| By Christine Schneider |
Several months ago, just after I started in this position as a K-12 e Resources Specialist for Gale, I was exploring areas of the United States where Gale could provide customers solutions for their needs. Texas caught my eye. Back in 2017, the state adopted new TEKS ELA-R standards for grades K-8, with an implementation date of the 2019-2020 school year.
My first question was, “What changed and how will this impact the K-12 community?” The answers were exciting and eye-opening; it was very clear that curated content would be beneficial to educators and curriculum directors. Hence, my journey began.
For about a month, I researched the new versus the old standards. I really wanted to understand the direction the writers of the standards intended. My big take-aways were that they focused on student choice in text selection with independent reading time, digital resources, response to reading such as annotating and note taking, and a general back and forth link between reading and writing.
My teacher brain was filled with so many ideas and excitement, because I knew one solution to help make implementation of the new standards would be a curated standards-aligned eBook collection on Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).
The end product is an extensive collection of approximately 300 eBooks, and a very detailed alignment of specific grade level standard(s) aligned to titles:
The main basis for alignment included what was new, or had a change in verbiage, such as adding in the words “digital” or “student-selected.”
During my research process, I came across the name of Dr. Carol Revelle as one of the committee members that rewrote the standards. She is currently an Ad Interim Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University Commerce. I reached out and asked if we could have a conversation about the new TEKS, and possibly review my work. She graciously spent about an hour with me this week and verified that I was spot-on with my interpretations of the new TEKS.
Specifically, Dr. Revelle stated:
“These curated libraries are exactly the types of texts that teachers need to fully implement the new TEKS. It makes my heart glad to see that you read the TEKS and interpreted it this way. That’s complete validation.”
I asked her what a big take-away should be for Texas educators related to implementing the new TEKS and she replied that, “there needs to be a major emphasis that reading and writing should have a reciprocal relationship.”
We also discussed the fact that there is textbook money available this year that can be used toward this type of collection, and that money won’t be available next year. It was very apparent in our conversation that Dr. Revelle is a passionate, knowledgeable expert in her field. Her vision is truly inspiring. Her plans for the future include providing professional develop to teachers and districts that will introduce the new TEKS, launch reading and writing workshop procedures and routines, and use curated libraries as mentor texts.
Schedule a booth appointment this week at TCEA (#744) or reach out to your Gale K12 Consultant by phone or email if you’d like a demo or more information about the special TEKS ELA-R 2019 eBook collection for grades K – 8.