Frequently 2012 District
In response to questions presented by the District Advisory Representatives,
State CSCOPE Staff developed the attached FAQ in the following categories:
General, English Language Arts and Reading, Spanish Language Arts and Reading, FAQ
Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
Can CSCOPE allow textbook companies to create correlations for teachers?
Through our vendor partnership program, textbook companies and/or educational vendors may submit
requests to correlate to CSCOPE. Through a correlation process conducted by EdGate, a national
correlation company, vendor products are determined if they are appropriately aligned to CSCOPE.
Will CSCOPE have content for additional courses?
If you would like CSCOPE to consider adding courses in the development cycle, contact the CSCOPE
Leadership Team Member at your ESC. Requests from across the state will be compiled and considered
at the leadership level. However, every set of course standards that are provided by TEA (foundational
and enrichment curriculum) will be available our new system’s Standard Section with the capacity to
create units and/or lessons as well as upload district content in those course areas.
Will the Technology TEKS be integrated into CSCOPE’s core content components?
CSCOPE components remain aligned to foundational TEKS. Integration of content from other courses
remains a local control decision.
Will CSCOPE develop more resources specifically for Smart Boards?
CSCOPE leadership is aware of the increasing need for digital content, and this may be an “added
value” piece for CSCOPE in the future. Please contact your Leadership Team member to express your
desire for digital content and which courses/grade levels are most appropriate for this new endeavor.
Will CSCOPE provide integrated content for primary grades or integration of technology TEKS?
CSCOPE’s mission is to remain a standards-based curriculum system, aligned to the foundational TEKS.
Integrated content is a popular request and may be a future possibility with additional staff and
funding; however, at this time, integration of content remains a local decision.
Will CSCOPE ever offer content that provides for differentiation?
CSCOPE objective at this time is to provide districts with a curriculum system that provides Tier I
instruction within the Exemplar Lessons. While the research-based strategies that are included in these
lessons address various learning styles, CSCOPE does not offer specific differentiated content for various
student readiness levels. However, could the Tier I content provided within CSCOPE be adapted for
meeting the needs of struggling learners, ELL students, gifted students, etc.? The answer is “absolutely
– yes!” ESCs have access to training modules that guide educators in how to differentiate the
Performance Indicators in content, process, and product. Teachers can access various grade level VADs
and IFDs to assist struggling students by targeting gaps in vocabulary or conceptual development.
Therefore, there are a variety of ways educators can use the existing CSCOPE components to meet
various differentiation needs. We encourage you to contact your ESC for assistance in this
Will CSCOPE provide components for Pre-K Guidelines?
The Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines will be included in the Standards Section of the new technology
platform with the capabilities for districts to upload original content or create new units or lessons
within the system. There is a potential project that might be developed in the future for a Pre-K through
2nd grade VAD, but this is not a state CSCOPE development project at this time. At this time, the TESCCC
directs CSCOPE to offer components related to K – 12 foundational curriculum only.
Will CSCOPE provide additional parent involvement and support?
CSCOPE currently offers support through our parent portal at http://www.cscope.us/parentportal/. In
addition, parents may view CSCOPE content with district staff present to explain and answer questions
regarding CSCOPE components. Leadership continues to explore avenues for assisting parents, and our
new technology platform may provide additional opportunities in this area for the future.
Can the CSCOPE Feedback be improved?
To better understand CSCOPE components, philosophy, or design, contact your local ESC for assistance.
To report an error in a component, to make a suggestion for improving a component, or to report an
error within the technology platform, use the system’s feedback mechanism. The new technology
platform will provide an easily accessible feedback feature with more robust reporting and
communication capabilities. It is our ultimate goal to make the feedback mechanism more accessible
and more user friendly.
Is there a way to move up posting times?
Now that CSCOPE components have been revised to emphasize Readiness and Supporting standards,
we are ending a major cycle of continuous development and posting. However, one of the advantages
of CSCOPE is that it is responsive to new information from TEA and feedback from districts, which
encourages CSCOPE to continuously improve. As a dynamic, fluid curriculum system, CSCOPE will
always revise and polish components, but we hope to avoid major delays in providing content in a
timely fashion for teacher planning purposes as we move beyond the new development associated with
Can the sequences of the CSCOPE bundles be explained?
