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Getting Involved

High School ELA Announcements and Email Archive

April 11, 2024 Newsletter

This email contains information about the following:

  1. Spring RI Testing Window (action)
  2. April 26th Early Out (information)
  3. Book Club / Literature Circle Resources (information)
  4. Multigenre Writing Resources (reminder)
  5. Newsela Update (information)
  6. Writing Tools Survey from USBE (information)
  7. Professional Development Opportunities (opportunities)



  1. Spring RI Testing Window – April 22 – May 15
  • The Reading Inventory is not a timed exam but does adapt to student responses.  This may mean that some students finish in 20 minutes, while other students take much longer.  Students who are in Literacy (Reading) or ELD should take the RI in those classes, rather than ELA.
  • Attached are the Reading Inventory Student Directions to read for students before testing
  • Reading Inventory Accommodations are also attached. 
  1. April 26th District-wide Early Out PLCs
  • We will be meeting at Hillcrest High School at 1:40 pm in the Presentation room.  Please bring your printed instructional guides.  Our new Content Leads (Yay! We have funding for them!) will be leading discussions in your grade level teams.
  1. Book Club / Literature Circle Resources
  • I love seeing so many of our teachers embracing Books Clubs / Literature Circles / Student Choice Reading.  Here are some resources that I’ve shared with others if you are trying this for the first time.
    • If you haven’t watched the Student Choice Reading Video I shared last month – please check it out.  And if you have questions, please reach out to the Alta teachers in the video!
  • Attached are some chapters from books that can help with Book Clubs (see attached file)
  1. Multigenre Writing Supports
  • I was recently helping a teacher with the multigenre writing unit and reminded them that Chapter 9 in 180 Days (Gallagher and Kittle) is all about a multigenre unit. See table of content below.  If you haven’t read it, I recommend checking it out. I also encourage you to watch the videos that are included.  Instructions for accessing the videos are on page xi in the book.  If you did not receive a book because you were not in the district in August of 2022, please let me know and I will order you a book. 
  1. Newsela Update
  • Unfortunately, it has been decided that our Newsela licenses will not be renewed due to funding. You will have access to the Newsela Pro license until the end of June 30th to gather resources you may want to use in the future.


  1. Writing Tool Survey
  • Writing Tools and Supports – USBE is looking to advance support for P-12 classroom educators regarding the tools and resources to foster evidence-based writing instruction, assessment, and feedback. Please respond by May 1, 2024.


  1. Professional Development Opportunities
  • EdCamp: AI for Educators – Learn with Emma Moss and Jonathan Stewart as they share how to incorporate AI tools into your instruction.
  • Conversations with Connection and Comprehension: A Read-U Workshop – Learn about the University of Utah’s READ-U program and the standards-based units available for school use.
  • 2024 Belfer National Conference for Educators Registration is now open for the 2024 Belfer National Conference for Educators, taking place June 24–26. At this free, virtual professional learning conference, educators will explore the latest practices in teaching about the Holocaust.
  • For the Love of Reading Scholarship – UVU’s For the Love of Reading Conference provides an opportunity for teachers, parents, librarians and others to discuss and share the best in books, teaching, and innovations for changing lives through literacy. Applications, like taxes, are due April 15th.

March 18, 2024

Professional Learning Opportunities

Join our ELA teachers as they explain the why, how, and benefits of giving students time to read books of their own choosing in class.

Lesli Morris and Brianne Gee co-taught together to build student self-efficacy in writing. They were able to share this presentation at UCTE in February 2024.

Join fellow educators, Stephanie Nasser and Michelle Hall, as we dive into the fifth pillar of the Secondary Writing Framework, Teach Critical Skills, Processes, and Knowledge, in this series we call Collaborative Crafting.

Learn with Emma Moss and Jonathan Stewart as they share the latest on how to effectively incorporate AI tools into your instruction.


Resources to support ML Students

  • Check out the ML Team’s webpage – they have a lot of resources for teachers
  • ML Newsletter (resource)
  • Translate or Not? Guide for when to translate. This is a Canva resource – please use link in email (it doesn’t load on the district website).



Multigenre Writing

Quarter 4 is all about multigenre writing.  This is a new type of writing in our instructional guides.  I wanted to share some resources with you that may be helpful.


