Secondary English Weekly #17


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Tuesday, February 2nd

  • StudySync Webinar: Differentiate Instruction for Advanced Learners 4-4:30 PM — Register
  • Crucial Conversations Book Study Session 2 (CCS TOSA, Johari Mitchell) 4:00 - 5:00PM--Zoom Link (Meeting ID: 860 1446 9811; Passcode: 630837)
  • Thurber House Young Writers' Studio Grades 9-12 6:30-8:30PM Register
Wednesday, February 3rd DISTRICT PD DAY
  • Secondary English PD Sessions 8:30AM-3:30PM (See Links Below.)
  • StudySync Webinar: From Our Hearts to Yours: A Valentines Event 4-4:45PM — Register
Thursday, February 4th

Saturday, February 6th

  • NCTE Mindfulness Writing Series Session 11am-12:15pm Register HERE

Sunday, February 7th



This Wednesday, February 3rd, is a District PD Day.
  • Here is a link to a Google Doc with just the Secondary English sessions listed/linked: Secondary English Sessions. The graphic below shows each of those offerings.
  • Here is a link to the Canvas Site with all of the session offerings for all disciplines: Once you are on the site, you will find the Secondary English sessions by clicking on "Secondary Curriculum" in the left navigation column. You can also find a video to guide your use of the site in the left navigation column by clicking on "Site Navigation Directions." This Guidance Document can also help with the site. Ignore pop-ups asking you to sign-in.
  • All of the English sessions seek to fulfill the curriculum mission to Support, Build Capacity, and Empower, and many of them address the district's goal for Year One of a new curriculum adoption: Activation, where teachers and students use the new products, become comfortable with them, and gain skills and knowledge to use the products for student success. In addition to live sessions, there are some On-Demand videos and tutorials that you may want to peruse. Some sessions are repeated for ease of planning your day. There may be sessions in other areas (e.g., instructional technology) that you may want to consider when creating your PD Day schedule.
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Shout Out to CCS Teachers who are Published Authors

A best practice when teaching writing is to write with your students. Teachers who show their students that they have a writing life illustrate that writing should be a life-long endeavor. Many CCS English teachers have a writing life beyond the classroom and are published authors. Below is a list of some English and other discipline teachers who should be acknowledged for their endeavors. Check out, buy, and/or read their works and let them know that you celebrate their accomplishments!

SEAN BILLINGSLEA-Dominion Middle School

  • Arkrames: The Orpheus Quest Somewhere in ancient Greece...It was always understood that the mysterious sword and shield mounted on the wall over the hearth was not to be touched. But young Arkrames could not help but be drawn to the weapon which seemed to be perfect for him. More than anything, he dreamed of being a warrior whose name could stand along with those of the greatest in history; heroes such as Perseus, Achilles, and Hercules. Arkrames sets out on an adventure that could either set him equal with the heroes of his admiration or bring him to total ruin and self-destruction. (Barnes and Noble; Amazon; Author's Website)
  • Arkrames: Sabra and the Amazon City A Different Path...Having returned from her adventure with Arkrames, Sabra has chosen to accept the offer made to her by the Amazons. However, once she joins them, she learns that they are on the brink of war with their nemeses, the Gargareans - an all-male society with whom they share a tenuous peace. But Sabra soon discovers that her new life with the Amazons and the facts surrounding the hostility between them and the Gargareans are not quite what they had first appeared to be. Only she can decide what path the future will take her down…. (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Author's Website)
SENECA BING-Southland Center
  • Aliyah's Missing Teddy Bear! Aliyah's Missing Teddy Bear is an opportunity for young readers (ages 3-12) to go on a journey with five-year-old Aliyah, as her beautiful spirit is tested by the loss of her best friend Bearry. This book will help young readers to identify the natural emotions associated with the stages of grief, and gives strategies to manage these very strong emotions. (Book Trailer, Author's Website, Amazon)
  • The Positive Perspectives Activity Book for Children is a companion to Aliyah's Missing Teddy Bear! The emotional state of children is especially important. The simple activities and journal prompts in the Positive Perspectives Activity Book will help young people process their emotions in bite sized chunks.Prompts are directly aligned to the CASEL 5 Social Emotional Learning Competencies. (Author's Website, Amazon)