It is our hope to eventually provide more detailed explanations of how the TEKS are bundled and
sequenced. Until the development cycle allows for this new project, the IFD rationale provides
explanation of why the TEKS are bundled and sequenced as they are.
Can academic vocabulary be added to the IFD?
Focusing on Marzano’s research and best practices, vocabulary instruction should be targeted for depth
of understanding, retention, and transfer of understanding, and in order to align to this best practice, at
this time, our philosophy remains to provide key academic vocabulary on the IFD (generally 3 -5 terms,
with some exceptions) and vocabulary of instruction within the Exemplar Lessons.
Can jpegs be edited?
Since jpegs are essentially “pictures” – even if they are formulas, mathematical symbols, or equations –
those pictures are not editable because most teachers may not have the appropriate software on their
computers to edit or even read those symbols, equations, or formulas in their pure, editable format.
Therefore, jpegs allow CSCOPE to provide robust graphics/symbols through jpeg formats.
Why do IFDs change during the year?
As a fluid, dynamic curriculum system, the CSCOPE state team takes teacher feedback and new
information from TEA seriously and will make appropriate revisions during the year as it is deemed
necessary. While major revisions are usually held until late spring for the following school year’s
implementation, we do not wait months to revise any component if the change is essential for teachers
and students to have immediately.
Will we have materials lists in the new technology system?
The new technology platform should allow teachers to see materials lists, but we are currently working
with 3rd Learning on how that feature should function. More information about materials lists will be
Can the Principal Walkthrough Tool be provided electronically?
This is currently being discussed for a future project.
When will the New Technology Platform be ready for districts?
The CSCOPE Leadership Team is currently discussing the time line for 3rd Learning and when the site will
officially be ready for districts. A formal communication will be sent soon regarding the date of the
transition to the new technology platform.
Will CSCOPE ever be able to support housing Student Portfolios?
This is a project that is on the horizon for future consideration within our new technology platform.
Can districts have control of access levels to ERDs, Unit Tests, and Lessons?
The user profile in the new technology platform will allow districts to customize access levels and
editing rights to all components.
Can you use the Flip Model with CSCOPE components?
Yes, a teacher could use the flip model with CSCOPE components. However, the teacher would need
to collaborate and discuss how best to accomplish this alternative instructional design.
How will the Spanish components be addressed/revised for 12-13?
The CSCOPE Leadership Team understands this issue and has made it a priority by recently establishing
a committee to explore how CSCOPE Spanish components can be better supported. The work of this
committee with help guide future new development and the corresponding funding and staffing needs.
How will unit tests be improved for 12-13?
CSCOPE has just embarked on a unit test revision project, using a national correlation company,
EdGate, to ensure appropriate alignment to the content and cognitive rigor of the TEKS within each
unit’s IFD. More information will be coming soon about this project.
English Language Arts and Reading
Kinder ELA: Lessons need to build and coordinate on each other with center activities.
The lessons are currently developed to build upon each other. We do not currently have plans to include
center activities, as CSCOPE wants teachers to have the flexibility to create centers based upon student
needs within his/her classroom; however, centers can be developed using skills and concepts in the
Learning Applications section of the Exemplar Lesson.
Will time in ELAR lessons ever be readjusted to include blocked out time for guided reading in
elementary? Can we get more aligned to a guided reading/guided writing model?
Currently CSCOPE does not have plans to adjust the lesson template. Often, Learning Applications can
be adjusted to be independent meaningful practice, which when combined with Independent Reading
would allow for teachers to work with small groups for guided reading or targeted skill instruction.
Another option is to teach writing outside of the language arts block to extend time for reading. The
current template is based on 90 minutes and by extending it to 120 minutes locally, this time would be
provided. Guided reading and small group instruction is dependent upon the needs of students, so
CSCOPE would not want to limit the flexibility of teachers to develop appropriate guided reading
instruction based on his/her students’ needs.
