Cheerios, Science, and Disciplinary Literacy

By Wendi Vogel, Science Consultant, Kent ISD, DLE Task Force Committee Member
(Note: This blog post is written to introduce the DLEs, produced by GELN/MAISA, to educators. It could be used for individual learning, in a PLC, a staff meeting, department meeting, or professional learning opportunity as well. Eating cheerios while reading is strongly recommended.)
Have you ever eaten a bowl of Cheerios and noticed when you get toward the end of the Cheerios, they “stick” together in groups, or end up near the edge and stick to the sides of the bowl? If not, take a look at the picture above, or try it yourself! When looking at this “Cheerio effect,” it makes me wonder: Why does it do this? Do other cereals do the same thing? Does the bowl matter? Does the liquid matter? What if I use whole milk? Skim milk? Carbonated liquid? Do leaves do this if they land in a pond? Is there some kind of force acting on the Cheerios?
The Framework for K-12 Science Education (2012) (Framework) states:The learn…

Oakland Schools: Building our Interdisciplinary ISD Team

By Andrea Zellner, Literacy Consultant; Jenelle Williams, Literacy Consultant; Geraldine (Gerri) Devine, Mathematics Consultant; Stacie Woodward, Social Studies/Disciplinary Literacy Consultant; and James Emmerling, Science Consultant It was finally here: the document that we, as secondary and disciplinary literacy consultants, had all been waiting for. We’d watched with envy as the K-5 Literacy Essentials had transformed teaching in the elementary grades with a focus on inquiry, student engagement, choice reading, and authentic writing. But how would these principles translate into the 6-12 grades? Would it have the same impact given the distinct and unique the demands of teaching in the content areas?
We had watched with dismay as year after year, our focus on “Writing Across the Curriculum” and “Reading Across the Curriculum” devolved into rote use of Cornell notes and other listless worksheets that did little to further our students’ love for learning, let alone improve their litera…

It's All About Inquiry: Understanding the Social Studies Standards, C3 Framework and Disciplinary Literacy Essentials

By Melissa Brooks-Yip, Coordinator of Instruction, and Amy Olmstead-Brayton, Coordinator of Assessment Services, Washtenaw ISDWith the adoption of the Michigan Social Studies standards in the spring of 2019, we began receiving requests for support as schools and districts considered how their social studies curriculum may need to change. In preparing for our work, we realized that while many teachers were aware of at least one of the guiding documents, their depths of understanding varied. For this reason, most were not considering how all three documents could be used as tools to guide instruction and assessment. Additionally, we had to honor the fact that while we all agreed with the guiding principles described in the C3, the day-to-day practices in our classrooms and schools looked much different. We came to understand that in order to have classrooms driven by inquiry, we would also have to explore our underlying beliefs about assessment and instruction. 
Our own continued study o…

The Journey Begins

By Dr. Laura Gabrion, Literacy Consultant Shortly after Mary-Lu Strimbel and I were hired at Wayne RESA, our colleague Dr. Rosalyn Shahid asked us to reserve time for the Disciplinary Literacy Task Force work. Disciplinary...literacy? We trudged up to an ISD in the middle of the state to acclimate to the research, the document, and the work ahead. Our first Disciplinary Literacy Task Force meeting was a blur of information, objectives and urgency. At that point, even though the Essential Practices for Disciplinary Literacy Instruction in the Secondary Classroom document had not yet been released to the public, the Task Force was actively engaged in designing a professional learning model for pilot districts. 
Read-Think-Talk-Write   As all good consultants do, we set up an intensive book study framed by inquiry and protocols. If we were to play an implemental role in state- and county-wide work, we needed to catch up...quickly.  Among articles from leading scholars in the field, we r…