Secondary English Monthly #13


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The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is sponsoring its annual high school poetry contest, offering prizes and publication to winners in eight categories. A grand prize-winning poem will be published in Common Threads, OPA’s annual poetry journal. Eligible poems will be sent to the Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.



1. Ethos – Ethos is a Greek word defined as the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution or the fundamental character or spirit of a culture. Write a poem that reflects in some way your own ethnicity or cultural heritage. Any form. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Chuck Salmons

2. Free Verse – A poem of no more than 15 lines on any subject. Sponsor: Jessica Weyer Bentley

3. Humor – A poem that makes us laugh—amusing, humorous, funny (but clean enough to print) in any form. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Pat Snyder Hurley

4. Metrical Measures – Write a poem in any form that is metrical, e.g., sonnet, villanelle, blank verse. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Betsy Hughes

5. Lyric Poem – Any subject. Forms include sonnets, villanelles, pantoums, ghazals, elegies, odes and dramatic monologues. Sponsor: Simple Simons Press

6. Nature Poem – A poem of any style, up to two pages in length, about flowers, seasons, animals, weather, water, trees, or anything else that expresses an appreciation of the natural world. Sponsor: Kerry Trautman

7. Bill Molina: Celebration of Life’s Journey – Poems can be up to 30 lines, formal or free verse, focusing on an actual journey or an internal one. Submissions that are optimistic, even joyful, are appreciated. Sponsor: Kelly Sagert

8. Meter and Rhyme – Write a poem in any form that has meter and rhyme. Examples include the sonnet, the limerick, the rondeau, the ballad, and the villanelle. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Mark F. Stone


Awards for each category are $25, $15, and $10, with the possibility of honorable mentions. All judges reserve the right not to award a prize in a category if entries do not meet the category criteria and/or judge’s requirements. Chapbooks with winning poems will be sent to each school by mid-April. Please email or mail all poetry submissions by January 25, 2023.


Regular mail: Send submissions in one envelope to:

Jessica Weyer Bentley, OPA Student Contests, P.O. Box 2, Roundhead, OH 43346


Flip the Page: Central Ohio's Teen Literary Journal

Flip the Page is written, staffed, and produced by Central Ohio teens. The mission is to provide a showcase for the work of young local writers and offer opportunities to learn about submission, critique, editorial design, and publication. All accepted writers and artists receive a complimentary copy of the journal, which is sold on Amazon. Submissions are juried by a committee of teen writers from Thurber House's Young Writers' Studio (see above). Learn more and submit here: Flip the Page Site. The deadline is January 28th.

Writing Submission Guidelines

  • Must be a resident of Central Ohio (Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison, Pickaway, Fairfield, or Licking counties)
  • Open to teens ages 13 to 19 years old
  • They are interested in short stories, poems, songs, essays, play excerpts, and especially humor pieces
  • Maximum of 800 words per piece
  • Limit of two entries per person
  • Accepted formats are Word documents and shareable Google documents

CJIT Opportunity-Maximum Capacity Has Been Reached.

Thanks for encouraging your students to apply to be part of Columbus Journalists in Training, a six-session opportunity to work with print/digital and broadcast journalists in central Ohio as they learn about journalism and create stories for CCS and

  • 30 CCS Sophomores

  • 6 Saturday Training Sessions (January 28-May 6)

  • Media Professional Mentors (print/digital and broadcast) such as Ann Fisher and Matt Barnes

  • Access to media production facilities at Fort Hayes

  • Final Projects produced by the students can earn monetary prizes and will be published by CCS and

NOTE: Application has been turned off because the opportunity has eached capacity.

COLUMBUS METROPOLITAN LIBRARY Sesquicentennial Author Series

The Columbus Metropolitan Library Carnegie Author Series has a new name for 2023, celebrating Columbus Metropolitan Library’s 150 years of bringing joy to readers. It is the Sesquicentennial Author Series. Here are some of the authors visiting in 2023: Leonard S. Marcus, Donte Woods-Spikes, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Saeed Jones, and Jason Mott. Check out the lineup HERE.

January 17th PD Day Recordings

Here is the Secondary English PD Page from the January 17th PD Day. If there were some sessions you wanted to attend and could not fit them into your day, you can find recordings for those on the page to interact with at your convenience.


Check out all of the texts that were added to the StudySync Library in 2022.


