Update from the English Department

The English department is off to a strong start this year with collaboration. We have been working together to strengthen our teaching strategies and are determining department standards and expectations. We are trying out a few new things this year, and are learning and growing during each step of the way.

One of the biggest pieces we are working on is designing instruction and assessments for classes more than one teacher offers. For example, Mr. Merrick, Mr. Kessel, and Ms. McDaniel all teach English 10. They have used the collaborative time to identify standards, plan instruction, create assessments, and create a reliable grading system by discussing how to grade each question, so it is consistent across the board.
Another step the English department is taking to improve student learning is to help students prepare for state assessments by giving them on-demand writings. These writings are designed to help students think on the spot and create an essay in a short amount of time. This is one piece of the ISASPs testing where students across the board seemed to struggle, so the department decided to find a way to expose students to the structure of the assessment in a way they are able to receive feedback and improve.
Another positive change in the English department is the implementation of silent reading across the curriculum.  Students in nearly every English class 7-12 are given the opportunity to read from a book of their own choosing multiple times a week. Many students are excited about the opportunity to read.
Here a quotes from a few students about this reading time:
– Reading is my favorite part because I love being immersed in a book I really like. Fun Fact: I don’t read much.
– I enjoy the silent reading time at the beginning of class because this is the first year since like 5th grade that I’ve genuinely enjoyed reading.
– I like free reading in the beginning because I like reading but I usually don’t do it on my own.
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