Upcoming RI Testing Window – April 22 – May 17


Student Podcast Challenge – sponsored by NPR (student opportunity)

NPR is inviting students around the country to create a podcast and compete for a chance to win a grand prize and have their work featured on NPR. Check out the official rules, submission guidelines and more by selecting the image above. Submissions are due April 2024.


30 Days of Writing Prompts
Do you want to use the prompts from this year’s 30-Day Writing Community with your students? Feel free to copy, modify, and use any of the invitations which can be accessed here.

January 26 - Early Out

January 26th – 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm – Hillcrest High School – Presentation Room – A115

December 14, 2023 Email

This email contains the following:

  • 30 Days of Writing (opportunity)
  • Central Utah Writing Project Summer Institute (opportunity)
  • Jack Hazard Fellowships: $5,000 Summer Awards to Creative Writers Who Teach High School (Opportunity)
  • Novel Database Updates (information)
  • Short Stories (information)
  • Bite-sized PDs and Upcoming Webinars (opportunities)
  • RI Reminder (action requested)
  • Poem: [little tree] by E. E. Cummings (for fun)

30 Days of Writing

Scott has partnered with the state ELA Specialist to do 30 Days of Writing state-wide.  Join us January 8 – February 6, 2024, as we take a few minutes every day to write for ourselves.  (The prompts can also be great starters to use with our students.)  See the flyer attached and Sign Up Here.

Central Utah Writing Project Summer Institute

The absolute best personal and professional development I have ever participated in was the Central Utah Writing Project Summer Institute.  It filled my bucket as a professional, spoke to my soul as a writer, and helped me become a better teacher.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  If you would like to apply to become a CUWP fellow, the deadline for applications is January 31, 2024.  If you would like to learn more, please see the attached flyer or you can email me and we can chat about it.

Jack Hazard Fellowships: $5,000 Summer Awards to Creative Writers Who Teach High School

Are you working on a memoir, work of fiction, or creative non-fiction?  You could receive one of the Jack Hazard Fellowships from the New Literacy Project to support creative writers who teach.  The deadline is January 4, 2024.

Novel Database Updates

The novel approval committee will meet again in January. If you would like to submit a novel for approval, please do so by January 19th.

The following novels now have updated applications:

  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  • Beowulf

Short Stories

Recently, we have had teachers report that more and more students are reading the short stories that high school teachers are teaching in their middle school classes.  Short stories are not approved or leveled at the district level.  However, to hopefully help reduce the number of short stories being read across levels, Scott and I will be creating a list of short stories in the middle school and high school textbooks and asking that teachers don’t teach across levels (middle / high).  I will also be curating short story collections to support the high school teachers in finding additional short story texts.  Look for more on that in January.  In the Canyons High School ELA Sandbox canvas course, I will be adding short story resources specifically.  If you have great short stories that you teach, please share them with me.

Bite-sized PDs and Upcoming Webinars

Here are a few opportunities you might be interested in:

Bite-sized PD

  • How to Support Your ML Students with Whole Class Novels (Oct. 18th)
  • How to Scaffold and Modify Assignments for ML Students (Nov 15th)
  • Collaborative Crafting Part 1 Who’s your Audience (Nov 30th)
  • Collaborative Crafting Part 2 What Do You Want to Say? (Dec 6th)


Reading Inventory Reminder

I know that HMH went down today and they are working on it.  The window for giving the Reading Inventory closes January 11th.  Please try to have everyone tested by this date.  The principals, schools, and BLTs use this data to help make decisions and guide the school-wide goals.  And I will use the mid-year data to suggest students who could benefit from a reading intervention course.

October 27, 2023 Email

This email contains information about the following:

  • Novel Approval Updates
  • USBE Webinar Series information
  • Podcast – Writing as Gate-Opening
  • AI Tool for Teachers – Magic School
  • December RI Window
  • Out of the Office – November 14th

Novel Approval Updates

The Novel committee met last week and approved Firekeepers Daughter by Angeline Boulley for Grades 11-12, with parent permission in literature circles or student choice.  They also approved Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley for grades 9-12.  The committee will meet again in January. 

The following novels/plays now have applications in the novel database: The Crucible, Macbeth, Fahrenheit 451, Fahrenheit 451 Graphic Novel, Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar (No Fear), and Lord of the Flies.

USBE Webinar Series Information

From USBE: 

If you were unable to join us live for or would like to rewatch Dr. Deborah Dean’s webinar, “Besting the Grammar Beast,” you are now able to view the recording. 