JASMIN CHATMAN-Mifflin Middle School

  • When I See Me is a children's book birthed out of the heartache and sadness Chatman felt after watching the video of Ahmaud Arbery's murder. This is a love letter to her SONshines and all of the beautiful and brilliant boys of color in the world. (Author's Website, Amazon)
  • A Year of a Million Pieces is a very raw and transparent literary work that continues to empower many people to speak their truth and embrace self-love. The beautiful thing about going THROUGH trials and tribulations is getting THROUGH them and being able to help others. Being able to say with confidence, "It will get better and you will make it through," speaks volumes. (Author's Website, Amazon)

JACOB CLARK-Champion Middle School

PHYLLIS DAVIS-Independence High School

  • Quality of Life of People with Disabilities: Stories of Successful Adults This study explored the quality of life of employed college graduates with disabilities. In the educational setting, participants reported benefiting from the principles of universal designs such as differentiated instruction and the incorporation of technology. The results of this study indicated a need for schools to do more to recognize individual potential and put emphasis on successful transitions for individuals with disabilities. (OhioLink)

LINDA GORELOVA-Mifflin High School

  • "Cat, Dog, Horse" is a fictional short story of young Ohio girl navigating her family dynamics and Kentucky Appalachian roots nuanced by learning to speak three languages: cat, dog, and horse. (Bellevue Literary Review, Issue 14)

STEVE HINER-Southland Center

  • Puzzling Algebra was written to provide math teachers with supplemental resources they can use in their classrooms. It contains activities, puzzles, mazes, and more for students in middle and high school. (Amazon)
  • I Can: Teach Myself to Graph Linear Equations has complete tutorials explain topics from plotting points to finding the equations of lines. Designed for students as well as teachers, topics are taught using quizzes, puzzles, and more. (Amazon)

KATHY MCQUATE & Students Marylyen Jimenez-Ayala & Alaysha Brunner-Linden McKinley STEM Academy

  • Green Roof Geese is a work of fiction based on a real family of Canada Geese who made a nest on the green roof of Linden-McKinley STEM Academy during the closure of Ohio schools beginning in March 2020 due to COVID-19. A tulip, who wants peace and quiet, narrates the story of the unwelcome geese. The tulip discovers that Mother Goose and Gander Goose do not seem to be very good parents and decides to help them out. In the end, the tulip learns some lessons about making new friends and helping others. (Free Google Digital Copy Using CCS Credentials, Amazon, Discussion Questions-Email Kathy for a copy of possible Discussion Question answers)

DAVID PATRICK-Whetstone High School

CYNTHIA PRICE-Mifflin High School

  • 150 50 A Teacher’s Account of Urban Schools introduces various way to teach culture and identity in the classroom. In order to do this , school districts and teachers must work hand-in -hand to create a healthy environment for children that addresses the whole culture of a child- instead of making assumptions about one aspect of a child's culture. (Book Trailer, Amazon)


  • Fiction: “Saint Paul” and “Five Card Draw” (Youngstown State University)
  • Poetry: “Cereal”, “East 109 and St. Clair”, and “Lincoln’s Plight” (University of Dayton)

CHIQUITA TOURE-Eastmoor Academy

  • Self-Excavation:Unearthing You, A 21 Day Devotional Symbolically using the tools of archaeologists, Toure helps the reader to survey the terrain of his/her life, then dig deep into the heart and soul to unearth hidden hurts as well as precious inner treasures. The book is comprised of a series of prayers, meditations, questions to be answered, some complimentary poems, and more. (Author's Website)


  • Naked in the Driveway: A One-Week Memoir of a Life-Crisis Adventure Tour A single-mother of two finds herself naked and covered in mud, in a stranger's driveway, several states away from home. Frustrated with life not being anything like she had hoped for by a certain age, White went "off the grid" on a spontaneous one-week journey to find peace. She recalls this story of survival and accidental exposure with hope, sarcasm, and the same transparency as swapping stories with close friends over a bottle of wine. From Salem, Massachusetts to the Appalachian Trail, this humorous, true tale is a relatable travel journal come to life, with photos and QR codes linking to actual events in the story. Naked and exhausted, White undergoes a transformation that gives her the will to live the very life she was trying to leave behind. (Book Trailer, Amazon)

