ELA Weekly:

December 7 - December 11

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.

  • Campus Managers, please review the Google Document schedule shared. It will designate the specific date for each campus.

Course Specific

6th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will finish the Close Reading Workshop: Informational Texts by the end of class Monday. By the end of this workshop, students will have analyzed text organizational structures, the features of informational text (including visuals), and made connections across multiple texts with a similar theme. All of these skills are essential for success on IA 2, so if students are still struggling with any of the informational text TEKS that were part of the Close Reading Workshop, teachers should consider those as an area of focus for Friday’s Flex Day. Students will spend the majority of the week (Tuesday-Thursday) completing EA 2: Producing a Mock TV News Story. Students should use the informational text skills emphasized throughout the Close Reading Workshop to develop well-organized, focused news stories.


Do-Nows: This week's Do-Nows emphasize Revising skills, with 6.17(A) Sentence Structures and 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 IA 2 next Monday, December 14th. The IA 2 is a 48-question full 2015 STAAR Released Reading exam. The scanning deadline for IA 2 is Tuesday, December 15th. Several Webinars have included tips for test-taking strategies. Make sure to include these tips in your instruction this week so students are prepared for the first full-length STAAR-released exam (IA 2). Please refer to the IA 2 One-Pager on the Hub, located here, for specific information about the IA.


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

7th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will complete Unit 4, which focuses on the revision process. This week’s activities will require students to revise for sentence variety and appropriate text organization. While students are revising for text organization, they must focus on maintaining a clear, coherent organizational structure. Students should not be tied to a 5-paragraph, formulaic essay. Instead, they should have a clear organizational structure that utilizes organizational key words through transitions. Students will finish out the week with the Embedded Assessment, which is a revision of a previously-written piece. Students should focus on a previously-written expository essay in order to prepare them for the IA essay they will complete next week.


Assessments: Students will take IA 2 next Monday, December 14th. IA 2 is adapted from the released 2015 Writing STAAR, which includes 30 multiple choice questions (Revising & Editing), and 1 Expository essay. Students will have four hours to complete the exam. The scanning deadline for the multiple choice portion of the exam is Tuesday, December 15th. The scanning deadline for the essay is Wednesday, January 6th. Teachers should grade all essays prior to Course Collaboration on January 4th, with the exception of those essays that are between a 2 and 3. Those score points will be the area of focus for CC 3, and teachers will have an opportunity to revisit any student essays that are more difficult to assess. Please view the IA 2 One-Pager, located here, for specific information about the exam.


Do-Nows: Students will practice with sentence structures and transitions (7.17A). 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: SB 2.13 and 2.14 are this week's critical lessons.

  • SB 2.13 provides an additional review of the persuasive appeals of logos (logical), ethos (ethical), and pathos (emotional).
  • This activity uses the CollegeBoard AP strategy known as SOAPSTone. SOAPSTone stands for the following: (S) Subject, (0) Occasion, (A) Audience, (P) Purpose, (S) Subject, and (T). This is a strong activity that can provide multiple points of review and preparation for IA2.
  • Take this activity a step further and uses Levels of Questioning and Stop and Jots that mirror STAAR question stems. In doing so, you will provide students with multiple and true "at bats" in preparation for IA2.
  • SB 2.14 is broken up over three days and should be strategically outlined to ensure maximum coverage of content each day. Refer to the unit road map for a page and Teacher Edition Step breakdown.


Assessments: IA2 is a full four hour TEA STAAR Release exam scheduled for Monday, December 14, 2015. Please ensure all materials and logistics for the exam are clarified and communicated. Monday should be a full simulation of what the STAAR exam will look and feel like to provide insight on how students will perform on the actual exam.

  • Multiple Choice Scanning Deadline: Monday, December 14, 2015


Grammar Focus/Do Now: The focus for this week is word choice/point of view (8.13C). 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.
  • Note: Create a running anchor chart and add specific transitions covered to the visual. This will allow students to engage with the material and make transitions a permanent part of our classroom environment. This will also help in student writing as transitions are needed in all aspects of their academic, professional, and personal lives.


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

English I Pre-AP

Teacher Flex Week: This week should be used to target specific skill gaps that are still present within your specific students and classroom. When constructing a re-teach/review of content, make it purposeful.

  • Avoid: You should try not to simply use several STAAR passages and count that as an effective review for the exam.
  • Rationale: Simply using a STAAR passage is going to give some exposure to questions and format; however, this is not going to be the true lever to increase student performance. If you are in the driver seat of a car, know what a car looks like, and can tell you the purpose of the car, it still does not mean can effective drive the vehicle.
  • Do: An effective review is one that looks at the following:
  • 1) Identify at the specific skill gap that the students needed. For example, identifying and analyzing author's purpose.
  • 2) Pinpoint what part of the skill students are having difficulty with. For example, is it finding textual evidence to create a claim and/or not reading the text for understanding and instead creating their own claim with no support.
  • 3) Identify how the question is going to be asked on the exam. For example, go to IA2 and identify the question stems to ensure students are practicing with the language of the exam.
  • 4) Create lessons that allow students multiple opportunities to "at bat" with the skill at their specific level. Use the question stems identified in step 3 to place multiple at-bats within your instruction that mirror the language of the exam.
  • 5) Identify how students will practice. For example, you could use IOP Prep, Think-ink, Pair, Share and Stop and Jot. Refer to the Instructional Toolbox provided on The Hub for further assistance and details.


