K-6 ELA Resources & Updates


Student Engagment 101

Have you ever wondered if your students are engaged in the lesson or just compliant? Have you ever felt like you were working way harder on the learning than the students? Let's talk about some ways to get kids to use their brains and become more engaged.

Ways to increase engagement in your lessons:

  • Introduce concepts through pictures.
  • Provide real-world connections in your lesson introduction.
  • Modeling your thinking for students to hear what you are doing. (This is done in all subject areas and not just during read alouds.)
  • Teach with enthusiasm...even when it is something you do not like to teach!
  • Celebrate the student's effort and not just the right answer.
  • Teach through songs and motions.
  • Provide hands-on learning activities. (This can also happen in ELA!)

PACKETS OF WORKSHEETS ARE NOT ENGAGING, but they are also not fun to grade!

To increase the engagement in your classroom, you must think about the task you will ask the students to complete. Focusing on the process standards is the first thing you must do. You might ask, what are the process standards in reading and writing? Figure 19 is your process standards in reading, and the writing process standards are the process standards for writing.

Another way to increase engagement is to provide students with time to collaborate with their peers! There are so many ways to build collaboration in your classroom throughout your day. Collaboration is more than one student working on the assignment while the other watches, it is having them complete the task together and discussing as they go.

Other Engagement & Collaboration Resources:

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TEA Changes STAAR Writing

Last week the Commissioner and TEA made revisions to the STAAR writing assessments in grades 4 & 7. Each of these tests will now only be assessed on one day and no longer will they be asking students to test for 2 days for writing.

Big Changes:

  • 18 multiple choice questions--ONLY!
  • 12 of these will be editing questions
  • 6 of these will be revising questions
  • 1 writing sample--EXPOSITORY ONLY!
  • One Day testing

This change should not change our good writing instruction we have established in the district over the years. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about this change.

Website resources:



Helpful Videos

Introducing a Class to Text-based Debate (3-5)
Foundational Reading Skills: Fluency (K-2)