In the webinar, Dr. Dean refers to several resources plus I’ve included a few others listed below:

November’s webinar is on Monday, November 13, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Reading with Purpose: Selecting & Sequencing Texts to Support Critical Understanding With Dr. Lauren Liang, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Utah  **Supports implementation of Reading Standards 6, 11, 12, 14


Learn about the “PURPOSEful Framework” for creating effective text sets. The goal of the framework is to aid educators in creating a purposeful, carefully curated text set where the individually selected books and sequenced arrangement work together to present an opportunity for students’ engagement in critical thinking and growth in both cognitive and affective realms. The PURPOSEful Framework includes six steps to curate and sequence the high-quality texts used in the set. The unique emphasis on sequencing is driven by the careful curation work that happens prior, and ultimately creates scaffolding for students’ deeper understanding of a specific content topic or area. 

Earn 0.5 USBE Credit

If you are interested in receiving 0.5 USBE credits for your participation in the webinars, you will need to enroll in the Canvas course to complete the following tasks:

  • Attend or view 7 webinars 
  • Complete reflections for each webinar
  • Provide evidence of implementation of at least one instructional practice from the webinar series in your classroom or with educators you lead/coach


Podcast – Writing as Gate-Opening

In the latest 2 episodes of All Day ELA, Scott and I discuss a chapter from the book, Real World Writing for Secondary Students.  The author outlines her process for incorporating writing laps, mini-lessons, and mentor texts to help students transfer the skills into their own writing.  You can listen to the episodes on Spotify:  Part 1   and    Part 2

AI Tools for Teachers

Have you tried out Magic School?  It is an AI platform designed for teachers.  I think it is work checking out. 

You can do so many things with it – they have 56 specific pre-programmed AI prompts.  But here are a few that I think may be useful for an ELA teacher:

  • create a choice board for student assignments,
  • have AI give feedback on student writing based on your own rubric
  • create a rubric
  • take any text and adjust it to different reading levels
  • create an email to parents and translate it into multiple languages
  • generate text-dependent questions based on a text you input
  • text proofreader tool
  • text scaffolding tool that pulls out tier 2 and 3 vocabulary and defines them for students and includes guiding questions
  • And for those of you who teach seniors – generate a letter of recommendation.

December RI Window

Looking ahead – the RI window opens December 4th and closes January 11th.


Out of the Office

And last, I will be out of the office until November 14th.  If you need anything, please reach out to Scott Christensen or Jesse Hennefer.

October 2, 2023 Email

This email contains information about:

  1. FREADom to Read week from UELMA and ULA
  2. USBE Professional Development Series
  3. Recently approved Novels
  4. Upcoming Bite-sized PD: How to Support Your ML Students with Whole Class Novels
  5. A Halloween Poem



FREADom to Read week from UELMA and ULA

October 1 – 7 is FREADom to Read Week (formally known as Banned Book Week).  Please see the attached flyer, bookmarks, and document and the email below for more information.

For those of you who do journals, you could use the following prompt: Describe your reading life.  Has it changed as you’ve gotten older?  How do you see your reading life in the future?

Canyons will be talking about this prompt in videos and in a podcast coming out this week.

USBE Professional Development Series

USBE is hosting a 7 part Secondary ELA Professional Learning Webinar Series this year.  The first session is on October 17th on – Besting the Grammar Beast – given by Deborah Dean – yes, that Deborah Dean who has written and published several books about writing and grammar instruction.  Register using the link above.

Recently Approved Novels

New applications approved:  All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely and How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen.

Novel database cleanup project – these plays now have applications: Hamlet, Hamlet No Fear, Romeo and Juliet, and Romeo and Juliet No Fear

  • If you would like a graphic novel of these plays approved, please email me and let me know the version you would like to see approved.

Upcoming Bite-sized PD: How to Support Your ML Students with Whole Class Novels

On October 18th  at 4:00 pm,  Amy Gutierrez (ML Specialist) and I will be presenting a Bite-sized PD on how to support your ML students when reading novels.  Now, I know you will probably be on your way out because it is Fall Break.  But when you get back, you’ll be able to watch the PD on the Bite-Sized PD Page.

September 19, 2023 Email

This email contains information about:

  • Early Out on Friday, September 22nd – 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Kelly Gallagher Webinar opportunity

Early Out Information

Thank you for your patience as we have worked with schools to get confirmations of meeting locations.  We will be meeting at Hillcrest High School in the Presentation Room – A115 at 1:45 pm.