JAMES YUSE-Woodward Park Middle School

  • J.C.'s Guitar J.C. is a twelve year old Ohio boy navigating 8th grade who is suddenly confronted with the terrible realities of life when his father is arrested and J.C. is kept completely in the dark concerning the reasons why. He is a self-described “rocker” who doesn’t care much for school and is absorbed with rock bands. Forced to move in with his old school grandma, he obsesses over his fathers’ innocence. His dreams of a ticket out through music are temporarily interrupted by the discovery of the truths that surround him. One of those truths is that he doesn’t even own a guitar. Even if he did, he doesn’t know how to play a single note. Becoming a guitar hero, getting through middle school, and understanding his dad's incarceration illuminate the power of the individual to persevere and find the worth in trying something better. (Amazon)

The information in this article has been given to the CCS Communications Department, so authors, don't be surprised if you get contacted for more information about your work(s) for a feature article. Below are some other CCS authors you may have missed in recent news stories on the CCS Website. If you are an author and did not get a chance to fill out the CCS AUTHORS form, do so by Friday and we will celebrate you in our next issue:)

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During the month of February, you can host an African American Read-In (AARI) virtual event. Include your event in the 2021 Report Card by completing this Host Report Card submission form after your event by March 15, 2021.

Ways to Get Involved:


Andy Chow with Ohio Public Radio/TV would like to start a speaking/outreach program where he and his colleague talk to high school students about the career possibilities in journalism and broadcasting. They would visit your classes (virtually) to talk about the careers and answer any questions. If you are interested in this, please reach out to Andy at

ALA announced the 2021 Youth Media Awards

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, digital media, video, and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards last Monday. Here are some noted winners.

  • Newbery Winner: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
  • Newbery Honor Boooks: All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat, BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly, and A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat
  • Caldecott Winner: We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
  • Caldecott Honor Books: A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott, The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham & Karim Shamsi-Basha, Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera, and Outside In by Cindy Derby.
  • Coretta Scott King Author Book Award: Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books: All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor, King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender, and Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne.
  • Printz Award: Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri
  • Printz Honor Books: Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth, Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang, Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh, We Are Not Free by Traci Chee.
  • Alex Awards (10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences): Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice - Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O’Brady, Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf, The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth, Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh, and We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel by Quan Barry.


The East Asian Studies Center at The Ohio State University is pleased to offer several free opportunities for K-12 teachers in Spring and Summer 2021. These seminars fill quickly, so register early.

February 13, 2021- NCTA Workshop: “More Than Just K-POP: Take the Journey of Korea”

  • Who: K-12 educators (pre-service and in-service teachers, librarians, administrators)
  • When: Saturday, February 13, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
  • What: Uncover some of the most exciting cultural icons of this country through an interactive exploration of Korea! From the 7th century Cheomseongdae Observatory to the 15th century development of the Hangul writing system to today's efforts in preserving Moon Bear populations, join us on this virtual tour of South Korea's geography and history while learning how to use these activities in your own classroom. The participants will not only learn about how to incorporate Korean content in the classroom in a fun, engaging way, they will also learn how to modify the current game or create their own board game to explore other countries or subjects.
  • Website:
  • Registration (required): online link
  • Flyer: Feb 13 Workshop Flyer

JULY 12-23, 2021: NCTA “The Journey of East Asia: Adventures Through Stories, Games, and Maps”

  • Who: K-12 educators (pre-service and in-service teachers, librarians, administrators)
  • When: July 12 – 16 and July 19 – 23, 2021: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., plus orientation and follow up event
  • What: Introduction to East Asia to gain the knowledge, resources, and expert guidance needed to incorporate or enhance curriculum about East Asia in the classroom. Stipend and resource material upon completion of seminar requirements.
  • Website:
  • Applications received by April 30, 2020 (or when filled) will be given priority
  • Application link: online link
  • Flyer: NCTA-Ohio-2021-Flyer.pdf

JUNE 7-18, 2021: Global Teacher Seminar: “Global Social Justice, Activism, and Protests”

