Secondary English Weekly #3

VOLUME FOUR, ISSUE THREE /September 6-10, 2021

Big picture

National Council of Teachers of English: 2021 Convention is Virtual

The 2021 NCTE Annual Convention will be a fully virtual event this year. From November 18–21, 2021, join your fellow language and literacy educators online for energizing community conversation, inspiring presentations from keynote speakers, and access to timely content to guide our practice and help us serve our students in these precarious times.

As an #NCTE21 attendee, you can look forward to:

  • 25 live general and keynote sessions, 200 live and prerecorded/scheduled sessions, and 300 on-demand sessions
  • Engaging opportunities for connecting with your peers, with authors, and with exhibitors via the online Convention platform
  • Access to archived #NCTE21 sessions for 90 days after the event


Wil Haygood Launches Colorization, Kicks Off Drexel Film Retrospective! on Thursday, October 21st

In celebration of the release of Wil Haygood’s book, Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World, Gramercy Books is partnering with the Drexel Theatre for an evening of conversation and film on Thursday, October 21st at 7pm. that explores Black filmmaking in Hollywood. In this groundbreaking book, the author of The Butler and Showdown examines 100 years of Black movies—using the struggles and triumphs of the artists, and the films themselves, as a prism to explore Black culture and the civil rights movement in America. Haygood will introduce the series in conversation with Drexel Theatre Director Jeremy Henthorn, entertain a brief Q&A following that evening’s screening of Foxy Brown starring Pam Grier, and sign books in the Drexel lobby. The cost to attend is $10, which includes that evening's film screening, Wil’s talk, a Q&A, and a book signing. Get Tickets!


  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Reading Like a Writer SEP 13, 2021 In this workshop, you’ll learn how to fine-tune your critical eye to learn writing skills from published authors. We will look at specific passages from published writers to break down what works—and, alternatively, what doesn’t—and how/why to use your observations to improve your own writing.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Go Rogue! Villains and Rogues SEP 16, 2021 A good villain is your plot’s best friend. Let’s make something terrible!
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Mining Memories, Making Stories SEP 20, 2021 Do you have an interesting memory to share, but struggle with how to tell it? This session will help you transform your memories to the page with writing exercises — all new if you’ve taken this workshop before. We’ll learn and apply techniques for writing the short memoir, including how to “unpack” transformative moments about a person, place or thing. We’ll read short essays and mimic their techniques. By workshop’s end, you’ll leave with at least three drafts to get you started, as well as with tips on how to keep writing — and revising. This workshop is geared toward the writer at any level, from the beginning writer who has “all these great ideas,” to the writer searching for a jump start.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Annoyed? Frustrated? Irritated? Turn It Into Laughter SEP 27, 2021 In this two-hour writing workshop, you’ll learn how to take your annoyances, frustrations, and irritations—large or small—and turn them into funny writing (including short, satirical humor pieces and humorous essays). You’ll learn about things like generating topics to write about, structuring your writing, pacing and heightening, punching up jokes, adding detail, and more.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Writing Places and Spaces OCT 4, 2021 Whether in memoir or fiction, a story’s setting is often a character itself, creating an experience for the reader. Writers like Sandra Cisneros, Joan Didion, Lee Martin, Ruth Reichl, and Jesmyn Ward do this in their work, conveying places and spaces in ways that make us cringe, cry, or wonder. How do these writers create big moments out of places and spaces, and how can we emulate them? In this workshop, geared for writers across the spectrum, we’ll use images and writing prompts — including using our eyes as a “camera” — to help us draft scenes that breathe with authority. We’ll read excerpts from essays and stories to keep the excitement rolling. By workshop’s end, you’ll have several drafts to get you going, along with a handout of resources to keep you writing.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | The Gentle Art of the Scary Story OCT 11, 2021 To boo or not to boo? From samples, tips, techniques, and prompts for playful writing, develop faces, bones, spines, and haunted places for your stories. Recognize how to incorporate a touch of horror in a gently spooky short story. Delve into the twilight atmosphere, the shadows at the edge of the woods. Prepare to share your creatively creepy side!
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Go Rogue! Let's Talk Dialogue OCT 14, 2021 Readers relish great dialogue. We’ll hone our skills by talking types, tricks, and verbal tics.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Commit to Submit OCT 18, 2021 You’ve written an essay, a short story, some poems, or maybe a novel. So, what’s next, if you want to publish it? This session offers a step-by-step process for how to conduct a targeted search of where to publish your work, plus tips for organizing that process. Specifically, you’ll learn about online tools for doing a targeted search, the protocols for submitting your work (including links to drafting query letters), and use a sample worksheet to create your own action plan. This session — updated to include new venues — also includes a handout that lists ways to find agents (primarily fiction/novel) and non-agented, small independent presses. Please note: This session does not focus on how to self-publish your work.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Writing Your Novel A-Z (Master Class) OCT 20, 2021 You want to write a novel, but you’re uncertain how to start, worried that you won’t be able to finish, or confused about how to get your finished product into print. Don’t worry—every writer has the same concerns! In this master class, you will cover all aspects of getting your book into print. Seasoned author Robin Yocum will teach you his method for starting and completing your novel, from setting goals, to getting started, to the writing process, to plotting a narrative, to character creation, to staying motivated, to finding an agent—and more.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Revision Workshop OCT 25, 2021 In this workshop, we will look at different methods for revising and polishing your work. Through a group exercise, we will discuss how to apply constructive criticism to transform your writing into the best version it can be. You’ll emerge with time-tested tools that you can use to improve your work, no matter the genre.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | 25 Tips for Better Writing NOV 8, 2021 Join Melissa L. Weber for her Top 25 Tips to Better Writing! She’ll include methods to help you generate new ideas, build a writing habit, find and interview sources, create a system for editing, refresh your 6th grade grammar skills, and stay motivated to finish your article or story.
  • Virtual Adult Writing Workshop | Go Rogue! The Other Three NOV 11, 2021 Every writing instructor says, “Use all your senses.” Sight and sound are a snap, so we’ll delve into the challenging ones: smell, touch, and taste.

