Texas Public School District Hopes to Grow Better Writers

Texas Public School District Hopes to Grow Better Writers

This district is implementing a station rotation model to affect students' literacy and writing skills.

State: Texas Number of Students: 24,245
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 56.5%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 19.5%

School Context

This medium sized district serves over 23,000 students. The district has a high level of commitment to create intentional, innovative, and responsive learning environments which focuses heavily on the urgency to help their students acquire strategic reading and writing skills. This district has implemented blended learning via the Flipped Learning, Flex, A La Carte, and Enriched Virtual models in limited fashion to change their students ELA outcomes.

State of Technology

Looking at results from their assessments, teachers and administrators have identified a weakness in grammar skills in their students. By restructuring their school model into a blended environment, they hope to be able to teach, assess, track, and reteach essential grammar skills to help students score better on highstakes assessments and become stronger writers.

Currently, teachers have autonomy when it comes to teaching grammar. They do not have a common approach to grammar which has led to inconsistent student experiences and a disconnect for vertical teaming (progression of skills from middle to high school). Teachers use a variety of methods to teach grammar including editing papers, worksheets, and lecture.

Tech Needs & Requirements

Teachers and administrators believe that grammar instruction works best when it is taught in context of reading and writing, but they also see a need for students to practice skills to build a strong foundation in order to address incontext grammar analysis and complex writing with a higher degree of success. They are seeking a tool or set of tools to help fill gaps and build grammar skills for their 9th grade classes. They are looking for a tool that satisfies as many of several features.

The students are made up of a low socioeconomic population, many of whom are ELL, LEP, and Special Education students. The district wants a tool that meets students where they are in terms of skills. This could be satisfied through a pretest or if the tool was adaptable that would be a nice to have. They would like a tool that has a lot of skill coverage so that students at various skill levels can build capacity. This means that students, regardless of grade level, can work on skills beyond or below their traditional grade level. They are looking for a tool that will help students become better at the writing sections of state and national tests. They would like a tool that gives students lots of practice. They would like a tool that provides mentor texts and model sentences so that students see good writing.

The district is looking for feedback in the tool to be robust. They want the tool to offer helper text for missed answers or provide scaffolding for students to improve. They would even like it if the tool helped students understand why a student made a mistake.

The tool must be aligned with TEKS standards. The tool should provide progress data on the students so that teachers can take action for intervention.

Students should be able to see where they are and where they are going, but the ability to control path is not necessary.

Teachers will act as data analysts and use the data to inform instruction, intervention, and to grow the more rigorous elements of grammar analysis and writing skills.

The tool must be TEKS aligned, cover a lot of content areas from basics to more advanced grammar concepts, provide feedback for students as they progress through the practice items, provide data on student progress and have adaptive technology (however, the district is willing to not require this if the tool does all of the above). The district provides chromebooks. There are a few for each class, enough for students to have one laptop each during their station rotation. Data should be exportable to CSV. They are looking for progress data through skills primarily. they would also like other data if it is available. Ideally, the tool must integrates with Canvas, Eduphoria, and/or Pulse, their data warehouse.

*Content From 2016

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