THE EDUCATIONAL SERVICE CENTER OF CENTRAL OHIO HAS THESE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU. These opportunities span items in the CCS Secondary Literacy Plan (6-12) and the CCS Local Literacy Plan (PK-12).

ESC/SST Regional Adolescent Literacy Networking Opportunity: Starting Jan. 26

Log in to join the ESC of Central Ohio's Adolescent Literacy Consultant Rachel Lang Daniels for an informal book study series on Words Worth Using; Supporting Adolescents' Power With Academic Vocabulary focusing on academic language. Across the sessions, regional ESC/SST partners will read independently to prepare for engaging conversations that dig into current practices in the district. From progress to opportunities for growth, participants will collaborate while problem-solving.
Register for these networking opportunities

Disciplinary Literacy for Adolescents: Three-Part Series: Begins Feb. 2

Join Adolescent Literacy Consultant Rachel Daniels for a 3-part in-person series on disciplinary literacy. Participants will read, write and discuss to deepen their understanding of how authentic literacy practices that mirror the work of the field provide an engaging path to content-area learning.

  • DAY 1: What is Disciplinary Literacy: Participants will learn the nuances between the content area and disciplinary literacy, look at how all teachers across a school site have a role to play in a student's literacy journey, and explore best practices in literacy. From classroom video examples and strategies to research and planning for implementation, a toolkit will be developed.
  • DAY 2: Discourse Across the Content Areas: Participants will explore research, tools, and resources to create cultures of discourse in their classrooms. From the exploration of the advantages of discourse to a discussion of frames for utilizing academic language, the toolkit from Session 1 will continue to be developed.
  • DAY 3: Reading and Writing Across the Content Areas: Participants will explore research, tools, and resources to create cultures of reading and writing in their classrooms. Using a variety of sources, attendees will deep dive into before, during, and after strategies and align them to the standards of their discipline. This session will culminate by adding more resources to the toolkit along with time to synthesize learning.
Register now for this series

LETRS Volume1 ~ Units 1-2: Starts Jan. 26

LETRS provides teachers with the knowledge they need to master the fundamentals of literacy instruction. Educators will acquire fundamental skills in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and language. You will walk away from this training understanding the why and how of providing literacy instruction. The course facilitator will focus strongly on a theory-to-practice framework. Volume 1 will be divided into two semesters. During the Spring 2023 sessions, we will learn about the Challenges of Learning to Read and The Speech Sounds in English. During our Fall 2023 sessions, we will learn about Teaching Beginning Phonics and Advanced Decoding. Sign up for Volume 1


New year, new classes, still awesome! Join Thurber House for four, fun-filled Saturdays of Writing Wizards at Thurber Center (91 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215). No matter the class, students will be challenged to create outside the box, use their imagination, and expand their horizons. Check out our classes below! The registration deadline is Saturday, February 18, 2023. CLICK TO REGISTER for one or both sets of classes for middle schoolers.

6th/7th/8th Grade Workshops

The Mystery Machine

Saturdays: February 25, March 4, March 11, March 18; 9:30 am-11:30 am
Do you love a good mystery? In this class, you’ll figure out how to create a great detective story from suspicious suspects to puzzling crime scenes to red herrings. You just might need to put those skills to the test to solve an actual mystery, too. Dun dun duuuun.
Teachers: Fredrich Yeager and Katherine Matthews; Tuition (includes all four classes): $120

It's a Long Story
Saturdays: February 25, March 4, March 11, March 18; 12:30 pm-2:30 pm

Whether you’ve already got an idea or need ideas, you will be building worlds, fleshing out characters, and solidifying story arcs for your very own book series. You will leave with the start of your first book and all the tools to keep going for as many books as you want.
Teacher: Kristin Kummer; Tuition (includes all four classes): $120

Thurber House Young Writers' Studio-Spring 2023 Registration Open


Every other week, local teens gather to write, create, and explore ways to get their stories on paper. Whether it's a passion, or just a hobby, Thurber House invites any student in grades 9-12 to join them for an opportunity to spend time with others who also like to write. Sessions take place on select Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm Eastern Time. Young Writers' Studio is held at Thurber Center, 91 Jefferson Ave, and simultaneously Zoomed for virtual participants. Each session is $17, or $150 for the season (a savings of $20), and can be paid in advance by registering online. There are a limited number of scholarships available for students who would like to attend. All sessions will be hybrid—held in-person at Thurber Center and simultaneously Zoomed for virtual participants from 6:30–8:30 pm. REGISTER

