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Literacy Team Newsletter: April 2022

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Dear Educators,

Springtime is a time of possibility--a time of rebirth and renewal. If there has ever been a year when renewal is needed, it's most certainly this one! We are so thankful for the amazing work you do every day in order to positively influence the lives of Oakland County students. We remain hopeful that next year is marked by hope and joy, and we wish all of you a restful summer break.

In this edition, you will find:

  1. Literacy Consortium Overview

  2. Statewide Updates

  3. Professional Learning

  4. Recommended Readings and Resources

  5. For Your Information

--Your Oakland Schools Literacy Team

Literacy Consortium Meetings

April 27, 2022 Pear Deck slides HERE.

Note: On many of the slides, the audio from the live session is included so that you have access to all the resources and ideas shared!

The Literacy Consortium offers a regular network for literacy leaders throughout the county. Join us for regular updates from the State and ISD levels and for shared learning around the topics that are most important to you.

Next year's meeting schedule--Mark Your Calendars!

September 22, 2022

December 7, 2022

February 14, 2023

April 20, 2023

All meetings are tentatively scheduled from from 9:00am to 12:00pm. We are hoping for in-person meetings held at Oakland Schools' Main Campus.

Middle School ELA Revised Units

Here is a link to the Introductory page, which we recommend everyone reads first. At the bottom of the document are links that lead to the draft units. We’ve also created a self-paced Pear Deck to help people navigate their way around the units: https://app.peardeck.com/student/tqqwjlide. We plan to have the finalized units available by August 2022 in Atlas and the Oakland Schools Literacy website. We are planning a professional learning event in August, along with networking opportunities throughout the year, to support teachers as they use the units. Additionally, focus groups for review and revision of the high school units begin Fall 2022.

EPIC Read by Grade 3 Survey

K-5 teachers, principals, superintendents can earn 5 SCECHs by completing EPIC’s Third Annual Read By Grade 3 Survey, which will be open until June 17 at: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bxCr85ZKhZz2ncy

Do You Like Free Books?

Thanks to a donation, the Zinn Education Project is offering more than 2,000 sets of five copies of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks to public school teachers, school librarians, and teacher educators who have a plan for using and promoting the text. Request Books Here

Detracking for Equity Panel

Join us as we learn about the impact of tracking on each student, our schools and communities at large from three national panelists. Additionally, we will consider recommendations and strategies to detrack. This event is FREE to all Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne County educators, administrators, counselors, etc.

When: Monday, May 2, 2022: 4:30-6pm

Where: Virtual. For more information and registration, click here.

MCTE Webinar "Care and Criticality During Uncertain Times"

On May 7 from 9am to 12pm, Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) is hosting a webinar titled, "Care and Criticality During Uncertain Times." Register HERE.

The webinar is FREE to MCTE members and the first 25 members to register will receive a copy of Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin and a copy of My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem.

Not a member of MCTE yet? No problem! Sign up to attend the conference and receive membership through October 2022 at a reduced rate!

Newcomer Summit

MDE is pleased to announce the Newcomer Summit located in the Lansing area (Venue is still being determined) on July 27 from 9:00-3:30pm. Registration is now open and available via the MITESOL site here. The cost for registration is $75 and includes a light breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. There will be approximately 18 breakout sessions throughout the day and a keynote address. Presenters will come from across the state and highlight points of pride in elementary, secondary, cultural responsiveness, and family/community engagement. This event is provided to you by MDE, LEO, MITESOL and MABE.

NCTE Book Rationale Database

Looking for resources that explain the value of a particular book in your classroom or school library? NCTE and Penguin Random House are here to help! Take a look here.

NCTE Combined Statement on the Freedom to Teach

Book banning and curriculum censorship are on the rise. NCTE and other professional organizations offer this statement in support of teachers' rights. Read it here.

Many instances of book banning and curriculum censorship are rooted in systemic racism. You can read NCTE's Statement on Anti-Racist Teaching here.

Listening in the Classroom: Teaching Students How to Listen By Marnie Reed & Tamara Jones

Teaching listening means more than just giving students listening activities and checking for understanding—it means teaching them how to listen. Listening in the Classroom takes promising research findings and theory and turns them into practical teaching ideas that help develop listening proficiency. Purchase your copy HERE.

Shake Up Shared Reading: Expanding on Read Alouds to Encourage Student Independence

Maria Walther's new book Shake Up Shared Reading: Expanding on Read Alouds to Encourage Student Independence (she’s the author of The Ramped Up Read Aloud) anchors the benefits of shared reading as a powerful component of reading instruction in classrooms. This resource book demonstrates how shared reading can foster SEL competencies while building comprehension, vocabulary, oral language and much more! Walther’s utilizes high-quality diverse children’s literature books and provides two “bursts” lessons for educators. If you are looking for a book to inspire you and engage your students then add this book to your professional library!


The Adolescent Accelerated Reading Initiative (AARI 2.0) is a Tier 2/3 (MTSS) short-term intensive intervention that accelerates reading comprehension and critical thinking in informational text. AARI is for general and special education students and English Language Learners in grades three through twelve and English Learners with a minimum overall WIDA proficiency score of 3.0. Across Oakland County, a decade of data supports that AARI dramatically increases reading comprehension levels when implemented with fidelity.

Who: Grades 3-12 general ed, special ed and ESL educators who provide reading intervention, resource room teachers, SLPs, etc.

When: August 1-5 @ 8:30a-3:30p

Where: Walsh College (Friday virtual)

3838 Livernois Rd

Troy, MI 48083

Contact: Jill Maneice with any questions

Registration is OPEN! https://tinyurl.com/AARI-Cohort22

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Advanced AARI

When: August 9-10, 2022 @ 9a-3p

Where: Concurrent: choose either virtual or in-person at Oakland Schools

Who: AARI/ACRI educators who have already attended the Institute

More details to come. Contact Jill with any questions.

Registration is OPEN! https://tinyurl.com/AARIADV22

Ashelin Currie, Elementary Literacy Consultant

Dalyce DePauw, Special Education Consultant

Michele Farah, Elementary Literacy Consultant

Diane Katakowski, Speech and Language Consultant

Megan Kortlandt, Literacy Consultant

Jill Maneice, Literacy and AARI Consultant

Jacqueline Mitchell, Early Literacy Consultant

Diane Fekete, Special Education Consultant

Christy Osborne, ESL Consultant

Suzanne Toohey, ESL Consultant/Supervisor of Instruction and Pedagogy

Asha Williams, Early Literacy Consultant

Jenelle Williams, Secondary Literacy Consultant

Andrea Zellner, Secondary Literacy Consultant

Oakland Schools

2111 Pontiac Lake Road

Waterford, MI 48328

(248) 209.2000