Helping 6-12 Students Investigate Non-Fiction Texts

Screenshot of the hmh FYI website

The Gist

While we aren’t all English teachers, it’s unlikely to find a teacher whose students wouldn’t perform better if they had more tools for reading content across all disciplines. The FYI website not only provides curated current articles aligned with standards and other English curriculum resources, it provides clear tips for helping students access, analyze, and apply information within authentic non-fiction texts. These articles and tips can be accessed in a moment’s notice to ask students to find a piece of interesting and relevant content for evaluation.

The Whole Story

Somewhere between the middle child or second cousin of HMH’s Collections curricular resources is their FYI website, a curated collection of current event articles aligned with the topics and content students explore as they move through units of study in SVVSD’s secondary English classes. The content is pulled from CNN to Science Daily, from the White House to The Columbus Dispatch.

Teachers helping students learn content and skills from any discipline would be hard-pressed to go poking around FYI and not find something relevant to their classrooms. And while timely content is already a plus for secondary schools, it’s the help in improving reading skills teachers outside English classrooms might find most helpful.

FYI’s “Reading Tips” tab includes a sidebar with help in navigating “Key Ideas and Details”, Craft and Structure”, “Integration of Knowledge and Ideas”, and “Research” – each with its own subsections.

A science teacher hoping to help students access the latest climate change study from Nature could draft some quick questions for investigation and point students to the relevant pages for tips on making sure their answers hit the mark.

History teachers helping their students understand political systems in post-colonial countries around the world could help students draft a list of questions they’re curious about and then help them review the relevant reading tips to help make sure their answers are top-notch.

Algebra teachers looking to help students pull out the most pressing details from a complicated word problem might ask students to take 10 minutes to find a reading strategy that could best help them unlock a barrier to understanding.

How are you helping students access materials to unpack non-fiction texts? Leave some examples in the comments.

Collections Update: New Feedback Studio Interface Streamlines Your Experience

Key Things to Know

  • Turnitin is now known as Turnitin Feedback Studio.
  • Your default view has changed to the new Feedback Studio interface.
  • You may revert back to the “Turnitin Classic” view at any time.
  • Your data will remain intact when switching between interfaces.
  • Read our Feature Release Guide or watch this brief video for additional help.

Feature Release Guide ►

We are pleased to announce that Turnitin®, now known as Turnitin Feedback Studio, has a redesigned user interface within the myWriteSmart tool in Holt McDougal Online ( The new Feedback Studio provides a more streamlined user experience and allows quicker access to key features, modes, and panels.

After logging in, you will receive a brief, guided tour of the new layout. Should you wish to access the old view, now known as “Turnitin Classic”, you may revert to it at any time by clicking “Return to Turnitin Classic” at the bottom of your Feedback Studio screen. To return to Feedback Studio, simply click on “Try the new Feedback Studio” at the top of the Turnitin Classic screen. Rest assured that your comments and class data remain intact and no work will be lost when switching between views.

To better assist you, our Feature Release Guide contains visual aids to show the differences between the two interfaces and how to switch between views. In addition, this brief, helpful video explains the key differences between Turnitin Classic and Feedback Studio, as well as how to navigate the new interface.

Please note that the new Feedback Studio interface will become the standard display in the summer of 2017. As a valued Collections customer, we are providing you with advance access so you may familiarize yourself with the layout and functionality over the next year.

Our Technical Support Group will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have regarding the new Turnitin Feedback Studio. Please do not hesitate to contact them at, 800.323.9239, (+1) 973.368.0392, or through our online service request system.

Thank you for choosing Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as your partner in education.


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Digital Customer Experience

Logging in to Collections

The Gist:
NEW LINK FOR COLLECTIONSImage of Collections Logo with link to Collections Login
The Whole Story:
HMH is improving their processes for single sign on and for the automatic creation of accounts and classes. As part of the transition, they required a purge all existing accounts in HMH Collections.
What does this mean for Collections teachers?
  • The old HMH login page will no longer work, and teachers will want to delete any saved bookmarks.
  • A link to the new single sign on page will be added to the teacher and student Ceran pages. (Please note that this link cannot be bookmarked since the link itself contains a token request that times out.)
  • All previous SVVSD students, teachers, and classes were be purged from HMH.
  • Any notes, assessments, or other materials saved within the Collections program itself will also be deleted and no longer accessible.
  • Between Monday, August 1st, and Thursday, August 4th, fall classes, teachers, and students will be uploaded to HMH and teachers should again be able to log in.
SVVSD strongly resisted this purge and communicated with HMH that this was an inconvenience to district teachers and students. The publisher assures us that this purge is a one-time event and will not be an annual recurrence.

Great Resource for Grammar and Conventions!

Looking for some useful resources to teach grammar and conventions?  Collections’ users can access GrammarNotes!  This resource provides over 30 lesson presentations with accompanying practice opportunities as well as 4 different assessments.  Easy to find, just take a look at the screenshots below to access.

Collections: Accessing GrammarNotes

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a new school year!  Below please see some exciting updates to our curricular resources.

New OverDrive Novels:  Unit plans for grades 6-12 now include digital novels sets.  You can find a complete set of books per grade level and instructions for access under the OverDrive tab at the top of the unit plans.

New Collections Resources:  Find a great set of Collections resources under the Collections tab in the unit plans for grades 6-12.  Instructions for student and teacher access, ideal settings for iPad users, tutorials on a variety of features as well as new bundle codes for offline access are all there for your use!

Collections Print Resource:  If your building has added new sections of Collections users, let us know.  We provide teacher resources and 15 print student copies of Collections to each teacher.

Collections Help:  We’ve implemented a new system for accessing help with anything Collections!  Instead of utilizing the Collections Help Form, you can now request help through the Help Desk.  See instructions below.

  • Go the the Help Desk
  • Click on icon for “Systems and Software”
  • Click on link for “Digital Curricular Tools”
  • Complete the ticket

You can also call the Help Desk at ext. 57730 or send an email to



Collections Print Materials

Many of you have requested print materials as a supplement to our digital resources.  I’m excited to announce that we have been able to secure one set of teacher materials and 15 student books for each grade level that you teach.  These materials have been ordered from HMH and will be shipped to you as soon as they arrive.  We hope these will serve to support your use of Collections and the many rich resources it provides.