Each month, we share five things we love as part of our Footnotes Newsletter. Take a look at some of our favorite English language arts resources, articles, and more we found in September!

1. Three Memoirs Even Reluctant Readers Will Love

In the quest to get even the most book-averse students to read, Heather Cianci at It’s Lit Teaching turned to a genre many overlook: the memoir. Heather’s top memoir picks are suitable for whole-class studies, literature circles, or individual reading—and you can order all three of them here at Prestwick House!

2. Independent Reading Helps Build Endurance

For educators Brenda Krupp and Dr. Lynne Dorfman, independent reading time plays a profound role in building students' cognitive abilities. In this post for Middle Web, learn how this practice not only builds stamina for reading but also nurtures a lifelong love for the written word, setting the stage for academic and personal growth.

3. “No Zeros” Grading Is Sold as an Equity Shortcut. It’s Not.

Equitable grading aims to eliminate biases and motivate students, but adopting this system doesn’t always go smoothly, as was the case for Nevada’s Clark County School District. This news piece for We Are Teachers highlights the need for proper professional development, thoughtful implementation, and ongoing support when introducing significant educational reforms like “no zeros” grading.

4. Making Word Parts a Fun Part of Middle School ELA

Looking for ways to turn the often-dreaded world of word parts into an exhilarating adventure? Seasoned educator Lisa Spangler has some ideas. Mixing learning with a little friendly competition, her top three teaching strategies will have your students eagerly embracing prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

5. Writers as Content Creators: Building Ideas to Write On

If you ask students what they want to be, “content creator” is probably a top choice. Why not leverage that idea into your writing lessons? At Moving Writers, Rebekah O’Dell explores how you can reframe writing tasks as content creation, in turn fostering a learning environment where students have more open-ended choices in how they share their ideas, whether through writing, social media, podcasts, or videos.