Secondary English Weekly #14


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Monday, January 11th

Tuesday, January 12th

Wednesday, January 13th
  • English Chair Meeting 3:30pm-5:30pm
  • StudySync Webinar: Enhance Social Studies & Science with SyncBlasts 4-4:30PM — Register
  • CCS PD Day Needs Survey Closes 11:59pm FEB. 3RD PD FORM
Thursday, January 14th
  • StudySync Webinar: StudySync Assessments: Everything You Need to Know 4-4:30 PM — Register

Friday, January 15th

  • OSU/DMAC Proposal Due (See Teacher Opportunities Section)

Saturday, January 16th

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

All Week:

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CCS ELA Course Meetings Begin THIS TUESDAY: TIME FOR TALKING with your colleagues about the work

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. THIS TUESDAY, January 12th, there will be a few sessions for some of our courses where teachers can voluntarily 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: 1/12, 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.

Here are the offerings for THIS TUESDAY, January 12th.


Please note the times for each are not all the same.

NOTE: If you would also like to have Course Meeting Time on the February 3rd PD Day, please indicate that on the Needs Survey (FEB. 3RD PD FORM) detailed below.

Feb. 3rd PD Needs Survey WILL CLOSE This WEDNESDAY


If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to answer the questions on this FEB. 3RD PD FORM so that the district PD on February 3rd can be tailored to the needs you identify. The survey will close THIS Wednesday, January 13th.


We are looking for teachers who have had success with the following items and could present a session on the item on February 3rd to show your colleagues how you did it and help them to do it, too. If you can do any of these, please indicate it on the final question on this FEB. 3RD PD FORM (same form as Needs Survey). You may present by yourself or with a colleague.

  • How to Connect StudySync to Google Classroom and the Infinite Campus Grade Book
  • Model a Lesson from StudySync Using Clear Learning Intentions from Ohio's Learning Standards (Must Allow for Student Ownership of Standard Mastery)
  • Show a Few Tools and Tips for Enlivening StudySync Lessons in a Remote Setting (Must Show How Tools/Tips Enhance StudySync Items)

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.


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

Scholastic READBowl 2021

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

School Library Journal Free Virtual Event: Middle Grade Magic on March 9th

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


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.

Broadway Musical Theater Club: Hamilton Class

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.


Literacy Learning: Cultivating Engagement, Identity, and Intellectual Development

Many boys and young men lose interest in reading and writing when instruction and curricula feel “too schoolish”—moving away from their self-expression and immediate application to their personal, social, and intellectual lives.

Join ARC to learn about the importance of engagement, identity, and group affiliation as well as the value of literacy in supporting students’ reading and writing. They will explore these areas as tools for navigating life, building positive relationships, and meeting life's challenges.


  • Dr. Alfred Tatum, Dean of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Education and Director of the UIC Reading Clinic (HE IS AWESOME!!)
  • Ron Walker, Executive Director and Founding Member of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC)
  • Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm, Distinguished Professor of Boise State University and Co-Director of the Boise State Writing Project

Thursday, January 21, 2021 | 4:00 PM ET REGISTER NOW »

Some NBCT PD Offerings from CCS Teachers

  • Serving Twice Exceptional Gifted Children
  • A Book Study of The Innocent Classroom
      • Presenter: Jennifer Couch

      • Date/Time: January 14 & January 21 from 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

      • Location: Online -

      • Target Audience: Teachers and Instructional Coaches

      • In this book study, we will read and discuss The Innocent Classroom: Dismantling Racial Bias to Support Students of Color by Alexs Pate. During these two sessions, we will discuss the introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 2. There will be an option to continue in the book study for additional CEUs if you wish. The book is not provided and you will have to purchase it before the first session.

    Crucial Conversations Book Study
      • Presenter: Johari Mitchell

      • Date/Time: January 26 & 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.

    Engaging Students Remotely

      • Presenter: Valarie Cummings

      • Date/Time: Saturday, January 30th from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

      • Location: Online - Link Meeting ID: 884 3198 0206 Passcode: 649541

      • Target Audience: Middle and High School ELA teachers

      • Attendees will participate in activities to help increase engagement remotely.

    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.

    Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts Shirts For Sale

    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:

    Corwin's Monday FREE Webinar Series Resumes

    Starting next week, the free Afternoon Webinar Series will resume. Here are some upcoming sessions:

    View the whole line up here.
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    MOY Testing WINDOW

    The MOY window opened on December 7th and lasts through January 22nd.