The bulk of the time will be spent on vertical coherence within the standards, so please bring a device to work on.


1:45 – Announcements/Updates

  • Novel Database Cleanup Survey
  • Singleton PLCs

2:00 – Unpacking Standards – Vertical Alignment

  • Break into Schools to do Vertical Alignment  *Resource and co-teachers attend with your school
    • Alta – A209
    • Brighton – A211
    • Corner Canyon – A213
    • Hillcrest – A215
    • Jordan and Diamond Ridge – A218
    • SPED ACC and ECC – A216

2:50 – Return to Presentation room for Prizes and exit survey

Kelly Gallagher Webinar Opportunity

Kelly Gallagher will be doing a webinar with California State this Thursday evening (shout-out to Michelle Ritter for sharing this information!).  If you are interested in attending, the registration information is on this page.

September 12, 2023 Email

This email contains information about the following:

  1. News Literacy Project Webinar Series
  2. Newsela Units
  3. High School ELA Early Out
  4. Copyleaks Plagiarism Bite-Sized PD Training


  1. News Literacy Project Webinar Series:

The News Literacy Project has partnered with USBE to deliver an 8-part Webinar Series.  You can attend 1 or all.  For more information and to register see attached informational flyer or visit bit.ly/UtahNLP     I’ll be doing Q&A for the first webinar this Thursday.

2. Newsela Novel Units:

Last year I was able to work closely with Newsela and give feedback.  Many don’t know that they have ELA specific units tied to novels.  I worked with them to get more units created that include texts taught at our high schools.  Here are just a few units they have – be sure to check out the Implementation Guides in the right sidebar.

And many more … I’ll be adding all of them to the HS ELA Canvas Sandbox.

Check out the full list by author with these links – be sure to login through Canvas so that you are in your PRO Accounts.

3. High School ELA Early Out.  The high school Principals have met and agreed to have 3 common early out PLC meetings for High School ELA.  The first one will be September 22nd.  I’ll send out an invite next Monday.

4. Copyleaks Plagiarism Bite-Sized PD Training. Copyleaks Plagiarism software should soon be installed in Canvas. This Wednesday, there will be  Wednesday,  Sept. 13 @ 4:00 PM – Copyleaks: The New Plagiarism Checker w/AI Detection in Canvas.

To join a Bite-Sized PD session use this Zoom link and the access code is canyonsu.  As a reminder, each Bite-Sized PD is recorded and posted on the Bite-Sized PD webpage, and even if you don’t watch live you are still eligible for relicensure credit. To receive credit complete the 2023-2024: Canyons U Bite Sized PD form in order to have the relicensure credits added to your Midas transcript.

September 1, 2023 Email

Dear High School ELA Teachers,

This email contains information about:

  1. District Day Wrap Up (Information)
  2. Draftback (Tech Tool)
  3. QSSSA (ML Strategy)
  4. Read a Book Day – September 6th (Request)
  5. Canyon’s Freedom to Read Week – October 1-7 (Information)

1. District Day Wrap Up

Scott and I recorded our first podcast for All Day ELA, Season 2 where we discussed the feedback from District Day. You can listen here. Also, if you go to the Sandbox course under District Day Resources you can find the pictures from the Unpacked Standards and the crowdsourcing of ideas for the Writing Framework.

2. Draftback

I recently learned of a Google Chrome extension called Draftback from the September issue of Educational Leadership. “It turns a [Google] document’s revision history into a video that can be played at controllable speeds. When we watch it, we can actually see a student’s every keystroke on a document. Draftback also provides a detailed breakdown of the document’s history that includes the overall number of revisions, the number of distinct writing session, the time and duration of each of those writing sessions, and which user made them” (Kay 77)

I think this could help with focusing on the process of writing, rather than the product of writing. I’ve made a short video demo of the tool.

3. QSSSA – ML Students.

A quick reminder that our ML students often need an increase in wait time to process what you said in English, think in their native language, and respond in English. This applies to speaking as well as writing. I know that I have not always given students long enough wait time and in the silence I worried that the student didn’t understand me, didn’t know the answer, and was embarrassed. And so, I answered for them, moved on, or continued to talk or ask questions introducing new language they needed time to think through.

