IPSI Spotlight

Spotlight on OnTRACK Lessons for Grade 6-12 English Language Arts

The Institute for Public School Initiatives, in conjunction with The Texas Education Agency (TEA), has developed OnTRACK, online learning lessons housed in the TEA Gateway website. English language arts (ELA) lessons for middle and high school students provide support to help them meet the college and career readiness component of the End-of-Course (EOC) assessments. Each lesson aligns with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) as well as the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).

The OnTRACK English lessons are designed for use by a student at his/her own computer or in a classroom setting with other students and a teacher. The lessons are structured allowing a student to work through the lessons independently with little teacher supervision; however, a teacher might choose to use these lessons with an entire class asking for written work or taking test grades where appropriate. A teacher could also use the lessons as a springboard for lesson planning or for professional development. The possibilities for use are myriad. Below, two sample lessons:

Each lesson is designed as a stand-alone lesson, but depending on student or teacher need, students might want to complete all the lessons in a strand. Strands include Reading, Writing, Research, Listening, and Speaking. For example a student might complete only one lesson under the Research strand such as “Documenting Sources and Writing a Bibliography/Works Cited” to help him/her review or learn how to prepare a bibliography or works cited page. Alternatively, a classroom teacher might teach all lessons in the Research strand to support students in the research process beginning with the first step.

Each lesson is organized into sections that offer step-by-step guidance accompanied by interesting images and graphics, interactive activities, quizzes, and where appropriate, writing activities. Each activity provides feedback to students to help further guide their understanding. The lessons are designed with pedagogical research in mind as many of them provide think aloud opportunities to help students understand how the writers/teachers arrived at their own understanding of the material being presented.

OnTRACK lessons are accessible to educators, students, and parents on the Texas Education Agency Gateway website: www.texasgateway.org.

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For additional support on how to use the lessons, contact support@ipsi.utexas.edu.