Dates: January 10, January 24, February 7, February 21, March 7, March 21, April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16

Princeton Summer Journalism Program Application Open

Spread the word: The application is open for the Princeton Summer Journalism Program! The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) offers a year-long, tuition-free college counseling program for high-achieving high school juniors from low-income backgrounds who are interested in journalism. For the summer of 2023, participants will enjoy a multi-week summer journalism intensive, which will end with 10 fully-funded days at Princeton University. Students learn about inquiry and truth in reporting through workshops taught by Princeton University professors and professional journalists. The summer institute culminates in the publication of the student-produced newspaper, The Princeton Summer Journal. Students apply through three rounds of consideration during their junior year and begin participation the following summer. During their senior year, students work closely with a volunteer college counselor to complete the college admissions process.

Covers all programmatic costs, including housing, travel, meals, and supplies.

The application is now open and will be due Monday, Feb 27, 2023. Please do spread the word to students and educators in the meantime. You can register for a public information session, attend an educator's "coffee hour", request a virtual school visit, or refer a student via this website. Refer a student HERE!

  • Personalized College Counseling PSJP participants work directly with a professional journalist or program alum to complete their college applications. Check out our Outcomes page to see some of the colleges to which alumini have matriculated.
  • Dynamic Activities During the summer intensive, students tour news outlets, report and write stories for our student newspaper, and hold a press conference, among other activities. Review sample schedules online.
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January 9-13

Monday, January 9, 2023

  • StudySync: 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Use Write Precise to Keep Writing Feedback Efficient and Meaningful Register Now

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

  • StudySync: 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Pairing Literature with Blasts Register Now
  • Thurber House: YOUNG WRITERS’ STUDIO REGISTER 6:30–8:30 pm Grades 9-12
  • Gramercy Books: Local Poet Event with CCS Retiree Sandra Feen, 7pm. SOLD OUT!

January 16-20

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Thursday, January 19, 2023

  • StudySync: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Customize Assignments for Personalized Learning Register Now

January 23-27

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

  • StudySync: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Social Studies and Science Educators: Discover SyncBlasts Register Now
  • Thurber House: YOUNG WRITERS’ STUDIO REGISTER 6:30–8:30 pm Grades 9-12

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Thursday, January 26, 2023

  • StudySync: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Resources for Professional Development and Support Register Now

Saturday, January 28, 2023

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Announcing StudySync’s 10th Annual Media Contest!

It’s time to start planning for StudySync’s 10th Annual Media Contest. Students can express their creativity, collaborate with peers, and strengthen their writing, speaking and listening, and presentation skills. Contest entries also make great stations. Give students voice and choice with station rotations that allow them to draft original StudySyncTV scripts, record podcasts or videos, draw book posters or create their own graphic novels. Search ‘contest’ in the Help Center to find contest best practices and steps to get started. All entries must include only original artwork, content, or audio. Entries are due on or before May 1st, 2023. See rules for details. Have questions about the contest or entries? Contact See some specifics below.


To enter, students can record and submit their own StudySyncTV video, podcast episode, preview video, concept definition video, novel poster, short graphic novel, or DailySync lesson about their favorite book outside the StudySync library. The grand prize for the top entry will be a $500 Amazon gift card (awarded to the submitting teacher) for classroom materials and a classroom Zoom chat with StudySync CEO Robert Romano. $100 Amazon gift card prizes are also awarded to the submitting teacher for top middle and high school entries in each category listed below! Teachers have until May 1st, 2023, to send in submissions on behalf of their students, along with parent/guardian permission, and submit via this Google form. Winners will be notified via email by Monday, May 15th. Check out our tips from the experts that bring you StudySync! Look here for submission details and email any questions to



Student-created StudySyncTV episodes are the “most popular” of our annual contest. Students can collaborate to produce a 5-minute-or-less StudySyncTV-style or SkillsTV-style episode for any text or skill in the StudySync Library that currently does not include a video. Students should use only original images, artwork, music, and content and check the StudySync Library to ensure their choice does NOT already have a StudySyncTV video.


Develop and record an original podcast about any text in the StudySync Library. Students can offer their perspectives on a theme or pertinent topic surrounding the text. Have your students listen to the podcasts embedded in some of our Blasts for inspiration, or even have them listen to one of their choice from Apple or Spotify! Have students take notes about what makes a good podcast to help them plan and script their own. Students should use only original images, artwork, music, and/or content.