  • Who: K-12 educators (pre-service and in-service teachers, librarians, administrators)
  • When: June 7 – 11 and June 14 – 18, 2021: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • What: This two-week seminar will inform K-12 educators about global social justice activism and protest movements by focusing on the regions of East Asia, Eastern Europe/Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The seminar will give participants a solid foundation in the relevant political, social, and historical theories in order to ground their understanding of protests and politics. Throughout the seminar, guest experts will present regional case studies to provide comparative perspectives of what are prominent current protest movements in their region of study (social justice, corruption, environment, etc.), what hurdles activists/protestors may experience when organizing demonstrations or events, the longer history and culture of protest in the particular region, how protestors and their movement are perceived in the larger population, and how the demands of activists/protestors are considered and/or met by policy makers and reverberate in the political sphere. Stipend for attending seminar and completing lesson plan.
  • Application Deadline: April 2021 (or when filled) online link at website below
  • Application: Available soon – to be put on a list to be notified when application is ready, click here
  • Website:

Covid Conversations Podcast: Land and Identity

Covid Conversations is a new podcast series from the OSU Center for Folklore Studies. The first episode features a discussion of the connections between land and identity with two wordsmiths and artists– of Dayton, Ohio, and from Lewes in the southeast of England.

🎧 Episode 22: Covid Conversations #1 - Wordsmiths and Artists – Omopé Carter-Daboiku and Alinah Azadeh

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What are the secondary english curriculum resources?

Here is the CCS Adopted, Supplemental, and Intervention Resources List that contains all of the resources available to secondary English teachers.

  • The Tier I Instructional Resources are StudySync (English 6-12) and the Bedford Texts/Launchpad (Honors and AP English).
  • The Tier II Intervention Resource is Achieve3000
  • The Supplemental Resources (in general) are TeachingBooks and DBQ.

You can see more about StudySync, Bedford, TeachingBooks, and DBQ below in this same section of the newsletter. This information will remain here all year for your convenience.

Visit the ELA 6-12 Webpage for all Secondary English Curriculum/Resources. You will find your COURSE FOLDERS on the Curriculum/Instructional Resources Quick Links for your Grade Level. The COURSE FOLDERS have everything you need for your courses including Curriculum Maps, Standard docs, digital novels, adopted resource trainings/tutorials, Course Intros, etc.

NOTE: To access many curricular and district, you must be logged into Google using your CCS credentials and not a personal account.

Content Priorities-What Matters Most in English Under the Constraints of Remote/Pandemic Teaching and Learning

We all know that remote teaching during a global pandemic inherently leads to a slower teaching and learning pace. The director of Secondary Curriculum asked me to put together some slides for how to adapt to the slower pace by showing what the three main priorities would be for teaching English in our new normal. The priorities are not much different than what they would be in a face-to-face situation, but they are narrowed and more focused.

Priority I: Essential Practice

  • significant instructional time with ELA disciplines: reading, writing, discussion

  • strategies/scaffolds for comprehension and composition that transfer across texts/contexts

Priority 2: Standard Alignment

  • questioning/activities/lessons/assessments that apply standard knowledge and skills to ELA disciplines: reading, writing, discussion

  • heavier focus on targeted standards from OST
  • awareness of PreAP/AP standards (Honors & AP)

Priority 3: Adopted Resource

  • use of StudySync (English 6-12) for integrated, on-grade-level, scaffolded lessons that inherently include Priorities 1 and 2

  • use of Bedford texts/Launchpad (Honors & AP) for foundational, skill, and theme/topic lessons that that inherently include Priorities 1 and 2

-In general, the first priority focuses on the essential practices for your classroom time. The second priority lists the standards that you should focus on the most for questions, activities, lessons, and assessments using the grade-level, complex texts from your essential practice in priority one. It may be that those priority standards become your narrowed focus for the rest of the year. The third priority shows you how the adopted resources inherently meet priorities one and two. It should be noted that in StudySync, you teach all of the standards listed in priority two in the first four CORE ELA units for your grade level. It may be that you try to do just those four units instead of six this school year due to our slower pace caused by remote learning.

-Below are the slides with the priorities detailed including which standards are the most important for preparing a student to be college and career ready and to do well on the OST. You will find resource links from the CCS ELA 6-12 Webpage and our adopted resources for meeting the priorities. You will find research behind each of the priorities and why they are the most important for a narrowed focus. You will want to read through each carefully as they each contain several items of information.


