ELLS and Writing

TELPAS 2017-18

Writing Sample Guidelines

Who MUST submit a sample?

Every teacher will be required to submit two high-quality TELPAS writing samples so that raters can discern the linguistic level and capabilities of their English Language Learners. See specific information related to your content area below. The expectation is that all instructors (even those without ELL students) will have students writing during this time. The only exceptions are foreign language teachers: ie-French, Spanish, German, ASL and Edgenuity Lab teachers.

We are requiring every teacher to have every student in every class writing. We are requiring this from our teachers so our LEPs are not singled out and we will have a total of 14 samples for each LEP. It is also great practice for the other students to write in preparation for the STAAR test and other formative assessments. While it may not be possible, it would be ideal to communicate with your colleagues which date(s) you've selected to gather your writing samples, as to avoid student 'writing fatigue.'


Remember: When administering the writing sample, do not single out ELL students. Instead of saying, "This is our TELPAS essay," say, "This is our class writing assignment." Do not wait to the last day to have your students writing. Remember, they are unpredictable.


Please make the writing relevant to your class content. All samples should be approximately one full page in length. Most of our ELL's are at the Advanced level. They should be capable of writing a full page or close to it (you may have to extend your prompt to help them think of something else to write.) We do have a few newcomers and students with disabilities who may not be capable of producing a full page. Ask them to do their best. If student writing extends past one page, that's fine. If the writing continues onto the back of the page, it is still perfectly fine. Lined paper will NOT be supplied, as loose leaf is acceptable.


The first date to write and submit a writing sample is February 12. The last date to turn in writing samples is March 2rd in the Assistant Principals Conference Room. Teachers will show up during their conference period to drop off samples and sign off with the LPAC Team. An email will be sent to instructors with more details closer to the turn-in deadline.


Remember: The LPAC Team will be providing lists of your ELL students to you.


All instructors are expected to sign-off with all student (LEP and NON LEP) writing samples by March 2.

What to include

· Date should be included at the top of the the page. NOTE: Please have students write the date as "February ___, 2018," or "March ___, 2018. Some students last year wrote the date as 2/3/16. Even though they meant March 2, they wrote February 3, which is outside the collection window.

· Student’s full name (if more than one last name, then include BOTH last names)

· ID number (We have multiple students with the same or similar names)

· Photocopies are fine, just make sure the writing is legible

· Typed samples are fine. Just disable the spellcheck and grammar check.

· Writing that demonstrates specific content and/or employs a variety of academic words

· Writing that isn’t rushed or too brief

· Writing that is aligned to the student's language proficiency level.

What NOT to include

· Papers containing copied wording and/or a lengthy prompt

· Papers in which the student relies heavily on a dictionary or thesaurus

· Papers must be in student's own words (ie---do NOT provide definitions)

· Papers that show a teacher’s corrections

· Papers that have been “spell-checked.” Please, disable if typing

· Papers that have been polished through editing (Turn in first, authentic draft)

· Papers in which the student writes primarily in his or her native language

· worksheets or question-answer writing assignments

· Papers that are brief, incomplete, or obviously reflect writing that was rushed

· Lists, unless that student is a beginner. Make sure it’s a real reflection of a writing activity.

5 Types of writing included in a Writing Collection

Basic Descriptive Writing on a personal or familiar topic

o Writing about themselves, school, artwork, friends or relatives, other topics

· Writing about a familiar topic

o Writing about a daily routine

o How to play a familiar sport or game

o What you do after school or on weekends

· Narrative Writing about a past event

o Original stories based upon creative writing activities

o Narratives about what they learned in class in the past weeks

o Something that happened that was memorable, unforgettable, exciting, disappointing

· Personal Narratives and Reflective Pieces

o A time you learned a lesson

o The importance of believing in oneself and setting goals

· Expository or other extended writing from ELA

Stories linked to literature, poems, dramas

o Describing or analyzing characters, mood, tone or figurative language

o Persuasively writing to influence an audience

o Writing responses to works of literature

· Expository or procedural writing from Science, Mathematics, or Social Studies

o Academic Vocabulary is particularly important in this sample
Proficiency Language Descriptors (Rubrics)

Proficiency Language Descriptors (Rubrics for Rating)

Science, Math, Social Studies, CTE

o Examples from Science:

■ Explaining a scientific process you have learned about

■ Explaining the steps in an experiment or scientific investigation you have done

■ Writing about something you are learning in your science class

■ Writing about why lab rules are important

■ Writing about how to use a certain device or piece of science equipment

o Examples from Mathematics:

■ Writing about a way you have used mathematics outside of school (with details)

■ Explaining the steps you use in a mathematical process

■ Writing about something you are learning in your mathematics class

■ Writing to reflect the thinking you do to solve a problem

o Examples from Social Studies:

■ Writing about a historical figure, the person’s contributions or significance, etc.

■ Writing an expository piece about an important historical or current event

■ Writing about something you are learning in your social studies class

■ Defending a point of view about a governmental policy or controversial issue

■ Writing a persuasive piece to influence a change in policy or law


o Examples from CTE courses:

■ Writing a persuasive piece to receive funding to engineer a new computer program

■ Writing about what you learned regarding shop safety or OSHA requirement

■ Writing about how to change a tire
■ Write about how to weld a straight line using various welding techniques
■ Write how to conduct various chemical processes involving dyes and relaxers.