ELA Weekly:

January 19 - January 22

Curriculum Manager Announcements

No Office Hours this Week

The ELA District Team will take part in a 3-12 Strategy Meeting. Due to this meeting, there will not be a designated office hour this week. As always, if you have a question, please do not hesitate to reach out to Colleen and George at any time.

English III EOC Exam Information

All 11th grade students at all IDEA Public Schools College Prep campuses will take the English III End of Course (EOC) exam on May 10th. All students enrolling in a post-secondary Texas institution must pass the TSI exam or be TSI exempt in order to take college-level courses. The English III EOC exam can be used to exempt a student from the reading and/or writing TSI exam, as long as they meet the requirements for exemption. One of the ways a student can be TSI exempt is to earn a minimum score of 2000 on the reading portion of the exam, and/or a minimum score of 2000 for on the writing portion of the exam. Currently, students can also be TSI exempt from their performance on the English II EOC; however, it is the final phase-in standard so it is higher than the current passing standard.

The English III EOC will not count toward district or campus accountability ratings, and there are no implications for teachers’ Teacher Career Pathway placement. The focus for IDEA Public Schools’ 11th grade students is still AP Language and Composition, and all curriculum documents and assessments will reflect that focus.

However, I understand that many campuses will want to provide additional instructional support for students during Saturday School or tutoring to ensure they feel prepared for the English III EOC. In order to provide supplemental resources that teachers may want to use for Saturday School or tutoring, I have uploaded several documents to the Hub: ELAàAP LanguageàEnglish III EOC Exam Resources

  • English III EOC Exam Design Schematic & Blueprint: These documents outline the content of the exam, which includes:

    • 1 Analytical Essay

    • Multiple Choice (Writing): Revising (11 questions) & Editing (11 questions)

    • Multiple Choice (Reading): Analysis Across Genres (6 questions); Literary texts (11 questions); & Informational Texts (11 questions)

    • Short Answer: Single Selection (1 question) & Connecting Selections (1 question)

    • Total Questions: 50 multiple choice, 2 short-answer, 1 composition

  • Assessed Curriculum: Click on the link for this document. It outlines the TEKS that will be assessed on the English III EOC. Note: Readiness Standards are those that are critical for success in the current grade, support college and career readiness, require in-depth instruction, and address important content and concepts. Supporting Standards are those that are introduced in the current grade but emphasized in later grades, reinforced in the current grade but emphasized in a prior grade, prepare students for future grades, or address more narrowly defined content.

  • Rubrics:

    • Analytical Writing Rubric

    • Short-Answer Single Selection Rubric

    • Short-Answer Connecting Selections Rubric

  • Scoring Guides:

    • April 2013 Single Selection Scoring Guide (to use as a guide for what constitutes a 1, 2, or 3 on the short-answer single selection question)

    • April 2013 Connecting Selections Scoring Guide (to use as a guide for what constitutes a 1, 2, or 3 on the short-answer connecting selections question)

  • Released Test Questions: These are sample questions and example texts that will provide you with an idea of the types of question stems and level of texts that students will see on the English III EOC.

I want to reinforce my belief that if you are preparing your students for the AP Language & Comp exam (which all of you are!), then they will have adequate preparation for the English III EOC. For your whole-class instruction, I encourage you to continue with the AP Language curriculum and assessments. A few days prior to the English III EOC, it would be a good idea to discuss the exam content with students and show some of the sample questions. However, you do not need to alter your whole-class instruction to reflect the content of the English III EOC.

Additionally, we are exploring the option of moving the AP Language & Comp exam to later in May (as it currently stands, students will take the AP exam on May 11th). I will communicate with you as soon as I receive information around the administration date change for the AP exam.

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.

Course Specific

6th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: Students will continue reading Holes, analyzing character development and exploring how character development contributes to plot. Teachers can embed character analysis and plot analysis questioning into this week’s activities, as discussed and practiced during Course Collaboration and last week’s webinar. Remember to use the Question Stems resource, located on the Hub, for CFUs, Exit Tickets, and scaffolded questioning techniques. Students will also begin writing in Double-Entry Journals this week, reflecting on the reading and making text connections. The Double-Entry Journal should be part of the reading expectations throughout this unit, as it encourages deep reflection and helps students’ investment in the novel study.

Do-Nows: In Quarter 3, teachers will choose the focus TEKS for the Do-Nows that meet the needs of individual classrooms. Teachers should continue to use the template for the Do-Nows, located on the Hub in the Quarter 3 folder. The curriculum Unit Map outlines which TEKS teachers should focus on each week, and teachers should use this list to choose from as they decide which skills to reteach during the Do-Nows. This week’s focus should include one of the following TEKS: (EDITING): 6.20A (capitalization); 6.20B (punctuation); 6.19A (verb tenses and subject/verb agreement); 6.14D (homophones, pronoun usage); 6.21A (commonly confused words)

Assessments: The next Bi-Weekly Assessment will be Friday, January 29th.

