February 27, 2019
Guest Author: Jim Bailey; Hemmeter Elementary Principal
If you are a sports fan, chances are you have a month that you look forward to each year. Maybe it’s February because of the Super Bowl. Maybe it’s October because of the World Series and the fact that the NHL, NFL, and NBA all play during the same month. For many people, March is the king of the sports calendar. The main reason for this is the March Madness basketball tournament. The tournament pulls in even the casual fan to fill out a bracket. School years are the same way. Educators have their favorite month of the year. For some, it is September and the fresh start and chance to try out your new summer learning. A new group of students means endless possibilities for the school year. Or maybe, your favorite month is May. You love being deep in the heart of State testing season...OK, probably not May. For me, I have always loved March...author visits, March is Reading Month, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and my favorite event of the school year, March Book Madness.
March Book Madness was started five years ago by educators Tony Keefer and Scott Jones. Each year they work with fellow teachers to build the brackets for this annual children’s literature event. The event contains three different brackets so students K-12 can participate. They have a picture book bracket, middle grade bracket, and young adult bracket. Each year at Nerd Camp Michigan, a different theme is picked and 16 books for each bracket are selected. The books selected are diverse, high-quality, and stories kids just love! You can see the brackets for this year by clicking on the link below:
Each year in September, Tony and Scott release the titles of the books for the upcoming year. This gives students time to read as many books as possible before the official brackets are released in February. We were fortunate to receive a grant to purchase all 16 middle grade and picture books this year. However, in the past, we have used the public library and book orders to purchase the books. In February, the official brackets are released. We create giant brackets on bulletin boards in the hallway. We also print off the individual brackets from the web page so students can participate individually. Both of these things help build excitement for the event.
Building a Reading Culture: March Book Madness
Great Lakes Bay Instructional Services Newsletter
Hemmeter has participated each year in March Book Madness and we have learned a few tips along the way to make implementing it as easy as possible. For the picture books, Mrs. Bugbee, our librarian, and I make sure we have at least one copy of each book. We try to find multiple copies if possible. We put all the books in a bin in the teachers’ lounge. This saves teachers from having to go out and find the books on their own. The teachers will come down each day and grab the two books that are matched up to read to their class. We have all our grades participate in the picture book bracket because picture books are for ALL ages.
Each round has voting open for one week. At the end of the week, the books that are moving on are announced on the web page. The students are so excited to hear about the books that advance. It has led to some very spirited discussion about why or why not the voters got it right or wrong. I love hearing the passion the students have for their favorite books.
It is not too late to lace up your sneakers and get into the March Book Madness game this year. Amanda Kitterman-Miller has put together an incredible resource to get you started. She has created a Google Slide presentation for the picture book bracket. The Google Slide presentation has book trailers, videos with background information about the books, and videos of many of the books being read aloud. Everything you need to get started is right here, just follow the link below:
March Book Madness Picture Book Link
This is a great resource to use if you are looking at trying out March Book Madness for the first time. Tweet me at @jcbailey3 and use the hashtag #2019MBM to share your March Book Madness excitement. Give it a shot and March might be your favorite month of the school calendar as well.
I hope you have enjoyed this 8-week series on building a reading culture in your building. I have had a great time sharing our reading culture transformation at Hemmeter. If you are attending the Michigan Reading Association annual conference this year, Kelly Hendrick, Nicol Howald, and I will be leading a session with more information about this topic. Happy reading Great Lakes Bay educators!
U of M Website
The Saginaw ISD will be providing nightly readings on Facebook starting March 1st!!!
Join the SISD staff and educators from around the county every night as they provide a read aloud of some our favorite stories.
The events will occur nightly at 7:30 PM at the SISD Facebook Page. Listen and participate with your families and engage in the online conversations.
Stay until the very end to see who is challenged each night to continue the Read Aloud challenge!
March is Reading Month
Disciplinary Literacy: Apprenticing students as readers, writers, and thinkers in the disciplines
Learn more about this 10 hour online course and/or register at:
Upon finishing the course successfully participants receive course completion certificate;
Michigan SCECH hours are available through CEDER upon request (notify CEDER prior to completion that you want the hours)
Group discounts available:
Disciplinary Literacy - Online Course Offering
Number of Licenses
Cost of Course
Dow Corning Foundation/SVSU Community STEM Partnership
The application for the Dow Corning Foundation/SVSU Community STEM Partnership program at Saginaw Valley State University for 2018-2019 is now available! Teachers attend a two week workshop (June 26, 27, 28 July 1, 2 and July 22-26, 2019) to explore attitudes about STEM and develop a project to conduct with their class in a team of SVSU faculty and STEM professionals. This is a great opportunity for students and teachers seeking to change attitudes about STEM in their classroom and community. The program is designed for K-12 math and science teachers. The program facilitates inquiry based learning and provides substantial financial support to acquire STEM capital (2000.00) to support the project. There is also intensive training on grant writing and career pathways in STEM.
Teachers receive a $1,000.00 stipend for participation. The program has been approved during past years for a substantial number of SCECHS and we plan to offer these again, as long as approved.
This program at SVSU has been featured multiple times in local news outlets such as the The Township Times and Midland Daily News. It has been highlighted at science and science education conferences. Please see the SVSU article links at the end of the email for more information.
Projects can be conducted by multiple teachers from the same school system. Teams (2-3 teachers that would like to work on a single project) are welcome to apply as well. The investment can represent a significant enhancement of school infrastructure. Teacher project participation has resulted in the construction of outdoor learning environments, indoor maker spaces, hydroponics systems, ROV development, greenhouse enhancements and scientific equipment acquisition. The teachers also receive expert advising in project design and implementation. Teachers have received support from local businesses and other community members to enhance their projects as well, with some teachers raising thousands of additional funds to support their project goals.