Preview Video

Produce a video mirroring the Preview videos in StudySync's Intro tab of a text. Students can highlight details about the title’s time period and theme. Please select a novel or text in the StudySync Library that does NOT currently have a Preview video or choose a favorite novel that is not yet in the StudySync Library and develop an audio-visual representation of what is typically found on a book's jacket. Create an introduction that entices fellow students to read the selection. Students should use only original images, artwork, music, and content.

Concept Definition Video

Produce a video mirroring the Concept Definition or SkillsTV videos! While it is ok to submit a concept definition that is already in the StudySync program, please advise students to rewrite their own script and new conversation between students. Students should use only original images, artwork, music, and content. To get started, download a Concept Definition sample script!

Novel Poster

Students develop a digital poster image from an original photo, digital image, or artwork as a backdrop clearly identifying the author and title of the book, for one of their favorite titles NOT already in the StudySync Library. Students should use only original images, artwork, and content.

Graphic Novel

Let your writing shine! Students can create a graphic novel based on a favorite title of theirs that isn’t part of the StudySync Library. Text and imagery should be original and concise as well as 10 pages or less in length. Students' words should be their own! Students should use only original images, artwork, and content.

Daily Sync

Learn, create, and connect with your own Daily Sync lesson! Imagine you're a teacher preparing a lesson for your students using a favorite title NOT already in the StudySync Library. Students should use only original images, artwork, music, and/or content.


  • If you’re considering having students enter the contest, take a look at last year’s winners to get an idea of what they will need to produce.
  • Assign the MyStudySyncTV Unit using the Contests filter in the Units tab within the StudySync Library. The MyStudySyncTV Unit engages students in the reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking skills that are necessary to develop a multimedia project. Completion of the MyStudySyncTV Unit or assignments are NOT required to enter the contest.
  • Have students watch several StudySync® TV, SkillsTV, and Preview videos in the Library to provide students with a framework for the project. Also, using the Blasts filter feature, locate podcasts in the Blasts Library by selecting Blasts with ‘audio’ to provide a model for podcast entries.


Teachers should utilize their own school-approved permission form to get permission from parents and/or guardians for students to participate and their names/likeness/audio/video or visual content to be shared on StudySync’s social media platforms and blog. Permission forms should be submitted to StudySync along with submissions.

Specific details are outlined in our contest eligibility and entry guidelines (“contest rules”) section below. Oftentimes teachers will include the link to this blog with their permission forms to help educate parents on the contest rules and requirements.


Submissions are limited to five (5) entries per category per teacher. Consider having students peer review videos, podcasts, and posters to select the five (5) per category to be submitted. A parent or guardian permission slip must be included for each student participating. Submit each entry via this Google form by 5pm PST on May 1st, 2023. Email any questions to



Below are the StudySync webinar offerings for the month. If you register and cannot attend, you will be sent a recording. StudySync is the core Tier 1 Resources for Secondary English. The CORE ELA Units are used in English 6-12. Items from the StudySync Library are used in all alternative English courses (Humanities Language Arts 8, Humanities English 9 & 10, African American Literature, Major British Writers Seminar, Shakespeare's Literature, and Women's Literature) and many of the elective courses (e.g., Essay Writing 6, 7, and 8).

Monday, January 9, 2023

  • StudySync: 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Use Write Precise to Keep Writing Feedback Efficient and Meaningful Register Now

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

  • StudySync: 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Pairing Literature with Blasts Register Now

Thursday, January 12, 2023

  • 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Create Custom Units That Can Be Shared District Wide Register Now

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

  • StudySync:2:00 PM - 2:30 PM From Tweets to Tomes: How Students Write in StudySync Register Now
  • StudySync: 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Project-Based Learning Opportunities in StudySync Register Now

Thursday, January 19, 2023

  • StudySync: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Customize Assignments for Personalized Learning Register Now

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

  • StudySync: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Social Studies and Science Educators: Discover SyncBlasts Register Now

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

  • StudySync: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Engagement Party: Ways to Keep Students Interacting Online and Off Register Now

Thursday, January 26, 2023

  • StudySync: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Resources for Professional Development and Support Register Now
  • StudySync: 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Word Study Lessons Register Now
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The video above gives you an overview for Secondary English Curriculum. Use the Quick Links on the landing page of the ELA 6-12 Webpage for easy navigation to English Curriculum items (Curriculum/Instructional Resources 6-8 Quick Link; Curriculum/Instructional Resources 9-12 Quick Link). To access many curricular and district items, you must be logged into Google using your CCS credentials and not a personal account.