Content Priorities ELA 6-8

Content Priorities English 9-12

Content Priorities Honors 9-10/AP 11-12

-You can also find the Content Priority Slides on the ELA 6-12 Webpage in the "CCS ELA GUIDING DOCUMENTS" section of the Curriculum/Instructional Resources 6-8 and the Curriculum/Instructional Resources 9-12 Quick Link pages.


-You AND your students access StudySync via the Clever icon or Click on the McGraw Hill icon. Then, launch the StudySync App.

-Your classes are marked with X and Y. The X classes were for first semester and the Y classes are for second semester. If you want to change the names of your classes in StudySync, follow this guide:

StudySync-How to Change Course Names

-Here is information about linking StudySync to Google Classroom.

-Here is the demo code for StudySync in case you have a student teacher, building coach, or admin that wants to see the platform and they do not have a class aligned in Clever/IC.

  • DEMO:
  • UN: studysync2021
  • PW: MHEela21


Help Center

Finding the Help Center in StudySync (video)

-Remember, if you have a question that deals with CCS infrastructure as it relates to StudySync (Clever, rostering, IC, etc.), those questions would be for Tim Wangler.

Tutorials, Trainings, and Webinars

Ask-an-Expert Sessions

Remote Teaching Documents

Resources/ Links from StudySync Training Presenters

Teacher Resources from StudySync:

Administration Resources from StudySync:

Here are the finalized/updated support emails/numbers for McGraw Hill.

Teacher Support McGraw Hill

Administrator Support McGraw Hill

Student/Parent Support McGraw Hill

studysync usage

StudySync should be used in the same manner as any adopted "textbook." It is the place where the CORE ELA Units for Grades 6-12 are housed (print-student consumable; digital-StudySync online). It is where students access grade-level, complex texts that they will read, write about, and have discussions around. It is the resource that offers scaffolding at point of use for students to access complex texts. It is the place where standards are mastered using reading, writing, and skill lessons. It is the place where you have a up-to-date information on how your students are mastering standards because the StudySync grade book has a Standards view that allows you to see every assignment a student has done aligned to a standard and offers ideas for remediation (StudySync Gradebook & Data Analysis). It is NOT a literacy intervention tool like Achieve3000 that has programmatic goals for students. It is important to make this distinction because teachers need to take ownership of using StudySync as their Tier 1 Instructional resource. The bulk of your curriculum should come from StudySync. Teachers are still free to add and take away from the units, just as you might have a textbook in the past. However, it is not ok to just use StudySync for testing and blasts. If you have been doing that, please make the change to using StudySync's CORE ELA Units. The first read, skill, close read routine found there is exactly what our students need to master standards using complex text. It is also important to note that StudySync is not a supplemental product, like TeachingBooks or DBQ Online. Those are available for your use but should not be the place you go to for the bulk of your curriculum.

BEDFORD/LAUNCHPAD access and support


To get to Launchpad through Clever, click the Launchpad icon and click on the name of class/textbook. Student texts were sent to the buildings. All students have a hardback text, Honors students should also have a workbook. If you experienced problems with Launchpad since the change to second semester, those should be fixed now. Reach out to Tim Wangler if you encounter any other issues.



Trainings and Tutorials
Bedford Overviews, Slideshows, Trainings, and Tutorials

AP Course Pacing Guides Updated to Make Up for Lost Instructional Time

If your full-year AP classes have been forced off schedule, the new AP Pacing Guides provide one way to help AP teachers catch up by maximizing their direct teaching time. You can check them out at AP Central and below. They have been added to your COURSE FOLDERS and can be found with the other AP Curricular items on the ELA 6-12 Webpage at the Curriculum/Instructional Resources 9-12 Quick Link.

TeachingBooks Access and Support


You AND your students access TeachingBooks via the Clever icon or Click on the TeachingBooks icon.



-TeachingBooks is the tool that houses the lists of books we have in the warehouse and in the Secondary English Curriculum Office. Use this TeachingBooks Tutorial to learn how to access the CCS book lists.

- TeachingBooks also is a place to get additional novel and author resources. These Overview videos/trainings from TeachingBooks can help you understand the resources: Introduction video I Slide Presentation and Training Script.

