ELA Weekly:

April 18 - April 22

Curriculum Manager Announcements

ELA Webinars this Week!

All ELA grade levels will conduct their webinars on Wednesday, April 20 from 4 pm to 4:45 pm. All teachers are expected to be on their specific webinar during this time.

Summer Reading Program

PART I: Independent Reading Philosophy

  • As a district, we know that a student’s ability to effectively read, engage with, and analyze a text is key to ensuring their life-long success in academics and beyond. According to Nancie Atwell, author of In the Middle and The Reading Zone, and winner of the Varkey Foundation’s inaugural Global Teacher Prize, it is “frequent, voluminous book reading that makes readers. [Students who read frequently] build fluency, stamina, vocabulary, confidence, critical abilities, habits, tastes, and comprehension” (Atwell, 2010). A key tenant of Independent Reading is student choice. Rather than the district choosing one book for all students to read, students will choose a book that interests them, at their reading level, from a list of approximately forty different works. This is a departure from previous years because we know that students are more motivated to read when they have choice, and campuses sometimes do not agree with the district-chosen book.


PART II: Summer Reading Program Booklist

  • Please refer to the attached excel document which outlines the approved independent reading books per grade level. The books were chosen from a list of books referenced on the AP Literature & Composition exam, as well as lists published annually for educators as guides to works of literary merit. Each grade level represents a wide range of Lexile levels and interests (both fiction and nonfiction).

    • Note: Each grade level has appropriately 40 books of literary merit from which students can choose for their independent reading. Lexile level, maturity, and cultural relevance were factors taken into consideration when selecting titles for each grade level.


PART III: Required Informational Webinar

  • There will be a required informational webinar for all ELA teachers and it is strongly recommended that campus leaders attend as well.

  • The information for the webinars is provided below:

    • Objective: Teachers and campus leaders will understand the overall vision for Independent Reading for the 2016-17 school year. Teachers and campus leaders will understand how Summer Reading fits into the overall Independent Reading program, and will understand how students will be assessed on their summer reading novel.

    • Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    • Time: 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

    • ELA 6/7/11/12

    • ELA 8/9/10


Part IV: Ordering Books

  • How campuses choose to order texts is specific to their budget and department. However, we strongly recommend providing students with choice from the provided list.

  • Some suggestions for this first year include:

    • The ELA teacher chooses approximately 10 titles from the approved list. He/she then provides this list to students, and students choose their book for Summer Reading. The campus then orders the books chosen.

    • The ELA teacher chooses approximately 10 titles from the approved list and orders 10-12 copies of each title. Students then choose their novel from the books ordered.


PART V: Summer Reading Assessment

  • The Summer Reading Assessment is designed to assess any work from the approved list. Students will complete a Lighthouse Log with key text components during the first days of school, and then students will write a literary analysis essay over one of the components of the Log. The webinar on May 4th will provide specific details about the assignment and the essay, as well as the plan to train teachers on both of these assessments.

6th Grade ELA

Content: This week begins the STAAR Success Unit. Teachers will use IA3 data, BWA data, and the Reading STAAR Success Guide to develop daily lessons to review for the Reading STAAR. Teachers received additional strategies and lesson resources at Course Collaboration 4B. Also, Lead4Ward Relevant Review materials have been placed on the Hub for all teachers to access:

  • ELA_6th Grade_STAAR Success­_Relevant Review Materials
  • We have a shared folder on the Hub as well, within the STAAR Success folder, with all of the lessons that were created at Course Collaboration 4. Each of the lessons has been organized according to genre, and there are a lot to choose from! Teachers should use the STAAR Success Guide as a roadmap for what students will need to be able to do on the STAAR. There are also some great resources provided on the Guide that provide additional classroom instructional support.


Assessments: The STAAR Success Unit Bi-Weekly Assessment has been posted to the Hub and teachers may administer it at any time during the 3-week STAAR Success Unit. The assessment is a paired passage; students will read a fiction passage and an expository passage, and answer questions over each passage individually, and then answer questions that require students to make text connections (Fig 19F). This assessment is significantly longer than previous BWAs, so teachers may opt to administer it over the course of a few class periods. The administration date and format is a campus decision.


