ELA Weekly:

January 4 - January 8

Curriculum Manager Announcements

Webinars Resume in Quarter 3

ELA Webinars will resume in Quarter 3, beginning with our first webinar on Wednesday, January 13th. Teachers will receive calendar invites for all webinars throughout Quarters 3 and 4, and we encourage ELA Managers to attend as well. We look forward to the collaboration and professional development opportunities through bi-weekly webinars.

Instructional Toolbox Added to the Hub

When you log on to the Curriculum Corner on the Hub, you'll notice a new folder in the ELA folder. We've added an Instructional Toolbox folder, which will house resources and explanations for instructional tools referenced throughout SpringBoard, as well as additional instructional strategies we'd like to incorporate into the ELA curriculum. Each instructional tool will have a "How to Use" explanation, as well as any additional resources associated with that tool (graphic organizers, assessment rubrics, etc.). Be sure to check it out and look for the references to this additional resource in future curriculum documents. As always, we appreciate any feedback and suggestions to improve our work.

Course Specific

6th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will begin Unit 3, which includes the novel Holes. The main focus for this week’s lessons is Character Point of View. Teachers will begin with unpacking the embedded assessment for Unit 3, working with students to analyze the key knowledge and skills necessary for success on EA1. Students will then move into analysis of point of view, as expressed in film clips and a short story. Students should clearly understand how meaning is impacted when a story is told in 1st person point of view versus 3rd person point of view. Teachers can embed point of view questioning into Activity 3.3, as discussed and practiced during Course Collaboration. Remember to use the Question Stems resource, located on the Hub, for CFUs, Exit Tickets, and scaffolded questioning techniques.


Do-Nows: In Quarter 3, teachers will choose the focus TEKS for the Do-Nows that meet the needs of individual classrooms. Teachers should continue to use the template for the Do-Nows, located on the Hub in the Quarter 3 folder. The curriculum Unit Map outlines which TEKS teachers should focus on each week, and teachers should use this list to choose from as they decide which skills to reteach during the Do-Nows. This week’s focus should include one of the following TEKS: (EDITING): 6.20A (capitalization); 6.20B (punctuation); 6.19A (verb tenses and subject/verb agreement); 6.14D (homophones, pronoun usage); 6.21A (commonly confused words)


Assessments: The first BWA for Quarter 3 will be on Friday, January 15th. Teachers should review the assessment to aid with their backward planning for the next two weeks.


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

7th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students begin Unit 3 this week, which includes the novel Tangerine. Students will begin with a study of figurative language. While it is important to review the types of figurative language, teachers should focus their instruction on the effects of figurative language and why authors use it. Students will also preview the novel at the end of the week. This is a great opportunity for teachers to support students who might struggle with the text while reading, by providing visuals for the setting and important events from the story. Specific suggestions for visuals to include, along with rationale, is located in the Bundle 5 Unit Map on the Hub. While this unit is heavily focused on reading skills, which will prepare students for the Reading STAAR and IA 3, there are ample opportunities for writing instruction and practice as well throughout Unit 3. Specifically this week, teachers should focus on revision during Activity 3.2.


Do-Nows: In Quarter 3, teachers will choose the focus TEKS for the Do-Nows that meet the needs of individual classrooms, based on IA2 data. The curriculum Unit Map outlines which TEKS teachers should focus on each week, and teachers should use this list to choose from as they decide which skills to reteach during the Do-Nows. This week’s focus should include one of the following TEKS: (EDITING): 7.20A (capitalization); 7.20B (punctuation); 7.19A (verb tenses and subject/verb agreement); 7.14D (homophones, pronoun usage); 7.21A (commonly confused words). During Course Collaboration, teachers created Do-Nows for Quarter 3, and all of them have been uploaded to the Hub. Teachers will need to go to ELAà7th gradeàQuarter 3àDo-Nows to download the power point for the skill they plan to teach, and adjust the Do-Nows (if needed). This sharing opportunity means that we now have a whole Quarter worth of Do-Nows after just a few hours of work from all of the 7th grade teachers! What awesome collaboration!


Assessments: The first BWA will be on January 15th (Revising & Editing).


Interim Assessment 2: The IA2 Expository Essay scanning deadline is scheduled for Wednesday, January 6, 2016 by 5 pm. Make sure that all bubbles correspond to the correct point value. Please review the IA SchoolNet Scanning Guide found under the Interim Assessment tab on The Hub.


Archived Webinars:

8th Grade ELA

Curriculum Look-Outs: 1) Pause of Mastery and 2) Semester 1 Literary Device Assessment.

