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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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This Teacher Has Students Track Their Own Progress in Class, and It’s Paying Off (opens in a new window)

Education Week

November 07, 2023

When Virginia’s Prince William County school district switched to standards-based grading nearly a decade ago, middle school social studies teacher Erin Merrill wanted an easier way to keep track of her students’ mastery of the specific standards tested on the year-end state standardized assessment.

Merrill also wanted to empower her students to take ownership of their learning. Her solution: giving students a data notebook to track their progress.

YA Authors Reflect on the Impact of Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’ (opens in a new window)

Yahoo News

November 03, 2023

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games novels have become YA canon. The book series, and the subsequent movies starring Jennifer Lawrence, challenged our views of female protagonists, class structure, and political involvement — and did so through accessible, engaging stories that, while aimed at young readers, captivated nearly all of the literary world. We wanted to put voice to just how prominent Collins has been in the YA genre. Thus, we gathered other young adult authors, who also happen to be enormous fans of her work, to weigh in on both what these books have achieved in the last decade and what they mean to them as both writers and readers.

Today’s Lesson in AP U.S. Government: What Just Happened With Kevin McCarthy (opens in a new window)


October 30, 2023

A 2021 report funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of Education estimated that the federal government spends about $50 per student per year on studies related to science and math, but only five cents on civics.

That’s a problem, Kawashima-Ginsberg says, because not only does civics education teach students how the government is supposed to function, it also teaches students how to disagree with one another in a productive way.

3 Can’t-Put-Down Thrillers for Teens (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

October 30, 2023

One girl survives a summer camp massacre, another searches for her missing sister before it’s too late, and a third goes on a mysterious treasure hunt in these reads that will keep readers guessing until the end.

The Nation’s Top-Performing Public School System (opens in a new window)

NY Times

October 20, 2023

Schools run by the Defense Department educate 66,000 children of civilian employees and service members. The network of schools run by the Defense Department has been performing well for years and continued to do so during the pandemic. These schools are typically on military bases, and they educate about 66,000 children of service members and Defense Department civilian employees.

Last year, this school system outperformed all 50 states on reading and math scores for both eighth graders and fourth graders. Before the pandemic, the military schools did well but were not ranked No. 1. The schools also have smaller learning gaps between white and both Black and Hispanic students than other schools have.


Couch Surfing, Living in Cars. Housing Insecurity Derails Foster Kids’ College Dreams (opens in a new window)

LA Times

October 20, 2023

For many former foster care students — young adults with few resources to navigate independence — housing instability is a major impediment to completing a college degree. Nationally, reports indicate that 20 to 40% of youth aging out of foster care lack stable housing. Housing-insecure students take fewer classes, earn fewer credits and are more likely to leave college before graduating, research shows.

Racial Gaps in Math Have Grown. Could Detracking Help? (opens in a new window)

Hechinger Report

October 20, 2023

Rather than sorting ninth graders with high test scores into Algebra 1 and giving those with lower test scores remedial instruction, a SC high school enrolled everyone into Algebra 1 classes. The experiment showed that detracking math classes could be a key component in narrowing achievement gaps between student groups.  

Students with Learning Differences Need Outspoken Champions (opens in a new window)


October 20, 2023

How children feel about themselves depends heavily on whether they have champions in their lives. These champions can leverage a child’s strengths, improve their self-perception, and motivate them toward positive change. I know this because my own champions helped me change my internal dialogue, little by little. 

14 Not-Too-Scary Graphic Novels for Tweens | Great Books (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

October 13, 2023

Autumn is the perfect time to indulge in all things creepy and spine-tingling. Yet the season of ghosts and ghouls still has tons to offer those who prefer their fall reading to be on the sweeter side. These charming graphic novels for middle grade readers feature everything you’d expect from spooky season—haunted hayrides, magic, monster-hunting, and more—yet the stories are cozy, like a mug of hot cider. No matter the time of year, curl up with these titles and enjoy the gentle autumnal vibes.

Over 7,000 Classrooms Renovated, 1.6 Million Adolescent Girls Assisted Through World Bank AGILE Project (opens in a new window)

The Whistler

October 13, 2023

AGILE is a World Bank assisted initiative of the Federal Government aimed at improving secondary education opportunities for adolescent girls aged between 10 – 20. The AGILE Project is currently implemented in seven Nigerian states: Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau; with an additional 11 states recently joining the project.

Lesson Plan: On ‘Being 13’ (opens in a new window)

NY Times

October 13, 2023

Students explore this immersive Times feature, engage in cross-generational conversations about the issues raised, and experiment with expert advice on healthy phone and social media habits.

BYU English Professor Collaborates With Public Schools to Support Adolescent Reading (opens in a new window)

BYU News

October 13, 2023

We train secondary teachers to be science or history or English teachers, and they have a deep knowledge of their content, but we don’t really teach them how to teach reading. There’s an increasing need for secondary teachers to be able to support adolescent readers. My long-term goal is to create a framework for reading classes that will help teachers help their students develop the skills and confidence they need to become readers.

Our kids aren’t good readers. Here’s the reason. (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

October 06, 2023

Schools are scrambling to rebound from the recent plunge in test scores — but they’re scrambling in the wrong direction. Educators have fixated on phonics to treat covid-19 learning loss. In doing so, they are shortchanging something of equal importance: the role knowledge plays in helping children become good readers.

The 20 Best Books For Teens: 2023 Picks (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

October 06, 2023

On this list, there are stories of teens who feel misunderstood, teens standing up for themselves, and teens who are figuring out their place in the world. Whether the book is set in a modern-day small town, Regency-era London, or the fantasy world of the fae, these books all involve teenagers discovering who they are and what’s important to them.