-October 16th PD Session: Virtual and Blending Learning Recording

DBQ Literature Mini-Qs: Supplemental Resource access and support

DBQ has given us FREE access to the Literature Mini-Qs this school year. You access them via via the Clever icon or Click on the The DBQ Project icon. (Access Live and Self-Paced PD for DBQ Here.) Each school also has a hard-copy binder of the lessons. Making copies of these for subs would be a great way to have standard-aligned, high-quality lessons since subs will not/may not have access to StudySync.

--Check out the newest addition to the DBQ Platform, Unit Trailers, with this sample for

How Does The Great Gatsby Reflect America in the Twenties?

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The next course meeting day is February 9th. If you have ever wanted to talk to other English teachers in the district about teaching ideas for the course(s) you instruct, now is your chance to join a Zoom session to

  • share how they are making the most of our adopted resources (e. g. StudySync) to maximize student learning,
  • show teaching ideas that have worked well this year,
  • ask other colleagues how they are handling something you want to try, etc.

There is no set agenda for this meetings, so bring your ideas to share. The district will plan to have some Course Meetings every second, Tuesday. The remaining dates are 2/9, 3/9, 4/13, 5/11. We may not be able to have every course, every month due to the available number of hosting Zoom rooms, but we will offer as many as we can. You will be able to find the ones available for each date in this newsletter the week of the meetings.


A Mindful Writing series from NCTE will take place every Saturday from January 9th through February 13th from 11am-12:15pm. The opportunity is open to both NCTE members (free) and nonmembers ($10 per session). This series will help teachers refuel and find balance as we take the turn into a new year. In each session, participants will be invited to do a guided meditation and then a restorative activity that combines writing with mindfulness, including already-perfect meditation, working with preconceptions and story lines, caricature of our internalized critics, and mantra for self-compassion. Some sessions will include guest speakers and experts on mindfulness with an opportunity for Q&A; guest speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. Please note: This series is NOT sequential. Feel free to join one, two, or any number of the sessions—whatever works with your schedule. Each date will be a unique time to get together and meet you where you are. Register HERE


Crucial Conversations Book Study

  • Presenter: Johari Mitchell

  • Date/Time: February 2 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

  • Location: Online - Meeting ID: 860 1446 9811 Passcode: 630837 One tap mobile +13017158592,,86014469811#

  • Target Audience: Teachers

  • As educators, most of us have received training in content knowledge, teaching techniques, assessment practices and classroom management, among other important subjects. But where do we go for training in handling difficult conversations well? This session is an introduction to and interactive discussion of the the book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.

Building Professional Efficacy: Instructional Practice vs. Instructional Strategy

  • Presenter: Tracie Helmbrecht

  • Date/Time: March 18, 2021 from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

  • Location: If in person - 3700 S. High Street If virtual - Zoom Link:

  • Target Audience: PreK-12 teachers and administrators

  • Increase your professional efficacy by using your SIP to identify appropriate instructional practices and strategies. We will take time to define each, create examples of each and how practices and strategies are used to increase student engagement.


Here is an upcoming sessions:

View the whole line up here.


During the month of February, you can host an African American Read-In (AARI) virtual event. Include your event in the 2021 Report Card by completing this Host Report Card submission form after your event by March 15, 2021.

Ways to Get Involved:

  • Access this year's AARI toolkit.
  • Add an event to the AARI calendar or find an AARI event near you!
  • Participate in the next #NCTEchat on Twitter (@ncte) January 17, at 8 pm where they will discuss planning for AARI.
  • Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #AARI21.
  • Learn more HERE.


Kami Connect 2021 is a free virtual conference for educators on February 18th. Join them for an action-packed day of professional development, inspirational speakers, previews of new Kami features, prizes, and much more! Sessions include Fostering collaboration, Whiteboarding, Inclusive classrooms and accessibility, Social and emotional learning, New Kami features and product tips, Expert panel discussions, and Inspiring keynotes. Register HERE for Kami Connect


Due to the current pandemic, OCTELA 2021: Equity will be held virtually on February 20-27th. They hope that this format will satisfy your need for top-notch professional development while also being able to accommodate the various schedules that teachers have this year. This year’s OCTELA virtual conference will include four keynote sessions (Laurie Halse Anderson, David Bowles, Dr. Jocelyn A. Chadwick, and Dr. Peggy O'Brien) that will be live streamed on Saturdays. There will be a mixture of live breakout and pre-recorded sessions available to attendees throughout the week. Virtual seats in live breakout sessions are limited; however, recordings of live sessions will be available for a minimum of thirty (30) days after the conference. All pre-recorded sessions will be available for on-demand viewing for up to one (1) year after the conference. As always, CEUs and graduate credit will be available.

