The Roundup

A gathering space for educators

April 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.

Browse our upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities below!

(Updated Frequently)

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

As we begin wrapping up Year One for Cohort A, we look to the future in anticipation of beginning the implementation phase. Below, you will find an abbreviated view of this work for Cohort A as well as the beginning of Cohort B for MTSS leadership teams.

Building principals or Curriculum Coordinators can register their leadership teams using this document.

Also, as a reminder, the QUICK LINKS for Cohort A are listed below as well.

Any Questions?

MTSS Facilitator/High Impact Leadership Facilitator for VBISD

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

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Read Alouds

Essential Instructional Practice #2 states that teachers should do read alouds because they are a vehicle for explicit instruction, students learn about reading and writing, students are able to access challenging text, and there is the additional benefit of learning new words and concepts.

Read alouds, when done well, give so much power to student engagement and opportunities for explicit instruction. If you are thinking your students are not excited about reading, ask yourself, "Am I excited about reading?" Either way, check out the Nerdy Book Club. It's a quick and easy way to learn about the latest books and gives great read aloud ideas.

If you are wondering how you can make the best of your read alouds, here are a few tips:

  • Plan ahead of time.
  • Reinforce a strategy.
  • Use the same book for multiple instructional goals.
  • Re-read only parts of the same book for different goals.
  • Use across content areas.
  • and... You don't have to read the whole book!

Check out these two examples:

Other professional texts that may inspire you with your read alouds are: The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades, The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literacy Assessment and Instruction, Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Reader in Every Child, and From Striving to Thriving: How to Grow Confident, Capable Readers.

"I try to teach my students that books are a mirror, reflecting their own lives, and a window, giving them a peek into someone else's." -Donalyn Miller

Daily 5

Book studies, trainings, research, collaboration, and so many other efforts have already begun to take place throughout Van Buren County as we anticipate the arrival of Gail Boushey's training, Daily 5 + Behaviors on May 28, 2019.

Daily 5 is the structure in which students learn the behaviors in how to engage authentically with reading and writing. The structure provides an outline that alleviates the teacher load and ensures students have access to a conducive learning environment and opportunities to connect with text. The research-based and brain-based literacy strategies empower students to love reading and writing.

Mrs. Chantelle Remington, Fourth Grade Teacher at Bloomingdale Elementary, attended the Daily 5 and CAFE training in early March and was inspired to immediately implement what she had learned. Below are photos of her fourth grade classroom beginning to transform from traditional seating to seating that will help support the needs of diverse learners.

"We have had an amazing two weeks of starting Daily 5. The kids have responded very well, and I feel like they are learning a lot about literacy, the power of choice, and self-advocacy. The revamp of the physical space and the success that we have had so far has been invigorating!"

-Chantelle Remington

Literacy Opportunity

Western Michigan University Scholarship

WMU is offering $4,600 towards a Literacy Specialist endorsement. You can learn more and apply by clicking on the image.

VBISD's Early Literacy Coach/Consultants

Geanice Miller - 269-271-9813

Melissa Wierenga - 269-599-7259

Math and Science

SW MiSTEM Region 1

Last Summer, our state increased it's focus on supporting students in STEM careers. From that, the MiSTEM Network was created.

The MiSTEM Network's goals are to:

1. Create a STEM culture

2. Empower STEM teachers

3. Integrate business and education

4. Ensure high-quality STEM experiences

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a great resource that I recommend reading/skimming in order to get a sense of urgency for this why we need to be focussing on STEM and STEM Learning.

Below is a definition of what STEM education should look like, and may be a great starting point for a conversation in your district... regardless of how much STEM is already implemented into your curriculum.

From Carnegie Science Center:

"Defining STEM Education:

Advancing great teaching in STEM education requires a clear and comprehensive definition of STEM education, one with the flexibility to work across the STEM education spectrum. Based on its extensive experience, and supported by research on content and best practices in education – such as the National Research Council’s A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas – Carnegie Science Center defines STEM education as:

An integrated, interdisciplinary, student-centered approach to learning that encourages curiosity, creativity, artistic expression, collaboration, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and design thinking.

In addition, Carnegie Science Center has determined that high-quality PreK–12 STEM education consists of the following essential components:

Inquiry-based education – integrating the most effective, research-based teaching strategies that use curiosity and inquiry as guiding principles.

Integrated, multi-disciplinary learning – presenting curriculum across content areas in an integrated fashion. The real world is not siloed by subject content. Education should not be either.

Project-based group learning – engaging students in solving real-world problems, which encourage them to use skills critical for 21st century success – such as teamwork, communication, creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Career awareness – exposing students to an array of STEM-related jobs through interaction with STEM professionals. Students learn how concepts and essential STEM competencies apply to the work environment."

Please reach out to have a conversation with me regarding the MiSTEM Network, or any of the resources mentioned above.

Ben Tomlinson


Curriculum Coordinator

VBISD Cultural Understanding Committee

The VBISD Cultural Understanding Committee’s overall goal is to promote & encourage the ISD’s shared values of Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence (RICE), through cultural understanding. The focus of the committee is to learn and grow in awareness & knowledge in the areas of equity, inclusiveness, and anti-bias standards of practice. The committee would like to share a wonderful resource for educators: Multicultural Booklists


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"The REMC Association of Michigan is pleased to introduce iPads in Action! iPads in

Action helps teachers fully utilize the functionality of iPads in the classroom, and


- March 14th Memo from Michigan Department of Education

Click here to see the full MEMO from MDE regarding this opportunity.

Social Studies

Public Comment on New K-12 Social Studies Standards

Please participate in the public comment opportunity for the Social Studies Standards revision. You can comment online, or participate in one of the live sessions.,4615,7-140-37818_44099-339831--,00.html

The three opportunities closest to Van Buren County are from 6pm to 8pm at the following locations:

  • April 30, 2019: Kalamazoo
    • Kalamazoo Central High School, 2432 N. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • May 2, 2019: Lansing
    • Michigan Historical Center & Library, 702 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI 48915
  • May 6, 2019: Grand Rapids
    • Kent ISD, 2930 Knapp Road, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
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The Rule of Three

The human brain loves patterns. In fact, we’re constantly looking for and creating patterns in everything we do. Three is an important number in this endeavor because it is the smallest number our brains can use to create a pattern. According to this online article, the first instance of something comes down to chance, the second is considered a coincidence, and the third instance is perceived as a pattern. With our brains seeking this out, it is no wonder that we see so many groupings of three in our language (Ready, set, go!), literature (The Three Little Pigs), art (The Rule of Thirds), and other aspects of our communication.

The Rule of Three is also helpful in responding to student behavior. Not only do we use a minimum of three points on a graph to determine a trend in behavior, but we can also use praise delivered in groups of three to impact on-task performance.

So, the next time you have a student who is not following the expectation, identify three students in the room who ARE following the expectation. Use the opportunity to praise the three students who are on-task. Very often, establishing the pattern of praising for the on-task behavior will impact students who are off-task. Here’s the most important point: if the off-task student fixes up his or her behavior, be sure to provide that student praise, too! On-task behavior needs reinforcement, even if it was proceeded by a prompt or reminder.