Curriculum Maps & Folders:

Adopted Curriculum Resources:

You can see all courses with core resources for English 6-12 in the items linked below:

The TIER 1 Instructional Resources

  • StudySync: English 6-12, Alternate English courses, and some Electives
  • StudySync Info Page (access, tutorials, trainings, and more)
  • Bedford Texts/Launchpad: Honors and AP English
  • Bedford/Launchpad Info Page (access, tutorials, trainings, and more)
  • Some Elective Courses will have single resource adoptions.

Intervention Resources and Courses
  • Achieve3000 (6-9) The contact person for this resource is Sonja Dill.
  • Achieve3000 Info Page (access, tutorials, trainings, and more)
  • Progress to Success (9-12) You can request copies by emailing Carla Mae Phillips.
  • Core Enrichment (6-8) This course can be used for Tiers II/III Intervention.
  • College/Career Ready Literacy (6-12) This course can be used for Tiers II/III Intervention.

Supplemental Resource
  • TeachingBooks is the where the lists of novels available for teacher use from the warehouse, the curriculum office, in StudySync, and in Course Folders, are found.
  • TeachingBooks Info Page (access, tutorials, trainings, and more)

Secondary Literacy Plan

  • The CCS Secondary Literacy Plan provides teaching strategies/PD (how to teach) that can be used with the texts/lessons from your adopted resources (what to teach) to address these components of the plan: Academic Language, Reading Comprehension, Writing Competency, and Classroom Discussion. It is rooted in Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement and guided by the Adolescent Simple View of Reading. The plan spans from intermediate literacy that crosses curricular areas to disciplinary literacy that reflects the demands of specific disciplines while allowing for individualized intensive interventions, as needed. Inherent in the plan is that students are reading, writing, and discussing every day in classrooms.
  • CCS Secondary Literacy Plan Info Page


NEW TEACHERS: If you are new to teaching a secondary English course and did not attend the new teacher orientation sessions, here are some links for you to the items you may have missed.


The 2022 OST DATA REPORT WITH RECOMMENDED ACTIONS can be found on the Standardized Testing Quick Link on the English 6-12 Webpage. This yearly report details how the District is performing on the ELA II and Grade 6-8 ELA State Tests. Check it out!

Crosswalk between i-ready boy/moy domains and curriculum resources

If you are looking for a crosswalk between how your students scored on the i-Ready Domains and where those areas are taught/supported in the Secondary English adopted resources, check out the new document below or at the Standardized Testing Quick Link on the English 6-12 Webpage.

MOY Window Closes January 20

The MOY testing window is from December 5-January 20. Grades 6-8 and students who take English 9 and English Humanities 9 will take the IReady MOY during the window.
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OCTELA 2023 will be held on February 24 and 25, 2023 at DoubleTree Hotel Columbus-Worthington. Register HERE! Featured Speakers | FAQ

NCTE Conference comes to columbus in 2023 (Presenter Opportunity)

Conexiones: Communicate, Collaborate, Create

#NCTE23 will be in Columbus, Ohio from November 16-19, 2023!

"I can’t wait to cross paths with you all in person in November 2023. I want to learn from the narratives you tell of the pathways you and your students have traveled. Our time together will be a conexión that brings us together to communicate, collaborate, and create and then release expanded versions of ourselves back out into our vast networks of being and meaning, teaching and learning, leading and loving." —Shelley Rodrigo, 2023 Program Chair and NCTE President-Elect

-Learn more about the Conference Theme here.

-MAKE CCS PROUD: This Call for Proposals page has a January 18th Deadline. Think about presenting in your hometown to a national audience!! Below are the presentation types.