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

7th Grade ELA


SpringBoard: Students continue Unit 3 this week, which includes the novel Tangerine. The main areas of focus this week are around character development and elementes of plot, including flashbacks and foreshadowing. During Activity 3.8, students will practice expository writing, as they craft a memo based on the events in the novel. Students should write with voice that reflects the formality of a memo, and organize the memo using their expository writing skills. Students will also view a film in Activity 3.10 in order to analyze character development, and all clips from The Sandlot have been uploaded to the Hub.

Do-Nows: In Quarter 3, teachers will choose the focus TEKS for the Do-Nows that meet the needs of individual classrooms, based on IA2 data. The curriculum Unit Map outlines which TEKS teachers should focus on each week, and teachers should use this list to choose from as they decide which skills to reteach during the Do-Nows. This week’s focus should include one of the following TEKS: (EDITING): 7.20A (capitalization); 7.20B (punctuation); 7.19A (verb tenses and subject/verb agreement); 7.14D (homophones, pronoun usage); 7.21A (commonly confused words). During Course Collaboration, teachers created Do-Nows for Quarter 3, and all of them have been uploaded to the Hub. Teachers will need to go to ELAà7th gradeàQuarter 3àDo-Nows to download the power point for the skill they plan to teach, and adjust the Do-Nows (if needed). This sharing opportunity means that we now have a whole Quarter worth of Do-Nows after just a few hours of work from all of the 7th grade teachers! What awesome collaboration!

Assessments: Students will take BWA 7 (Reading) on Friday, January 22nd. : BWA 7: Reading is a personal narrative and poem paired passage. The poem is the same poem students read on IA 1 (“Needed”). However, the questions assess student understanding of character development, plot, and sensory imagery, which have been the focus of analysis up to this point in the novel. There are no questions around the structure of the poem. All of the questions about the poem are connections to the personal narrative text.

Archived Webinars:

8th Grade ELA

SpringBoard: 1) SpringBoard Activity 5.7 and 2) SpringBoard Activity 5.10 are this week's critical lessons.

  • 1) SB Activity 5.7 challenges students to compare a comic strip to a political cartoon through a Venn Diagram and reflect activity. This activity provides students with the compare/contrast skill that is critical to the STAAR ELA 8 exam.
  • Additional Suggestion: Use the STAAR Question Stem Resource to identify stems from the Cross Connection questions. The exam will challenge students to compare two selections and/or two graphics. This activity directly supports this skill and provides students with multiple "at bats" to demonstrate mastery.
  • Note: You as the teacher create the questions that students will respond to. If your questions do not align to the language and rigor of the exam, then you are not truly preparing them for their STAAR exam. Take the time to ensure all questions asked use the same language and rigor as the STAAR Question Stem Resource.
  • SpringBoard Activity 5.10 challenges students to view a media clip and determine details and interpretations from the clip. This skill is critical as students will take the same steps when viewing a written work and creating an interpretation.
  • Additional Suggestion: The STAAR exam places emphasis on the visuals and graphics purposefully placed on the exam. Use the STAAR Question Stem Resource and/or review additional STAAR questions from IA2 and IA3 to hold students accountable to the expectations of media/visual interpretations.
  • Note: Hold high expectations for student written/verbal responses. This is key to ensuring they are building the skill of speaking in preparation for AP/IB. If you do not hold them accountable, then who will? #noexcuses


Grammar Focus/Do Now: This week's GF/DN focuses on homophones (8.14D). When preparing for the GF/DN, think of this process as an entire lesson cycle.

  • Note: The GF/DN should take no more than 10 minutes.
  • 2 minute: Assign Yourself/Take-Out Materials/Attendance
  • 2 minute: Teacher direct teach
  • 2 minute: Teacher model
  • 2 minute: Student practice (ensure students share responses with a partner before whole group)
  • 2 minute: Student create/explain (ensure students share responses with a partner before whole group)


Additional STAAR Resources: Two additional resources have been provided to ensure success on IA3 and STAAR. They include the following: 1) STAAR Question Stem Resource and 2) IA2 Data Reflection. Both of these documents provide information to help with planning and execution. Refer to these documents frequently to ensure effective action is taken each day during insruction.


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

English I Pre-AP

Newest Members of the ELA 9 Team: Please help me welcome the newest members to the ELA 9 Team and Family:

  • Ms. Maria Rios, IDEA College Preparatory Weslaco
  • Mr. Francisco Rodriguez, IDEA College Preparatory San Juan
  • We are so excited to have you join our team and know that each of use are here to support you as you begin your journey with IDEA Public Schools!


SpringBoard: 1) SpringBoard Activity 4.8 and 2) SpringBoard Activity 4.9 are this week's critical lessons.