Webinar: The next 6th grade ELA Webinar will be on Wednesday, April 20th. Teachers will share best practices for the days leading up the STAAR exam. You don’t want to miss the activities Caleb will share that gets his scholars motivated to work hard on the day of the STAAR!


Archived Webinars: Please visit the links below to view previous webinars.

7th Grade ELA

Content: This week begins the STAAR Success Unit. Teachers will use IA3 data, BWA data, and the Reading STAAR Success Guide to develop daily lessons to review for the Reading STAAR. Teachers received additional strategies and lesson resources at Course Collaboration 4B. Also, Lead4Ward Relevant Review materials have been placed on the Hub for all teachers to access:

  • ELA_7th Grade_STAAR Success­_Relevant Review Materials
  • We have a shared folder on the Hub as well, within the STAAR Success folder, with all of the lessons that were created at Course Collaboration 4. Each of the lessons has been organized according to genre, and there are a lot to choose from! Teachers should use the STAAR Success Guide as a roadmap for what students will need to be able to do on the STAAR. There are also some great resources provided on the Guide that provide additional classroom instructional support.


Assessments: The STAAR Success Unit Bi-Weekly Assessment has been posted to the Hub and teachers may administer it at any time during the 3-week STAAR Success Unit. The assessment is a paired passage; students will read a poem and an expository passage, and answer questions over each passage individually, and then answer questions that require students to make text connections (Fig 19F). This assessment is significantly longer than previous BWAs, so teachers may opt to administer it over the course of a few class periods. The administration date and format is a campus decision.


Webinar: The next 7th grade ELA Webinar will be on Wednesday, April 20th. Debbie will share some ideas about how to motivate students as we get closer to the Reading STAAR. Experienced teachers will also be able to share how they prepare students for the big day! You don’t want to miss it!


Archived Webinars:

8th Grade ELA

Summer Reading Program: Please refer to the Summer Reading Overview (PDF) and Summer Reading Booklist (Excel Spreadsheet) sent to your email last week, and/or re-read the Curriculum Manager Announcement section at the top of the ELA Weekly. We are looking forward to our new and exciting approach and know it is going to bring a new face to independent reading at IDEA Public Schools!


Content: SpringBoard Activity 4.14 and Embedded Assessment 1 are this week's critical lessons.

  • SB 4.14: This lesson is broken up over two instructional days to ensure maximum coverage of the content. SB 4.14 Part A covers TE Steps 1 and 2 (page 256) and SB 4.14 Part B covers TE Steps 3 to 5 (pages 257 and 258).
  • Note: This lesson allows multiple opportunities to incorporate Pause for Mastery techniques such as Think-Ink/Pair/Share and IOP Prep. In addition to these opportunities, this lesson ensures chances for strong written and verbal expectations. As the teacher, make sure you are reinforcing the expectation and allowing students time to practice. This will provide our students with true preparation for their Individual Oral Presentation.
  • Embedded Assessment 1: The Embedded Assessment is broken up into specific components that should be completed on multiple days. A research project can be overwhelming; however, taking this chunk approach will ensure student and teacher success.
  • Embedded Assessment (Part A): Students will create their MLA Title Page and Page 1.
  • Embedded Assessment (Part B): Students will create their MLA Outline. It is critical that students create a solid outline. Skipping this step will only make writing the MLA paper for difficult and confusing for the students. The outline is the road map for the paper. If the road map is confusing, it is a guarantee that their paper will be confusing as well.
  • Note: As the teacher, you should be monitoring students, conferring with students regarding their work, and providing real-time feedback on their product.


Assessments: Please note, there will not be any Bi-Weekly or Interim Assessments for Quarter 4.

  • Rationale: The focus for this quarter is the MLA research paper and IOP. As a curriculum team, we wanted to place emphasis on these two critical components and did not want to add additional stress or take time from the scope and sequence. If you have any specific questions regarding assessments for Quarter 4, please contact George D. Galindo.


