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A Message from Gretchen
Dear Friends,
The weather just may be getting cooler!  

We’re still waiting for TEA to release examples of high-scoring essays, but while we wait, we can use what we know. These practices will show results on STAAR, every time:
1. Daily habits of real writing and real reading 
2. Lots of student choice in their work (even if there’s not much choice on the test)
3. Varieties of student writing plastering our walls, doors, hallways (not purchased posters)
4. Grammar instruction embedded into their own writing
5. Laughter.  Taking the time to notice what’s funny, and enjoying it with students.
6. Kindness. (Students don’t learn if they’re shut down from embarrassment, fear, or anger.)
7. Modeling learning

We hope to see you at one of the workshops this fall!

Grammar & Writing for the New STAAR

Coming to a Texas town near you!

Grammar and Writing for the New STAAR
October and November, 2022
McAllen, Hurst, Midland, New Braunfels, Houston

This workshop will deliver concrete strategies to get your students writing in response to reading, with special emphasis on short-answer questions expected on the new STAAR. This two-day session will weave between grammar, writing and reading across the curriculum, using materials Gretchen has authored and adapted from STAAR released tests and live student STAAR essays.

Click here for more details and to register!

Coming Soon, Help for STAAR 2.0

State tests are assessing reading and writing together—Are you ready?

Help is on the way!

Text Structures and Fables: Teaching Students to Write About What They Read will be available November 8, 2022.

Learn more and pre-order yours here!

Upcoming EcoRise Events for Educators

San Antonio-area teachers: Want to take reading and writing outside? One of our favorite ELAR people is now a part of this organization, based in Austin. It’s a rare opportunity and we want to make sure you know about it!

We at EcoRise hope your school year is off to a wonderful start! We hope you’ll join us for upcoming EcoRise events and learn more about engaging the next generation of green leaders! Please consider joining us:

New to EcoRise? Join us for a Teaching Sustainability Educator Happy Hour and learn more!
Friday, October 7th, 5:00-7:30pm CT at
the Hoppy Monk in San Antonio!
Registration and Info: Register on Eventbrite (spots are limited!)
EcoRise will also have a table at the amazing 7th Annual Pollinator Festival the following day, Saturday, October 8th, from 10:00-2:00pm at Brackenridge Park.
Click here to learn more.
And finally, calling all educators in San Antonio to join EcoRise and an abundance of local partners on Friday, October 21st, 2022, at Region 20 from 8:00-4:00pm (lunch will be provided) for some incredible professional learning opportunities.
Click here to register!

"Write Out" with the National Writing Project and National Parks Service

Write Out 2022, sponsored by the National Writing Project and the National Park Service, will be STEAM-Powered!

This year’s event will run October 9-23 and will encourage the use of notebooks and journals to capture inspirations, observations, and annotations just like STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) professionals do!

See the Write Out at-a-glance graphic for an overview.

Sign up here to receive resources you can use to participate.

A Beauty So Rare - poem by Angelica Martinez

Brownsville teacher Angelica Martinez wrote this poem after we read Sheila Black’s poem, Possums (in Text Structures from Poetry).

A few days later, she emailed, “I’ve worked in a poetry teatime on Friday in our summer school class, and students will be sharing their quirky poems. So many enjoyed coming up with their quirky poem as they were about a sibling!”

Share Your Successes!

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

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