Meeting Message October

Secondary English Dept Chairs

All the news that's fit to print...

The meeting was cancelled, but we can still "meet" in this newsletter. Important information is collected here. Click the links if you want to explore more.

This month's reading is on Edivation--linked below. Read it, answer a few discussion questions, and we'll be ready for the November meeting.

See you soon!

An Article to Read at Edivation

I made a group for us at Edivation. You should have received an invitation.

Login there and complete two tasks:

1)Read "The 7 Habits of Highly Affective Teachers" and

2)Answer three questions about the article.

Login at Edivation and check Tasks.

Let me know if you have any issues.

Book Lists are now live!

Click on this link to find all the draft documents about reading and reading lists.

Scroll down the page to find...

  • dates for upcoming forums
  • Overarching Philosophies, aka What is Reading?
  • The First-Read List, aka The Hands-Off List or The No List
  • The Big, Unwieldy List, aka The Yes List


We need feedback--from you and from the other teachers in your department.

Please study all three documents.

Then complete this feedback form.

We will collect feedback until the end of fall semester.

We are now in unit 2, so the focus in your English classroom should be on reading standards 2, 5, and 9 and writing standards 2, 6, and 9. Check your PASSForward standards for specific language, but the general gist of this unit is outlined below.

Reading standards 2, 5, and 9 include

  • finding a theme or main idea,
  • determining how the structure of a piece impacts meaning,
  • and connecting one piece to its larger context--by exploring an historical allusion or studying archetypes or noticing how this story is like another that we read.

Writing standards 2, 6, and 9 include
  • writing informative pieces,
  • using technology to "publish" student writing,
  • and connecting the writing to the reading.

Find the plan for unit 2 and an exemplar lesson at our 15-16 Curriculum Pages.

Interdisciplinary Literacy

Grapple with a problem.

Interact with a text.

Collaborate with peers.


TLE #7 requires that all teachers embed literacy in their content curriculum. Teachers from all subjects--math, P.E., music, and more--must find a way to help students read better and write about what they are learning within the discipline. We have to help students learn to read like a scientist or write like an historian.

Secondary teachers, even English teachers, tend to throw up their hands and say

"I'm not a reading teacher!"

But that's exactly what we must become.

The curriculum department has developed a set of components, strategies, and concepts that ensure we are helping our students learn to read in the different disciplines. Check them out here.

And share the page with everyone at your school!