Webinar: The next ELA Webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20 from 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm. If you have any additional questions regarding login or future webinar dates, please visit the ELA Webinar Calendar tab on The Hub.

  • It is expected that 100% of teachers attend the ELA Webinar. Please ensure you adjust your schedule to attend.


Archived Webinars: Please visit the links below to view previous webinars:

English I Pre-AP

Summer Reading Program: Please refer to the Summer Reading Overview (PDF) and Summer Reading Booklist (Excel Spreadsheet) sent to your email last week, and/or re-read the Curriculum Manager Announcement section at the top of the ELA Weekly. We are looking forward to our new and exciting approach and know it is going to bring a new face to independent reading at IDEA Public Schools!


Content: SpringBoard Activity 5.11 and Embedded Assessment 1 are this week's critical lessons.

  • SB 5.11: This lesson is broken up over two instructional days to ensure maximum coverage of the content. SB 5.11 Part A covers TE Steps 1 to 3 (pages 368 and 369) and SB 5.11 Part B covers TE Steps 4 to 6 (pages 370 to 372).
  • SB 5.11 (Part A): As the teacher, set expectations for annotating and hold students accountable to those annotations. The three questions on page 369 challenge students to recall several literary devices such as imagery, diction, and setting. Prepare time before the lesson to allow students the opportunity to review these terms.
  • SB 5.11 (Part B): Skip TE Step 5 (page 271). The EA has changed and completing this step will take a significant amount of time. TE Step 6 is the most critical step. Ensure that students are referring to specific elements of the text and are able to articulate a response using the information as support.
  • Embedded Assessment 1: The Embedded Assessment is broken up into specific components that should be completed on multiple days. A research project can be overwhelming; however, taking this chunk approach will ensure student and teacher success.
  • Embedded Assessment (Part A): Students will create their MLA Title Page and Page 1.
  • Embedded Assessment (Part B): Students will create their MLA Outline. It is critical that students create a solid outline. Skipping this step will only make writing the MLA paper for difficult and confusing for the students. The outline is the road map for the paper. If the road map is confusing, it is a guarantee that their paper will be confusing as well.
  • Note: As the teacher, you should be monitoring students, conferring with students regarding their work, and providing real-time feedback on their product.


Assessments: Please note, there will not be any Bi-Weekly or Interim Assessments for Quarter 4.

  • Rationale: The focus for this quarter is the MLA research paper and IOP. As a curriculum team, we wanted to place emphasis on these two critical components and did not want to add additional stress or take time from the scope and sequence. If you have any specific questions regarding assessments for Quarter 4, please contact George D. Galindo.


Webinar: The next ELA Webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20 from 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm. If you have any additional questions regarding login or future webinar dates, please visit the ELA Webinar Calendar tab on The Hub.

  • It is expected that 100% of teachers attend the ELA Webinar. Please ensure you adjust your schedule to attend.


Archived Webinars: Please visit the links below to view previous webinars.

English II Pre-AP

Summer Reading Program: Please refer to the Summer Reading Overview (PDF) and Summer Reading Booklist (Excel Spreadsheet) sent to your email last week, and/or re-read the Curriculum Manager Announcement section at the top of the ELA Weekly. We are looking forward to our new and exciting approach and know it is going to bring a new face to independent reading at IDEA Public Schools!


Content: SpringBoard 4.18 and Embedded Assessment 2 are this week's critical lessons.