Ohio Department of Education: English Language Arts Open Forum 6-12

The Ohio Department of Education Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies’ new English Language Arts consultant, Dr. Teresa Castellaneta, is hosting an open forum virtual conversation. Participants can share instructional ideas, discuss professional learning interests and begin cultivating a professional learning community. Questions can be sent to

Thursday, Sept. 30, 3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Teams Meeting Link

Curriculum Updates

This summer, numerous curricular documents were created and/or updated for Secondary English courses. You should access the curricular documents for the courses you teach on the ELA 6-12 Webpage by clicking on either these Quick Links:

Those curricular documents are also linked on these Google docs:

NOTE: You do need to be logged in with your CCS Google Account to access the curriculum items. If you are a new teacher who has not set up your CCS Email/Google Account, please request access to items by stating that you are a CCS teacher in the note section of the request.

Mastery connect boy, moy, and eoy UPDATE

This year, students will take the BOY, MOY, and EOY on the District's Assessment Management System, Mastery Connect. The testing coordinators will provide teachers with how-to videos and clear step-by-step instructions. For ELA, the tests inside Mastery Connect for the BOY have passages/questions that have been pulled from StudySync Benchmark Assessments. The test is document based and the students fill in a bubble sheet which populates beside the test. The test will measure some standards from the previous year (66%) and some from this year (33%). Update: The BOY testing window will be open through October 14th to give the coordinators a little extra time to meet with teachers concerning the assessments.
Big picture
Big picture

Tuesday, September 7

  • StudySync Webinar: Unfinished Learning: Bridging the Gaps Between '20 and '21 4-4:30PM Register

Wednesday, September 8

  • English Chair Meeting: 3:30-5:30PM--Contact Carla Mae Phillips if you are a middle or high school English chair and did not receive an invitation.
  • StudySync Webinar: Basic Training: How to Create and Grade Assignments 4-4:30PM Register
Thursday, September 9
  • StudySync Webinar: How to Plan a StudySync Lesson 4-4:30PM Register
Big picture
Big picture

Curriculum Maps, Course Folders, and Resource Lists

-Visit these Curriculum/Instructional Resources Quick Links on the ELA 6-12 Webpage for all Secondary English Curriculum.

You will find your COURSE FOLDERS that have everything you need for your courses including Curriculum Maps, Course Introduction Pages, Standard docs, digital novels, adopted resource trainings/tutorials, etc. To access many curricular and district, you must be logged into Google using your CCS credentials and not a personal account.

-Here are the Resource Lists for Secondary English.

  1. The Tier I Instructional Resources are StudySync (English 6-12) and the Bedford Texts/Launchpad (Honors and AP English).
  2. The Tier II Intervention Resource is Achieve3000. The contact person for this resource is Sonja Dill.
  3. The Supplemental Resource is TeachingBooks.

Curriculum Resources: Access, PD, Tutorials, & Trainings

StudySync (Tier 1 Adopted Resource English 6-12)


Bedford/Launchpad (Tier 1 Adopted Resource Honors and AP)


TeachingBooks (Supplemental Resource)


Secondary English Curriculum Videos

outings, classes, contests, grants, and additional pd


Check out the line-up for the remainder of this season.

  • Wil Haygood (Tigerland), October 7, 7pm; Remember this is the book about East High School. You could plan to read it at the beginning of the school year and have your students attend his author talk.
  • Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half) December 5, 2pm


Join Library Journal and School Library Journal on November 10 for the fifth annual LibraryCon Live! They're excited to present a day-long celebration of fandom lit, with panels devoted to horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and graphic novels. Plus, you can network online with other fans and explore their virtual exhibit hall.


Recognizing the extraordinary challenges teachers face, the Bonnie Chambers Grant Committee will award a one-time $2,000.00 grant to purchase books for K-6 students in an Ohio public school building.

This Bonnie Chambers Grant is designed to help teachers who strongly promote the use of quality literature in their classrooms. Teachers will use the grant money to select and purchase their own book choices (fiction or non-fiction) dealing with understanding and coping with COVID, racism and equality issues, and/or mental health issues for children and their families.

Application Criteria

  • This grant is open to any Ohio public school teacher(s) in grades K-6 who demonstrates a need for money in the purchasing of classroom books for their elementary building.
  • If a group of teachers apply, one teacher will apply on behalf of the building and serve as the contact teacher.
  • Need can be demonstrated through free-lunch ratios, recent school-levy results, extraordinary events, etc.

Applications for the 2021 Bonnie Chambers Grants are available and due by December 31, 2021. Visit the Bonnie Chambers Grant page for more information:


The LifeChanger of the Year Award seeks to honor K-12 educators, teachers, administrators or school staff members who make a positive difference in students’ lives. Submit nominations by Dec. 31.


Big picture
Big picture


Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps high school 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 Ohio Arts Council and Wild Goose Creative. 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.




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, students in grades 9-12 are invited to join Thurber House for an opportunity to spend time with others who also like to write. With Columbus College of Art and Design professor Robert Loss, students will be challenged to take a different spin each week through exploratory exercises designed to inspire out-of-the box thinking. A portion of each session is set aside for young writers who would like to bring in their own writing to be reviewed and discussed by their peers in a creative and nurturing environment. Students who prefer not to bring in work take part by learning how to talk about writing in a constructive way while helping fellow writers improve their pieces. Sessions take place on select Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm. Each session is $15 and can be paid in advance by registering online. They also have a limited number of scholarships available for students who would like to attend. REGISTER


  • Tuesday, September 7 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, September 21 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, October 5 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, October 19 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, November 2 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, November 16 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, November 30 from 6:30–8:30 pm

Big picture
Tai Verdes - A-O-K (Clean Version)