Elementary ELA Newsletter

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ELAOK: Elementary

September 2019

In this issue:

Keep Up the Momentum!

For most of us, school days in September signal a move into a more established routine.  The frenetic pace of the back-to-school rush is over, and everyone is settling in to the school year.  As you look forward to the days and weeks ahead, you may find that you need some additional resources or strategies to use in your classroom.  This month's newsletter has plenty of options to help with that!  Hopefully you will find several ways to keep up the momentum of learning and engagement with your students.

All the best,


EngageOK Session Links


The links to our EngageOK presentations are now available.  Simply click here and scroll through the alphabetical list to locate the session(s) you need.  If you need the specific titles of my sessions, they are:

  • Exploring the ELA Curriculum Framework
  • Teaching the Three Modes of Writing in the English Language Arts Classroom
  • Writing Development

OSDE Fall Regional Workshops This Month


Save the date!  We have the information for  our OSDE Fall Regional Workshops.  The workshops in Broken Arrow and Oklahoma City are at capacity, but there are still spots available at the locations listed below:.


The Elementary ELA session is entitled:  Decode the Modes: Elementary Writing InstructionAt these workshops we will use the ELA curriculum frameworks as a guide to look more closely at the narrative, informative, and opinion modes of writing.  Different mentor texts will be used to spark creativity and promote inquiry in each mode of writing.  A portion of the day will also be spent examining and deconstructing prompts in each mode of writing.  

Upcoming Events

Oklahoma Book Festival

September 21, 2019

oklahoma book festival

The 2nd Oklahoma Book Festival will take place at the Boathouse District in Oklahoma City on September 21, 2019!

This FREE event welcomes book-lovers young and old for a day of educational adventure.

–Meet more than 90 of America’s finest literary talent
–Listen to panel discussions and presentations
–Buy a book and get it signed by the author
–Bring the kids for children’s storytime and craft activities
–Experience live entertainment
–Enjoy the food trucks
–Browse the vendor booths and merchandise
–Discover new books, writers and illustrators

Quartz Mountain Fall Arts Institute

October 3-6 or 10-13


Journey to Quartz Mountain this fall for an all-inclusive, four-day workshop retreat at the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute. Taught by nationally renowned artists, workshops are offered for all skill levels and are held at the beautiful Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center in the Wichita Mountains of southwest Oklahoma. This year’s workshops include painting, drawing, writing, photography, printmaking, music, and more.

Unlike other workshops, all meals and lodging are included in tuition.  Click here for more information about enrollment and workshop rates for Oklahoma K-12 educators.

OCTE Fall Conference

October 5

This year, in union with NCTE's theme of Spirited Inquiry, we gather to celebrate teacher and student voices from across Oklahoma. We are extremely pleased to welcome Antero Garcia as this year's special keynote guest.  If you are interested in attending, you will find more information here.

octe fall conference

Foldables Workshop

October 12, 2019


The OSU Writing Project is hosting a fall foldables workshop for teachers focusing on reading, math, writing, and cross-curricular, including EL students. It will take place on October 12 from 9am to 4:30PM at North Hall at OSU Tulsa.  Go to osuwritingproject.okstate.edu for more information.

Monthly Features

Writing Prompt of the Month

scholastic story starters

Scholastic has developed a digital resource to help spark creativity in writing.  The Scholastic Story Starters allow students to choose a theme and grade level and then the story starter "machine" generates writing prompt ideas.  If a student wants new options, it's as easy as clicking a button.  Printed versions of this kind of writing prompt have been around for a while; I like that this gives students an opportunity to create something online.  When I went through the site, my prompt was, "Write a journal entry about/a whistling/ librarian /who blasts tunnels underground." Each section (separated by the forward slashes) provided a mode of writing, a description of the main character, the main character, and an action.  Moving forward through the generator, I also had options for how to format my story, as well as including a drawing.  

This is a wonderful resource for encouraging independent writing.  It gives students choices in what the prompt will be, and it's yet another way that they are creating digital responses.   

Reading Quote of the Month

readers are lucky