Everything English

UCPS English Curriculum News and Events

September 2015

Dear English Teachers,

I hope that you all had a smooth start last week! Unbelievably, it is September and already time to think ahead for the fall. In this newsletter, I have compiled a few announcements, along with professional development opportunities for you and other opportunities available to your students.

This newsletter will be a monthly feature. Please feel free to forward me any announcements, opportunities, or links you would like to share. In the future, I would also love to spotlight cool activity or lesson plan ideas and professional accomplishments, as well as any personal accomplishments, news, and writing you would be willing to share.

Finally, thanks to all of you for making my first month in Union County Public Schools an amazing experience. You are kind, helpful, professional, creative, and engaged teachers and human beings. I look forward to continuing to learn from you and to support you in any way that I can.


Curriculum Articulation Committee

If you are interested in serving on a district-wide curriculum committee, please contact Lucy Steele at lucy.steele@ucps.k12.nc.us. This committee will meet monthly and focus on teaching and learning; these meetings will provide opportunities for collaboration and problem-solving. We hope to have representation from every school.

Meetings will begin in October. I will send out a Doodle poll as soon as I have a list of potential committee members.

2015-2016 Benchmarks

We will be using district-level benchmarks for English I, II, and III this year. If you have feedback regarding the English I and II benchmarks used last year, please let me know. The process for using English I and II benchmarks will be similar to last year. More information on the English III benchmarks will be coming soon.

I am looking for people willing to participate on English III and IV benchmark teams this year, so please reach out if you are interested.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

UCPS English PD: This meeting will include training on the new ACT writing prompt, followed by an opportunity for cross-district collaboration and team planning meetings. Please register using this link.

Details: September 23 from 8:30-11:30 at the Walter Bickett Education Center

CEUs: 0.3

Teacher-to-Teacher Conference: This one-day conference at the College of Education will cover topics including culturally responsive teaching, differentiating instruction, and how to become a cooperating teacher. The cost is $25 for the conference. They are still accepting presentation proposals, if you are interested in presenting!

Details: October 14 from 9-4 at the College of Education at UNCC

CEUs: 0.8

Learning Differences: This MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) presented by NC State will help teachers consider learning differences and differentiating instruction with an in-depth study. This course is online and completely free. We can also collaborate locally on the coursework, so please contact Lucy if you are interested in forming a UCPS group for this course. You do not need to have computer expertise to participate in an online course, but you should be comfortable working online (as you would in Canvas or Moodle).

Details: Online from September 28- November 8

CEUs: 2.0 available (there are reporting requirements, so be sure to read that part carefully on the MOOC FAQ)

Print ↔ Digital : Connecting Convention, Tradition, and Innovation: This conference presented by the Writing Program at UNCC has a focus on the tensions between print and digital texts. There are presentations from both college and high school instructors.

Details: Friday, October 23 from 8:30-4 at UNCC Center City

CEUs: 0.8 CEUs

Upcoming Opportunities for Your Students

Poetry Out Loud: We are hoping to continue UCPS's strong participation in this poetry competition! Even if your school has not competed in previous years, you can get involved this year. I will be sending registration information out soon; let me know if you have any questions. I will need a coordinator/point person at each participating school; contact your department chair about this opportunity!

Wingate's Annual Shakespeare Competition: If you are interested in getting your students involved in this competition, the website has very thorough information. Contact me if you need any help getting started.

Wingate University - Wingate Presents: Shakespeare Competition 2014

Tweet me a link to a great online resource, and I will put you in a drawing for a fabulous prize!