    As you know the district began semesterization this school year. This has brought up the question as to whether Semester Exams will be required. The answer is no. Teachers do have the choice to offer a semester exam if they want. For English 6-12, the exam could be one of the tests in the StudySync Assessment Suite. Some good choices from that suite would be a Benchmark Assessment (Grades 6-8), a State Test Preparation Assessment, or an End of Unit Test. Since the Benchmarks are used for the BOY, MOY, and EOY in Grades 9-12, they should not be used as the semester exam at those grade levels.

    Here is the official word about semester exams from the district.

    -Based on BOE Policy #5421 approved on April 15, 2015, semesterization is permitted with teachers having the OPTION to give final exams.

    -Below is a guide for teachers to use to calculate final grade WITH or WITHOUT semester exams. For those teachers, especially Science and Social Studies, who are interested in creating semester exams, Mastery Connect could be a good tool to use. Math and ELA teachers have the option of using the assessment tools in their McGraw Hill resources.

    Classes Granting Fewer Than One (1) Credit

    -For a class granting less than one (1) credit for which a final exam is not given, the final grade shall be calculated by adding the quality points for each quarter's grade. The total shall then be divided by four (4). The final grade shall be determined by applying the resulting quality points to the Final Grade Calculation Scale.

    -For a class granting less than one (1) credit for which a final exam is given at the discretion of the teacher, the final grade shall be calculated by first doubling and adding the quality points for each quarter's grade, and then adding those quality points and the quality points for the exam grade. The total shall then be divided by five (5). The final grade shall be determined by applying the resulting quality points to the Final Grade Calculation Scale. This Grade Calculator has two formulas for semester grades (one with an exam and one without an exam).

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    This year’s program is online only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out this Winter Reading Challenge video to learn more.

    Dates: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 – Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021

    Participants: Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade

    How can I join Winter Reading Challenge? Go to Select “register,” then “I’m registering for Winter Reading Challenge.” Sixth grade teachers are able to sign up their entire class by selecting "I'm a teacher signing up my class" after hitting the register button.

    How do I complete Winter Reading Challenge? Earn 6 Super Winter Reader badges by completing 6 reading activities of your choice. The required 6 hours of reading are built into the activities.

    What prizes will I earn if I complete Winter Reading Challenge? You will earn a book, bookmark, mechanical pencil, a Raising Cane’s coupon and a Donatos coupon booklet. They will be mailed to the mailing address you provide when you sign up.


    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, and writers receive an invitation to read their work at the Columbus Arts Festival. Submissions are juried by a committee of teen writers from Thurber House's Young Writers' Studio (See Above). Submissions are OPEN for the 2021 edition of Flip the Page. Please read all guidelines carefully. Submission Deadline: January 29, 2021

    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

    Artwork 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
    • We are interested in 2-D and 3-D pieces, as well as digitally-created or edited artwork
    • Each artist can submit up to five pieces
    • Artwork must be submitted as a .jpg, .tiff, or .png file
    • Resolution should be 300 dpi or higher
    • Send artwork to (or click the submit button below)
    • Include artist's first and last name, date of birth, title of piece, contact email, school, and art teacher's name with submission
    • At times, to accommodate the design of the journal, we must grayscale or crop artwork, but we always try to maintain the integrity of the piece


    Questions? Check out the FAQ page! Not finding the answer there? Email Flip the Page is a free program.


    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, January 19
    • 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 Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is sponsoring its annual high school poetry contest, offering prizes and publication to winners in nine categories. A grand prize-winning poem will be published in Common Threads, OPA’s annual poetry journal. Winning poems will be sent to the Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. The OPA contest is open to any student in grades 9–12 in public schools, private and faith-based schools, and to home-schooled students in Ohio. There is no entry fee. Rules are set out below. To avoid disqualification, all of the following guidelines must be followed.

    Submission Guidelines

    • All poems must be the original work of the student and must be unpublished (in print or online, including social media) and not accepted for publication.
    • Each poem must be titled. There may be only one entry per student in any category, and no poem may be entered in more than one category. There is no limit on the number of categories to which a student may submit. NOTE: For Manningham eligibility, there is a limit of 30 lines for any poem; only one poem per student can be sent.
    • All poems must be typed or computer-generated in a plain font no larger than 12-point. Times New Roman is the suggested font.
    • All poems must be in English, single-spaced, printed on one side of the page only, and all category requirements must be observed. No illustrations or decorations.
    • Two copies of each poem must be submitted. Each copy must contain the name Senior Division and the category (number only) in the upper left-hand corner. On the second copy only, the name of the student, name of the school (or if home-schooled, your mailing address), grade level, and language arts/English teacher (or parent-teacher for home-schoolers) must appear in the upper right-hand corner.
      At the bottom of the page with the student name and school address identification, the following statement must be typed and signed by the student. This can be signed electronically if poems are emailed.