  • 1) Pause of Mastery: This is a day outlined in the curriculum to teach students the systems and procedures when completing a Stop and Jot, Think-Ink/Pair/Share, and IOP Prep.
  • Rationale: It is important to take time to teach them the strategy strategically to ensure maximum effectiveness when it is tied to curriculum. Course Collaboration 3 will cover the skills and provide you with time to ask clarifying questions. It is expected that these strategies be used throughout instruction to reduce the amount of direct teacher lecture. #noexcuses.
  • 2) Semester 1 Literary Device Assessment: This assessment can be found under the Literary Devices tab in the Quarter 3 folder. It covers all of the literary devices from Quarter 1 and 2 as outlined in the Unit Road Map.
  • Rationale: In order for students to determine the correct response to a question, they must first understand what the question is looking for. If they do not understand what tone means, students will never be able to determine the tone of a selection. It is critical that students understand and can easily recall these terms if they are to reach success on their STAAR/AP/IB exams.


IA2 Data Conversation Focus: Provided below are some questions to help guide the data conversation regarding the multiple choice section of the exam. Often times, we look at each question and over-align to the specific wording of the question instead of looking at the skill and moving forward.

  • Question 1: What question(s) did students struggle with the most on the exam? At this point, you look at the data by question and identify trends.
  • Question 2: What did the question look and sound like? You cannot just assume you know the error. Take time to look at the question and see what truly caused students to miss the question. Maybe students understand theme; however, did not understand the specific words used to describe theme. At first, it may look like theme was the issue, but upon further analysis, vocabulary and dictionary skills proved to be the root cause of the problem.
  • Question 3: What was the skill that the question was assessing? Identifying the skill will help ensure next steps are taken that help the student with the root cause of the problem and not just a symptom. For example, if a student misses a theme question, simply giving them multiple theme questions for practice is not going to solve the issue. The skill the student may be struggling with is understanding what theme actually means and how to read a text and identify specific evidence that helps him/her understand the theme of the selection.
  • Question 4: What are my specific next steps to address the skill of the question? The next steps should be grounded in the skill that students were lacking! For example, simply saying you will reteach theme does not solve the problem at hand. In order to truly solve the issue, you will have to look at read level, the skill of annotating the text for understanding, and covering the concept of theme (not just in isolation).
  • Note: Simply providing students with additional STAAR passages is not going to solve the issue and/or significantly increase your data. Identify the gap, narrowing in on the skill(s) needed to successfully answer the question, then building a plan around the skill(s) will help narrow in the focus and provide you with clear next steps moving into Quarter 3.


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

English I Pre-AP

Curriculum Look-Outs: 1) Pause of Mastery and 2) Semester 1 Literary Device Assessment.

  • 1) Pause of Mastery: This is a day outlined in the curriculum to teach students the systems and procedures when completing a Stop and Jot, Think-Ink/Pair/Share, and IOP Prep.
  • Rationale: It is important to take time to teach them the strategy strategically to ensure maximum effectiveness when it is tied to curriculum. Course Collaboration 3 will cover the skills and provide you with time to ask clarifying questions. It is expected that these strategies be used throughout instruction to reduce the amount of direct teacher lecture. #noexcuses.
  • 2) Semester 1 Literary Device Assessment: This assessment can be found under the Literary Devices tab in the Quarter 3 folder. It covers all of the literary devices from Quarter 1 and 2 as outlined in the Unit Road Map.
  • Rationale: In order for students to determine the correct response to a question, they must first understand what the question is looking for. If they do not understand what tone means, students will never be able to determine the tone of a selection. It is critical that students understand and can easily recall these terms if they are to reach success on their STAAR/AP/IB exams.


Interim Assessment 2: The IA2 OER SS/CO and Expository Essay scanning deadline is scheduled for Wednesday, January 6, 2016 by 5 pm. Make sure that all bubbles correspond to the correct point value. Please review the IA SchoolNet Scanning Guide found under the Interim Assessment tab on The Hub.


Multiple Choice Data Conversation Focus: Provided below are some questions to help guide the data conversation regarding the multiple choice section of the exam. Often times, we look at each question and over-align to the specific wording of the question instead of looking at the skill and moving forward.