Go to for more information.

2021 Registration Prices: Standard Registration: $73; Undergraduate registration $33


OCTELA is excited to announce its partnership with Homestretch Apparel, an independently-owned brick and mortar shop in Delaware, Ohio. The 2021 conference t-shirt is actually a throwback to the super-popular "I [Ohio as a heart] Reading" design! Short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and hoodies are available. You can opt to have your order shipped to your home, or you can choose to pick it up in the Delaware store for no shipping cost. Orders will be shipped/available for pick up on February 18, 2021, so you can show off your OCTELA pride at the virtual conference. Please visit the following link to order your shirt:


Institute 1: Introduction to Reading Like a Historian Curriculum and Beyond the Bubble Assessments February 24, March 10, and March 24, 2021; 6-8pm ET

Institute 2: Designing and Adapting Reading Like a Historian Curriculum March 3, March 17, and March 31, 2021; 6-8pm ET

LEARN MORE and REGISTER HERE. A limited number of scholarships are available for teachers who can verify current employment at a Title I school in the United States. Visit this form for more information. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is January 24th.


Join SLJ for Middle Grade Magic 2021 to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of the most anticipated new titles for kids and tweens, from modern coming-of-age tales to eye-popping graphic novels to submersive fantasy. You'll also hear from librarians, who will share how they’ve incorporated programs and activities focused exclusively on this age group. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, chat directly with authors, download educational resources, and enter to win prizes and giveaways.

Middle Grade Magic is still under development so check back for keynote and speaker announcements, additional sessions, exhibit hall and sponsor details, live guest chats and more! Event Hours: 9:00AM ET - 5:00PM ET


HERE is the contest to win $500 in Books.

HERE is the grant opportunity to win $1,000 in Books


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways for January 2021.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways.

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Super Bowl champion and Scholastic author of The Magician’s Hat, Malcolm Mitchell, is hosting READBowl 2021, a national reading competition for Grades PreK-8 that provides teachers with a FREE platform to motivate students to increase their reading minutes in school. READBowl culminates with the crowning of the National Reading Champions on Super Bowl Sunday! Join the challenge and rack up student reading minutes to compete for FREE books and prizes!

About READBowl

Beginning on January 11, 2021, the day of the College Football National Championship, READBowl culminates on February 7, 2021 with the crowning of the National Reading Champions on Super Bowl Sunday! FREE global reading competition for Pre-K through 8th grade students! Designed to inspire students to read and provide teachers with a free platform to motivate students to increase reading minutes. All school programs can participate – in school, distance, virtual and hybrid. Adults can register multiple teams at one time, by first registering themselves. Upon registering/signing in, visit the menu grid and select “Add a Class/Team,” and proceed to add as many teams as desired. Learn More


We just lived through one of the most wrenching and disruptive years in memory. For many young people applying to college, 2020 will be a year they will talk about and remember for the rest of their lives. The New York Times would like to hear how students are translating that year into their college application essay, another formative ritual for high school seniors on the cusp of adulthood. Students should use THIS NYT LINK to share an essay that they submitted to at least one college.


Students in 9th–12th grade who love writing stories, crafting new worlds, and building never-before-seen characters, should sign up for Thurber House's Young Writers' Studio! Young Writers' Studio will be held online on Zoom until it's safe to meet in person. They meet every other week with author and English professor Robert Loss. They kick off the first hour with quality writing prompts and activities. They wrap up the last hour with the chance to workshop pieces that you or others share. It's a safe, low-key, fun way to enjoy writing and meet others!

Click Here to Learn More; Click Here to Register

Winter/Spring 2021 Schedule (6:30-8:30pm on Select Tuesdays)

  • Tuesday, February 2
  • Tuesday, February 16
  • Tuesday, March 2
  • Tuesday, March 16
  • Tuesday, March 30
  • Tuesday, April 13
  • Tuesday, April 27

A limited number of scholarships are available for this program. Email for more information.


