ELA Today May 2016

Middle School Language Arts


We are counting down to EOGs and our last days of the school year - Yippie! Everyone should have access to several EOG practice tests through School Net. Although it might be tempting to do quite a bit of paper and pencil review, include creativity with various review activities. Don't forget to include comprehension and test-taking strategies such as rereading, annotation, and process of elimination.

If you have not done so, please complete the Secondary ELA Content Planning Survey to gauge interest in summer learning and planning. Unit Map to Unit Plan to Lesson Plan- 2 days of Course PLC based collaborative work using the DPS ELA/English curriculum maps to create aligned and fully developed exemplar instructional units and lesson plans. Participants will review DPS curriculum documents and resources; learn about and explore how to strategically combine learning processes for engagement; and collaborate with peers to create instructional plans; and share resources to support other teachers as they plan and implement teaching and learning for their students. Based on survey results, I will reach out to those who are able to attend.

Additionally, Secondary ELA is offer the Reading Catalysts Institute- 3 days of learning, collaboration, and work sessions aimed to foster a network of DPS middle/high school English teachers who are dedicated to understanding our students as developing readers and accelerating their growth as readers. Reading Catalysts Institute participants will learn how fundamental reading skills influence the reading and literacy skills of grades 6-12 students, specific interventions to accelerate/enrich reading growth, and develop DPS district resources for classroom.

Who: willing teachers, Department Chairs, Course PLC Leaders (25 teachers)

When: 6/27-29/2016

Where: TBD

Please contact me via email if interested in this learning opportunity.

How was your year in ELA? Please provide feedback through the MS ELA Feedback Survey, so that I can better support our work for the 2016-2017 school year.

JASP Award

Congratulations to Caitlin Donovan (Lakewood Montessori) for being selected as a runner-up for the Jane Austen Summer program. JASP is an 'annual four-day symposium organized by UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature and is designed to appeal to established scholars, high school and middle school teachers, graduate students, undergraduate students, and anyone else with a passion for all things Austen.' In addition to the scholarship, Ms. Donovan will also receive a tuition reduction to participate in this wonderful JASP experience.

Teacher Institute

Teacher Institute

We will wrap up our teacher institute sessions on May 10th and May 19th. Teachers truly enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with district colleagues on lessons and instructional strategies. Thank you to those teachers and leaders who invested their time to support colleagues. A special Thank You to Carrington and Githens for hosting ELA, math, and 8th grade science for our work sessions.

Thank You!

Finally, as we close out this school year, THANK YOU for welcoming me as the ELA specialist. It has been my pleasure to visit classrooms, PLCs, and provide support where needed. Across the district, ELA teachers and students are engaged in wonderful best practices. I look forward to our work together in 2016-2017, as we make strides to increase learning outcomes for all students. I will be working throughout the summer, should you need to reach me. In the meantime, have an AWESOME summer break! As the ladies on The View say, "Take a little time to enjoy your view!"


Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela