ELA Weekly:

September 28 - October 2

Curriculum Manager Announcements

Course Collaboration 2: October 9

Just a friendly reminder, Course Collaboration 2 will be taking place on Friday, October 9 at IDEA CP Donna. Sessions will begin promptly at 8:30 am. We advise that you get to IDEA Donna or IDEA Walzem with ample time to find parking and your specific classroom. All teachers are required to attend.

ELA Campus Managers

Colleen and George are inviting you to all sessions at Course Collaboration 2. Though we would love to see you at all of the sessions, the afternoon block from 12:45 pm to 4:30 pm is critical. We will be covering STAAR components and scoring, OER SS and CO Norming, and one of our SpringBoard National Trainders will conduct a SB model. There will be a special managers session from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm tailored for your specific position. Please make arrangements to attend.

Curriculum Manager/Course Leader Observations

CMs and CLs will be conducing ELA observations in the RGV on Wednesday, September 30 and Thursday, October 1. We have emailed specific ELA Campus Managers regarding the specific date of the observation and key look-outs we will be looking for during the observations.


  • Rationale for Observations: As we finalize all preparations for Course Collaboration 2, we want to get one last snapshot of trends system wide to ensure maximum coverage of all areas during CC2.

No Excuses Essay Rules

Even though this document was created from IDEA Authors trends, it is also a strong guide to that should be applied to all Interim Assessment essays. Please review the document and ensure these errors are not present on their IA.

IDEA Authors: September

The winners for IDEA Authors will be announced on Monday, September 28! Congratulations in advance to all the winners selected and thank you to all who participated!

Course Specific

6th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will complete Unit 1 this week, and move into Embedded Assessment 2, beginning Wednesday. Students will write an expository essay for Embedded Assessment 2, and should move through every stage of the writing process to ensure a coherent, well-developed essay. Before students begin crafting the expository essay, teachers will need to review the "Narrative vs. Expository" anchor chart to remind students of the characteristics of each type of essay. We are still seeing a confusion between the two genres in student work submissions, so repeated reviews, conferencing, and peer editing around genre purity are a good use of time in class.


Revising & Editing Do-Nows: This week's focus is 6.14(C): Precise word choice and consistent point of view. We are seeing fantastic instruction around the Do-Nows in many ELA classrooms. This 5-minute activity at the beginning of class provides students direct instruction around Revising and Editing skills, along with immediate practice. However, teachers should embed the practice of these skills in all writing assignments so students are engaging with the skills in authentic writing experiences. Additional practice can occur through nightly homework, as well.


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


September 16th: https://bluejeans.com/s/8AMZ/ (SpringBoard 1.14/Expository Rubric and exemplars for EA 2)

7th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will complete Unit 1 this week with a final lesson around mythology and characterization. Students then move into Embedded Assessment 2, when they will write an original myth, using elements of mythology and plot development. The webinar on September 16th provided teachers with practical strategies and advice around the Embedded Assessment 2, including ideas about scaffolding the writing process and guiding students through the myth creation process. The link to view the webinar is below.


Revising & Editing Do-Nows: This week's focus is 7.14(C): Precise word choice and consistent point of view. We are seeing fantastic instruction around the Do-Nows in many ELA classrooms. This 5-minute activity at the beginning of class provides students direct instruction around Revising and Editing skills, along with immediate practice. However, teachers should embed the practice of these skills in all writing assignments so students are engaging with the skills in authentic writing experiences. Additional practice can occur through nightly homework, as well.


Interim Assessment: Students will complete Day 1 of the IA this week: writing the Personal Narrative. All Personal Narratives should be graded by October 7th. These essays will be graded on a score point scale of 1-4, using the TEA rubric (or the student-friendly rubric posted on the HUB). For questions regarding the score to record on the scantron, please reach out to Debbie De La Rosa (Course Leader) or your Academic Counselor.


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


September 16th: https://bluejeans.com/s/8AN7/ (Strategies for teaching mythology)

September 2nd: https://bluejeans.com/s/8zrR/

August 19th: https://bluejeans.com/s/8zrU/

8th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Two critical SpringBoard lessons are taking place this week: 1) SB Activity 1.17 and 2) SB Activity 1.19.


