ELA borate

March, 2014

Spotlight Teacher: Becky Strickland

As a 7th grade teacher at FHMS, Becky takes time to develop lessons that are not just academically driven but also character driven of the highest standard. She holds high academic expectations that her kids understand and follow easily. Her classroom management is efficient without her ever having to raise her voice. In addition, she builds extension activities into her lessons that are phenomenal; most recently, she incorporated media and collaborative learning to create a lesson around a story about bullying. Her students were so in awe of this lesson and its connection to their real life. When they were asked to write and reflect, not one student moved at the sound of the bell. Overall, her students are actively engaged in learning while meeting high expectations every day.

Becky is so dedicated to professional learning and attends a plethora of workshops to stay current on best practices. Furthermore, there is not a professional book that pertains to middle school, English, or best practices that she has not read and implemented in her classroom. Becky is also a leader in our ELA department as she wrote the new 7th grade curriculum, led 7th grade PD this year,, and is an active participant in learning to lead our group in argumentative writing.

Last, but not least, previously at Bryan Middle School, Becky was named Teacher of the Year for 2010-2011.

ELA Information/Updates

Our CAL (content area leaders) have read Oh Yeah?! over argumentative writing and attended training with the author, Jeffrey Wilhelm, on March 5 and 6 in anticipation for leading PD next school year. I am excited for the PD they are going to put together for all of you! Below you will see those who will be leading your group. (NOTE: Middle school will be divided into two groups at a later date.)


-Mindy Kramer

-Becky Strickland

-Jessi Ferri


-Suzan Wilson

-Raquel Babb

-Renee Rethemeyer

English I

-Carolyn Klein

-Jessie Altman

English II

-Laurie Fay

-Tonishia LaMartina

English III/IV

-Theresa Maher

-Dawn Jones


Write to Learn was fabulous this year; I really learned a lot about argumentative writing in the English classroom in various break out sessions. Also, Jim Burke was a very inspiring keynote speaker. Lastly, I had a great time learning with Melissa Corey, Becky Strickland, Victoria-Ann Rogers, Amanda Littekin, Raquel Babb, Phyllis Bilodeau, Kim Riley, Deb Kuntzman, Laura Kayser, Jessi Bulva, Kim Linneman, & Jessie Altman and can't wait to go next year!

Technology Tip/Tool: Padlet

Padlet is a virtual wall that allows people to express their thoughts on a common topic easily. It works like an online sheet of paper where people can put any content (e.g. images, videos, documents, text) anywhere on the page, together with anyone, from any device. In order to create a Padlet for your classroom, click the following link: http://padlet.com/

To view a video on great uses for Padlet in your classroom, click below.


Post the ways you currently use or could see using Padlet in your classroom here: