Keeping teachers a step ahead. Leadership in language arts.


CLAS Journal Online

Our CLAS journal, Statement, is now online. Visit us at Statement Online. Read the most recent edition, browse archives, and learn how you can submit your writing.

CLAS Board Spotlight

Kate Farrell, our 2014-2015 CLAS President, pictured on a pleasant summer evening at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado.


Fall Regional Conference Just Around the Corner...

The 2014 CLAS Conference theme explores the variety of stories we tell, and the stories we ask our students to write. Keynote speakers and workshop presenters will emphasize the power of stories and describe how narratives meet the requirements of the Common Core. Our annual CLAS Fall Regional Conference will be held October 10-11, 2014 at the School of Mines in beautiful Golden, Colorado. The speaker's lineup has just been announced:
  • Rebecca Rule is Friday night's workshop speaker. "From Pittsburgh to Peterborough (Peeta-burah), Becky is out and about telling and gathering stories with a strong dose of good old-fashioned yankee humor (humah). She loves to laugh and to get others laughing, too..." (more at
  • Ted Conover is the keynote on Saturday morning. "I feel lucky to do what I do. I write about real people, often living their lives for a while - visiting their lives, you might say. Trying them on for size.Though there are easier ways to make a living, none strike me as a fraction so interesting..." (more at
  • Chris Crutcher is Saturday's luncheon speaker. "Crutcher’s years as teacher, then director, of a K-12 alternative school in Oakland, California through the nineteen-seventies, and his subsequent twenty-odd years as a therapist specializing in child abuse and neglect, inform his thirteen novels and two collections of short stories. 'I have forever been intrigued by the extremes of the human condition,' he says, 'the remarkable juxtaposition of the ghastly and the glorious.' ” (more at

Any questions about the conference can be sent to Conference Chair, Jess Leifheit at

CLAS Journal Best in U.S.A.!

On June 30, 2014, CLAS was notified by the NCTE Standing Committee on Affiliates that our affiliate journal, Statement, earned the top rating for the 2014 NCTE Affiliate Journal Award. The judges awarded at least one perfect score in each of five criteria, praising "the range of content, the successful use of the 'formula' theme, and the 'uniformly high' quality of writing, 'blessedly free of jargon.' " According to the judges, Statement possesses  "the feel of a national journal." Sarah Zerwin, Statement editor, will attend  the Affiliate Roundtable Breakfast on Sunday, November 16, at the 2014 NCTE Convention in Washington, D.C., where she will receive this well-deserved award. Congrats to Sarah and to CLAS!

Check out PARCC test items!

PARCC has posted sample test items for every grade on the testing platform students will use when taking the field test later this spring. The sample items are available at To get a true understanding of the range of rigor, item types and functionalities, users are encouraged to try out items across all grades and to provide feedback.

Featured Resources

Three students, Three Writing Conferences, Twelve Minutes

Are you conferring with your students? What does it look like? Check out this YouTube video in which Penny Kittle leads three of her students through conversations about their writing.  These conferences show what dialogue with students might look like:


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