  • SB Activity 1.17 is broken up over two days to ensure maximum coverage of the content. The graphic organizer on page 66 is critical to ensure students begin to master the skill of providing evidence when stating a claim. When seeking responses from students, set the expectation that evidence is critical and must always be provided.
  • SB Activity 1.19 focuses on characterization and reinforces the skills of providing textual evidence for an answer. Set the expectation for always providing textual support. Students are welcome to have different quotes as evidence; however, ensure that their evidence is valid and truly supports the answer they are presenting.
  • Note: If students do not provide evidence, take them back to the clip/text and challenge them to find evidence and restate their claim with evidence. You should ensure students provide evidence in both written and verbal responses.


(Cont.) Literary Device Review: All resources for the Literary Device Review are posted on the The Hub. Some steps that can be done to ensure student mastery include the following:


  • Level 1 Identification questions on Exit Slips to assess student knowledge of the term.
  • Entrance quizzes that challenge the students to identify definitions to multiple literary devices (this can vary in length and time).
  • Flashcards that students create at home and practice to ensure a tool is given for student usage.
  • Clearly outlining study time in the Assign Yourself and communicate to parents the importance of independent review.
  • Rationale: If students do not know the language of the question, they will not be able to effectively infer the correct response.
  • Example: What was the overall tone of the selection? If students do not know what tone means they will be trying to answer a question they have no context or understanding about.


Revising and Editing Do-Nows: The focus for this week is sentence structure (8.19C). Ensure that students can articulate two key items in their response: 1) What is the mistake and 2) Why should this change be made.


  • Sentence: Although we lost tonight's game we are still in first place.
  • Non-Example: Put a little squiggly line after game.
  • Example: In the statement above, insert a comma after the word game because it is a dependent clause and needs to be separated from the rest of the sentence.


All Do-Now slides for Q1 are posted on The Hub and are aligned to the SpringBoard Grammar Handbook, IAs, and focus on key grammar TEKS that students must master in order to be successful.

English I Pre-AP

SpringBoard: Two IA components will be taken this week: 1) OER CO and SS and 2) Expository Essay.


  • The OER SS and CO questions are based off of previous texts analyzed in SpringBoard so that students can immediately begin their responses when administered. You can either have students use their SpringBoard consumables for the story, or print a class copy of the PDF of both stories found under the Interim Assessment and SpringBoard Resources tabs on The Hub.
  • The Expository Essay will challenge them to complete a 26-lined STAAR essay. Data from this component will be used to progress monitor trends from the diagnostic essay to this point in the year.
  • Rationale: In previous years, IA1 has only assessed one component of the STAAR Exam. However, growth from IA1 to IA2 was false as IA2 assessed all components of the STAAR exam. Students are taking each part so that we can truly compare data, infer trends, and make instructional decisions based off of the trends identified.


(cont.) Literary Device Review Preparation: All resources for the Literary Device Review are posted on the The Hub. Some steps that can be done to ensure student mastery include the following:


  • Level 1 Identification questions on Exit Slips to assess student knowledge of the term.
  • Entrance quizzes that challenge the students to identify definitions to multiple literary devices (this can vary in length and time).
  • Flashcards that students create at home and practice to ensure a tool is given for student usage.
  • Clearly outlining study time in the Assign Yourself and communicate to parents the importance of independent review.
  • Rationale: If students do not know the language of the question, they will not be able to effectively infer the correct response.
  • Example: What was the overall tone of the selection? If students do not know what tone means they will be trying to answer a question they have no context or understanding about.


Revising and Editing Do-Nows:The focus for this week is sentence structure (8.19C). Ensure that students can articulate two key items in their response: 1) What is the mistake and 2) Why should this change be made.


  • Sentence: Although we lost tonight's game we are still in first place.
  • Non-Example: Put a little squiggly line after game.
  • Example: In the statement above, insert a comma after the word game because it is a dependent clause and needs to be separated from the rest of the sentence.


All Do-Now slides for Q1 are posted on The Hub and are aligned to the SpringBoard Grammar Handbook, IAs, and focus on key grammar TEKS that students must master in order to be successful.