Explanation of Session Types

  • Committee Meeting: for business meetings of NCTE committees, assemblies, caucuses, conferences, or associations
  • Half-Day Workshop: longer session devoted to a topic; registration fee will be charged
  • Individual Proposal: with 1-2 presenters; will be combined with 2-3 other proposals to create a panel under a new session title and description
  • Panel Presentation: with 3 or more panelists
  • Poster Sessions: physical poster presented at a poster board
  • Roundtable Session: multiple presenters present on topics; attendees usually listen to 2-3 talks during the session
  • Special Interest Group: for NCTE assemblies, caucuses, or conferences

More outings, classes, contests, grants, and pd


The Ohio Department of Education added three new literacy-focused courses to Ohio’s Learning Management System. These courses take 5-8 hours to complete. Participants can receive a certificate for contact hours for completing the courses. The courses include:

  • Leading Adolescent Literacy: This course provides an overview of the importance of building leadership to ensure an effective approach to adolescent literacy. It also provides an overview of the core components of adolescent literacy. The target audience includes building and district leaders along with those leading literacy initiatives such as coaches and curriculum directors.
  • Peer Coaching for Literacy: This course guides participants to develop a peer coaching model at their buildings or districts that supports effective literacy instruction and continuous instructional improvement. The target audience includes building and district leaders, coaches, teacher leaders and anyone else who is interested in developing or improving a peer coaching program.
  • Instructional Coaching for Literacy: This course covers the key strategies, knowledge and skills that highly effective literacy coaches need to support educators in their buildings or districts. The target audience includes current coaches, building leaders, teacher leaders and anyone who is interested in supporting educators to improve their practice.

Educators interested in taking these courses can find information about accessing the Learning Management System and courses on the Department’s LMS page. Send questions to


Free Opportunities (Check out the entire FREE Corwin Spring 2023 Webinar Lineup HERE.)

-What Students Need from Us to Fight Fake News Monday, February 13, 2023 - 6:30pm

In this webinar we will discuss the imperative of teaching today’s students critical thinking and online reading skills to combat fake news/information pollution. We’ll explore why this is an ever-increasing problem, how it is affecting today’s students, and provide strategies that can be used with the content you already teach. REGISTER NOW. Free.

-The Will to Learn Monday, February 27, 2023 - 6:30pm
How do we help all of our students do the work of learning, with care — as best they currently can? For students to flourish long-term and move toward mastery, they need to be motivated from the inside-out. Specifically, they need to believe five key things – Credibility, Value, Belonging, Effort, and Efficacy. REGISTER NOW. Free.

-Teaching Vocabulary Monday, March 13, 2023 - 6:30pm
Presented by Doug Fisher / Nancy Frey. This webinar will cover the latest research and best practices for effective vocabulary instruction in K-12 classrooms. REGISTER NOW. Free.

Paid Opportunities

-Virtual Student Engagement Institute January 30, 2023

Disengagement, disenchantment, distress—the three “Ds” of many post-pandemic schools. If we are to find our way back from this brink, every student, teacher, and leader must relearn how to lean in. It’s time to focus, know one another, and stop chasing so many initiatives. It’s time to shake things up so learners want to participate.

-Virtual Visible Learning+ Institute: Developing Assessment-Capable Learners

January 31, 2023 Register Now; March 23, 2023 Register Now

Choose from two upcoming virtual options Visible Learning+ institute focused on developing assessment-capable learners. Participants will learn how to develop a plan to create conditions to accelerate student learning in the classroom, build collective efficacy among colleagues and students, and be able to evaluate your own impact on student learning. Each registration includes the Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners eBook! ($199 for either institute.)

-2023 Teacher Clarity Playbook Conference February 27-28, 2023

Teacher clarity is both a method and a mindset, and it has an impressive effect size of 0.84. The concept is not new; it’s just yet to be implemented in ways that ensure students know what they are learning, why they are learning it, and how they will know that they have learned. Without clarity in learning, students’ ability to drive their learning (or take responsibility for their learning) is compromised. Join us as we take teacher clarity to the next level.

-Virtual How Learning Works Institute March 8, 2023

Over the past twenty years, the science of learning has provided many insights into how learning works. This body of research provides well established principles and practices that when translated into classroom practices, have the potential to enhance and accelerate student learning. This How Learning Works Institute provides an easily accessible look at the process for translating research about how learning works into classroom practices that enhance and accelerate your students’ learning.


Wednesday, January 18th, 7:00pm

  • Pulitzer Prize-finalist Lee Martin launches a historical crime novel inspired by true events, The Glassmaker’s Wife, a tale that reveals the contradictions and imperfections of the human heart. He will be in conversation with bestselling author Maggie Smith. Registration for this in-person event is on Eventbrite. The purchase of The Glassmaker’s Wife waives the $5 admission fee. Get Tickets!

