December 2022 Elementary ELA Newsletter

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ELAOK: Elementary

December 2022

Thank you!

As we near the end of 2022, I want to thank you for all you do for your students.  You make a difference every single day. We appreciate you!  

This month's newsletter includes an inspirational message from Ms. Marcy Boudreaux-Johnson, Reading Specialist and 2023 OK Teacher of the Year Finalist, as well as various opportunities to support your work.

Have a wonderful holiday season! I am looking forward to diving into more literacy topics with you  in 2023!

Sharon Morgan, OSDE Director of Elementary English Language Arts 

Meet Marcy Boudreaux-Johnson from Deer Creek Public Schools

Marcy Boudreaux-Johnson is a 2023 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Finalist.  Marcy is a kindergarten through 3rd grade reading intervention teacher at Prairie Vale Elementary  in Deer Creek Public Schools. 

Image 1 of Marcy

How many years have you taught?

22 1/2 years. The first 19 years were in Louisiana and the last 3 ½ were in Deer Creek at Prairie Vale Elementary School.

What is your favorite children's book and why?

It is so hard to narrow it down to one! Amelia Bedelia was probably one my favorites in early elementary because you never know what she was up to next! She took everything literally which often got her into a heap of mischief!

I fell in love with biographies by third grade. I remember reading the Helen Keller and Clara Barton biographies early on. To this day, I am still fascinated by memoirs and books that share the life experiences of various figures both past and present.

What is your favorite literacy lesson or instructional strategy?

Often when students come to my intervention group they are discouraged and lack confidence because of the struggles they are experiencing in reading. I work very hard to establish a rapport with students so they are not afraid to take risks while learning new, sometimes difficult, skills. I implement intensive, direct, explicit literacy instruction to those students in my group. It is hard to pick just one strategy as my favorite! Using small mirrors when teaching young students new sounds probably is one of my favorite strategies. I love watching their faces when they make the connection between the sound of the letter and “what they see in the mirror.”

Image of Marcy 2

What advice or message do you have for elementary teachers about literacy instruction?

· Find colleagues who support you and will partner with you to continue learning about literacy and the science of reading.

· Be a lifelong learner. I highly recommend signing up for the LETRS cohort if you have not already done so! The deadline to sign up for Cohort 4 is Dec. 16 at noon with the course starting in late January 2023. You can register here. 

· Join “The Science of Reading-What I should have learned in College” Facebook group to gain current ideas and research related to literacy instruction. Find a podcast that supports the importance of a strong literacy foundation.

· Most importantly- set boundaries AND stick to them. Your family, friends, and fur babies deserve time with you!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

We have taught through and continue to deal with academic and social impacts of a pandemic. Give yourself grace!

Oklahoma Reading Academies - Cohort 4

The OSDE is investing in YOU and OUR kids!  We are providing a unique opportunity where educators invest two years in research-based Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) training on the science of reading starting this month through December 2024. 

The training focuses on the science of reading, which uses evidence-based research on how students learn to read, why they struggle and how to make individualized interventions. The academies will result in educators more effectively teaching students to read.

Registration for Cohort 4 of the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies is available now until 12:00 pm December 16. After registering, please then attend a mandatory informational webinar.  Learn more on the Science of Reading Academies web page. 

Participants of this training have reported:

“I did not have any training as intense and important as this training.”

“We all need to hit pause on all of the other million things we are doing and do this. It is worth it.” 

“Our students deserve better. Our colleagues deserve better. I am advocating for more teachers to join the cohorts.”

We hope your school year is off to a great start!  We are cheering you on and stand ready to support.

For questions, please contact Megan Ashbaugh at

Elementary Ed Chat

The OSDE elementary curriculum directors hosted Elementary Ed Chats in October and December.  These chats are focused on issues that face elementary educators who may teach various subject areas.  See information from the previous chats below and look for information about the next OSDE Elementary Ed Chat coming soon. If you would like to provide input about the topics, complete this survey

October 2022 - Meet the OSDE Elementary Team

See the recording and presentation slides to learn more about the OSDE elementary content directors and their favorite classroom strategies.   

December 2023 - Tackling Challenging Behaviors: Starting Fresh in the New Year

See the presentation slides and session notes to learn more about strategies to manage difficult behavior. The recording will be coming soon! 

OSDE Elementary Team

Imagine Literacy and Language

Imagine Literacy and Language Supplemental Online Learning Platform 

Free for Students in Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third grades and students who are reading below grade level in grades 4-6.

Imagine Language & Literacy is a supplemental, adaptive online curriculum that provides targeted instruction in all four domains of literacy — reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Its flexibility makes it suited for various instructional settings including whole-class, small-group, and one-on-one. Imagine Language & Literacy can be utilized both in school and at home to reinforce and support students in meeting grade-level proficiencies aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts.

Virtual Training in Foundational Literacy

From the Start Reading Project

The OSDE is pleased to offer the From the Start Reading Project, a set of 9 professional development courses on evidence-based foundational literacy in the OSDE Connect virtual learning platform.  These dynamic modules provide professional learning on the components of strong early literacy instruction with a focus on practical classroom application, and cover the following topics:

  • The Early Elementary Literacy Block
  • Oral Language
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Foundational Writing
  • Vocabulary
  • Language Structures
  • The Writing Process
  • Comprehension

Through these courses, educators will learn highly-effective strategies based in the Science of Reading.  Each module is 1-2 hours in length, can be accessed individually or as a complete set, and is available for educators to explore independently for personal growth or with a team of colleagues.  Upon completion of each module, teachers will have access to download a Professional Development certificate.

This training is ongoing and available through OSDE Connect -  Enroll in Module 1 here.

For questions or more information, reach out to Christina Hicks at