The Roundup

A gathering space for educators

March 2019

In the Instructional Services department at Van Buren Intermediate School District, supporting teachers and administrators with instruction is the heart of our work. It is our hope that this monthly newsletter will help capture upcoming events and important information to support your work in your districts, schools, and classrooms.

Check out our upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities at the bottom of this newsletter!

MTSS Connections

Our MTSS Cohort is beginning to dip their toes into the world of common formative assessments that are tightly aligned to the essential standards that we have been creating. The video below gives a quick idea of why these particular assessments are so important when driving interventions for students.

MTSS Facilitator for VBISD

Cheryl-Marie A. Manson - 269-330-2668


Literacy and Assessment

Once universal screeners (i.e. NWEA, DIBELS) are administered, we don't always know what to do next or we haven't learned very much about how to support our students. How do we know what to teach? Well, the reality is that these screeners are just a temperature reading and give us an indicator of where we may need to start. If we don't know what to teach, it could mean we don't have all the data we need.

Essential Practice #9: Ongoing observation and assessment of children's language and literacy development that informs their education outlines how we can gather this data so that we can deliver effective and appropriate whole group and small group instruction. What might this look like? In this video you can view how a teacher uses observation as a tool to collect assessment data in order to make instructional decisions.

Looking for more tools? These diagnostics will help you get clear on exactly what your students areas of need are.

Using Daily 5/CAFE? If you are looking to assess strategies, you can access assessments from the Daily Cafe website or ask Geanice or Melissa for assistance with this.

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VBISD's Early Literacy Coach/Consultants

Geanice Miller - 269-271-9813

Melissa Wierenga - 269-599-7259


Pre-K to 3rd Grade Essential Practices for Teaching Mathematics

Last month, our statewide group of General Education Leaders (GELN) approved a list of teaching practices that should be considered "essential" for teaching mathematics to students from Pre-K to 3rd grade.

Stay tuned to this section of our newsletter for details on how the state plans to embrace the work, and what we can all do to support each other around them.

Curriculum Coordinator

Ben Tomlinson - 269-330-1347


Talk Moves in Science

NGSx has been a great training to help teachers and administrators understand the teaching practices that support 3-Dimensional Learning in the Michigan Science Standards. There is one particular part of the training that can be used independently, and would be a great starting point for a science department PLC! The link below will take you to a document that supports science teachers' use of "talk moves". The Talk Science Primer could be read and discussed within a 60 minute professional learning experience, or even modeled and practiced in a half-day PD. Let me know if you decide to dig in!

Curriculum Coordinator

Ben Tomlinson - 269-330-1347


Van Buren ISD Technology Services

Thank you to Damian Koob and his team at VBISD for providing tech tips each month. This month features some helpful PDF creation shortcuts. Enjoy!

VBISD Technology Newsletter

Online Saftey

National Online Safety: "Here you will find the most up to date guides for social media apps and platforms. Click on the icons below to find out more information about each app and to download our useful tips to help keep children safe."

Social Studies


Pump up the Praise!

Looking for a quick and easy way to improve behavior in your classroom? Increase your praise rates! Research indicates that praise should be delivered at a ratio of 4:1. That means that for every 1 criticism (e.g., correction, redirection), we should deliver 4 praises, encouragements, or acknowledgements of positive student behavior. Increased praise rates can improve overall classroom culture, help shape student behaviors, and ensure that the majority of teacher attention is provided for on-task student behavior and not off-task behavior. Positive comments, high-fives, stickers, notes of encouragement, and awarding tickets for demonstrating key characteristics are all great ways to increase your praise rates.

Read more here:

Positive Praise (

Making Sure Your Praise is Effective (

Teacher Praise: An Efficient Tool to Motivate Students (

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Upcoming Professional Learning and Events!

Get the Data, Get the Answers!

Tuesday, March 19th, 8am

490 South Paw Paw Street

Lawrence, MI

Link to the flyer can be found HERE

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

TWO Separate Trainings

8:30 to 11:30


12:00 to 3:00

Register at

Answering data questions the easy way!

-Tips for your Annual Education Report

-Accountability Reports & School Improvement

-Find school data quickly & for free!

Need a login? Complete a new

account request from your school

administrator or Tonda Boothby &

return it to

Daily 5 for Literacy Leaders

Tuesday, May 28th, 8am

490 South Paw Paw Street

Lawrence, MI

Join Gail Boushey as she shares how literacy leaders can support their teachers with implementing the Daily 5 in their classrooms!

VBISD Cultural Agility Training

Friday, March 22nd, 12am

490 South Paw Paw Street

Lawrence, MI

Flyer for the Event can be found HERE

Cultural Agility is the ability to be one's authentic cultural self while engaging others and honoring their authentic cultural selves. Research shows that every interaction is a cultural interaction based upon lived experiences, knowledge, skills, and disposition so every individual has a unique and authentic cultural self. Learn how to embrace your cultural self

to authentically engage with students, families and colleagues to maximize learner engagement. Marcy L. Peake, MA, LPC, NCC, CFLE from the Center for Cultural Agility will invoke self-reflection, evoke discussions and activities, and provoke confidence and skill building to increase cultural engagement for all.

Two sessions are available: 8 - 11:30; 12:15 - 3:15

Questions: Contact Theresa Ouzts at

Register for this event by clicking here.