July 2021 Secondary ELAOK Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
English Language Arts

July 2021

In this issue:

Virtual ELA Training

A follow-up session on the 2021 ELA standards will be offered on Tuesday, July 20, with options of two different times: 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Choose which time works best for you. The 90-minute session will include an introduction to the revised Appendix and a closer look at the Vertical Progressions. You will need to register to attend. Space is limited, so register today.

Other opportunities will also be provided in the fall and will be publicized in the elementary and secondary ELAOK newsletters.

2021 Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts

The 2021 OAS for ELA are based on the 2016 OAS for ELA, and are a revision of those standards. The eight overarching standards remain the same, but various objectives have been revised to increase clarity, improve coherence, and better align to purpose.

Download your copy of the standards today.

Crosswalks & Vertical Progressions

Several documents have been created to help Oklahoma educators better understand and implement the 2021 ELA standards. Elementary and secondary crosswalks give a side-by-side comparison of the 2021 and 2016 version of the standards, and vertical progressions provide a way to identify a student’s skill level on a continuum or track the evolution of a particular skill. It is our hope that these documents will help teachers more deeply understand the shifts in the standards in order to fully educate their students in English language arts.

Recap of EngageOK in the Cloud


EngageOK in the Cloud, our virtual summer professional development, took place in June this year.  

On June 21, Deb Wade and I presented the session "English Language Arts Makeover:  How to Transform Instruction to Reflect the Revised Oklahoma Academic Standards." During this 90-minute session, we discussed four major shifts in the revised standards, the crosswalk implementation resource, and how to braid standards with some sample lessons. If you were unable to attend that session, you can now watch a recording of it on YouTube. You can also access the landing page, which includes links to various resources mentioned during the session, including:

  • the session slideshow
  • "Two-Headed Calf" sample lesson with braided objectives
  • "Let X" sample lesson with one objective
  • evaluation form
  • attendance certificate

You can also go to the EngageOK in the Cloud site to access recordings of all the 2021 presentations.

Ready Together Oklahoma

3 teachers

The Ready Together Oklahoma web page is a hub for resources that focus on responding to pandemic-related challenges and providing students what they need to thrive and grow.  

The page is separated into key categories, including:

  • Student Learning & Success
  • Prioritizing Health & Well-Being
  • Ensuring Equity for All
  • Engaging Families & Communities
  • Supporting Teachers & Leaders

Explore the pages for resources and strategies to help students regain disrupted learning, feel safe, and succeed within their local school community and beyond.


The Ready Together Oklahoma ELA guidance document is now available. Titled "How can students be supported through accelerated learning in English language arts?," the document is organized into the following sections: Things to Consider, Attending to Equity, Recommended Action Steps, Key Insights, and See Also. Download a copy today.

Spelling Bee Winner

Zaila with trophy

Fourteen-year-old Zaila Avant-garde of Louisiana  won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee and is the first African American winner in the Bee's 96-year history.

Her winning word was murraya, a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees.

The eighth-grader is also a basketball prodigy who owns three Guinness world records for dribbling.

Monthly Features

Writing Prompt

The 2021 Pulitzer Prize for poetry was awarded to Natalie Diaz who said in an interview with PEN America, "We are stories. Even our names are stories."

Tell the story of a name important to you. It might be your own name, a nickname, a family member's name, a friend's name. This name is charged with memories and emotions. Write for five minutes.

Reading Quote

Maureen Corrigan quote