Jeanane Charara Joins National Science Peer Review Panel

Congratulations to Jeanane Charara, Dearborn’s elementary science resource teacher, who was recently accepted as a peer reviewer on Achieve’s Science Peer Review Panel. Out of over 200 applicants from 39 states, DC and international locations, Jeanane demonstrated extensive knowledge of the NGSS and a critical eye for high-quality and materials designed for the NGSS. Jeanane will join the network of roughly 50 passionate educators on the Science PRP with whom she can build a powerful community and share ideas and resources.

The Science PRP was created by Achieve in fall 2016 to evaluate lesson sequences and units designed for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and share high quality examples online. One of the biggest challenges to NGSS implementation around the country is a lack of high-quality instructional materials designed for the NGSS. The Science PRP addresses the problem of the insufficient examples of science materials by evaluating free and publicly available materials with the nationally-respected EQuIP Rubric for Science, identifying high quality examples, and posting them publicly for the education community—both teachers and publishers—to see what materials faithfully designed for the NGSS actually look like.

To learn more, check out the Science Peer Review Panel website.

Say Yes to Recess

We are on the right track with recess everyday with our students.  Learn more about the benefits of recess on elementary students:

from the website

Say “Yes” to Recess

Allison Behne

Research shows that children need recess. Yet withholding recess is often used as a punishment for less than expected behavior. However, punishments are not effective strategies for managing behaviors. In fact, when I try to think of a classroom behavior that would warrant the removal of a recess, I struggle to find one.

I believe that children generally want to do well and follow expectations. They need us to give them the benefit of the doubt and support them in their quest to do right. Will there be times the behavior is intentional? Yes. And when that happens, we can confer about the behavior we are noticing, figure out what is causing it, and have the consequence be directly related.

Think about the following scenarios:

  • A student who gets so excited about what he is learning that often when he has the opportunity to collaborate, he gets a little loud. He is usually not off task or obnoxious, but his voice carries. Can he be reminded about his voice level? Absolutely. Should he miss recess because of it? No.
  • The classroom that was declared “out of control” when many students were talking and unfocused. Were they all out of control? If they were, why? It may be time to reflect on classroom management and revisit some instructional practices.
  •  A student who during quiet work time answered a question a peer asked. She didn’t want to go against the expectations, and she didn’t want to ignore her classmate. What should she have done? She may need coaching to help her know what would be considered desirable behavior if she finds herself in that situation again.

It takes more effort on our end to get to the root of the behavior, but the final result is happy students who don’t miss the chance to be physically active, socialize, and reset their brains for more learning. “No recess for you” should turn into, “Enjoy recess and return to class prepared to learn.”

Interested in reading more on the benefits of recess? Here are a few articles and a short book to get you started.

Is Recess Important for Kids or a Waste of Time?

7 Things to Know About School Recess

The Importance of Recess: Why Schools Need More Play Time

The Importance of Recess for Children with ADHD

No More Taking Away Recess and Other Problematic Discipline Practices

Are Too Many Students Working Below Grade Level?

According to a new report released last week and an article written by Stephen Sawchuk for Education Week, too many schools give students classwork below grade level—leaving them underprepared for what’s next.

What’s more, the report finds that when given the opportunity, students of color and disadvantaged students do almost as well as their peers on challenging, grade-level assignments, so the notion that such students can’t or won’t do rigorous work “is a pernicious assumption, and it is wrong,” said Daniel Weisberg, the CEO of the research, teacher-training, and advocacy organization TNTP, which conducted the study.

Read the whole article, including the study data here.

Project Based Learning at ASC

Dearborn educators K-12 enjoyed a productive day of learning at ASC on a beautiful fall Saturday, learning about project based teaching and learning and developing projects to implement with students.  Project ideas ranged from how to keep a snowman from melting (K) to a conceptual physics projects about designing football helmets to prevent concussions (10th/11th grade).

Teachers used the “I like,” “I wonder,” “Have you considered?” strategy during a gallery walk to give each other feedback on their driving questions.  The learning continues on Saturday, October 13.  Thanks to Dearborn facilitators Ellie Hammoud and Amy Gwizdz and Anupam Chugh from Wayne RESA for a great day of learning!

21st Century GraduateI like.., I wonder..., Have you considered?Teachers giving feedback using I like, I wonder, Have you considered? strategyKeep Olaf Alive!Safer Helmets through Physics

Resources for Celebrating Constitution Day on Sept. 17

Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the Constitution of the United States on Sept 17, 1787, is officially known as Citizenship Day. It’s an important distinction because all citizens are affected by and responsible to uphold the constitution. Take the opportunity to highlight the history and evolution of the document that influences so much of our daily lives and access to justice and liberty by participating in this Virtual Viewing Party and the activities that accompany it.

Use the resources available in Discovery Education (available under Global or Additional Resources in DEC) or this link to find videos to use with your students:

Find additional teaching resources for Constitution Day 2018 here:

How to access Curriculum & PD sites

Curriculum & PD

DEC (Dearborn Education Curriculum)

  • Choose “Resources for Staff” in the upper right corner of the district homepage (  
  • DEC is the first item under Curriculum midway down the page.It is also accessible at  
  • Log in using your district credentials.  
  • Select your level and content area or grade level.  If you have not already, enroll in the course.

PD Info & Registration

  • Choose “Resources for Staff” in the upper right corner of the district homepage (
  • PD Info – Registration & PD Tracking is the first item under Staff Professional Development.  It is also accessible at
  • Log in using your district credentials.
  • Browse by clicking on the Events tab or you can search by Audience or Subject.
  • You can see events for which you have registered by clicking on the My Registrations tab.

MyPD (Professional Learning Portal)

  • Choose “Resources for Staff” in the upper right corner of the district homepage (
  • MyPD is the second item under Staff Professional Development.  It is also accessible at
  • Log in using your district credentials.
  • Required courses will be here soon (i.e., Bloodborne Pathogens, OCR)

Stay up-to-date on new resources added and PD workshops by subscribing to the department blog:

Questions, comments, concerns: Contact Dr. Ross Groover or 827-7257.

Skip to toolbar