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

English II Pre-AP

SpringBoard: SpringBoard: Two IA components will be taken this week: 1) OER CO and SS and 2) Persuasive Essay.


  • The OER SS and CO questions are based off of previous texts analyzed in SpringBoard so that students can immediately begin their responses when administered. You can either have students use their SpringBoard consumables for the story, or print a class copy of the PDF of both stories found under the Interim Assessment and SpringBoard Resources tabs on The Hub.
  • The Persuasive Essay will challenge them to complete a 26-lined STAAR essay. Data from this component will be used to progress monitor trends from the diagnostic essay to this point in the year.
  • Rationale: In previous years, IA1 has only assessed one component of the STAAR Exam. However, growth from IA1 to IA2 was false as IA2 assessed all components of the STAAR exam. Students are taking each part so that we can truly compare data, infer trends, and make instructional decisions based off of the trends identified.


(cont.) Literary Device Review: All resources for the Literary Device Review are posted on the The Hub. Some steps that can be done to ensure student mastery include the following:


  • Level 1 Identification questions on Exit Slips to assess student knowledge of the term.
  • Entrance quizzes that challenge the students to identify definitions to multiple literary devices (this can vary in length and time).
  • Flashcards that students create at home and practice to ensure a tool is given for student usage.
  • Clearly outlining study time in the Assign Yourself and communicate to parents the importance of independent review.
  • Rationale: If students do not know the language of the question, they will not be able to effectively infer the correct response.
  • Example: What was the overall tone of the selection? If students do not know what tone means they will be trying to answer a question they have no context or understanding about.


Revising and Editing Do-Nows: The focus for this week is sentence structure (10.17C). Ensure that students can articulate two key items in their response: 1) What is the mistake and 2) Why should this change be made.


    • Sentence: Although we lost tonight's game we are still in first place.
    • Non-Example: Put a little squiggly line after game.
    • Example: In the statement above, insert a comma after the word game because it is a dependent clause and needs to be separated from the rest of the sentence.


All Do-Now slides for Q1 are posted on The Hub and are aligned to the SpringBoard Grammar Handbook, IAs, and focus on key grammar TEKS that students must master in order to be successful.


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


Student Spotlight: The following are student created visuals created by 10th grade students at IDEA Frontier! Ms. Alma Blanco, 10th Grade Course Leader and English II teacher, challenged the students to expand on a found poem using a page from a story. Students were able to showcase main idea, theme through artwork, and had to take close look at the author's diction and syntax when selecting textual evidence. Great way to push student work outside the classroom, provide connection back to SpringBoard, and challenge students to showcase their talents. If any of you have work that you would like to share, please send our way so that we can celebrate student creativity and hard work!

Big image

AP Language

SpringBoard: Students will complete Unit 1 this week, synthesizing various texts around the theme of The American Dream. Students will then move into Embedded Assessment 2: Synthesizing the American Dream.


Interim Assessment: Students will write the Synthesis Essay this week. Teachers, please keep to the times outlined in the Unit Map: 15 minutes for students to read the prompt and accompanying sources, and 40 minutes for essay construction. All essays should be graded by October 7th. Support for grading the synthesis essay can be found in the September 16th webinar, located at the link below.


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


September 16th: https://bluejeans.com/s/8ANu/ (Norming the Synthesis Essay for IA 1)

September 2nd: https://bluejeans.com/s/8zsh/

August 19th: https://bluejeans.com/s/8zsi/

AP Literature

SpringBoard: Students will complete Unit 1 with analysis of reflective essays and construction of a reflective essay in Embedded Assessment 2. While students are reading and writing reflective essays, teachers will also need to continue embedding poetry analysis into lessons. The September 16th webinar provided teachers several strategies around embedding poetry in the final lessons of unit 1.


Interim Assessment: Teachers will administer Day 1: the Poetry Analysis FRQ this week. Please adhere to the 40-minute time limit for the essay. All essays must be graded and scores scanned by October 7th.


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


September 16th: https://bluejeans.com/s/8ANI/ (Implementing timed writings in class/Integration of poetry during prose lessons)

September 2nd: https://bluejeans.com/s/8zsn/

August 19th: https://bluejeans.com/s/8zsm/