Thursday, January 26th, 7:00pm

  • Don't miss Gramercy Book Club's discussion of Demon Copperhead in January! From award-winning and bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver, comes Demon Copperhead, Gramercy’s Book Club selection for January 2023. A powerful novel which enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity, the book discussion will be facilitated by Ohio State University distinguished literary scholar and author Jim Phelan. Registration is on Eventbrite. A ticket to this program includes a copy of Demon Copperhead at a 15% discount. It is strongly encouraged that registrants read the book prior to the program. Get Tickets!

Wednesday, February 1st, 7:00pm

Thursday, February 2nd, 6:30pm

  • Words, Words, Words, the Folger Shakespeare Library Book Club, is pleased to announce the next book discussion – Booth by Karen Joy Fowler. All discussions will be held in Zoom and they will also share the discussion questions, supplemental materials, and suggestions for sips and snacks in advance. Register for the discussion

Tuesday, February 7th, 7:00pm

  • A Civil Rights Conversation: Novelist Jamila Minnicks & Dr. Hasan Jeffries! Jamila Minnicks, recipient of the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, will be in conversation with noted Ohio State University civil rights scholar Hasan Jeffries to discuss Minnicks’s debut novel, Moonrise Over New Jessup, a thought-provoking and enchanting debut about a Black woman doing whatever it takes to protect all she loves at the beginning of the civil rights movement in Alabama. Minnicks’s novel is both a celebration of Black joy and a timely examination of the opposing viewpoints that attended desegregation in America. Registration is on Eventbrite. The purchase of Moonrise Over New Jessup waives the $5 admission fee. Get Tickets!

Thursday, February 16th, 6:30pm *Held at Bexley Public Library and online*

  • Bexley Public Library Celebrates the Incomparable Toni Morrison! Celebrate Toni Morrison with two of Ohio’s most revered poets and authors as Hanif Abdurraqib and Dionne Custer Edwards discuss the influences of Toni Morrison’s work on their own and celebrate the importance of her legacy as writers and Ohioans. REGISTER ONLINE

Tuesday, February 28th, 7:00pm

  • Join acclaimed singer songwriters Parker MacDonell and Keith Larsen as they unpack Bob Dylan’s extraordinary compilation of essays, The Philosophy of Modern Song, a collection of essays that offer Dylan’s extraordinary insight into the nature of popular music. This will be an evening of both story and song not to be missed, as MacDonell and Larsen discuss and perform songs from this collection. REGISTER ONLINE

Sunday, March 5th, 2pm

  • JUST ANNOUNCED: Bestselling author Madeline Miller is coming to Upper Arlington! Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe, will be the featured speaker at the Upper Arlington Author Series on Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m. in the Hastings Middle School auditorium. Tickets are $25 and go on sale Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. on the Upper Arlington Public Library website.


The Standards Institute™ happening February 6-10 in Anaheim, CA, is an immersive and transformative five-day in-person learning experience. Educators who attend the Standards Institute™ commit to adaptive change within themselves while enhancing equitable practices focused on GLEAM™ (grade-level, engaging, affirming, meaningful) instruction.

Register and Learn More HERE.


The Columbus Book Festival will happen July 15-16 in the heart of the city’s downtown Discovery District. The two-day event featuring national and local authors, exhibitors, entertainment and more will showcase Columbus Metropolitan Library’s historic Main Library, the adjacent Kaufman Plaza and Topiary Garden Park. Call for authors, exhibitors and entertainers is now open! Get Involved/Learn More; About the Event Here.


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CCS Poetry Slam-Registration Open

General Information

It's never too early to begin forming your CCS Poetry Slam teams. This year, there will be a chance to attend two field trips to Spruce Run with your team (December 8 and February 28) to prepare for the District Slam which will happen on April 29th at Eastmoor Academy (5-9pm). Think about having some school slams to form your team and/or having writing gatherings for interested students.


    • $25 registration fee

    • MS (8 poets), 4 slots: individual or group (2 to 6)

    • HS (6 poets), 4 slots: individual

      • HS Group poem round optional (up to 6 poets)

  • Spruce Run Field Trip

  • Slam Happens April 29th (5-9pm) $5 admission

  • Poetry Slam 2023 Flier

February Field Trip Information

If you have been forming a team for the CCS Poetry Slam and want to bring your students to Spruce Run on February 28th for a writing and team-building visit, you MUST register by February 15th.

