Well, I know you’ve been waiting your whole life for a post on your favorite topic: the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Look no further. Here it is, folks. Let’s take a gander at some information about the TEKS, and you can also take advantage of downloading some freebies today! We are offering editable spreadsheets with the ELAR (English/Language Arts/Reading) TEKS and coordinating “I Can” statements for grades K-5.
What Are the TEKS?
In short, the TEKS are the curricular standards adopted by the Texas State Board of Education. These standards outline what students should know and be able to do in each content area for each grade level. State-mandated tests are aligned with these standards to measure student achievement and skills acquisition.
Are the TEKS Reviewed?
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) reviews and revises the TEKS periodically, and the full review process can be found on the Texas Education Agency’s website. For subject-area reviews, the board will determine whether or not the standards should be fully revised or streamlined. The SBOE forms work groups composed of various constituents (for example, educators, parents, industry representatives, etc.) nominated by the SBOE. These work groups will make revisions and recommendations to the board. Anyone can apply to be a part of a work group during the review and revision process, and nominations for work group members are made throughout the process. This is because there are multiple work groups that work separately on tasks at different points in the process.
A full revision of the TEKS will lead to either modifying the standards or developing new standards. When the TEKS go through a full revision, instructional materials will usually be aligned to the new standards as called for by the SBOE. During a full revision, the TEKS may go through significant changes or minor modifications based on the determined needs of that particular subject area. According to TEA, the purpose of a full revision is to “ensure the standards are rigorous, reflect current topics and up-to-date research, and address the essential knowledge and skills at the appropriate grade levels.”
When the TEKS are streamlined, the required content within the standards is reduced. Reducing content will consequently reduce the requirements of student mastery during a school year and for state-mandated testing. According to TEA, the purpose of streamlining the TEKS “is to ensure the standards are focused on only the knowledge and skills that are essential in each course/grade level.” The SBOE does not require coordinating instructional materials to be provided for streamlined TEKS since this process focuses on reduction rather than augmentation.
About the ELAR TEKS
In 2017, the SBOE adopted revised K-8 ELAR TEKS, which were implemented in the 2019-2020 school year. Here are the top ten things to know (from the ELAR TEKS introduction):
- There are four domains of language within the ELAR TEKS, which are reading, writing, speaking, and listening. And a big emphasis is placed on the integration and interconnectedness of these four domains.
- There are now seven strands instead of five (as there were in the previous ELAR TEKS): 1) developing and sustaining foundational language, 2) comprehension, 3) response, 4) multiple texts, 5) author’s purpose and craft, 6) composition, and 7) inquiry and research.
- The seven strands are highly focused on oral language proficiency for the development of speaking and understanding, authentic reading, and reflective writing.
- It is clearly stated within the TEKS that each strand is of equal value, although some strands may require more instructional time than others. The strands can be presented in any order but they should be integrated throughout the instructional year.
- The ELAR TEKS take a spiraling, recursive approach to strands. Students will revisit certain standards from previous years in more depth later in order to build complexity, increase critical thinking, and adapt to the changing nature of language and literacy.
- The goal is for students to become “self-directed, critical learners who work collaboratively while continuously using metacognitive skills.”
- There should be daily opportunities for students to read, write, engage in academic discussions, and be read to.
- English Language Learners (ELLs) are expected to meet standards, and their language development affects their ability to demonstrate mastery of skills in English. Therefore, they should be provided scaffolding for text comprehension and linguistic accommodations to help ensure mastery.
- ELLs should also be encouraged to use their first language to help them develop and build English vocabulary. Making connections between a native language and English is important to English language development (affective, cognitive, and academic).
- Within the standards, “such as” is used to illustrate examples, whereas “including” alludes to content that must be mastered.
Helpful TEKS Documents
- TEA TEKS Documents
- K-12 Vertical Alignment TEKS Documents
- lead4ward TEKS Resources
- TEKS Guide by TEA
Freebies from TCEA
Whew! That was a lot. Let’s get to the freebies. Below, you will find links to editable spreadsheets for the K-5 ELAR TEKS. Within these spreadsheets, you will find a tab for the TEKS and a second tab for “I Can” statements based on the TEKS. Feel free to make a copy of the spreadsheets and use them in whatever ways would best benefit you. Is there something else TEKS-related that would be helpful? If so, let me know in the comments or send me an email (email@example.com). I’d love to hear from you!
Additional STAAR and TEKS Articles You May Find Useful
Reading Language Arts STAAR Test Resources
STAAR Prep: A K-5 Argumentative/Opinion Writing Strategy
STAAR Prep: Spelling Strategies, Resources, and Downloadable Posters
The K-5 Math TEKS and Free, Editable Spreadsheets
A Practical Strategy for Teaching Editing Skills
A Powerful and Easy Strategy for Teaching Text Evidence
These are awesome! Thank you! Do you happen to have them for math?
I’m so glad you find them helpful, and thanks so much for reading! I do not have math yet, but that’s in the works. I will post those in another article in the future!
I think it would be awesome to have these in Spanish with a language objective tab too!
Hi Demian, Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m adding it to the list! I appreciate you reading and commenting.
Glad the Math and SLAR TEKS are on your list. I love this and have shared with other teachers. Thank you for doing this.
I’m so glad you find it useful! Thank you for sharing with others. I’m going to try to have the others done by the end of summer if I can!
Appreciate you doing this! Moving to a new grade level next year- one thing crossed off my to do list❤️
So glad you found them helpful!!
Would love to see these documents for the high school level, too!
Your explanation of the TEKS is so easy to understand and should be given to any teachers who are moving into the state! Thank you so much!
I’m so glad you found this useful! 🙂
Thank you. I appreciate it.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
BEST THING I’VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME!!!
Pamela, you just made my day! I’m so glad you find them useful.
These would also be helpful for Science and Social Studies
Hi Celeste, I have a running list that I’m working on, and science and social studies are next in line. Stay tuned!
These are awesome! Do you have them for Tech Apps?
Hi Christopher! I’m so glad you like them. Tech Apps is on my list, so stay tuned!!
Do you have a similar article for middle school? I would love to see this information for eighth grade.
Hi Lisa! At the moment, I don’t have these for middle school. I have a running list that I’m working on, and I’ll add middle school to it!