  • 1) SB Activity 4.8 challenges students view film interpretations of a scene and compare how different author's conveyed their interpretation of a specific scene. This activity infuses media evaluation, interpretation, compare/contrast, and theatrical elements into one cohesive lesson.
  • Additional Suggestion: Insert multiple think-ink, pair, shares to ensure students have the opportunity to both write and share their notes. Not allowing them to discuss is skipping that critical step of understanding.
  • Note: Time is critical in this lesson. Ensure you have planned ahead and hold yourself accountable to the time stamps you have set. For additional suggestions regarding TE Steps, please refer to the Unit Road Map found on The Hub.
  • SB Activity 4.9 challenges students create a written interpretation. TE Step 2 and 4 are the most critical for this specific activity. Review the lesson beforehand and adjust steps as needed to ensure students have the maximum amount of time completing the "at bat."
  • Additional Suggestion: This is a strong opportunity to teach students the soft skill of creating a formal business letter. This same format will be done in the real world when students complete a cover letter for a job and/or scholarship. Please refer to the Business Letter Format tab in the Instructional Toolbox for specific support and examples for this activity. You can also refer to the SpringBoard Resources tab under Quarter 3 for a detailed resource on SB Activity 4.9.


Grammar Focus/Do Now: This week's GF/DN focuses on homophones (9.13C). When preparing for the GF/DN, think of this process as an entire lesson cycle.

  • Note: The GF/DN should take no more than 10 minutes.
  • 2 minute: Assign Yourself/Take-Out Materials/Attendance
  • 2 minute: Teacher direct teach
  • 2 minute: Teacher model
  • 2 minute: Student practice (ensure students share responses with a partner before whole group)
  • 2 minute: Student create/explain (ensure students share responses with a partner before whole group)


Additional STAAR Resources: Two additional resources have been provided to ensure success on IA3 and STAAR. They include the following: 1) STAAR Question Stem Resource and 2) IA2 Data Reflection. Both of these documents provide information to help with planning and execution. Refer to these documents frequently to ensure effective action


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

English II Pre-AP

Newest Members of the ELA 10 Team: Please help me welcome the newest members to the ELA 10 Team and Family:

  • Ms. Nathalie Farias, IDEA College Preparatory Pharr
  • We are so excited to have you join our team and know that each of use are here to support you as you begin your journey with IDEA Public Schools!


SpringBoard: 1) SpringBoard Activity 4.4 and 2) SpringBoard Activity 4.5 are this week's critical lessons

  • 1) SB Activity 4.4 and 4.5 are broken up over two-days. Please refer to the Instructional Notes column on the Unit Road Map for a detailed breakdown and description of what TE Steps to complete on each specific day. The content and activities within this lesson allow for rich discussion and multiple opportunities to write, reflect, and share their responses before moving to whole group discussion.
  • Additional Suggestions: Annotations and questions are also key for this activity. Set clear expectations for annotating and use the STAAR Question Stem Resource to build in IA/STAAR questions that mirror the language and rigor of the assessment.
  • Note: As the teacher, it is your responsibility to ensure the questions you are presenting to students mirror the language and rigor of the assessment. Simply asking students questions that do not mirror the exam is not truly preparing them for the standard of the assessment. Use the resources provided to ensure true preparation is taking place as you conduct the lesson. #noexcuses


Grammar Focus/Do Now: This week's GF/DN focuses on homophones (10.13C). When preparing for the GF/DN, think of this process as an entire lesson cycle.

  • Note: The GF/DN should take no more than 10 minutes.
  • 2 minute: Assign Yourself/Take-Out Materials/Attendance
  • 2 minute: Teacher direct teach
  • 2 minute: Teacher model
  • 2 minute: Student practice (ensure students share responses with a partner before whole group)
  • 2 minute: Student create/explain (ensure students share responses with a partner before whole group)


Additional STAAR Resources: Two additional resources have been provided to ensure success on IA3 and STAAR. They include the following: 1) STAAR Question Stem Resource and 2) IA2 Data Reflection. Both of these documents provide information to help with planning and execution. Refer to these documents frequently to ensure effective action is taken each day during insruction.


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

AP Language


Content: Teachers will have time to go over BWA 7 results with students on Tuesday, which should include discussion around trends and student progress tracking for the Multiple Choice questions. The rest of the week will focus on deconstructing the Rhetorical Analysis essay. A series of lessons have been provided by NMSI that focus on prompt analysis and a close reading of the text. All NMSI lessons have been posted on the Hub. Also, teachers need to make sure they have all of the information around the Mock Exam that will take place within the February 8-10 window. An email was sent out last week, as well as all information posted on the Hub: ELAàMock Exam InformationàAP Language & Composition.

Assessments: Mock Exam window is February 8-10. The mock grading will be on February 19th. The next BWA will be Friday, January 29th (Rhetorical Analysis Essay).

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

AP Literature

Content: Students will begin reading Othello, exploring the events in the play from various critical perspectives throughout Unit 3. As students read the play, they will think through cultural perspectives and how those perspectives influence interpretations of literature and other cultural expressions (music, art, drama, etc.). Also, teachers need to make sure they have all of the information around the Mock Exam that will take place within the February 8-10 window. An email was sent out last week, as well as all information posted on the Hub: ELAàMock Exam InformationàAP Literature & Composition.

Assessments: Mock Exam window is February 8-10. The mock grading will be on February 19th. The next BWA will be Friday, January 29th (Open-Ended Essay).

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