Columbus Metropolitan Library Winter Reading Challenge

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is bringing back for a fifth year its Winter Reading Challenge, in which students can earn prizes just by reading over break. A twist on CML’s Summer Reading Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge aims to keep reading skills strong when students are out of school over the holidays. From Dec. 1 through Jan. 31, K-12 students can pick up a game board at CML’s 23 locations throughout Franklin County. The annual program challenges students to track their progress as they read for 20 days and complete five activities on their game boards. Examples of game board activities include “Read a book about science,” “Read a book in a series,” “Read a book about a holiday” and many more. Just for signing up, students can select a prize from the library’s Treasure Box. Students who complete the program will earn a book to keep, as well as a drawstring bag.

DePaul’s Blue Book: Best American High School Writing 2022

Prof. Chris Solís Green from DePaul University has invited CCS teachers to submit student work to the inaugural issue of an anthology he is editing, DePaul’s Blue Book: Best American High School Writing 2022. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2023.

DePaul’s Blue Book Submissions

Being selected to this national anthology would certainly enhance any student’s college applications and will also inspire selected students to continue to pursue writing in college.Copies of the anthology will be distributed nationally, and a free e-book will be available for teachers to potentially use as a resource in classes.


Prompts are now available for the 2023 Achievement Awards in Writing and Promising Young Writers contests! NCTE encourages educators to share information on these school-based writing awards across the middle and secondary levels. The 2023 contests feature key changes to contest guidelines, eligibility, and scoring designations. Details are available on each contest’s webpage, and a breakdown of the changes can be found here.

Here are key dates for the 2023 contests:

  • November 2022: contest opens for submissions.
  • February 15, 2023: submission window closes.
  • May 2023: winners are announced.

Learn more about the Student Writing Awards today!

2023 SEJONG WRITING COMPETITion (Essay and Poetry)

The 2023 Writing Competition is open. The deadline to submit is March 31, 2023 (11:59pm CDT)

Sijo category

The sijo is a traditional three-line Korean poetic form organized technically and thematically by line and syllable count. Using the sijo form, write one poem in English on a topic of your choice. For examples of sijo, more information, and teaching materials – including teaching guides for sijo, please visit this website.

The goal of our sijo category is to introduce students to a lesser-known style of poetry, the traditional Korean sijo. Read about how to write sijo, or see last year's winning entries.

Adult division (age 19 & older)
Pre-college division (age 18 & younger)

Sijo Category Prizes:

  • Adult division: First ($1,000), Second ($750), Third ($500)
  • Pre-college division: First ($500), Second ($400), Third ($300)
  • Honorable mention (for both divisions listed above): Friends of Pacific Rim Awards ($50 each)

Essay category

Focusing on introducing students and young adults to Korean culture and history through literature, this essay category utilizes folk tales and contemporary literature to explore Korean culture, past and present.

Adult division (age 19-30 years): Contestants are to read Kim Jung-hyuk's short story “The Glass Shield” and write an essay in response to the provided prompt.

Snior division (grade 9th - 12th): Contestants are to read Ha Seong-nan's short story “Waxen Wings ” and write an essay in response to the provided prompt.

Junior division (grade 8th and younger): Contestants are to write an essay in response to one of two provided prompts regarding a folktale of the contestant's choice. Contestants must choose one of the stories listed on this folktales page.

Essay Category Prizes:

  • Adult division: First ($1,000), Second ($750), Third ($500)
  • Senior division: First ($500), Second ($400), Third ($300)
  • Junior division: First ($300), Second ($200), Third ($100)
  • Honorable mention (for all divisions listed above): Friends of Pacific Rim Awards ($50 each)

Mission: The goals of the Sejong Writing Competition are to discover children and young adults talented in writing and to encourage them to learn and write about Korean and its culture. Through this writing competition we hope to increase the awareness and understanding of Korea’s cultural heritage amongst the younger generations growing up in the United States. Note: Only one entry per category per applicant is permitted.

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Hope Your are Star Walkin' in the New Year!

Lil Nas X - STAR WALKIN' (League of Legends Worlds Anthem)
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Carla Mae Phillips

English 6-12 Curriculum Coordinator

Southland Center, Suite 125

Previous Newsletters are available on the CCS ELA 6-12 Webpage.