Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter

May 2021 End-of-Year Edition

Amazing Judson Teachers...THANK YOU! Although COVID-19 brought about many challenges and deeply impacted our lives, both professional and personal, your dedication to our students is impressive. On behalf of the entire C&I Team, we appreciate your hard work this year and your flexibility as you quickly pivoted to set up online learning. You navigated these uncharted waters beautifully and we appreciate your passion with which you serve.

There is still a long road ahead as we deal with the impact of the pandemic on learning loss. The C&I Team is committed to supporting you, starting this summer with the Literacy Nights at all 20 elementary schools, and throughout next school year as we welcome our students face-to-face (thank goodness for no more simulcasting next year).

Again, THANK YOU for being amazing! Our students are blessed for having you as their teachers. The C&I Team team is here to provide guidance and support - even through summer if you would like to join us for planning ahead! If you will not be joining us to work summer school, we wish you a safe, happy and relaxing summer!

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STAAR/EOC Redesign Currently Underway

Have you heard about the new STAAR redesign that will include new item types? The idea behind the redesign is to create better opportunities for students to demonstrate their full understanding of the state standards beyond multiple choice questions.

The C&I Instructional Specialists will be sharing more as TEA provides more details as released by TEA. For now, here are some highlights:

  1. Transitioning to online assessments by the 2022–23 school year -that's why Judson formative assessments, unit tests, will all be online next year.
  2. Adding new item types and capping the percentage of multiple-choice items - the unit tests will embed new item types starting second quarter.
  3. Eliminating stand-alone writing assessments for grades 4 and 7 and incorporating cross-curricular passages to assess new reading language arts Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

The 5 minute video below describes the STAAR redesign near-term goals. You will notice that it is implemented in phases, and about 25% of the STAAR redesign will include the new item types. Next year, starting in quarter 2, our district formative assessments will mirror this, and will include new item types as well.

The link below will allow you to explore the new item types. There is even a survey for you to submit feedback to TEA about what you think about the new questions.

5 Minute Video on STAAR Redesign

This video link below explains how the STAAR Redesign will be phased in over the next couple of years. Please take some time to check it out!

New STAAR Item Types

Check out this website below to see the new STAAR item types and submit your feedback to TEA!

Great Teachers in Action at Judson

We would like to end our last newsletter of the year highlighting some amazing teaching that is happening in our classrooms right here at Judson! Today, we highlight Mr. Encarnacion Felix and Ms. Stefanie Pressler. These two teachers work with English Learners and are masters at their craft. We hope you take some time to see them in action in the short videos below. If you would like any member of the C&I Team to model any of these strategies in your classroom, now or next school year, please do not hesitate to reach out. We want to support the learning experience you facilitate in your classroom with your students.

Using Sheltered Instruction Strategies to Support EL’s

Teacher name: Mr. Encarnacion, Felix

Campus: Metzger Middle School

Subject: Social Studies (Sheltered)

Grade: 8th

The implementation of Sheltered Instruction strategies with intentional language development is essential and proven to support our EL students. The teacher used the strategy of QSSSA that was taught at a PD that was offered in the fall by the C&I Team.

Click here to see explanation and material used for QSSSA strategy:

Click below to see video:

Dictation Strategy and EL Llinguistic Accommodations

Teacher name: Stefanie Pressler

Campus: Coronado Village

Grade: 3rd Grade, DL Two-Way (English Learners and Spanish Learners)

The Dictation Strategy is a Science of Reading strategy that transfers learning to other contexts, but specifically focusing on word study, spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. The teacher indicates the use of all of these teaching points/elements and includes them in mini-lessons based on students’ need and data. Students’ expectation is to apply the use of these teaching points as is appropriate for the context. The Dictation Strategy is a structured mentored text/paragraph with procedural steps that consists of daily practice and student participation in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Reading and writing growth and success is a given when using this daily strategy. For Dual Language classrooms, it creates metalinguistic awareness across languages and teachers create cross-language connections.

Click here to see the steps

Click below to see video:

Click here to see the video