In Touch, In Tune

ELA/Reading Reminders, Opportunities, and Inspiration

Thanks for Tuning In!

June 2016

Without the strict deadlines or content requirements that the regular school year imposes, summer offers students and teachers the opportunity to rediscover reading as a leisure activity. Encourage your students to kick back, relax, and pick up a book - and prevent the summer learning slide. Please share this Secondary ELA Summer Resources flier with your students and their families. It is packed with reading challenges, suggested reading lists, and tons of exciting reading and writing opportunities.

Then, as the school year comes to a close, lose yourself in a few great books and share on Twitter the books you're reading this summer using the hashtag #FCPSLoves2Read. Tweet about your books and/or take pictures of your summer reading (#shelfies, #bookface, #bookspinepoetry). Anyone in the FCPS community who participates will be entered into a drawing for a Curious Iguana gift card for each post that is tagged correctly. The winners will be announced the second week of school.

"The beauty of summer reading is falling into the pages of a book and not having to come up for air until it's done." (Pernille Ripp)

In the Spotlight

The Expansion of 1-to-1 Personalized Learning in ELA

This year, a team of ELA teachers at OHS (Alysa Greer, Lauren Graziano, Caitlin Patrick, and Carrie Mehl) implemented English 9 in a 1-to-1 personalized learning environment. Students were given access to HMH Collections instructional resources and a Chromebook that they kept for the semester. Their teachers used these resources in conjunction with other digital content to allow students to choose their own learning paths. Students in these classrooms:

  • drive their own learning;
  • connect learning with interests, talents, passions, and aspirations;
  • actively participate in the design of their learning;
  • own and are responsible for their own learning, including their voice and choice on how and what they learn;
  • select and use appropriate technology and resources to support and enhance their learning; and
  • are self-directed learners who monitor progress and reflect on learning.

As the semester progressed, student engagement, curiosity, and inquiry steadily increased. Hear from the students themselves in this video.

We are excited to announce that 1-to-1 Personalized Learning in ELA will expand next year! All ninth and tenth grade ELA students at OHS, as well as all ninth grade ELA students at LHS, BHS, and CHS, will participate in this experience during the 2016-2017 school year. Over the next few years, we will continue this exciting transformation to personalized learning in our ELA classes so that every student’s passion for learning will be reignited!

English 12 Gets a Facelift

English 12 has been revised to better prepare students for college and career readiness. The revised course includes five units, each with an emphasis on critical reading, researching, writing from sources, and problem solving.

  • Habits of Mind
  • Reading Literary Non-Fiction
  • Reading for Sciences
  • Reading for Humanities
  • Reading for History

Students will build a portfolio throughout the course. This summer, FCPS will work with FCC to score sample essays and determine an appropriate CCR cut score. With this partnership, the English 12 portfolio will become another way for students to show they are college and career ready.

The revised course has been field tested this semester at GTJHS, CHS, UHS, THS, LHS, and the CTC, and it will be ready for district-wide implementation in the fall. Next year's English 12 teachers have been invited to attend an English 12 training on Tuesday, June 7, from 3:30-6:30 at the Staff Development Center.

A special thanks goes to Samantha Servey (LHS), Natalie Rebetsky (LHS), and Lera Straits (CTC) for their work on the English 12 revision project!

Secondary ELA on Twitter #FCPSELA

Featured Instructional Activity

The Exit Speech

In their book Create, Compose, Connect!, Jeremy Hyler and Troy Hicks explain one of their final assignments for their eighth graders before they enter high school: the exit speech. The exit speech essentially is a reflection of the whole year and, eventually, used to provide next year's eighth graders with some sound advice for becoming more successful as they inch closer to high school.

Click here to learn how Hyler and Hicks give their students an opportunity to reflect, present, and use carefully-selected multimedia to enhance their ideas. This timely lesson meets both curricular needs and students' needs.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (But Mostly Good!)

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ELA Digital Texts

Did you know that we have curated a bank of online resources where you can find varied texts (literary, nonfiction, print, digital, audio, performance, art, etc.)? This digital library is located on the General Resources page of the ELA website. It may be useful as you gather varied resources for students to access during lessons. Many of these resources will be particularly useful as you look to differentiate and/or transition to a personalized learning model of instruction. Share your favorite online resources with to have them added to the webmix.

FCPL Summer Reading Challenge

Take the Summer Challenge and see if you have what it takes to be an FCPL All Star in this free summer learning program for kids, teens, and adults. Complete 2 activity tracks online or with your gameboard to earn your halfway prize. Complete 4 activity tracks online or with your gameboard to finish the program, earn a free book, a scoop of Bruster’s Ice Cream, and entry into monthly prize drawings. Finishers can become MVPs by continuing play online for more chances to win prizes by completing 5 or more activity tracks!

Perma-Bound Series Tracker

The Series Tracker Service is designed to help you monitor when new titles are released in a popular series. It also provides a single, convenient location for you to access relevant series content for the series that Perma-Bound tracks.

Create a custom list of series that you would like to track over time and receive notifications when new titles become available within the Perma-Bound ordering system. Each month, you will receive an email notifying you of any new titles that have been added to the series you are tracking.

Customize your list of tracked series from three categories: Elementary, Middle School, or High School. Within each of these categories, Perma-Bound has highlighted the top 25 most popular series within Series Tracker.

Testing Windows

Middle School ELA CRES (See optional formatives.)
  • Closed

High School Spring Semester ELA CRES (See optional formatives.)

  • Closed

Scantron Performance Series (optional)

  • Spring Norming Administration: 4/5/16-6/15/16

Scantron PS Winter Administration is required for 8th grade articulation; other administrations may be given as determined by school and/or central office staff for identified populations.

The Reading Inventory (RI) & The Phonics Inventory (PI)

  • Closed

News from Intervention

Reading Intervention Updates - Professional Learning

Professional learning sessions from the May reading intervention meetings included:

  • Analysis of Growth on The Reading Inventory
  • The Use of Growth Mindset Praise and Feedback to Promote Student Self-Regulation (MS)
  • Elevating the Read 180 Reading Routines with Standards-Based Instruction (HS)

All session materials can be found on the ELA Interventions Site under Meeting Information and Professional Learning 2015-16.

Data Literacy- Featured Reading Inventory Reports

2016-17 Reading Intervention Professional Learning Topics

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Instructional Technology Tips

Leadership and Professional Learning Opportunities

Help Us Help You!

Complete this form to let us know your immediate and long-term ELA and Reading Intervention needs. (The link to this form is also located on the ELA website.)

Don't Be Shy!

Is there something you'd like to share in next month's In Touch, In Tune publication? Email (English/Language Arts) or (Reading Intervention) with the details!