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AdLit gathers interesting news headlines about literacy, middle grade and YA books, best practices in instruction, and other key topics related to middle school and high school teaching and learning.

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Do I Want to Be a Telecommuter When I Grow Up? High Schoolers Ponder That Question (opens in a new window)

Education Week

April 07, 2022

High schoolers pondering career plans ask themselves a host of questions: What kinds of work do I enjoy? How much money do I want to make? What am I good at? Now add this one to the list: Do I want to be able to work remotely?

A survey of 11th and 12th graders in the United States and similarly aged students in the United Kingdom found that 19 percent of the 16 to 18 year-olds were taking the ability to telecommute into account in their career considerations. 

Protecting Reader Privacy in the ELA Classroom (opens in a new window)

ILA

April 01, 2022

Digital materials can provide desired privacy in some scenarios while creating problems in others. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, English language arts (ELA) teachers have increasingly relied on digital materials and online tools to expand student access to books and content, facilitate online collaboration, and deliver learning experiences. Here we provide five recommendations for teachers committed to protecting student and family privacy.

Why High School ‘Rigor’ Is Often Just A Facade (opens in a new window)

Forbes

April 01, 2022

High school transcripts look more impressive than ever, but they often don’t reflect actual learning. One big reason that is generally overlooked: the elementary and middle school curriculum fails to equip kids with the knowledge they need to do high school level work.

Georgia teenager accepted to almost 50 colleges (opens in a new window)

CNN

March 30, 2022

Makenzie Thompson, 18, didn’t originally plan to apply to over 50 universities. But after attending college fairs and receiving fee waivers, she ended up applying to 51 schools. So far, she has been accepted to 49 and is still waiting to hear back from one more.

Three YA Novels for Fans of ‘CODA’ (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

March 24, 2022

In the oscar nominated film, CODA, teenager Ruby balances the pressure of work on the family fishing boat with school and dreams of a singing career, a life that might take her away from her Deaf parents. Here are three YA novels that young fans of CODA might enjoy.

Teachers Help Students Navigate Misinformation, Emotions, History of War in Ukraine (opens in a new window)

Los Angeles Times

March 11, 2022

As the news of Russia invading Ukraine dominates news cycles, teachers throughout the country are helping students navigate the wave of emotions that comes with devastating world events. They’re providing much needed historical and political context. And they are doubling down on media literacy practices amid the flood of misinformation online. But teaching about the invasion of Ukraine can be tricky.

Not OK? That’s OK. Middle Grade Authors Provide Compassionate Portrayals of Mental Health (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

March 09, 2022

Tweens and teens can feel overwhelmed and may not know how to discern “normal” growing pains and feelings from something that’s more serious, and when they need help. Adults are not always skilled at recognizing symptoms or knowing what to do, either. Thankfully, a growing field of middle grade books tackles these issues and presents readers with authentic pictures of what mental illness may look like, how it can be treated, and how very normal and common it is. 

‘The Pennymores’ is a Kid’s Book Building a Real-World Secret Writing Society (opens in a new window)

Latin Post

March 09, 2022

“There are lots of book clubs out there,” Eric Koester, author of the Pennymores & the Curse of the Invisible Quill shared, “but we didn’t see a lot of writing clubs. Since the Pennymores story includes this secret writing society called the Plumes, we needed to create a real-world ‘secret’ writing society for the readers of the book to encourage more writing and writers out there.”

Middle Grade Fiction That Sees the Forest for the Trees (opens in a new window)

NY Times

March 07, 2022

Nature acts as a sort of universal guarantor of holiness. For generations, people around the world have felt there is something divine about a remote mountaintop, a silent grove, a snow-white stag glimpsed through virgin foliage. So what happens to our souls when there is no more wilderness to underwrite them?

What was the First “YA” Book? (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

March 07, 2022

Do you know what the first “official” YA book was? The one written specifically for teenage readers, featuring teenage protagonists? If your answer is The Outsiders by SE Hinton, you’re close, but you’d be wrong. It’s a different title, published decades prior, and one that is still in print today.

Should Libraries Be Safe Spaces? (opens in a new window)

WBUR

March 07, 2022

Listen as we discuss the demonstrations that took place inside several Boston libraries last month opposing the city’s masking policies. Should libraries be considered a public space where anyone can come demonstrate for a cause? Or are they more a place of peace and privacy, dedicated to learning and reflection? We speak with Anita Cellucci, a librarian at Westborough High School and the K-12 Library Department head. She’s also a lecturer for Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where she teaches an online course for children’s and young adult literature.

12 YA Titles Publishing in 2022 That Feature Asian American Protagonists (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

March 02, 2022

Even though 2021 was challenging for many Asian Americans, a dazzling crop of YA books featuring Asian and Asian American life in all its beauty and complexity brightened the year.

In 2022, readers will find new books that will warm their hearts, spark their imaginations, and reflect their lived realities. Here are 12 exciting titles to add to the TBR pile this year.

Teachers abandon letter grades in search of a fairer way (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

February 28, 2022

Across the country, educators are experimenting with a more tolerant grading system. “We’re aligning the letter grade with actual learning,” says Joshua Moreno, who works in the Alhambra Unified School District in Southern California. “It’s sad that it had to be for a worldwide pandemic to get people to look at this, but at the same time, it’s good that it’s happening. It had to.”

21 Books That Make LGBTQ+ Teens Feel Seen (opens in a new window)

Seventeen Magazine

February 25, 2022

As the age-old quotation goes, “We read to know we are not alone.” For LGBTQ+ teens who aren’t necessarily surrounded by people like them, books can be an especially crucial resource. Luckily, the YA genre has taken major strides toward being more inclusive, and there are dozens of popular books starring queer characters or penned by queer authors.

Ink Differently: Graphic Novels Take New Directions (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

February 24, 2022

Once looked down upon as “just comics,” graphic novels have evolved into a respected and dynamic platform for every genre in print. The graphic novels coming out this year for children and teens take this art form in new directions with compelling, multidimensional characters who are finding their identity and learning how to cope within a complex environment—conflicts that resonate especially with young readers.

A High School Spoken-Word Club Changed Students’ Lives. Now, You Can Read Their Poems (opens in a new window)

High Plains Public Radio

February 18, 2022

Peter Kahn, an English teacher at the Chicago-area Oak Park and River Forest High School, was terrified of teaching poetry. So he asked a former student of his for help, who suggested the idea of a poetry slam — a competition in which poets perform spoken word poetry before a live audience.

That was 1999. Inspired by the club’s potential to engage students, Kahn created an after-school spoken word club at the high school. And for over 20 years, the club has created space for students to engage in storytelling.