Teacher of t

Learning Through Teacher Lab

Our third and final teacher lab experience of the school year provided Covington teachers with power opportunities to observe colleagues in action and have rich professional discussion. In Ross Burdick's 5th grade math class, teachers focused on the extent to which students were engaged during math workshop in a variety of different center-based activities. Students rotated through traditional and digitally-based math games in order to reinforce concepts already taught and provide opportunities for new content learning. In Andrea Marks' social studies classroom, students applied the Notice and Note Nonfiction Big Question #2 “What Did the Author Think I Knew”. Andrea did a quick mini-lesson

MACUL Makerspace Magic

The best professional conference experiences I have had are ones that involve interactions with students. At the MACUL Conference in Grand Rapids I had the opportunity to meet Jennifer Bond and her students from Walled Lake at their hallway booth who demonstrated some remarkably cool creations. I was so impressed with their enthusiasm and excitement. It made me want to join right in and make stuff. I promptly dropped my existing plans and joined a session at MACUL run by Jennifer and Mary Wever which gave me the opportunity to put myself in touch with my makerself. The biggest take-away for me was the importance of micromaking, or enabling students to create things in small time-frames that

From Central America to Clawson

As part of a meeting of the Job-Embedded Professional Learning Network, I had the opportunity to tour classrooms at Clawson Middle School and High School. I was impressed with the positive climate and atmosphere at Clawson, where students are empowered to be change agents. When I stepped into the English as a Second Language tutoring center I met Jessica Hauser-Brydon and her amazing high school students. All of the kids were English Language Learners from El Salvador. Jessica works with them three days per week as a Paraeducator/ELL Tutor and provides support to assist the students in their general education coursework. I was struck by the resilience of these young people as they recounted

Reading All Around in Vandercook Lake

I had the pleasure of facilitating a professional learning experience with colleagues at Vandercook Lake High School in Jackson County. I was contacted by Kate Richards - a dynamic educator and professional learning coordinator - who asked if I could help create some thinking around reading in the content area. After considering the ways literacy mattered across disciplines, we delved into the work of Reading Apprenticeship. It was exciting to engage the Physical Education staff in the ways that students need to be literate about various principles in P.E. Often forgotten - P.E., art, music, world language and all non core-academic subject teachers have much to offer in the way of sharing pr

Brimming With "Entusiasmo"

I left Roberto Clemente Academy, a Detroit Public School, with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. The students in Kim Kyff's third grade classroom made sure of that. While I enjoyed the opportunity to tour the school and learn about some of the exciting things happening there, it was the chance to read The Junkyard Wonders aloud to the kids that occupied the majority of my time. Nearly every child in the class spoke Spanish - which afforded me the opportunity to engage the students in two languages and two cultures. I emphasized the incredible value that being a bilingual person has, and how everyone should always be proud of their home language and culture. The students resonated we