      “I certify that this poem is my original work and has not been copied in whole
      or in part from any author’s poems in print or posted on the Internet."
      Signed: ___________________________________________

    • All entries from the same school should be mailed together, flat in one envelope, with the name of the teacher or parent-teacher on a note inside or marked clearly on the envelope. Alternatively, poems can be emailed. Teachers should compile all their student entries into one WORD document file. See below for email and mailing information.

    Special Note for Teachers: Teachers are strongly encouraged to read all student poems for appropriateness. No personal names of friends or family members should appear in poems. No poems will be returned.

    Contest Categories & Sponsors

    1. Voices from the Past – A persona poem in any style in the voice of someone or something from history or prehistory (e.g., a person/animal/artifact). Sponsor: Mark Hersman
    2. EthosEthos 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
    3. New Beginnings – Using your imagination and fresh imagery, describe how change of any kind can affect your life. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Great Expectations Writers
    4. Free Verse – A poem of no more than 10 lines on any subject. Sponsor: Jessica Bentley
    5. 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
    6. Metrical Measures – Write a poem in a form that is metrical, e.g., sonnet, villanelle, blank verse. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Betsy Hughes
    7. Ekphrastic – Choose a work of art from any art museum you visit on-site or online, and write a poem in response to that work. At the bottom of your page, note the name of the work of art; the artist; the museum where you viewed it; and a website location (URL) of the art, if available. 30-line limit. Sponsor: The Pentapoets
    8. A Sense of Place – A poem that captures a memorable landscape, cityscape, seascape, building, or interior. Any form. 30-line limit. Sponsor: William R. Reyer
    9. “There’s One Who Doesn’t Know We’re Twins” – Maybe or maybe not separated at birth or in a dream or somewhere else in the universe. Write about a “possible twin” you may have. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Springfield Writers Club

    Prizes & Publication

    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, 2021.



    Regular mail: Send submissions in one envelope to:

    Sharon Fish Mooney, OPA Student Contests
    86545 Cramblett Road
    Scio, Ohio 43988

    For further inquiries or questions send an email to:

    POETRY OUT LOUD 2020-2021

    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


    The 15th Annual Short Story Challenge is a creative writing competition open to writers around the world. There are 4 rounds of competition. In the 1st Round kicking off on January 22nd, writers are placed in groups and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment. Writers have 8 days to write an original story no longer than 2,500 words. The judges choose a top 5 in each group to advance to the 2nd Round where writers receive new assignments, only this time they have 3 days to write a 2,000-word short story. The judges again choose a top 5 in each group to advance to the 3rd Round where writers receive new assignments and have 2 days to write a 1,500-word short story. Judges select finalists and the remaining writers are challenged to write a 1,250-word story in just 24 hours in the fourth and final round of the competition. Feedback from the judges is provided for every submission and there are thousands in cash and prizes for the winners. In addition, they will be donating two dollars from each entry to global charities dealing with some of the most critical issues affecting our world, and writers choose where that donation goes. Learn more about the competition, register, and read winning stories from previous competitions at the link below. Good luck and stay safe writers! Registration Deadline: January 21, 2021.

    Learn More and Register


    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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    $2000 Opportunity from OSU/Digital Media and Composition Institute Aided by AP/Honors Text Author Renee Shea

    -The Digital Media and Composition Institute (DMAC) is seeking to fund three teams of teacher scholars to create cross-disciplinary instructional modules on the broad topic of equity, diversity, and inclusion in digital contexts for their upcoming online institute (May 3-10, 2021). Supported by the generous funding of the Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme at The Ohio State University, these teams will create robust instructional modules that could include assignments, syllabi, curricula, workshops, classroom activities, bibliographies, and community-engaged project ideas. These modules will serve multiple purposes. They will become a part of the regular DMAC curriculum, they will serve as instructional materials that DMAC participants and their colleagues/students can use at their home institutions and within their local communities, and they will be available to Ohio State instructors across disciplines and academic units who wish to use them in their classes and community outreach. In addition to building asynchronous, stand-alone instructional modules, teams will also participate in a 1-hour, synchronous video conversation during DMAC 2021 to discuss their work and to answer any questions participants may have.