  • SB 4.18: This lesson is broken up over two instructional days to ensure maximum coverage of the content. SB 4.18 Part A covers TE Steps 1 to 6 (pages 330 to 331) and SB 5.11 Part B covers the mock trial.
  • SB 4.18 (Part A): Assign roles and prepare students for the mock trial. Think strategically about the expectations and standards that are required for a successful mock trail Make sure to take the time to prepare students for the trial. Consider playing a clip of a trial scene to depict what it looks like in the real world.
  • SB 4.18 (Part B): The mock trial takes specific planning, clear expectations, and the ability to correct students when they are not upholding the standards set by the teacher. Ensure you have taken the planning steps necessary to ensure a successful lesson.
  • Embedded Assessment 2: The Embedded Assessment is broken up into specific components that should be completed on multiple days. A research project can be overwhelming; however, taking this chunk approach will ensure student and teacher success.
  • Embedded Assessment 2 (Part A): Students will create their MLA Title Page and Page 1.
  • Embedded Assessment 2 (Part B): Students will create their MLA Outline. It is critical that students create a solid outline. Skipping this step will only make writing the MLA paper for difficult and confusing for the students. The outline is the road map for the paper. If the road map is confusing, it is a guarantee that their paper will be confusing as well.
  • Note: As the teacher, you should be monitoring students, conferring with students regarding their work, and providing real-time feedback on their product.


Assessments: Please note, there will not be any Bi-Weekly or Interim Assessments for Quarter 4.

  • Rationale: The focus for this quarter is the MLA research paper and IOP. As a curriculum team, we wanted to place emphasis on these two critical components and did not want to add additional stress or take time from the scope and sequence. If you have any specific questions regarding assessments for Quarter 4, please contact George D. Galindo.


Webinar: The next ELA Webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20 from 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm. Your Course Leader will be covering the IOP Rubric and providing critical information for the quarter. If you have any additional questions regarding login or future webinar dates, please visit the ELA Webinar Calendar tab on The Hub.

  • It is expected that 100% of teachers attend the ELA Webinar. Please ensure you adjust your schedule to attend.


Archived Webinars: Please visit the links below to view previous webinars.

AP Language

Content: The Quarter 4 AP Success Guide and review documents have been posted to the Hub within the Quarter 4 folder. The purpose of the AP Language and Composition Success Unit is to set aside time for teachers to target and revisit those skills which need additional instructional time for mastery. To support that effort, the AP Success Guide will provide information about resources available for teachers to use for review of critical components of the AP Language & Composition course. Rather than a sequence of pre-determined lessons and objectives, teachers and campuses have the freedom to tailor instruction to student needs. Quarter 4 will consist of a teacher-driven Scope & Sequence so he/she may prioritize skills at a campus and/or classroom level. While daily lessons will not be provided, suggested resources are given within the Guide, and teachers spent Course Collaboration 4B exploring all available resources on the Hub and the NMSI website and establishing a plan for Quarter 4 instruction.


Assessments: Teachers have been provided with one multiple choice assessment, one prose analysis essay prompt, one poetry analysis essay prompt, and one open-ended essay prompt, with scoring guides, designed to be administered as appropriate, according to the review plan established by each teacher. All assessments are located on the Hub in the Quarter 4 folder.


Webinar: The next AP Language Webinar will be on Wednesday, April 20th.


Archived Webinars: Please use the links below to view previous webinars:

AP Literature

Content: The Quarter 4 AP Success Guide and review documents have been posted to the Hub within the Quarter 4 folder. The purpose of the AP Literature and Composition Success Unit is to set aside time for teachers to target and revisit those skills which need additional instructional time for mastery. To support that effort, the AP Success Guide will provide information about resources available for teachers to use for review of critical components of the AP Literature & Composition course. Rather than a sequence of pre-determined lessons and objectives, teachers and campuses have the freedom to tailor instruction to student needs. Quarter 4 will consist of a teacher-driven Scope & Sequence so he/she may prioritize skills at a campus and/or classroom level. While daily lessons will not be provided, suggested resources are given within the Guide, and teachers spent Course Collaboration 4B exploring all available resources on the Hub and the NMSI website and establishing a plan for Quarter 4 instruction.


Assessments: Teachers have been provided with one multiple choice assessment, one prose analysis essay prompt, one poetry analysis essay prompt, and one open-ended essay prompt, with scoring guides, designed to be administered as appropriate, according to the review plan established by each teacher. All assessments are located on the Hub in the Quarter 4 folder.


Webinar: The next AP Literature Webinar will be on Wednesday, April 20th.


Archived Webinars: Please use the links below to view previous webinars: