ELA Weekly:

November 16 - November 20

Curriculum Manager Announcements

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.

ELA 8-10 Campus Observations

Monday, November 2 will be the start of all ELA 8-10 classroom observations. The observations will last between 30 to 45 minutes with the five key look-outs for Q2 being specifically identified. From the observation, the ELA Curriculum and Campus Manager will place individuals into differentiated sessions for Course Collaboration 3.

Course Specific

6th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will continue the second half of Unit 2, preparing to create a newscast for EA 2. This week’s lessons begin with an expository text, with a focus on author’s purpose. Students then move back into fiction with Activity 2.17. Last week’s webinar focused on embedding fiction TEKS into lesson 2.17 to reinforce close analysis of plot elements. While the text is a short story (which makes it perfect for plot development analysis), the lesson concludes with an expository writing activity. Students should use the short story to craft an expository essay from a character’s point of view. Activity 2.18 prepares students for the task of the EA 2—creating a news story. Students will take a fictional account of an event and rewrite the details in an informational piece.


Do-Nows: This week's Do-Nows emphasize Revising skills, with 6.14(C) Transitions as the focus. Remember that the Do-Nows are an introduction to a skill; students should receive repeated practice with skills in their own writing (through revision and editing opportunities) and through homework practice. All Do-Nows for Bundle 4 have been posted to the Hub, in the "Do-Nows" folder within "Quarter 2." Make sure to follow the sequence of the Do-Nows for the remainder of Quarter 2 in order to expose students to all tested TEKS. In Quarter 3, teachers will choose the focus TEKS for the Do-Nows that meet the needs of individual classrooms.


Assessments: Students will take BWA 6: Reading Multiple Choice, on Friday, November 20th. The scanning deadline is also Friday, November 20th. Data will be analyzed and the analysis sent to managers and the Schools Team, to aid in discussions around the data.


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

7th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will begin Unit 4, which focuses on the revision process. This unit provides students several opportunities to practice revision strategies and apply these strategies to their own writing. Ideally, students will use the expository essay they recently completed and will revise it, using the strategies throughout Unit 4. Teachers should emphasize the importance of revision in the writing process, making sure that students understand the necessity of revision and how to use these skills when they are writing short paragraphs as well as longer compositions. Areas of focus should include the controlling idea, compelling and appropriate evidence to support the controlling idea, transitions to connect ideas throughout the composition, and coherence. These four components are key to 3s and 4s on the STAAR Writing. While the STAAR composition is graded holistically, the essays that earn passing scores have the components listed above.


Assessments: There is no BWA this Friday. Teachers will have a Flex Day in order to catch up on lessons and review skills and strategies.


Do-Nows: Students will practice with transitions (7.14C). Remember that the Do-Nows are an introduction to a skill; students should receive repeated practice with skills in their own writing (through revision and editing opportunities) and through homework practice. Make sure to follow the sequence of the Do-Nows for the remainder of Quarter 2 in order to provide direct instruction to students on all tested TEKS, and to align instruction to BWAs and IA 2. This Quarter's Do-Nows are specifically aligned to all of the skills students will need to master for success on the 2015 STAAR Released that was used to build IA 3. In Quarter 3, teachers will choose the focus TEKS for the Do-Nows that meet the needs of individual classrooms.


Archived Webinars:

8th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Unpacking Embedded Assessment 2 and SpringBoard Activity 2.8 are this week's critical lessons.

  • Unpacking the Assessment: Unpacking the Assessment is critical to ensure student buy-in and help everyone understand that what is being done daily in class is directly going to be needed to complete their upcoming assessment.
  • Ensure that you as the teacher plan and decided on how students will unpack the assessment and what visual representation you will select to put up on your wall for the remainder of the unit.
  • Remember to hold yourself accountable to placing the Unpacked Assessment visual on the wall and make it a living document that is referred to after each SB activity is complete.
  • Note: This action falls under the SB Implementation/Usage look-out for Quarter 2. Take the time to make this lesson meaningful for students. A visual that looks like it was done with no intention or clarity will allow observers to infer that additional help in this area is needed.
  • SB 2.8: This activity presents the persuasive appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos. These appeals are recurring terms that will be challenged in English I and English II. Ensure that you are planning effecting CFUs to ensure students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery.
  • The following are some examples of CFUs: 1) Think-ink, Pair, Share, 2) IOP Prep, and 3) Stop and Jot.


Grammar Focus/Do Now: The focus for this week is sentence revision (8.17Av). Ensure students can articulate two key items in their response: 1) What is the error and 2) What should this change be made.

  • Suggestion: You can add additional errors for the student to correct in order to spiral in previous grammar TEKS covered.
  • For example, you can lowercase the beginning of the sentence, remove the punctuation, and add in additional errors to challenge the students to recall previous TEKS as well as use academic vocabulary.
  • The Grammar Focus/Do Now slides are a foundation to support the specific TEK in the Unit Road Map; however, you can add to the slide to ensure continuous coverage of prior material.


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

English I Pre-AP

SpringBoard: Embedded Assessment 2 is this week's critical activity.

