Elementary ELA August Newsletter

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ELAOK: Elementary

August 2022

In this issue:

Meet Sharon Morgan, Director of Elementary ELA

Sharon Morgan, Director of Elementary ELA

Hello!  I am Sharon Morgan, the new Director of Elementary English Language Arts at the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE).  I am excited to be working with you in this capacity. My vision for this position is to provide educators with the resources and knowledge needed to be effective and confident teachers of literacy. 

This year marks my 25th year in education. I began my education journey as an elementary classroom teacher for 18 years and then served as the Director of Early Childhood at OSDE overseeing educational policy and instruction for children ages 0-8. I then became the Literacy Specialist for the OK Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant supporting grantees across the state in district wide literacy improvement before moving into the role of Elementary ELA Coordinator for Oklahoma City Public Schools overseeing literacy curriculum and assessment for elementary schools. Prior to working at OSDE, I was named District Teacher of the Year for Piedmont Public Schools and 2016 Finalist for OK Teacher of the Year. Other literacy related work includes being on the writing team for the 2021 Oklahoma Academic Standards for ELA, leading the Early Childhood team in revising the OK ELA Curriculum Frameworks, completing LETRS training, and helping develop the Oklahoma Comprehensive Literacy Plan

My husband, Jeff, and I have two adult daughters. Kristen works as an Events and Programs Manager for a Chamber of Commerce. Her husband, Brendan, is a P.E. teacher and basketball coach. Ally is starting her 3rd year in college majoring in early childhood education.  

I am excited to be supporting Oklahoma school districts in literacy instruction. My contact information is located at the bottom of this newsletter. Please reach out if there is anything I can do to assist you.

Back to School Resources

It is that time of year again where teachers are decorating their classrooms, organizing school supplies, and preparing learning materials as students get ready to return to school. Hopefully you had a chance to recharge over the summer and possibly take time to plan and collaborate for the upcoming school year. Below are a few helpful resources as you begin the school year.

Remember that the English Language Arts webpages have a number of resources to support you in using the 2021 Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts . Below are links to specific ELA webpages.

  • ELA Home Page includes links to the 2016 and 2021 Oklahoma Academic Standards for ELA, OSTP testing updates, and resources for high-quality instructional materials. 
  • Standards page provides links to the 2021 Oklahoma Academic Standards for ELA, the Curriculum Framework, crosswalks between the 2016 and 2021 ELA standards, vertical progressions, the appendix, and training videos.
  •  Resources page includes links to past professional development slideshows about various topics, past newsletters, state and national organizations, and research briefs.
  • Writing contests page includes links to state, national, and international contests. 

Do you feel like you need more information on how to teach reading and writing?  Check out these resources below. 

Please feel free to reach out to me at Sharon.Morgan@sde.ok.gov if you need any support or guidance about the ELA standards or literacy instruction in your classroom. 

Oklahoma Reading Academies Cohort 3

Now Open: Registration for Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies Cohort 3

Registration for Cohort 3 of the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies is open to educators interested in learning how to effectively teach students to read.

The Science of Reading Academies will provide sustained and job-embedded professional learning to elementary educators through the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, or LETRS, learning modules. Participants will engage in both asynchronous learning through eight online modules and eight facilitated learning sessions throughout the two-year course.

LETRS is not a curriculum for students, but professional development for teachers designed to help them become better consumers of curriculum resources already available to them. All costs for the Science of Reading Academies are covered by OSDE. Districts may choose to use Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) funds to provide stipends to participating educators.

Cohort 3 of the Science of Reading Academies will occur between August 2022 and May 2024.

For more information about the Science of Reading Academies and to register, see links below:

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Megan Ashbaugh at megan.ashbaugh@sde.ok.gov

English Language Arts Curriculum Framework Project

In 2020, Oklahoma educators revised the Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts (OAS-ELA) to increase clarity, coherence, and purpose.  These standards were formally approved in 2021.

The English Language Arts Curriculum Framework will be updated to reflect the 2021 OAS-ELA revisions as well as the 78 objectives that were added in 2021. This expansion of the Framework would help support the Oklahoma Edge Strategic Plan by ensuring “each student in Oklahoma has equitable access to high-quality public education that inspires deep learning and leads to success.”

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is seeking English language arts educators to participate in the Oklahoma ELA Curriculum Framework project, which includes revising and updating the current ELA Framework.

This phase of the project includes the following goals:

  • revising and updating the student proficiency level pages
  • creating universal design for learning pages
  • creating writing feedback strategy pages

Three writers per grade band will be led by team leaders during this phase. Those grade bands are Pre-K- 2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The 16 members of the writing team will be expected to attend at least six meetings from October 2022-April 2023.  The tentative meeting dates are as follows:

  • Saturday, October 22, the Oklahoma State Department of Education in Oklahoma City, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 15, on Zoom, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 13, on Zoom, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 24, on Zoom, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 21, on Zoom, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 21, on Zoom, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 18, on Zoom, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

While most work will be completed individually, other Zoom meetings may be required as the need arises.


All Oklahoma educators interested in participating in the ELA Curriculum Framework project must complete the application no later than Monday, September 19 at 11:59 p.m.  Selections will be announced no later than September 30, 2022.

Application Link

State Testing Updates & Resources

The Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) in grades 3-8 addresses the followingstandards:

  • Reading and Writing Process
  • Critical Reading and Writing
  • Vocabulary
  • Language
  • Research

The specific breakdown of the standards can be found on the current test blueprint.

The 2023 OSTP for English Language Arts will be aligned to the 2016 OklahomaAcademic Standards, but it will have field test items aligned to the 2021 standards.Therefore, the 2022-2023 school year is an opportunity for schools to implement the2021 standards, which are clearer and more detailed than the 2016 standards.Teachers who use the 2021 standards to guide their curriculum and instruction willcover most of the skills from the 2016 standards.

Since revisions did take place and some objectives were deleted or moved, there aresome skills from the 2016 standards that teachers can use to supplement the 2021standards. Those skills are linked in the charts in this document and are also linked to their 2016 objective analysis pages from the ELA Curriculum Framework.

The 2021 standards will begin to be assessed in Spring 2024.

Engage Recap & Resources

OSDE C & I Team


This summer I had the opportunity to join the OSDE team during the second week of EngageOK on the Road to speak with educators in Jenks, McAlester, and Durant.  Descriptions and links to the presentations are below.

Jenks, Oklahoma


Depth of Knowledge  & Differentiation in the Elementary ELA Classroom

This session examined the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels and uncovered how objectives in the 2021 Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts can serve as a starting point for providing differentiation and increasing rigor in the elementary ELA classroom. 

The Science of Reading in the Intermediate Grades 

This session described how to apply the Science of Reading methodology to grade-level content in the intermediate classroom, focusing primarily on word work and fluency. 

Using the Six Traits of Writing in the Elementary Classroom Part 1 and 2 

This session focused on the writing traits of Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Voice, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions and activities to go with each trait.

OK State Regents 15th Annual Reading Conference


Beyond Labels & Agendas:

Practices that make a difference for readers. 

Join the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education's Annual Reading Conference in person or virtually.  Dr. Heidi Anne Mesmer will be speaking on the latest about multiple facets of literacy education. 

Register for the conference at this link

Higher Regents Reading Conference

Digging Into Research

In future newsletters, I will use the section to connect research on various literacy topics with the Oklahoma Academic Standards and classroom instruction. Literacy topics may include foundational skills, vocabulary, syntax, etc. 

If you have a literacy topic that would be beneficial to explore, then please email me at Sharon.Morgan@sde.ok.gov.