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Columbus, OH 43215
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English Language Arts 6-12

English Language Arts Curriculum Grades 6-12
Carla Mae Phillips
Lead 6-12 English Curriculum Coordinator
Tim Wangler
6-12 English Curriculum Coordinator 

News and Opportunities
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Poetry Slam BANNER The 10th Annual CCS Poetry Slam Registration is OPEN for Middle and High Schools

If your school wants to compete in the 10th Annual CCS District Poetry Slam, please complete THIS FORM and send it with a $25 registration fee for a full team or $5.00 per poet (for a school bringing three or fewer poets) to the Slam Coordinator, Wyk McGowan, at Eastmoor Academy by March 8th. The competition is open to all schools in central Ohio. The slam will be held on Saturday, April 28, 5-9p.m. at Eastmoor Academy High School. Admission is $5 for the finals. Depending on the number of teams, the starting time might change. Contact Wyk with questions: 614.804.5535 or by email, wmcgowan8259@columbus.k12.oh.us.


Judging: There are five judges who will score the poems on a scale from 0-10 (out to one decimal point). The scores are not shown to the audience (which is different than a traditional slam). 

Winning: The winning middle school and high school teams will receive the district trophy for their division.  The top three teams will also receive medals. The top group poem in the high school division will receive ribbons. The top three induvial poets in the high school division will receive medals. Individuals without a full school team who compete will be eligible for individual medals.

Deadline: Columbus City School Teams must register before March 8th. After the March 8th deadline, we will open up the slam to other districts in central Ohio.

Getting Your Teams Ready: In addition to having school slams and preparing your poets in workshops, we are planning a poetry slam team-building and writing field trip to Spruce Run on March 21, from 9:30-1:30. Please check the box on the form if you and your team are interested in going on this field trip so that we may get the buses ordered asap.

The Week Before the Slam: There will be a bout draw the week before the slam to determine the order of the bouts. Each team will send up two poets back to back in the first round. Then the order will be reversed and each team will send up another two poets in the second round.


You should now see the CommonLit icon showing up in your Clever Apps.  Also, if you go directly to CommonLit (https://www.commonlit.org), you will now see both a "Log in with Google" and a "Log in with Clever" button. You will soon be able to transition to the Clever Rostering. Please be patient with the transition as techs at both CommonLit and CCS are working very diligently:) You will know it is ready when, after clicking on the CommonLit icon through Clever or the "Log in with Clever" button at the CommonLit site, it reacts in the way described in the slides linked HERE and above. Please know that if you click on the CommonLit icon on Clever or "Log in with Clever" button and it is not working correctly, it will redirect you to the Google login page, so there will not be any interruption is service.

Use this link to add the name of your school’s selected ELA Curriculum Liaison: https://tinyurl.com/ELACurriculumLiaison.

  • Each middle school and K-6/K-8 building would select one person to act as the ELA Middle School Curriculum Liaison for their building.
  • The person chosen should be a leader in ELA content and chosen by the building administration or BLT and may be a member of the BLT. The person could also be chosen by collective decision of the ELA teachers in the building.
  • This person would serve as a liaison between English 6-12 Curriculum and the ELA 6-8 teachers in their building, with the understanding that they would share information gained and professional development experienced at three meetings with the ELA 6-8 teachers at their school. This is similar to the Teacher Leader positions from two years ago. 
  • Payment will be made based on meeting attendance.
  • Dates: February 28, March 28, and April 25
  • Time: 4-6pm
  • Location: Linmoor Education Center, Room 25B
  • NOTE: This opportunity is for ELA only. No other contents will have a Middle School Curriculum Liaison.
AIR logo Computer Grading for ELA AIR Exams
In the past, the ELA AIR Exams were graded by a combination of computers and people. Computers graded the multiple choice, multi-select, hot text, evidence-based selected response (Part A/Part B), table-match, and some short answer items. Some of the short answer and all of the written response (multi-paragraph writings) were graded by people. Starting with the Spring 2018 administration of AIR, all items, including the multi-paragraph written response items will be computer graded. 
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US? The test is aligned with Ohio's Learning Standards and the interface for taking the test is the same. The changes are happening after the test is completed by our students. So, continue to teach the Standards for student mastery. Continue to use AIR-like questions in your classroom. Continue to use CommonLit and similar tools that combine readings with Standard-aligned questions. Continue to allow students to do practice questions in the Ohio portal (or portals from other AIR states). And, continue to use the ELA 6-12 Page to get AIR prep info and items http://www.ccsoh.us//AIR-AmericanInstitutesforResearch.aspx.  
Register for the AIR ELA 6-10 Refresher PD If You Want a Quick Reorientation to the Spring Tests
There will be an AIR ELA 6-10 Refresher PD on March 2nd from 4-5pm at Sherwood Middle School, Room 209A, for any ELA/English teachers who have students taking the spring AIR test. Participants will be reoriented to the test design and discuss strategies for preparing students to do well on the test. Register on CiMS if you want to attend. 
3/2/2018A - District WorkshopAIR ELA 6-10 Refresher PD1000030899

The National African American Read-In FEBRUARY 2018

It is not too late to host an African American Read-In.  

It's easy as I,2,3! 

1) Select books, poems, speeches (anything) authored by African Americans;

2) Hold your event during the month of February; and

3) Report results by submitting an African American Read-In Report Card.

Program Resources

Toolkit: http://www2.ncte.org/get-involved/african-american-read-in-toolkit2018/ 

Booklists: http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Involved/Action/AARI/FrequentlyReadBooks2013.pdf and http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Involved/Action/AARI/NCTEConvBooklist.pdf 

NCTE Page: http://www2.ncte.org/get-involved/african-american-read-in/ 

The Walden Woods Project, a non-profit organization in Lincoln, MA, devoted to preserving the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau is sponsoring the Live Deliberately Essay Contest, which is open to youth ages 14-21 around the globe and offers a $250 cash prize to the winner in each of three age groups.
Essay Prompt: Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, / in which you can walk with love and reverence.—Journal, October 18, 1855  In an essay of 750 words or fewer, describe a time in your life when you pursued a path that was “narrow and crooked,” but felt like it was the right path for you. In what ways are/were you able to, as Thoreau advises, walk that path with “love and reverence?” How has navigating that path shaped you into the person you are becoming? 
You can access a flyer for the contest HERE. The prompt and more information about the Contest, including submission access, can also be found here: https://www.walden.org/education/essay-contest/.  The deadline is March 15, 2018, and the results will be announced by the end of April. In addition to the cash prize, the winner in each age group—as well as those chosen for honorable mention—will receive a hardback copy of Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, signed by the editor Jeffrey S. Cramer; get their essay published on our website; and receive a press release that can be shared with their local media outlets to spread word of their achievement.
THURBER IMAGE Young Writers' Studio Winter/Spring 2018 for 9th-12th Graders-$15 per session
Classes meet from 6:30-8:30pm on 1/9, 2/6, 3/6, 4/3, and 5/1 at Thurber Center, 91 Jefferson Ave. 

Start the new year off "write"!

Start 2018 off on the right foot by working on your writing resolutions
and joining us at Young Writers' Studio! If you are in 9th-12th grade and
love to write, want to improve your skills, and meet others who are just as
into it as you are, check out Young Writers' Studio starting on January 9th!

Click here for more information!

Creative Communication Writing Contests image Creative Communication Writing Contests
Become a Published Writer!
-Creative Communication sponsors poetry and essay writing contests for middle and high school students throughout the school year. Click here for access to the Webpage. 
The annual OCTELA conference will be held on February 23-24th at the Double Tree Hotel in Worthington. The theme this year is REVITALIZE: GETTING BACK TO TEACHING.
-If you have not registered and plan to attend, go to https://www.octela.org/2018-2/registration/.
-You can see the entire conference page by going to https://www.octela.org/2018-2/.
image Dublin Literacy Conference 2018--February 24th: 2018 Keynote Speakers and Featured Authors: George Couros, Linda Sue Park, Chris Barton, & Kate Roberts
Attend Sessions with Linda Sue Park, author of A Long Walk to Water
Click HERE for the Brochure and HERE to Register for the Dublin Literacy Conference held on February 24th at Dublin Coffman High School. The 2018 Keynote Speakers and Featured Authors are George Couros, Linda Sue Park, Chris Barton, & Kate Roberts. Park is the author of the summer school book A Long Walk to Water and her sessions may be of particular interest to the many teachers who have used that book in their classrooms. Other sessions will be offered on Reading/Writing Workshop, Blended Learning, Digital Portfolios, Mini Lessons, etc. The cost is $120.
FREE Google Training Webinars on Saturday, February 24th from Simple K-12
Click HERE to register for either of these Google Webinars this Saturday, February 24th.
  • 11am-11:30am  Streamline Student Collaboration & Communication with G Suite
  • 12pm-12:30pm  Simplify Data & Documentation with Google Forms

Two Upcoming PDs Presented by CCS Teachers (Register on CiMS)
Increasing Student Engagement, Feb. 26th, 2:30-4:30pm, Ridgeview MS
-Participants will read and discuss Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess to increase student engagement and learn how to create more captivating lessons.
Presenter: Valarie Cummings
Target Audience: Middle and High School Teachers
Alternatives to the Five Paragraph Essay, March 1st, 2:45-4:45pm, Centennial HS
-Participants will receive strategies to engage students in writing processes that lead to authentic thinking and decision-making while writing. The workshop will include prompts, student models, and ask teachers to engage in short writing exercises.
Presenter: Sarah Barry
Target Audience: ELA Teachers for Grades 7-12

CHRIS LEHMAN and KATE ROBERTS Present an Inspiring One-Day Workshop on March 12th in CLEVELAND

Fall in Love with Close Reading

Workshop Flyer

For Grades 4–12

During this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn methods for close reading that transfer across narratives, informational and argumentative texts, poetry, media and life 
  • Take opportunities to assess student growth and make instructional decisions 
  • Plan how close reading will fit into your reading instruction 

Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts are coming to Cleveland, OH to present a powerful workshop that draws on research and classroom practice from their book, Falling In Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts—and Life. You'll learn practical methods for teaching the skills of deep analytical reading in ways that enchant students and transfer to their independent work. Their fun, witty, and interactive teaching style will help you support students as they develop big ideas about narratives, nonfiction texts, and media. You'll learn structures that lead to independent close reading habits and avoid the common classroom pitfall of students superficially reading and rereading. Ultimately, you will consider ways of broadening this study beyond texts, seeing how reading anything closely can be eye-opening and empowering. 

MAR 12, 2018
Achieve3000 logo Achieve 3000 Professional Development Webinars and Parent Nights
Achieve3000 logo
Achieve3000 will be hosting three more 45-minute webinars from 3:00-3:45 pm.  Please see below for dates and topics:
3/15  Classroom Methods - Encouraging Students to Reach Goals
How to get kids to really take ownership of their success
Using Skills Progression and mini-lessons
4/19  Ending and Starting the Year Off Strong  
Mark Your Calendars for the Ohioana Book Festival 2018 in April
The 2018 Book Festival will be held Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 10:30a.m.-5:00p.m. at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square, 75 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215. It is a FREE event open to the public, no registration required. Check out all of the attending authors HERE. It is one of the best events in Columbus. Think about inviting students and having them meet you there. 
WriQ image WriQ--A Google Add-on for Scoring Essays
-As many of you know, our district licenses for Essay Scorer from Pearson have expired for many or are due to expire for others at the end of the year. Here is a recorded Webinar for a Google Add-on called WriQ that has to ability to score argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative essays for grammar, punctuation, and spelling; then the add-on allows teachers to interactively score the essay for focus, organization/structure, development, and language. It puts the computer and teacher scored rubric at the top of the student's essay. It also keeps a dashboard for all essays scored. You can get the FREE add-on in Google and try it yourself. This Webinar will orient you to the tool.
Have You Tried Quill?
If you have been looking for free tools to make your students better writers through writing and grammar activities, check out Quill at http://www.quill.org/. It could be a great to use as a station during writing workshop or be included in your blended learning classrooms. 
Kaizena is Now a Google Add-on
Kaizena has been made into a Google Docs Add-on. It lets you record voice comments, save feedback for re-use, and track rubric criteria directly inside Google Docs. You can find the new Kaizena here, on the Google Add-ons storeHaving it as an Google Add-on means fewer steps for you to provide feedback and a more integrated workflow. Students will be able to edit their work immediately after receiving your feedback, instead of referring to a separate copy on Kaizena. It is easier for peers to provide feedback - any Google Doc collaborator can provide feedback! In addition to voice comments, you can also save time providing high quality feedback with Lessons: re-use common feedback and embed youtube videos to explain common concepts, and Skills: track evidence of skills students demonstrate in their work. You can access a quick how-to guide HERE.
EdCite Ohio Common Assessment Initiative
EdCite's Ohio Common Assessment Initiative allows you to send students a released Ohio State Test in an AIR-aligned viewer on Edcite. Simply select the assessment and share the link with students. You can also opt-in to compare your data to the average of all participating submissions. Learn more about this optional comparative report here. CLICK HERE TO FIND AN ASSESSMENT.
ALA Award-Winning Books Were Announced Last Monday. Check out the Winners!
Listed below are some of the lead winners of announced on February 12th. See American Library Association 2018 Winners for all of the vote-getters.
John Newberry Medal (Outstanding Contribution to Children's Lit)-Hello, Universe by Erin Estrada Kelly
Coretta Scott King Book Award-Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement-Eloise Greenfield
Michael L. Printz Award(Excellence in Young Adult Lit)-We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Michael L. Printz Honor Books-The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds; Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor; Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
Alex Awards (Ten Best Adult Books for Teens)-All Systems Red by Martha Wells; The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson; Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuireElectric Arches by Eve L. Ewing; A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming; Malagash by Joey ComeauRoughneck by Jeff LemireShe Rides Shotgun by Jordan HarpeThings We Have in Common by Tasha Kavanag; and AnUnkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (Substantial/Lasting Contribution to Children's Literature-Jaqueline Woodson
Margaret A. Edwards Award (Lifetime Achievement for Young Adult Writing)-Angela Johnson
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award-Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimmer
William C. Morris Award (Debut Teen Book by First-Time Author)-The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults-Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
Literature Prizes image Literature Prizes
Think about checking out some of these award-winning titles:)
-Nobel Prize for Literature: Kazuo Ishiguro (The Buried Giant, Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day, When We Were Orphans, An Artist of the Floating World, The Unconsoled, A Pale View of Hills, Nocturnes, etc.)
-Thurber Prize for American Humor: Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
-National Book Award Finalists:
Fiction Elliot Ackerman: Dark at the Crossing, Lisa Ko: The Leavers, Min Jin Lee: Pachinko, Carmen Maria Machado: Her Body and Other Parties: Stories, Jesmyn Ward: Sing, Unburied, Sing;
Nonfiction Erica Armstrong Dunbar: Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, Frances FitzGerald: The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, Masha Gessen: The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, David Grann: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, Nancy MacLean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America;
Poetry Frank Bidart: Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, Leslie Harrison: The Book of Endings, Layli Long Soldier: WHEREAS, Shane McCrae: In the Language of My Captor, Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead: Poems;
Young People's Literature Elana K. Arnold: What Girls Are Made Of , Robin Benway: Far from the Tree, Erika L. Sánchez: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Rita Williams-Garcia: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, Ibi Zoboi: American Street
The State Board of Education has approved some revisions to Ohio’s Learning Standards for English Language Arts proposed by the Ohio Department of Education based on recommendations of educators statewide. Know that the revisions for ELA 6-12 were minimal and likely encompass teaching already happening in your classrooms. For example, many of the changes added having a thesis in writings and clarifying perspective from point of view. Educators should begin transitioning to the revised standards during the 2017-18 school year, with full implementation during the 2018-19 school year. The AIR tests will be aligned to the 2010 standards this year. They will be aligned to the 2017 standards in the 2018-19 school year. The CCS Clear Learning Targets will be updated to reflect the changes. The revised standards with guiding docs have been added to this page. Just Click on "Ohio's Learning Standards" under Clear Learning Targets at the top of the red column.
Read20: Every DAY! image Read20: Every DAY!
READ 20 is district-wide campaign to increase independent reading by our students. Since the summer of 2015, there has been a push to increase our students' independent reading through a campaign known as READ20. To continue providing support for this campaign, ask your students to make reading 20 minutes everyday outside of class a habit. To help make this campaign as success, please utilize the Resources on this page. Just click on "READ20 Toolkit and Resources" under READ20 in the red column. You will find a toolkit, campaign flyers, reading lists, and more. 

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