The target date to receive applications is by 3/22/2019. We will notify accepted applicants by 4/5/2019 and wait-list others in case spots open up. If all spots are not filled, the applications received after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis until three weeks prior to program start date.
The program, known as "The Dow Corning Foundation/SVSU Community STEM Partnership", is geared for teachers K-12. The program includes participation in a two week summer workshop, a 1000 dollar stipend for the teachers (the Dow Corning Foundation Fellows), and up to 2000 dollars in supplies for an inquiry project. Items such as hydroponics systems, robotic arms, and 3D printers were acquired for the teachers depending on their project needs. At the end of the school year the project results will be presented by the teachers and students at a symposium that is open to the public.*
Please contact us if you have any questions. We hope to hear from your science and math teachers!
Principals-if you are interested in a presentation and visit from an SVSU representative to discuss further details about this program, please contact email@example.com by email.
*Please note-Attendance at the workshop each day and presenting at the end of year symposium are requirements of the program. Please check your schedule and make sure that you are able to fully participate. Workshop dates are given above and the symposium is scheduled for the Wednesday evening after Memorial Day.
MI School Data PowerPoint
Annual Education Report (AER)
As mentioned last week in the Curriculum Corner, The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is finalizing the data and materials for schools to use in publishing their Annual Education Report (AER). It is anticipated that 2017-18 AER data and materials necessary for the creation of 2017-18 AERs will be available in preview for schools later this week or early next week on MI School Data (www.MISchoolData.org). Please note: The report information, cover letter templates, and combined report data currently located on the Annual Education Report section at MISchoolData.org have not yet been updated to reflect the materials to be used for the 2018-19 school year AERs. The MDE will be providing these materials and additional AER information when the AER becomes available in preview. The Annual Education Report is designed to meet the federal requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for an annual report. Local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools must prepare and communicate AERs using data results from the 2017-18 school year and related information found in the ‘Combined Report’ and revised cover letter templates located at MI School Data in the Annual Education Report section.
MDE AER Memo
Assessment & Accountability Update
One Page Timeline for SI & State/Fed Funds
School Improvement Timeline
What school improvement activities should you be focusing on this month? Are you aware of all of the upcoming deadlines and accountability requirements? Be sure to take a look at the Continuous School Improvement & State/Fed Funds Timelines & Deadlines tool on the SI Timeline website if you have not already done so. This awesome one-page tool provides a guide for the entire year with links for each month to detailed information.
Practical SI Timeline for Michigan Website
School Counselor Summer Academy
2018-2019 PD Guide
Professional Development Opportunities
MSTA March 1-2, 2019
MRA March 9-11, 2019
MACUL March 20-22, 2019
MNA March 21-23, 2019
MCSS March 22-23, 2019
MDE Webinar Series - Supporting the Educator Workforce
Have you had a chance yet to check out the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Educator Excellence new webinar series? The OEE launched a new series in December designed to empower teacher, school, and district leaders with the knowledge and practices to recruit, develop, retain, recognize, and support educators throughout the workforce pipeline.
Below is a list of the webinar topics and dates. Prior sessions may be accessed on the Office of Educator Excellence page via the links provided. A link is also available on the page to register for future sessions.
Components of Quality Mentoring and Induction Programs (December 14, 2018 at 9:00 AM)
Education Value Added Assessment System (EVAAS) (January 25, 2019 at 9:00 AM)
Retaining educators through recognition and district culture (February 22, 2019 at 9:00 AM)
Placing educators to maximize resources (March 22, 2019 at 9:00 AM)
Student Learning Objectives within Educator Evaluations (April 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM)
Recruiting educators for open positions (May 17, 2019 at 9:00 AM)
Participants may earn SCECH for their participation in the live webinar series.
Regional/State Professional Development Opportunities
Great Lakes Bay School Counselor Summer Academy
Are you as school counselor looking for professional development opportunities to meet the new certification requirements? The GLB Instructional Team has a summer series for you. Sessions will be led by consultant Salle O'Neill and held at BAISD in July and August, 2019. Take a look at the program flyer for details.
MDE Webinar Series
School Counselor Summer Academy II
School Counselor Summer Academy I
AGS District Website
Subscribe to Curriculum Corner
Huron Forward Podcast
Associate Superintendent of Instruction
From the Desk of the Editor - Why Not Au Gres
Director of Instructional Services
The Power of a Multifaceted
On February 7, 2019, I had the great honor of watching my friend Superintendent Jeffrey Collier of the Au Gres-Sims School District deliver one of six Ed Talks to superintendents, administrators, and legislators at the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA) 2019 Mid-Winter Conference in Detroit, Michigan. His Ed Talk was titled: Leveraging Technology to "Brand" Your Schools and Build Dynamic Communication Platforms. In his Ed Talk Jeff discussed the power of educators to challenge the status quo and lead a positive narrative by collectively celebrating the stories of our successes within schools and classrooms. Mr. Collier said, "If not us who, if not now when? Educators are storytelling machines." This was not the first time that Mr. Collier has shared this message as Jeff has presented at the BAISD Fall Conference and for the Michigan ASCD Board of Directors. His powerful presentation should be a call to action for all of us in looking at how we communicate with our constituents. Please take a few minutes to view this great Ed Talk and look at the Au Gres-Sims School District communications links provided.
Assistant Superintendent for General Education
Director of Instructional Services
Michigan Office of Educator Excellence - @MIEducator
The Michigan Office of Educator Excellence is focused on helping @mieducation become a Top 10 State in 10 years for #Education. #proudMIeducator