Assessments: IA2 is a full five hour TEA STAAR Release exam scheduled for Monday, December 14, 2015. Please ensure all materials and logistics for the exam are clarified and communicated. Monday should be a full simulation of what the STAAR exam will look and feel like to provide insight on how students will perform on the actual exam.

  • Multiple Choice Scanning Deadline: Monday, December 14, 2015
  • OER and Essay Scanning Deadline: Wednesday, January 6, 2015


Grammar Focus/Do Now: The focus for this week is word choice/point of view (9.13C). 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.
  • Note: Create a running anchor chart and add specific transitions covered to the visual. This will allow students to engage with the material and make transitions a permanent part of our classroom environment. This will also help in student writing as transitions are needed in all aspects of their academic, professional, and personal lives.


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

English II Pre-AP

Teacher Flex Week: This week should be used to target specific skill gaps that are still present within your specific students and classroom. When constructing a re-teach/review of content, make it purposeful.

  • Avoid: You should try not to simply use several STAAR passages and count that as an effective review for the exam.
  • Rationale: Simply using a STAAR passage is going to give some exposure to questions and format; however, this is not going to be the true lever to increase student performance. If you are in the driver seat of a car, know what a car looks like, and can tell you the purpose of the car, it still does not mean can effective drive the vehicle.
  • Do: An effective review is one that looks at the following:
  • 1) Identify at the specific skill gap that the students needed. For example, identifying and analyzing author's purpose.
  • 2) Pinpoint what part of the skill students are having difficulty with. For example, is it finding textual evidence to create a claim and/or not reading the text for understanding and instead creating their own claim with no support.
  • 3) Identify how the question is going to be asked on the exam. For example, go to IA2 and identify the question stems to ensure students are practicing with the language of the exam.
  • 4) Create lessons that allow students multiple opportunities to "at bat" with the skill at their specific level. Use the question stems identified in step 3 to place multiple at-bats within your instruction that mirror the language of the exam.
  • 5) Identify how students will practice. For example, you could use IOP Prep, Think-ink, Pair, Share and Stop and Jot. Refer to the Instructional Toolbox provided on The Hub for further assistance and details.


Assessments: IA2 is a full five hour TEA STAAR Release exam scheduled for Monday, December 14, 2015. Please ensure all materials and logistics for the exam are clarified and communicated. Monday should be a full simulation of what the STAAR exam will look and feel like to provide insight on how students will perform on the actual exam.

  • Multiple Choice Scanning Deadline: Monday, December 14, 2015
  • OER and Essay Scanning Deadline: Wednesday, January 6, 2015


Grammar Focus/Do Now: The focus for this week is word choice/point of view (10.13C). 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.
  • Note: Create a running anchor chart and add specific transitions covered to the visual. This will allow students to engage with the material and make transitions a permanent part of our classroom environment. This will also help in student writing as transitions are needed in all aspects of their academic, professional, and personal lives.


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

AP Language

SpringBoard: Students will finish Unit 3 this week, preparing for the Embedded Assessment at the end of the week, which is a prepared and presented persuasive speech. Students will need to use all of the elements of argumentation they explored in Unit 3 in order to develop strong persuasive speeches that utilize rhetorical devices, appropriate syntax, and effective presentation of ideas.


Assessments: Teachers should choose one day this week to administer IA 2 Day 1: the Argument essay. Students should complete the essay in one class period, following the 40-minute time limit for this question. Students will take the remaining IA 2 (Day 2) on Monday, December 14th. The scanning deadline for the multiple choice portion of the exam is Tuesday, December 15th. All essays should be graded and scanned by Wednesday, January 6th. Teachers should have the majority of essays graded by Course Collaboration 3 on January 4th, in order to create Quarter 3 plans based on class-wide trends and individual student needs. Your Course Leader will communicate more specific expectations around which essays to bring to CC3. Please view the IA 2 One-Pager, located here, for specific information about the exam.


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

AP Literature

SpringBoard: Students will continue to analyze a film through the lens of Feminist Criticism. At the end of the week, students will bring all of the critical perspectives together, choosing two from which to analyze a clip from the movie, Rear Window. The week will end with EA 2, in which students will apply the Feminist Critical Perspective to a short story. Students should read the two texts for EA 2 prior to class on Friday.


Assessments: Teachers should choose one day this week to administer IA 2 Day 1: the Prose Analysis essay. Students should complete the essay in one class period, following the 40-minute time limit for this question. Students will take the remaining IA 2 (Day 2) on Monday, December 14th. The scanning deadline for the multiple choice portion of the exam is Tuesday, December 15th. All essays should be graded and scanned by Wednesday, January 6th. Teachers should have the majority of essays graded by Course Collaboration 3 on January 4th, in order to create Quarter 3 plans based on class-wide trends and individual student needs. Your Course Leader will communicate more specific expectations around which essays to bring to CC3. Please view the IA 2 One-Pager, located here, for specific information about the exam.


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