All posts by Patronella Koster

Creating a Culture of Achievement – Updates

Hello LCN Members,

Thank you for a wonderful morning of learning around “Fostering a Culture of Do No Harm” from Doug Fisher’s book,  How to Create a Culture of Achievement in your school and classroom.  We explored and discussed two proactive service cycles, A proactive classroom environment for learning and Hallway TLC and two service cycles that look at ways to support learning despite our best efforts to prevent problems from occurring, Analyze the causes of behavior and Restorative practices.  Our learning community offered two additional resources to support our learning in creating a culture of do no harm.   Lots of resources to work with behavior. MDE’s recently released Alternatives to Suspensions and Expulsions Toolkit.

Here’s the link to the toolkit homepage: Alternatives to Suspensions and Expulsions Toolkit

Here’s a direct link to the video segments  mentioned today at LCN with the Restorative Justice video segments:

Also, if some are interested in the PowerPoints that go along with the videos, they’re found at the links below (the videos are embedded within the PPTs). These are also found at the bottom of the toolkit homepage at the Restorative Justice Practices link:

Segment 2- Restorative Justice Revealed — Restorative Resources Video (Overview): Slide 15
Segment 5 – Informal Restorative Justice Interventions — Video Segment #1: Slide 4; Video Segment #2: Slide 13
Segment 6 – Formal Restorative Justice Interventions — Video Segment #3: Slide 12
Segment 7 – Circle Process — Video Segment #4: Slide 14; Video Segment #5: Slide 18

15-4285_Alternatives to Suspension Resources

15-4285_Alternatives to Suspension Resources-2

Interested in looking up your favorite Professional Learning Highlight offered here at Kent ISD from last LCN check out the list of all opportunities here.

Our next LCN Session will be on Thursday, March 10, 2016.  Please read Chapter 4, Choice Words in How to Create a Culture of Achievement in your school and classroom.


Talk About Understanding

Rethinking classroom talk to get at deeper understanding is difficult!! Ellin Keene’s book Talk About Understanding and video have helped us start to shape our thinking and intentions and talk around the “Cognitive Outcomes for Deeper Comprehension”.

At our next LCN Session on March 10, 2016 we will continue to learn together using Chapter 4, Immersed in Ideas, What does it mean to comprehend deeply in informational text? and Chapter 5, From the Inside, Integrating strategy instruction and informational outcomes.

Please use / integrate some of Ellin’s thinking with your work with students and/or as you support your colleagues.  We will share some of your experiences/learning with each other at our next session.


The Seven Structures of Best Practice Teaching

Thank you for a wonderful session of thinking, talking and networking our learning around Chapter 2, The Seven Structures of Best Practice Teaching in the book, Best Practice.  

The following links are some additional resources that were provided.

Proficient CollaboratorsTable


Going Deeper with Writing to LearnWrittenConversationWriteAround

Lots of Collaborative activities

For our March 10, 2016 LCN Session please come prepared to share some of your learning around Best Practice.  Read one of the following chapters–based on your work:  Best Practice in Reading, Best Practice in Writing, Best Practice in Mathematics, Best Practice in Science and Best Practice in Social Studies.

The Seven Structures of Best Practice Teaching

Happy New Year!!  This Thursday, January 7th this session will focus on Chapter 2: The Seven Structures of Best Practice Teaching in the book, Best Practice:  Bringing Standards to Life in America’s Classrooms.  We will reflect on our own practice and collaboratively examine the seven structures through the lens of what we know and do and what might be some areas for growth and intention.

Looking forward to learning together.

Nelli Koster

Talk About Understanding: Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Comprehension

Hope that you had a wonderful holiday break.  This Thursday’s LCN Session will focus on “Enhancing Comprehension with Narrative Text”.  We will investigate what deeper understanding looks and sounds like from your own experience and then use the video in the book to examine and reflect on the integration of strategy  instruction with the outcomes of understanding in narrative text.

We will be using Chapters 2 & 3 in the book, Talk About Understanding: Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Comprehension by Ellin Oliver Keene.

Looking forward to learning together.

Nelli Koster

LCN Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello Everybody,
Happy New Year!! What a great way to celebrate all the learning possibilities for 2016 by attending this Thursday, January 7th’s LCN Day of Professional Learning and Networking!

Please bring all your books: How to Create a Culture of Achievement in your School and Classroom (read Chapter 3:  Do No Harm) and your two session books and your journal. Each session will be using the books as part of the learning and discussions.

I’ve attached the LCN Schedule for January 7th LCN Schedule for Jan.7, 2016  and the the Topic Sessions for the 12:15 to 1:15 segment. LCNTopicSessionsforJanuary7,2016 .Please note that the topic session on Academic Conversations with Laura Robinson will start at 11:15 and go to 1:15. This session will take place at KCTC and will include a lunch for $5.00. Please let Laura Robinson know if you are planning to attend. This will help for the lunch count.