My suggestion is to use a strategy called QSSSA to scaffold classroom discussions with MLs. The letters stand for Question (the teacher poses a question, then gives ample think time); Signal (a designated motion like a thumbs-up, a finger on the nose—something that lets students indicate that they’re ready to answer); Stem (the teacher provides a sentence starter for the question—for example, for “What is your favorite place to read a book?” the stem might be, “My favorite place to read a book is _____”); Share; and Assess.

4. Read a Book Day – September 6th!

Did you know it was Read a Book Day on the 6th? The district media specialist is asking that we take pictures of students reading and please email them to me. They can be reading any day – not just on September 6th. We want to share on our social media and communication channels our students reading. If you don’t want to show student faces, here are 2 examples from Tyson Swasey’s class Book Tasting (read more about this activity on Instagram).


5. Freedom to Read Week – October 1-7

Formally known as Banned Book Week, Canyons School District will be celebrating Freedom to Read Week (as CSD is now calling it). Let’s celebrate our right to read information, literature, poetry, comics, and news. I’m working with the District Librarian on activities and resources for you to use in class. If you are looking for something specifically, please let me know. If you have amazing ideas – PLEASE SHARE!

August 17, 2023 Email

This email contains the following information:

  • Follow-up from District Day
  • Instructional Guides for those absent
  • Resources from Dr. Wilhelm’s Presentation at District Day
  • Information about the Reading Inventory Fall Testing

Follow-Up from District Day

Thank you for your enthusiasm and support at District Day.  I will add to the HS ELA Sandbox course the Unpacked Standards Posters you worked on and the crowdsourcing of ideas on the Writing Framework.  If you are not already part of the course, I plan on adding everyone by the end of today, so look for the invite in Canvas.

Instructional Guides

If you were not able to attend district day (absent or in another content area meeting), please email and let me know so that I can send you the Instructional Guides in District mail.   For our Resource/Cotaught SPED teachers, your instructional guides are already in district mail.

Resources from Dr. Wilhelm’s Presentation

I have linked on the HS webpage – https://canyonsdistrict.org/hs_ela the resources from Dr. Wilhelm – he sent us his slideshow and 4 handouts.  It is in the sidebar, under District Day.  I will also put these in the Announcements/emails as well as in the HS ELA Sandbox.

Reading Inventory – August 22-September 23

The Fall Reading Inventory testing window is August 22 – September 23

  • The Reading Inventory is not a timed exam but does adapt to student responses.  This may mean that some students finish in 20 minutes, while other students take much longer.  Students who are in Literacy (Reading) or ELD should take the RI in those classes, rather than ELA.
  • Attached are the Reading Inventory Student Directions to read for students before testing
  • Reading Inventory Accommodations are also attached.  Please make sure that student’s IEP, 504, and EL accommodations are being used in class and on these tests.  Some of the accommodations that are allowed for these tests include an alternate location, frequent breaks, extended time (these are not timed tests), and minimized distractions.

Relevance of the Reading Inventory PPT to show students

  • In order to help students understand the relevance of the Reading Inventory and the Lexile score beyond the classroom, I have created this PPT that you can choose to show your students before testing.  It goes through what Lexile would be needed for entry-level careers.
    Click here to make a copy of the slides


August 10, 2023 Email

District Day Information

Secondary ELA District Day will be Wednesday, August 16th – 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. We will be meeting in the Brighton High School Auditorium. Jeff Wilhelm will be our guest speaker. Jeff is the author of Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry (as well as many other books). He will be presenting on how teachers can use inquiry in the classroom to build engagement and relevance. Then we will focus on Writing Framework and dive deeper into the new standards. Can’t wait to see you again!

New ELA Standards document and feedback

USBE has published the final version of the new ELA Standards and the Core Guides. If you would like to give feedback on the Core Guides, please click on the following links. In the directions to the surveys, they have the new standards and the Core Guides. Feedback is due August 30th.

New Resources: Instructional Guide, Website, Canvas Sandbox

Over the summer I created several new resources for you:

  1. Instructional Guide – Here are the links to the new Instructional Guides. High School ELA or Brighton High School ELA We have asked that they be printed, but I haven’t gotten them back from the printer as of today. So, let’s hope they are done by district day.
  2. I have created a High School ELA Website for you. Please let me know what else you would like on the page.
  3. High School ELA Sandbox – Our sandbox has resources, unit and text suggestions, is a place you can add modules or lessons for other teachers. Enroll Here and I will make you a designer in the course, so you can add materials. I will be continuing to add to it, so please feel free to do so as well.


