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A Message from Gretchen
Dear Friends,

All I want for Christmas is to know how to use Kahoot. 
No, what I really want is to be smooth at setting up a digital journal.  
No, what I’d like most of all is a few sample released STAAR constructed response and “extended constructed response” questions.  

That’s what I really want.

But honestly, my holiday wishes for everyone, in every nook and cranny of this nation, are that we all celebrate the new year with healthy bodies, a light step and warmth in our hearts.  

Happy holidays to you and yours.


Houston Workshop

After sold out workshops this past fall, we're coming back by popular demand ...

Writing about Reading for the New STAAR
This one-day session will provide strategies for to solid, flexible, effective instruction for novice and experienced teachers alike, from grades 3-12

Monday, January 17, 2022 | 8:30-2:30

Click here for details and tickets.

Connected Genres Update

The fabulous Jennifer Martin has updated her chart of connected genres that have been tested on STAAR from 2013 to 2021.

You can find it along with other great reading resources on the Trail of Breadcrumbs website!

Journals: Start by Drawing

Here's an idea for an occasional change in the journal routine, for fun!

Digital Journals

Angelle Mundia has a brilliant method of creating digital journals for her students to use all year long! She's sharing her template with us and a video that explains how to update page by page after sharing with students.

Digital Journal Template
(view only - make a copy)

Video tutorial for setting it up

Deeper Reading Organizer

This awesome Deeper Reading Organizer for Fiction was created by Sarah Bradley from Victoria ISD.

Get your copy here on the Trail of Breadcrumbs website!

QA12345 for Constructed Response Practice

Tracye Thomas paired the QA12345 strategy with some reading questions from a released tests to help students prepare for the constructed response.

We think it looks so helpful!

Ba-da-bing Beauty

This ba-da-bing was created Anastasiia Berezovska, a student of Tyler Newlin at Seguin High School.

Isn't it beautiful?

Dead Giveaways Kahoots

Jessica Doan from Harlingen CISD created these engaging Kahoots activities to help students practice recognizing the Dead Giveaways on the revision test.

Dead Giveaways
Dead Giveaways 2

She uses them as a "do now" or "exit ticket" and her students are now spotting the Dead Giveaways in their own writing. She is thrilled to see their buy-in and interaction and hopes you get the same great results!

Share Your Successes!

We would love to feature your work and the work of your students in our next newsletter! Please send your success stories to us at
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