Looking forward to learning together.
Your Literacy Coaches Network Training Team
Nelli Koster–questions – please ask.

Happy Almost Thanksgiving – A Literacy Extension for Students

We hope in this inhale of holiday experiences that you take a moment to enjoy this video.  The video is by Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition. He is encouraging students to tape interviews for a social studies project called the Great Thanksgiving Listen. At the end, it seems that Steve Inskeep has taken Cognitive CoachingSM and  understands the elements of “Academic Conversations”.  Wouldn’t it be great if all students internalized these 5 tips for great interviews?


Inspiring Thinking and Learning: Creating Literacy Rich Classrooms

There is still time to register for an opportunity to be inspired and to grow learning around creating literacy rich classrooms.  Please share opportunity this with your building/grade level staff.

We know that getting students excited about reading and developing lifelong reading habits prepares them for understanding demanding academic texts. Next week Monday, November 16th at Thousand Oaks(Literacy Network Membership and invitation only) and Tuesday, November 17 at Kent ISD, Donalyn Miller will inspire and offer solid advice and strategies on how to develop, encourage, and assess five key reading habits that cultivate a lifelong love of reading.

With many of our schools in Michigan using the MAISA Reading and Writing Units of Instruction, Donalyn’s thinking will support building literacy rich classrooms.

Join us for a wonderful learning opportunity. Limited openings still available.  Register at Kent ISD Professional Learning Website.

Literacy Coaches Network Blog for 2015/2016

Welcome to the 2015/2016 Literacy Coaches Network Blog!! This “Blogs” intention is to keep our Literacy Learners connected in-between the  5 day  sessions.

You were automatically subscribed to the sessions you signed up for when you registered.  If you changed sessions, please take a few minutes to subscribe to the sessions that you are attending so that you will be able to get updated information about your session whenever something is posted. You will not automatically get this information unless you subscribe!!

Celebrating Literacy is our learning theme for 2015/2016. Join us in our tenth year of leading literacy learning  with our featured guest speaker, Donalyn Miller, who will inspire and inform our literacy learning on Monday, November 16th at Thousand Oaks.  You must register in order to attend.  Cost is $35.00 per person — you are encouraged to invite a colleague!! Click on this link for details about registration. 15CUR1116P Donalyn Miller speaks to LCN FLYER 

Donalyn, the Book Whisperer, is a national author and speaker who has continued the conversation beyond getting students to love reading, into developing, encouraging and assessing the five reading habits that cultivate a lifelong love of reading.

Across District Classroom Learning Lab – Middle School Social Studies – GRR with Academic Conversations

Please join us for this wonderful learning opportunity.  Marie Davis, 7th & 8th grade Social Studies Teacher is opening her classroom for a day of Across District Learning Labs this Friday, March 27, 2015.  The specifics are in the information below.  Please e-mail me ASAP if you desire to attend.  We have a limited amount of spots and they will be filled on a first come basis.  e-mail .  This is a half day opportunity so list your first choice for time and your e-mail so that I can get back to you. Nelli

This is a great opportunity to engage in conversations and learning around the Gradual Release Instructional Framework and Academic Conversations.

WHAT: Marie Davis, 7th & 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher will be hosting a Classroom Learning Lab. Marie’s teaching is framed within the Gradual Release of Responsibility with content, social and language goals framing the instruction. Marie believes that teaching students the tools to engage with any content will engage and motivate all students.
WHEN: Friday, March 27, 2015 (May only attend one session) 7 participants each sessionSchedule: AM Session – Meet in 7:15 to 7:45 AM   Pre-brief7:50 to 8:49 Observation in Marie’s Room -US History-88:49 to 9:00 Break

9:00 to 10:15 Debrief

10:15 to 10:45 – Open Conversation/Questions/Lunch

Schedule: PM Session – Meet in

11:00 to 11:30 Pre-brief

11:38 to 12:37   Observation in Marie’s Room – Social Studies – 7

12:37 to 12:45 Break

12:45 to 2:00 Debrief

2:00 to 2:30 – Open Conversation/Questions

WHERE: Kent City Middle School285 North Main Street, Kent City 49330Principal: Bill Crane
WHO May Attend 10 – Educators who are interested in growing their teaching practice around the Gradual Release of Responsibility, Social Studies instructional practices, Purposeful Talk and/or educators interested in exploring Classroom Learning Labs as a form of professional learning. Sign up on a first come basis.
WHY: Networking and growing our learning builds everyone’s capacity. We value supporting student achievement and teacher learning.