If ever there were a spring day so perfect,

so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze


that it made you want to throw

open all the windows in the house


and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,

indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,


a day when the cool brick paths

and the garden bursting with peonies


seemed so etched in sunlight

that you felt like taking


a hammer to the glass paperweight

on the living room end table,


releasing the inhabitants

from their snow-covered cottage


so they could walk out,

holding hands and squinting


into this larger dome of blue and white,

well, today is just that kind of day.


By Billy Collins

March (haikus)

Sky a shook poncho.

Roof   wrung. Mind a luna moth

Caught in a banjo.


This weather’s witty

Peek-a-boo. A study in



Blues! Blooms! The yodel

Of   the chimney in night wind.

That flat daffodil.


With absurd hauteur

New tulips dab their shadows

In water-mutter.


Boys are such oxen.

Girls! — sepal-shudder, shadow-

Waver. Equinox.


Plums on the Quad did

Blossom all at once, taking

Down the power grid.


By Richard Kenney

[little tree]


little tree

little silent Christmas tree

you are so little

you are more like a flower


who found you in the green forest

and were you very sorry to come away?

see          i will comfort you

because you smell so sweetly


i will kiss your cool bark

and hug you safe and tight

just as your mother would,

only don’t be afraid


look          the spangles

that sleep all the year in a dark box

dreaming of being taken out and

allowed to shine,

the balls the chains red and gold the

fluffy threads,


put up your little arms

and i’ll give them all to you to hold

every finger shall have its ring

and there won’t be a single place dark

or unhappy


then when you’re quite dressed

you’ll stand in the window for everyone

to see

and how they’ll stare!

oh but you’ll be very proud


and my little sister and i will take hands

and looking up at our beautiful tree

we’ll dance and sing

“Noel Noel”


by E. E. Cummings

I was recently in Shane Roger’s classroom as they were reading “The Masque of the Red Death” and doing an escape room (how fitting – ha!).  And it reminded me of another Edgar Allan Poe poem, which I think is a companion poem to that short story.  In my mind, the poem takes place after the Red Death has swept through Prince Prospero’s Palace.  Enjoy!

The Haunted Place


In the greenest of our valleys

By good angels tenanted,

Once a fair and stately palace—

Radiant palace—reared its head.

In the monarch Thought’s dominion,

It stood there!

Never seraph spread a pinion

Over fabric half so fair!


Banners yellow, glorious, golden,

On its roof did float and flow

(This—all this—was in the olden

Time long ago)

And every gentle air that dallied,

In that sweet day,

Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,

A wingèd odor went away.


Wanderers in that happy valley,

Through two luminous windows, saw

Spirits moving musically

To a lute’s well-tunèd law,

Round about a throne where, sitting,


In state his glory well befitting,

The ruler of the realm was seen.


And all with pearl and ruby glowing

Was the fair palace door,

Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing

And sparkling evermore,

A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty

Was but to sing,

In voices of surpassing beauty,

The wit and wisdom of their king.


But evil things, in robes of sorrow,

Assailed the monarch’s high estate;

(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow

Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)

And round about his home the glory

That blushed and bloomed

Is but a dim-remembered story

Of the old time entombed.


And travellers, now, within that valley,

Through the red-litten windows see

Vast forms that move fantastically

To a discordant melody;

While, like a ghastly rapid river,

Through the pale door

A hideous throng rush out forever,

And laugh—but smile no more.


September Midnight

Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heavy.

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.

By Sara Teasdale
Originally published in Poetry, March 1914.


Autumn Fires

In the other gardens

And all up in the vale,

From the autumn bonfires

See the smoke trail!


Pleasant summer over,

And all the summer flowers,

The red fire blazes,

The grey smoke towers.


Sing a song of seasons!

Something bright in all!

Flowers in the summer,

Fires in the fall!

By Robert Louis Stevenson

Midsummer, Tobago

Broad sun-stoned beaches.


White heat.

A green river.


A bridge,

scorched yellow palms


from the summer-sleeping house

drowsing through August.


Days I have held,

days I have lost,


days that outgrow, like daughters,

my harbouring arms.


By Derek Walcott

High School ELA Announcements and Email Archive

Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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