  • Question 1: What question(s) did students struggle with the most on the exam? At this point, you look at the data by question and identify trends.
  • Question 2: What did the question look and sound like? You cannot just assume you know the error. Take time to look at the question and see what truly caused students to miss the question. Maybe students understand theme; however, did not understand the specific words used to describe theme. At first, it may look like theme was the issue, but upon further analysis, vocabulary and dictionary skills proved to be the root cause of the problem.
  • Question 3: What was the skill that the question was assessing? Identifying the skill will help ensure next steps are taken that help the student with the root cause of the problem and not just a symptom. For example, if a student misses a theme question, simply giving them multiple theme questions for practice is not going to solve the issue. The skill the student may be struggling with is understanding what theme actually means and how to read a text and identify specific evidence that helps him/her understand the theme of the selection.
  • Question 4: What are my specific next steps to address the skill of the question? The next steps should be grounded in the skill that students were lacking! For example, simply saying you will reteach theme does not solve the problem at hand. In order to truly solve the issue, you will have to look at read level, the skill of annotating the text for understanding, and covering the concept of theme (not just in isolation).
  • Note: Simply providing students with additional STAAR passages is not going to solve the issue and/or significantly increase your data. Identify the gap, narrowing in on the skill(s) needed to successfully answer the question, then building a plan around the skill(s) will help narrow in the focus and provide you with clear next steps moving into Quarter 3.


Writing Data Conversation Focus: Provided below are some questions to help guide the data conversation regarding the written sections of the exam. Often times, we look at the holistic piece and provide feedback on the grammar/mechanics of the work. Consider the following questions to avoid falling in this trap.

  • Question 1: Do students know the components of each section? When we refer to the components, we mean the outlines provided at the end of the Unit Road Maps. Students should be able to tell you exactly what an OER SS/CO and Expository Essay contain. If they cannot do this first step, then specific steps to correct this gap should be taken (timed entrance quizzes is one way to address this issue).
  • Question 2: What were the common trends? This can be different for each student; however, take a look at the overall errors that students are facing. Some examples include not providing textual evidence in an OER or constructing a poor thesis in an Expository Essay. Once you have identified the trends, construct specific actions that can be addressed whole group.
  • Question 3: Are you providing effective student feedback and conferencing with students on their individual needs and next steps? If the answer is no, simply providing whole group instruction will not meet the individual needs of each student. The Quarter 3 Unit Road Map has multiple Teacher Flex Days and can be a perfect time to confer with students on their individual needs.
  • Question 4: What does strong feedback look like? Strong individual feedback for students needs to be tailored to their needs and focus on the big picture concepts and then moves to the specifics. For example, if a paper does not contain a thesis or paragraphs, I would discuss what a thesis is and help the student construct one during the conference. Spending time correcting the student's grammar and mechanics is not going to increase their score. Look at the biggest lever to increase the score, then move to the individual details.
  • Note: The written components of the STAAR exam account for 42 of the 92 available points (Essay=24 points/OER SS=9 points/OER CPO=9 points). It is critical that students score well in the written section if they are to reach the Phase II passing standard.


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

English II Pre-AP

Curriculum Look-Outs: 1) Pause of Mastery and 2) Semester 1 Literary Device Assessment.

  • 1) Pause of Mastery: This is a day outlined in the curriculum to teach students the systems and procedures when completing a Stop and Jot, Think-Ink/Pair/Share, and IOP Prep.
  • Rationale: It is important to take time to teach them the strategy strategically to ensure maximum effectiveness when it is tied to curriculum. Course Collaboration 3 will cover the skills and provide you with time to ask clarifying questions. It is expected that these strategies be used throughout instruction to reduce the amount of direct teacher lecture. #noexcuses.
  • 2) Semester 1 Literary Device Assessment: This assessment can be found under the Literary Devices tab in the Quarter 3 folder. It covers all of the literary devices from Quarter 1 and 2 as outlined in the Unit Road Map.
  • Rationale: In order for students to determine the correct response to a question, they must first understand what the question is looking for. If they do not understand what tone means, students will never be able to determine the tone of a selection. It is critical that students understand and can easily recall these terms if they are to reach success on their STAAR/AP/IB exams.


Interim Assessment 2: The IA2 OER SS/CO and Persuasive Essay scanning deadline is scheduled for Wednesday, January 6, 2016 by 5 pm. Make sure that all bubbles correspond to the correct point value. Please review the IA SchoolNet Scanning Guide found under the Interim Assessment tab on The Hub.


Multiple Choice Data Conversation Focus: Provided below are some questions to help guide the data conversation regarding the multiple choice section of the exam. Often times, we look at each question and over-align to the specific wording of the question instead of looking at the skill and moving forward.

  • Question 1: What question(s) did students struggle with the most on the exam? At this point, you look at the data by question and identify trends.
  • Question 2: What did the question look and sound like? You cannot just assume you know the error. Take time to look at the question and see what truly caused students to miss the question. Maybe students understand theme; however, did not understand the specific words used to describe theme. At first, it may look like theme was the issue, but upon further analysis, vocabulary and dictionary skills proved to be the root cause of the problem.
  • Question 3: What was the skill that the question was assessing? Identifying the skill will help ensure next steps are taken that help the student with the root cause of the problem and not just a symptom. For example, if a student misses a theme question, simply giving them multiple theme questions for practice is not going to solve the issue. The skill the student may be struggling with is understanding what theme actually means and how to read a text and identify specific evidence that helps him/her understand the theme of the selection.
  • Question 4: What are my specific next steps to address the skill of the question? The next steps should be grounded in the skill that students were lacking! For example, simply saying you will reteach theme does not solve the problem at hand. In order to truly solve the issue, you will have to look at read level, the skill of annotating the text for understanding, and covering the concept of theme (not just in isolation).
  • Note: Simply providing students with additional STAAR passages is not going to solve the issue and/or significantly increase your data. Identify the gap, narrowing in on the skill(s) needed to successfully answer the question, then building a plan around the skill(s) will help narrow in the focus and provide you with clear next steps moving into Quarter 3.


Writing Data Conversation Focus: Provided below are some questions to help guide the data conversation regarding the written sections of the exam. Often times, we look at the holistic piece and provide feedback on the grammar/mechanics of the work. Consider the following questions to avoid falling in this trap.

  • Question 1: Do students know the components of each section? When we refer to the components, we mean the outlines provided at the end of the Unit Road Maps. Students should be able to tell you exactly what an OER SS/CO and Persuasive Essay contain. If they cannot do this first step, then specific steps to correct this gap should be taken (timed entrance quizzes is one way to address this issue).
  • Question 2: What were the common trends? This can be different for each student; however, take a look at the overall errors that students are facing. Some examples include not providing textual evidence in an OER or constructing a poor thesis in an Persuasive Essay. Once you have identified the trends, construct specific actions that can be addressed whole group.
  • Question 3: Are you providing effective student feedback and conferencing with students on their individual needs and next steps? If the answer is no, simply providing whole group instruction will not meet the individual needs of each student. The Quarter 3 Unit Road Map has multiple Teacher Flex Days and can be a perfect time to confer with students on their individual needs.
  • Question 4: What does strong feedback look like? Strong individual feedback for students needs to be tailored to their needs and focus on the big picture concepts and then moves to the specifics. For example, if a paper does not contain a thesis or paragraphs, I would discuss what a thesis is and help the student construct one during the conference. Spending time correcting the student's grammar and mechanics is not going to increase their score. Look at the biggest lever to increase the score, then move to the individual details.
  • Note: The written components of the STAAR exam account for 42 of the 92 available points (Essay=24 points/OER SS=9 points/OER CPO=9 points). It is critical that students score well in the written section if they are to reach the Phase II passing standard.


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

AP Language

Content: Teachers will use the first three days of Quarter 3 to go over IA 2 with students. Teachers should use one day for the Multiple Choice portion of the exam, one day for the Argumentative essay, and one day for the synthesis essay. During Course Collaboration, teachers shared strategies for test analysis with students. Next week, students will engage in NMSI lessons designed to prepare students to effectively analyze a passage and successfully answer multiple choice questions around that passage.

Assessments: Mock Exam window is February 8-10. The mock grading will be on February 19th. The first BWA for Quarter 3 will be on Friday, January 15th, and will be a multiple choice exam.


IA 2: The scanning deadline for IA 2 is Wednesday, January 6th at 5pm. In order to appropriately credit students for the points earned on the essays, teachers will need to bubble in the corresponding point value on the answer document:

1=3

2=6

3=9

4=12

5=15

6=18

7=21

8=24

9=27

The Argument FRQ is question #24 on the answer document. Record the Argument FRQ score point value on the answer document on #24.

The Synthesis FRQ is question #25 on the answer document. Record the Synthesis FRQ score point value on the answer document on #25.



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

AP Literature

Content: Teachers will use the first three days of Quarter 3 to go over IA 2 with students. Teachers should use one day for the Multiple Choice portion of the exam, one day for the prose analysis essay, and one day for the poetry analysis essay. During Course Collaboration, teachers shared strategies for test analysis with students. Next week, students will engage in NMSI lessons designed to prepare students to effectively answer the open-ended response question on the AP Lit exam.

Assessments: Mock Exam window is February 8-10. The mock grading will be on February 19th. The first BWA for Quarter 3 will be on Friday, January 15th, and will be a multiple choice exam.


IA 2: The scanning deadline for IA 2 is Wednesday, January 6th at 5pm.

In order to appropriately credit students for the points earned on the essays, teachers will need to bubble in the corresponding point value on the answer document:

1=3

2=6

3=9

4=12

5=15

6=18

7=21

8=24

9=27

The Prose Analysis FRQ is question #29 on the answer document. Record the Prose Analysis FRQ score point value on the answer document on #29.



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