  • EA2 challenges students to apply the writing process while using MLA Format. Please refer to the MLA tab on The Hub which provides a detailed step-by-step criteria for students.
  • Ensure that students meet all the criteria for MLA format. There is a difference between almost correct and correct. Hold students to the expectation so that students will have a strong foundation in formatted writing and will perfect their ability to format throughout the high school career.
  • When reviewing format, remember that there should not be a large space between paragraphs. Follow these directions to ensure this common error does not occur: 1) Click Line Spacing Options. 2) Find the Before and After tab. 3) Next, have students click Before = 0 and After = 0.
  • Note: This action falls under the SB Implementation/Usage look-out for Quarter 2. Take the time to make this lesson meaningful for students. A visual that looks like it was done with no intention or clarity will allow observers to infer that additional help in this area is needed.


Grammar Focus/Do Now: The focus for this week is sentence revision (9.17C/9.15Aii). Ensure students can articulate two key items in their response: 1) What is the error and 2) What should this change be made.

  • Suggestion: You can add additional errors for the student to correct in order to spiral in previous grammar TEKS covered.
  • For example, you can lowercase the beginning of the sentence, remove the punctuation, and add in additional errors to challenge the students to recall previous TEKS as well as use academic vocabulary.
  • The Grammar Focus/Do Now slides are a foundation to support the specific TEK in the Unit Road Map; however, you can add to the slide to ensure continuous coverage of prior material.


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

English II Pre-AP

SpringBoard: SB Activity 3.18 and 3.19 are this week's critical lessons.

  • SB 3.18: This activity is broken up over a two-day period to ensure maximum coverage of the lesson. Chapters 15-19 are the focus chapters in this section, with Chapters 15-17 analyzed in Day 1 and 18 and 19 being analyzed in Day 2.
  • Ensure strong teacher planning beforehand to ensure you have identified key instances in these specific chapters and the guiding questions you will ask students as you present the information.
  • Tip: Look at the levels of questioning used in your guiding questions. Do they start at Level I and build to Level III? How many Level I questions are being asked? Are they purposeful? Ensuring you plan beforehand, will provide a greater likelihood of understanding.
  • SB 3.19: This lesson challenges students to compare and contrast two specific characters and make a greater connection to how their characterization advances the plot of Things Fall Apart.
  • As the teacher, ensure you have pinpointed specific characteristics of each character beforehand and have prepared your follow-up questions for students to discuss. Not preparing beforehand will be clear when levels of questioning and/or discuss opportunities were missed due to lack of teacher planning.
  • Note: This action falls under the SB Implementation/Usage look-out for Quarter 2. Take the time to make this lesson meaningful for students. A visual that looks like it was done with no intention or clarity will allow observers to infer that additional help in this area is needed.


Grammar Focus/Do Now: The focus for this week is sentence revision (10.17C/10.15Aii). Ensure students can articulate two key items in their response: 1) What is the error and 2) What should this change be made.

  • Suggestion: You can add additional errors for the student to correct in order to spiral in previous grammar TEKS covered.
  • For example, you can lowercase the beginning of the sentence, remove the punctuation, and add in additional errors to challenge the students to recall previous TEKS as well as use academic vocabulary.
  • The Grammar Focus/Do Now slides are a foundation to support the specific TEK in the Unit Road Map; however, you can add to the slide to ensure continuous coverage of prior material.


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

AP Language

SpringBoard: Students will continue exploring satire in Unit 2. Students will look at author’s tone and use of satire, evaluating the effectiveness and impact of satire on the author’s subject. Students will write their own satirical piece for EA 2 at the end of the week. Teachers spent two days together at the end of last week at a NMSI training, where we all had the opportunity to share ideas and revise our focus for Quarter 3. Teachers will be implementing more NMSI lessons into their classrooms as a result of the fantastic resources provided throughout the two days. We will begin to transition into using more NMSI materials for the second semester, which will result in more explicit instruction around the rhetorical analysis essay throughout Quarter 3.


Assessments: Students will take BWA 6: Multiple Choice on Friday, November 20th. All scanning should be completed by the end of the day, Friday, November 20th. Data will be analyzed and the analysis sent to managers and the Schools Team, to aid in discussions around the data.


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

AP Literature

SpringBoard: Students will apply understanding of Marxism to Pygmalion. They will then complete EA 1, in which they transform a scene from Pygmalion so that it reflects one of the critical perspectives studied this quarter. Teachers will continue to embed poetry analysis into the lessons throughout Unit 2 as well. At the NMSI training last week, teachers received several powerful lessons designed to spark analytical thinking and text analysis. Teachers will be implementing more NMSI lessons into their classrooms as a result of the relevant strategies discussed and practiced through this training. As the year continues, we will look for opportunities to embed NMSI lessons and units in the current AP Lit curriculum.


Assessments: Students will take BWA 6: Multiple Choice on Friday, November 20th. All scanning should be completed by the end of the day, Friday, November 20th. Data will be analyzed and the analysis sent to managers and the Schools Team, to aid in discussions around the data.


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