The Winter Writing Wizards Classes for Grades 6, 7, and 8, will meet via Zoom on Saturdays: February 27 and March 6, 13, 20 Learn More; Register for Writing Wizards

You can sign up for one or both sets of classes.

  • Poems for Life 10:00 – 11:30 am ET The world is full of weird events...murder hornets?! You’ll learn to look at real-world events like a poet, and have fun reinventing them through your writing and making your voice heard.
  • Ensembles Assemble! 12:00 – 1:30 pm ET What if we make a whole ensemble of vampires, robots, and more, each created by a person in the class, all in the same shared story? Writing a character is fun—but writing a universe together is magical.

Questions? Prefer to register over the phone? Contact Meg Brown at A limited number of scholarships are available for this program. Registration Deadline: Friday, February 19


For $15 students aged 9-14 can join a 50-minute class where they will discuss and sing along with Hamilton. They'll discuss how Hamilton came to Broadway, play some trivia, and learn and talk about topics they initiate. Classes are available from January 17th through March 27th, but they are filling up fast. Check out all of the classes and register HERE.


Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Teachers, librarians, or administrators register their high schools each year with the Ohio Arts Council and organize contests with one class, several classes, or a whole school. Contests, workshops, and multi-media program materials, including curricula, are free. Poetry Out Loud is aligned with Common Core and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards.

REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL HERE. I Get more information here.

POL Teacher's Guide I POL Virtual Competition Specifics


Here are two writing contest from NCTE.

Achievement Awards in Writing (for 11th grade students)

This school-based writing program encourages high school students in their writing and publicly recognizes some of the best student writers in the nation. Deadline February 15

Promising Young Writers (for 8th grade students)

This school-based writing program stimulates and recognizes student’s writing talents and emphasizes the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. Deadline February 15


The Application for the 2021 Princeton Summer Journalism Program is now open!
The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) is a free journalism and college preparatory program for high-achieving current juniors from low-income backgrounds who are interested in journalism. They are currently planning to run the program virtually for the summer of 2021. Over seven weeks, students will attend virtual workshops to learn reporting skills from professional journalists. They will also attend virtual lectures on liberal arts topics led by Princeton University professors. Participants hold a press conference, produce a short documentary, report on a professional sporting event, attend a virtual theatrical production, and interview subjects for their feature stories, which will be published in the Princeton Summer Journal. Review the 2020 Program Schedule for a sample of what to expect. After the program, students work with a volunteer college adviser, a professional journalist or program alum, to complete their college applications.

Program Flyer: PSJ 2021
Program dates: mid-June through early August 2021
Cost: None. There is no cost to students to participate in this program.
Eligibility: To apply, students must be:

  • Current high school juniors (Class of 2022)
  • living in the United States permanently
  • with an unweighted GPA of 3.5/4.0 (or equivalent)
  • who have an interest in journalism (no experience required)
  • and meet one of the financial eligibility requirements below:
    • The custodial parent(s)/guardian(s)’ combined income (including child support received) must not exceed $60,000 annually
    • The student must be eligible for Free/Reduced-Priced Lunch.
    • The student is eligible for a SAT or ACT fee waiver.

Students facing extenuating circumstances should explain their situation on the application.
Applying: The online application is available on this website and due no later than Monday, February 22, 2021. Students must submit an unofficial transcript to be considered. You may read about the full application process and find answers to FAQs online.


Humanities Moments

Through the National Humanities Center’s Humanities Moments project, users submit short videos and essays recalling how an encounter with the humanities, whether through a book, film, document, performance, or something else, profoundly affected their lives.

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Song of the Week

Weezer - All My Favorite Songs (Official Video)

did you miss earlier issues of the secondary english weekly newsletter?

Each week, this Secondary English Weekly Newsletter will be linked in an email sent to ELA and ELA-related teachers in Grades 6-12 and posted on the CCS English Language Arts 6-12 Page ( It will contain all of the latest information that could prove useful to you and your students. If you know of anyone who needs to be added to the mailing list, please send their name(s) to cphillips3865@columbus.k12.oh. Happy Educating!

Carla Mae Phillips

Lead Secondary English Curriculum Coordinator

Southland Center, Suite 125