ELAR Communique #5

K-12 Updates for LEISD

Final Countdown!

Here we go...it is the last push till state testing! As crazy as this time is, I want to encourage you to take a minute and reflect on all the GREAT instruction you have provided this year. This next few weeks is an opportunity for to revisit and review, which you couldn't do if you hadn't delivered the initial instruction. Over the course of this year, I have had the opportunity to visit with everyone who plans ELAR, and most of you who teach ELAR, and I am constantly impressed with the level of innovation and commitment to excellence I see in LEISD.

Our focus from the beginning was to teach our students what they need to be successful readers and writers, the fact that they are going to do well on our state assessments is just a bonus! So stay positive, with each other and with your students. I am so proud of the work you are doing!

This communique will focus on some review strategies for all grade levels-things you can do to remind your students of the great work they have done all year.

Book Ends: K-2 and 11-12

No, you don't have a test...BUT you are SO important to the success of our students. The review activities here are for you too! We know these next couple of weeks impact you, with schedule changes and testing assignments. We appreciate all the support you give your testing friends during this time! Some other ways you can help-

  • Offer to tutor STAAR Grades-Your expertise is exactly what we need to finish this race!
  • Encourage your friends! I am sure you have been there...be generous with hugs and happy thoughts.
  • Pump up the kids-when you see tested students in the hall, let them know how proud we are of the work they are doing!!
  • Keep up the good work in your classroom. K-2 is setting the stage and 11-12 is setting the standard! You are vital to the health of our K-12 ELAR Department!

A Different Way to Look at Genre/Reading Remediation

The genius ELAR specialist at Lead4Ward had created documents K-12 that take our standards for every genre and divide them into 3 categories.

  • Know-Basic Reading Comprehension
  • Show-Skills in ELAR to show what we know about text
  • Author's Craft-The deeper level of understanding that we are constantly pushing for.

When you look through your grade level documents, (link below Know-to-Show) I want you to think about the middle rows. That is where we find inferencing...and the dreaded Figure 19. Here is a familiar scenario: We teach a lesson on inferencing, it is, of course amazing. And...we still have students who can't inference. So we teach another lesson on inferencing. Right? But the problem is probably not really inferencing, it is the skills that come BEFORE inferencing! This chart breaks down the TEKS and puts them in an order where you can provide truly scaffolded, skills based instruction to push ALL students to the next level!!

Tic-Tac-Toe Connections

This one is easy-use a tic-tac-toe board to make higher level text connections. You can pre-load the board, or have students fill it out with their favorite reads from the year...then connect away! Have students make connections between the texts on the board!
Reading Review Activities

Folder Includes Vocab Match and 9 Squares Activities!

WRITING via Gretchen

Gretchen Bernabei, ELAR Teacher, published author and writing guru is super generous with all things STAAR writing. The link below will take you to her "10 days to STAAR" packets that include high interest, engaging lessons that will truly boost your students writing skills!
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YOU make the difference for STUDENTS! Keep up the GREAT WORK!