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LLCN Brief

LLCN Brief

By Kent ISD
Literacy leaders and coaches know that routinely developing knowledge and skills models for students that learning is important. Join hosts Mark Raffler (Literacy Consultant) and Sarah Shoemaker (Early Literacy Coach) for five exclusive interviews each school year with local and national literacy experts. In less than an hour, each episode will take a deep dive into current research to help listeners enhance practice and improve literacy.
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Making Formative Assessment Happen in the Classroom - a conversation with Margaret Heritage
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) connect with researcher, author, former UCLA Principal and Assistant Director, and independent educational consultant, Margaret Heritage.   Her work has long centered around formative assessment and ambitious teaching and spans multiple continents. Here is a quick brief of our conversation: *Sarah starts the dialogue with Ms. Heritage by prompting.  “Talk to us about formative assessment and ambitious teaching.  What are the need-to know pieces that all educators and students should have understanding of?” Margaret defines ambitious teaching as student-centered-thinking when developing concepts, practices, and language where learning is social and the effort is collective learning through multiple modes.  Students are encouraged to share their provisional thinking and engage in rich disciplinary discourse.  Ambitious teaching and formative assessment are reciprocal ideas. *Mark adds to the dialogue:  “We are often get asked about the frequency of assessment.  How often should formative assessment occur and what should it look like?”  Ms. Heritage delineates that formative assessment is on-going assessment during the process of learning to determine where students are as the lesson unfolds.  “It’s the DNA of teaching and learning.”  She goes on to detail the differences in types of assessments and give examples of formative assessments in the classroom. *Margaret talks about formative assessment at the lesson level and assists us in identifying the goal or target we want students to accomplish.  She clarifies how we close the gap - and what the gap really is - in student knowledge.  Clear learning goals and performance indicators are essential to any teaching and assessment.  These are the drivers of the feedback loop.  Ms. Heritage emphasizes the critical nature of  understanding what meeting the learning criteria really means.  She reiterates a statement we have long valued at Kent ISD - “Go slow to go fast.”   *Then, we talk a bit about how to provide feedback to students.  Mark asks:  “How do we provide feedback to our students most effectively to help them make sense and identify next steps in their learning?”  Margaret dives into feedback related to thinking and focusing around having students do the work.  Students need to do the “heavy lifting” with sufficient support in order to accomplish the learning.  Giving feedback is a very sophisticated skill when done well.  It helps students develop a repertoire of learning strategies. *Margaret Heritage summarizes our conversation by noting some key resources related to learning further about formative assessment and reinforcing the important role of the formative assessment  in the classroom. We wrap up this episode by asking listeners to share your thoughts on podcast topics - your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources2122  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
38:20
May 27, 2022
Elevating Writing Instruction with Dr. Steve Graham
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) connect with Arizona State University professor, researcher, and author Dr. Steve Graham. For over 42 years, Dr. Graham has studied how writing develops, how to teach it effectively, and how writing can be used to support reading and learning. His research involves typically developing writers and students with special needs in both elementary and secondary schools, with much of occurring in classrooms in urban schools. This dialogue is focused on thinking “outside-the-box” as we aim to plan and facilitate writing instruction that engages all students. Here is a quick brief of our conversation: Sarah starts the dialogue with Dr. Graham by asking “What is the first thing you tell educators in the field about writing instruction?”  Dr. Graham talks about the amount of time spent writing and on writing instruction in the classroom.  We continue the conversation with a dive into more insights from his article “A Path to Better Writing: Evidence-Based Practices in the Classroom.” Mark adds to the dialogue: “We are frequently asked questions around writing instruction that include: How long should students write each day? Should we dictate topics or allow student choice when thinking about writing? Where should we start with writing genres? Talk to us about what guidance you offer teachers in these areas.” Dr. Graham points out five major points in relation to writing instruction. Then, we talk a bit about the positive relationship between writing instruction and increased reading comprehension. Mark delves into asking about writing assessment and how it is used for reflection and improvement in his next question to Dr. Graham. Dr. Graham summarizes our conversation by noting some key writing resources and reinforcing the role of the teacher in elevating writing instruction. We wrap up this episode by asking listeners to share your thoughts on podcast topics - your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources2122  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
01:08:27
February 23, 2022
Vocabulary Development Across the Day with Dr. Tanya Wright
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) connect with Michigan State University professor and author Dr. Tanya Wright.  Dr. Wright is a former kindergarten teacher whose research and teaching focus on curriculum and instruction in language and literacy during the early childhood and elementary years. Her research examines instructional practices that promote oral language, vocabulary, and knowledge development for young children.  This podcast is a conversation regarding her work in the area of vocabulary and references her 2021 publication - A Teacher’s Guide to Vocabulary Development Across the Day: Grades K-3.  In essence, this dialogue is about vocabulary instruction opening doors to learning for all students. Here is a quick brief of our conversation: Sarah starts the dialogue with Dr. Wright by asking “What does it mean to ‘truly know a word’?”  Dr. Wright talks about ways in which we use words we know - to read, write, speak, listen, and learn.  She explains some of the depth of word learning. Mark asks “What can we do to make word-learning stick?”  Dr. Wright delves into how we learn new words with repeated exposure in meaningful contexts including ways to be effective and efficient with word learning. Then, we talk about “There are so many vocabulary words in our curriculum resources, how do we choose?”   Mark asks the elusive "How do we assess vocabulary learning adequately?" question.  Dr. Wright shares what truly captures vocabulary word learning and also shares some vocabulary resources for educators. Dr. Wright summarizes our conversation by noting that a key idea to remember is that vocabulary instruction should be embedded across the day and over time. We wrap up this episode by asking listeners to share your thoughts on podcast topics - your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources2122  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine
35:11
January 12, 2022
Next Steps in Creating a Culturally Responsive Classroom with Sommer Jabbar
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) reconnect with Sommer Jabbar, Equity and Student Success Coordinator at Kent Intermediate School District.  Sommer joins us to dialogue again about Culturally Responsive Teaching.  This podcast is a follow-up conversation to our ever popular Culturally Responsive Teaching episode which aired in February of 2021. Today, Sommer takes us further into Culturally Responsive Teaching by talking about classroom practices and ways of creating a responsive classroom.  In essence, this dialogue is all about relationships with students. Here is a quick brief of our conversation: *Sarah and Sommer reflect on the previous podcast regarding the internal work of culturally responsive teaching.  Sommer dives into the needed elements for taking this work into the daily classroom with application.  Some elements Sommer discusses more in-depth include:  A strengths-based mindset, attention grabbers specifically games, creating opportunities for social interactions with peers and teachers as a way to build rapport, and storytelling.  Storytelling helps with literacy and keeps the history of cultures alive.  Sommer emphasizes that these elements are not new, yet require intentionality.  This intentionality focus is not a burden, but a hope for culturally responsive teaching. *Mark asks about resources for culturally responsive teaching.  Sommer talks about diverse classroom libraries.  Survey families and students to see what their needs are.  Take time to learn the cultures represented in your classroom.  All students need to see themselves in the classroom and the classroom library.  Lots of resources are available locally through libraries, colleges, and the Kent ISD. *From there, we talk about exploring and integrating these resources into our teaching and classrooms.  Solid foundations are important.  We’re working to make “a house a home” in our classrooms.  Including students in these decisions is crucial. *Sommer reminds us to incorporate “mirrors and windows” into our classroom teaching materials and to counter stereotypes.  It takes intentionality to keep materials relevant to the classroom and content. *We wrap up this episode by asking listeners to share your thoughts on podcast topics - your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources2122  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
37:08
November 17, 2021
A Dialogue About Disciplinary Literacy Essentials with Jenelle Williams and Dr. Darin Stockdill
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) chat with Jenelle Williams and Dr. Darin Stockdill about the Essential Literacy Practices for Disciplinary Literacy Instruction:  Grades 6-12.  We’ve spent a great deal of time over the past five years facilitating learning around the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy:  Grades K-3.  We now have essential practices for ages birth through twelfth grade, so we decided to take this opportunity to highlight another piece of this literacy tool. A little bit about our guests today:  Jenelle Williams is a Literacy Consultant within the Leadership and Continuous Improvement unit at Oakland Schools ISD in Oakland County, Michigan.  Dr. Darin Stockdill is the Instructional and Program Design Coordinator for the Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research at the University of Michigan. Here is a quick unpacking of our conversation: Darin introduces the Essential Practices for Disciplinary Literacy Instruction in the Secondary Classroom:  Grades 6-12 by telling us a bit about the document, its history, and the work that has been done to share the Essentials with educators around the state of Michigan. Mark and Darin discuss the differences between the terms “Disciplinary Literacy” and “Content Literacy.” We learn from Darin about the important starting points when first familiarizing oneself with the Disciplinary Literacy Essentials.  “When engaging with the document, please read the Purpose Statement… This is about teacher learning...  You have to have a systematic approach to supporting teachers in this process… We want teachers to recognize what they already do.” Jenelle talks about resources to support educators as we work to implement the Essential Instructional Practices at the secondary level. We hear from both Darin and Jenelle about potential surprises or barriers that teachers might encounter in implementing the Disciplinary Literacy Essentials. We wrap up this episode by reminding listeners that your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources2122   Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
45:30
September 15, 2021
Our Kids are not Broken – Addressing Learning Loss with Ron Berger
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) chat with Ron Berger about the increasingly prevalent use of the term “learning loss.”  Ron is the Senior Advisor for Teaching & Learning at EL Education, a nonprofit school improvement organization that partners with public schools across America, leads professional learning, and creates open educational resources. He is a well-known international keynote speaker on the topics of inspiring a commitment to quality, character, and citizenship in students.  Ron also teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  After reading a recent article in which he addressed the use of the term learning loss during this time of pandemic, we connected with Ron.  We quickly realized that Ron’s perspective reaches beyond the current time to address the intentional language educators use as we think about student strengths as a means to empower them as active planners in their own learning endeavors.  Here is a quick unpacking of the conversation: Mark asks Ron to talk about his perspective on the term “learning loss.”  Ron addresses this by helping us see that learning loss is about the ways in which students are broken and the efforts it takes to sort and remedy the broken parts of student lives.  Through this perspective, he shares that we never actually get around to furthering students’ lives or education.  He delves into an analogy linking our work as educators and the roles of students to that of physical therapy after surgery.  “Schools are not medical facilities.  We’re not there to fix kids...  Physical therapists work with you as to how to grow yourself stronger.” Mark and Ron discuss empowering students to lean into planning their own educational paths.  “Every kid needs a slightly different path.  We can empower kids to lean into their learning.”  Ron shares that the return to classrooms should be joyous and should be celebrated.  “We should all be seeking ways to challenge and ramp up the learning.”  This starts with an intentional, shared vision.  This is the time to lean into academic challenges through social connections to engage students and set bold goals.  Sarah asks Ron to describe how and where a teacher would know how to start this process with students leading the work.  Ron inspires educators to be prospective.  Ron shares a plethora of open-access resources to support the implementation of having students lead their own learning including lesson plans, student work samples, and videos.  His emphasis is on making learning memorable and powerful when students are invested in their own learning. When we asked Ron to summarize his advice for schools, educators, and students, he states “This reopening of schools is the perfect time of leaning in together to do the teamwork.”  He delves into the “crew” approach to making classroom learning based on collective efforts - more like the soccer team rather than the individual accomplishments - “a shift that can lift a lot for us this year.” All resources in this LLCN Brief (and all 2020-2021 podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
43:27
May 11, 2021
Culturally Responsive Teaching with Sommer Jabbar
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) chat with Sommer Jabbar about culturally responsive teaching.  Sommer is a D(BEI) - Diversity, Belonging, Equity Inclusion Project Coordinator at Kent ISD. We chat about what culturally responsive teaching is and how it looks in our classrooms as well as share some resources that educators will find useful no matter their role in the school setting.  We conclude by asking that you provide us with the topics and questions you want to know more about as we proceed with the podcast format.  Here is a quick unpacking of the conversation: Sommer addresses where to start with culturally responsive teaching. She delves into the inside out approach that is necessary to tackle this work around identity and emphasizes the fact that culturally responsive teaching is ongoing work.  “Give yourself grace to grow and go forward.”   Mark and Sommer discuss key concepts of culturally responsive teaching and responding to the needs of those we are serving.  Sommer discusses ways to best serve stakeholders through “mirrors and windows.”  We want to make sure every day that students have opportunities to see themselves in the classroom.   Sommer elaborates on what culturally responsive teaching looks like and sounds like to include what it should feel like as her and Sarah dive into practical applications for the classroom.  Intentionality is a key as we let the thought of different does not mean deficit resonate with our listeners. Sommer Jabbar talks about discomfort and utilizing resources as you work to overcome the discomfort.  Start with an implicit bias test.  Several other websites and books related to culturally responsive teaching are shared as well. Subscribe to Kent ISD DBEI (Diversity Belonging Equity and Inclusion) newsletters by emailing odbei@kentisd.org and follow the Kent ISD DBREI Facebook page. We wrap up this episode by reminding listeners that your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future 2020-2021 podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
21:35
February 24, 2021
Doug Fisher: Feedback that Promotes Academic Growth
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) interview Dr. Doug Fisher on his perspective related to Feedback and the research surrounding the use of feedback to influence growth. Doug is a Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University, a Teacher Leader at Health Sciences High in San Diego, and an internationally recognized author and speaker in Literacy.  Today, we clarify what does feedback mean, what are some key elements of feedback, and what does it look like in this ever-changing time of education.  Here is a quick unpacking of the conversation: *Doug talks about the effect size of feedback according to John Hattie’s meta-analysis of research and how it should be so much higher.  He speaks to teaching students to seek out feedback. *We clarify the definition of feedback with Doug Fisher’s perspective and talk about key elements of feedback. *The conversation moves into focusing on what is the most important thing that educators should be mindful of in relation to using feedback to improve student learning. *Doug provides some examples of excellent feedback and makes recommendations on other resources educators can refer to in furthering their learning in this area. *Dr. Fisher provides insight on providing feedback during this time of unconventional schooling and leaves educators with an inspirational, reassuring message. *As always, we wrap up this episode by reminding listeners that your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future 2020-2021 podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine
23:47
January 12, 2021
A Conversation with Erin Brown and Susan L'Allier - the authors of No More Random Acts of Literacy Coaching
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) chat with Erin Brown & Dr. Susan L’Allier about their new book:  No More Random Acts of Literacy Coaching. Here is a quick unpacking of the conversation: Mark & Sarah give a brief introduction of the GELN and MAISA collaborative that has gifted us the Essential Coaching Practices for Elementary Literacy and Coaching Modules and is the basis for the statewide literacy coaching grant. The conversation moves into hearing from the authors about their new book - No More Random Acts of Literacy Coaching (Not This But That Series published by Heinemann). Sarah introduces our guests for this podcast:   -Erin Brown:  Erin Brown  is the Early Literacy Professional Learning Grant Project Coordinator for the MAISA and ELA consultant at Muskegon ISD.  Her current role includes facilitating a professional learning network of literacy coaches across Michigan.  -Dr. Susan L’Allier:  Susan K. L’Allier received her doctoral degree in Reading, Language, and Learning Disabilities from Harvard University and is an Associate Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University. Dr. L’Allier has engaged in research to examine the relationship between literacy coaching and student achievement. Since 2016, she has worked with Michigan educators in the development of a state-wide system of literacy coaching. Erin Brown and Susan L’Allier give a brief overview of their new book - walking us through the content as well as structure of the text.  They talk about how to get started with coaching, a few key considerations to keep in mind, and how to focus coaching to have the greatest impact on student achievement.  Dr. L’Allier provides some insight into remote coaching during this time, and Erin Brown reminds us of what the heart of coaching is all about. We wrap up this episode by reminding listeners that your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: anchor.fm/llcnbrief or your favorite podcast platform. Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
30:50
November 18, 2020
Podcasts, Assessment Mindset, and Remote Learning
In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) chat about the changes to the Literacy Leaders and Coaches Network (LLCN) for the 2020-2021 school year. We detail what those changes look like, how to access this podcast throughout the year, and share some content around assessment mindset as well as remote learning.  Additionally, we ask that you provide us with the topics and questions you want to know more about as we proceed with the podcast format this school year.  Here is a quick unpacking of the conversation: Mark talks about the concept of transitioning to an online format for Literacy Leaders and Coaches Network for the 2020-2021 school year.  The dates will remain as originally scheduled and can be found in the Kent ISD PD Hub.  The podcast will be titled LLCN Brief.  Mark shares:  “We have every intention of LLCN being back in person when it is safe to do so, yet for now here is our format.” Sarah shares that the LLCN Brief podcast will be available for streaming in your favorite podcast formats as well as linked in an email to past LLCN registrants.  No registration is required.  We’re seeking input in the future podcast content.  Please submit your literacy related topics and/or questions via bit.ly/LLCNtopics The conversation moves into focusing on two content topics for the first podcast:  Assessment Mindset and Remote Learning. In thinking about Assessment Mindset, Sarah shares some of her thinking after a recent professional learning session with Nell Duke.  She references Literacy Essential #9 - Ongoing observation and assessment of children’s language and literacy development that informs their education - as well as talks about the importance of a positive mindset. During this time of unconventional schooling, Remote Learning feels new, however, Mark describes how many of the pieces that make remote learning successful are familiar to educators across the county.  He identifies four key factors that build success in remote learning interactions:  Communication, Digital Access, Feedback, and Engagement.  Mark’s remote learning journey over the past seven months has led him along with a team of Kent ISD colleagues to create resources around remote learning including an infographic related to these four key components. We wrap up this episode by reminding listeners that your voice matters!  Please visit bit.ly/LLCNtopics to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy. All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future 2020-2021 podcasts) can be found at:  bit.ly/LLCNresources   Make sure to subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts.  *Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows: Medicine by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6256-medicine License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
16:39
September 17, 2020