    -Teams will be made up of two teacher scholars who can illustrate cross-disciplinary perspectives on pedagogy and/or methodology. Eligible teams can be made up of Ohio State graduate students, faculty, and staff as well as DMAC alumni from other institutions. At least one member of the team must have attended DMAC in the past. Team members will be granted the title, Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme Fellow at the Digital Media and Composition Institute.” If selected, each team member will receive a stipend of $2000. In addition to team members being credited for the work, all materials must acknowledge support from GAHDT and DMAC with specific branding language and graphics and must include DMAC Creative Commons Licensing.

    -Renee Shea, one of the authors of our adopted AP and Honors texts, is a DMAC alum. She has been in touch with Scott DeWitt about this opportunity, who told her that he recently had such a positive experience working with a group of Columbus high school teachers; he strongly urged her to to put together a CCS high school team for this proposal. One requirement is that one member of the team must be a DMAC alum, and she is willing to serve that purpose.

    -The proposal is due January 15th. If you have any interest, reach out to Renee Shea asap ( to form your team and begin work on the proposal. It seems a wonderful opportunity to continue thinking about the form and function online learning will take on once we have returned to "normal" school. The "equity, diversity, and inclusion" is 100% part of the mission in Columbus City Schools.

    -They seek 1–2-page proposals that describe the instructional modules teams would build if named a GAHDT Fellow at DMAC. Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

    • Diversity and inclusion: Do teams illustrate how their instructional module will address specific pedagogical goals related to equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, access, activism, and social justice in digital contexts?
    • Cross-disciplinary relevance and impact: Do teams explain how they plan to utilize and make explicit cross-disciplinary methodologies and pedagogies in the development of their instructional materials?
    • Instructional materials: Do teams describe the kinds of instructional materials included in their module? Do they explain how DMAC participants will be able to adapt these materials to their home institutions and within their local communities, including assignments, syllabi, curricula, workshops, classroom activities, bibliographies, and community-engaged projects?
    • Multimodality: Do teams offer specific examples of how they plan to create multimodal materials for their instructional modules that reflect the mission of DMAC?
    • Timeliness and responsiveness: Do teams take into consideration how their instructional modules address issues related to diversity and inclusion in this contemporary moment and yet could be responsive to changing situations and conditions?

    -In addition to the 1–2-page proposal, submissions should include a bibliography (if applicable) as well as a CV for each member. Teams must be able to adhere to the following timeline:

    • January 15, 2021: Proposal deadline
    • January 22, 2021: Fellows announced
    • February 1-5, 2021: Meeting with Fellows and DMAC directors
    • March 1-5, 2021: Presentation of draft materials for instructional modules
    • April 5, 2021: Draft instructional modules submitted to directors
    • April 26, 2021: Final instructional modules due to directors
    • May 3-10, 2021: Digital Media and Composition Institute 2021

    -Please submit your proposal and supporting documents at the following link. This Qualtrics form for will ask for names and contact information for each team member and will accept .docx and .pdf files.

    All questions can be directed to Scott Lloyd DeWitt (, John Jones (, and Liz Miller (


    Program Chair Valerie Kinloch chose "Equity, Justice, and Antiracist Teaching" as the theme for the 2021 NCTE Annual Convention, and she invites you to submit a program proposal today! The submission deadline has been extended until 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, January 19.



    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


    Columbus Metropolitan Library is hosting two more virtual community book talks as part of #centralohioreads One Book - One Community. During the session on January 21st at 7pm, you can live chat with panelists from your computer or mobile device. Register for these free virtual programs HERE.

    They’re encouraging all central Ohio families, friends and co-workers to read STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. This program is designed to cultivate conversations around race and social justice based upon the shared reading experience of the greater Columbus community. Through the reading of a singular book, the community can reflect together upon the institutional and systemic inequalities that have impacted our community and nation for far too long. For more events, book club reading guides and additional resources to learn about race and racism visit Can’t attend the live stream? Sign up and watch the recording afterwards.

    Kami Connect 2021

    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


    HERE is the contest to win $500 in Books.

    HERE is the contest to win 5 copies of To Kill a Mockingbird.


    HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways for January 2021.


    HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways.

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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

    Visit the ELA 6-12 Webpage. It is a single site for all Secondary English Curriculum/Resources.

    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.

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    StudySync: Tier One Instructional Resource for English


    -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 are 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 liking StudySync to Google Classroom.

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


    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.
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    Bedford/Launchpad: Tier One Instructional Resource for Honors and AP English

    BEDFORD 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.



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

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    TeachingBooks: Supplemental Resource

    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

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    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.
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    Song of the Week

    Ofenbach & Quarterhead - Head Shoulders Knees & Toes (feat Norma Jean Martine)[Official Music 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