Saturday, April 17, 2021

Books, Books, and More Books!

If you have a student in a Carroll classroom from kindergarten through grade twelve, this young person has received the benefit of one of the new language arts textbooks provided by the state of Texas during the past year.

As part of Proclamation 2010, the state legislature allocated funding for materials and textbooks to support the newly revised state language arts curriculum, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). This state LA curriculum was revised in all grades and was mandated for instruction beginning in the fall of 2009.  Carroll school teachers worked to revise the district’s curriculum during the last school year (in accordance with the new state objectives) and are teaching this year with both new textbook materials and new scope/sequence documents.

Members of Carroll Independent School District’s Teaching and Learning Services Department coordinated the textbook adoption process during the 2009-10 school year. Lisa Young (formerly serving as the K-6 LA Coordinator) and Darrell Brown (formerly serving as the 7-12 LA Coordinator) led the Textbook Adoption Committee as they carefully reviewed the materials, attended presentations by publishers, and collaborated to select the option that they thought would best meet the needs of CISD students.

Ultimately, the committee selected the Journeys program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (grades K-5)  and the Literature program by Holt McDougal (grades 6-12).  The Board of Trustees accepted the committee’s recommendation in April of 2010 and the materials arrived in schools just days before students returned in August.  It is important to note that because this textbook adoption process was part of a state textbook proclamation, no local district funds had to be utilized to purchase the textbooks.

School officials say while the numerous changes can be challenging for teachers of language arts, the wealth of new materials provided by the state as part of this process has been viewed as overwhelmingly positive.  The resources include many leveled readers (in grades K-5), teacher guides, student resources and activities, and greatly expanded online access to both instructional activities and teacher management options.  The main challenge for teachers now that the materials have arrived is filtering through them to determine which ones to use at what points with the students.

And the fun continues… As a result of the fact that the LA TEKS encompass such a wide variety of objectives that include reading, writing, oral and written conventions, research, and listening and speaking, the state has authorized a second language arts textbook adoption to address objectives which were not addressed by the materials in Proclamation 2010. The process for selecting materials that are part of Proclamation 2011 began in December 2010.

Suzanne Newell, currently serving as the K-12 English Language Arts Coordinator in the Teaching and Learning Services Department, is leading this year’s efforts as the committee will select handwriting textbooks (grades 1-3), language arts textbooks (grades 2-5), English/grammar books (grades 6-12), pre-kindergarten materials, and English as a Second Language resources.