Are there plans to provide more details/instruction in phonics on the IFD? My experienced teachers
know how to break it down. It is not enough for new teacher. 80% of my teaching staff is 1-3 years’
experience. Therefore, lots of kids are being referred for dyslexia.
The Phonics Scope and Sequence provides additional information by unit; however, it is a local decision
for a district to utilize a phonics instructional program instead of following the CSCOPE sequence.
Are there plans to increase the focus on phonics?
The exemplar lesson template promotes a balanced approach to teaching reading and writing. Phonics
instruction is currently an important element of Word Study in the Exemplar Lessons; however, CSCOPE
continues to allow for local district control in utilizing a supplemental phonics instructional program.
Will the alternative plan be more manageable time wise?
The alternative plan was designed for campuses that do not provide a 90-minute block for ELAR for
grades 6-8. The Exemplar Lesson template is based on best practice for language arts instruction (a 90-
minute class period), and we do not currently have plans to adjust the alternative plan. We hold firmly
to the belief that middle school students should be provided with 90 minutes of ELAR instruction and
meaningful application daily. It would be very difficult to teach all the required TEKS to the needed
depth without the 90 minute block of time.
Why are the concepts ordered the way they are? For example: adverbial clauses in the 1 st 6 weeks
while independent/dependent clauses taught in the 2nd?
A development team comprised of ESC and non-ESC educators evaluates the TEKS and consults
available resources to determine an effective and meaningful sequence of bundled standards. Revisions
for 11-12 included spreading conventions across multiple units instead of front loading all of these
skills. When selecting Conventions TEKS, the development team considered the genre of writing
addressed in the unit as well as necessary prerequisite learning. CSCOPE welcomes specific feedback
and suggestions for improvement in the area of conventions and will reexamine the alignment and
bundling of specific conventions for 2012-13.
Do you have additional suggestions to get students to do independent reading?
The TEKS related to Independent Reading are found in grades 1-5 and are thoroughly addressed in the
Exemplar Lessons. In middle and high school an IR (Independent Reading) Book Page is provided to
support and assess Independent Reading throughout a unit of instruction.
How can teachers teach Romeo and Juliet in its entirety? Or is that a thing of the past?
This is a local decision. Specific literature titles are not included in the TEKS to allow for local control and
district flexibility with existing resources. The Exemplar Lessons are just one example of how to teach
the bundled TEKS and are not title specific. In order to thoroughly teach the assessed TEKS prior to the
state assessment window, it may not be possible for all students read Romeo and Juliet in its entirety.
Teachers have expressed concerns that lessons require use of resources they don’t have. Are the
lessons designed so that the actual book, play, poem etc. are flexible?
The lessons are not title specific, but do require teacher selected genre specific texts. Possible/optional
literature selections are included on the Lesson Organizer.
Does CSCOPE plan to provide more digital links or resources for reading areas?
As part of our continuous improvement model and partnership with 3rd Learning we will consider this
Can you do more pairings of genres in ELA in units instead of having two separate units- more like
This was addressed through unit re-bundling for 2011-12. In most cases, genres are first studied in
depth individually and are then reexamined in units that connect genres in the second semester.
Ongoing TEKS are part of the IFD. Is it possible to have these ongoing TEKS in the same place on the
IFD as the TEKS being covered in that unit?
We will consider this suggestion.
Do you know any district that has aligned CSCOPE and Springboard for ELAR?
Please check with your local Education Service Center regarding this issue.
Spanish Language Arts and Reading
Can we plan for ELA and SLA development so that we are not translating English lessons to Spanish,
and can we align ELA and SLA more closely so the bilingual teachers can plan with General Ed?
The challenge in meeting the needs listed in the questions above is having both simultaneous as well as
independent development of lessons that very closely align with one another. We continue to strive to
meet both of these ideals in creating a development process for SLAR, which include the following
Curriculum Components: The ELA/SLA curriculum components (TVD, YAG and IFDs) are developed
side by side
Exemplar Lessons: In an effort to have a close alignment between ELA and SLA lessons, the ELA
lessons are written first and then transadapted to the SLAR standards
A well-qualified and talented team of bilingual educators reviews, adapts, and writes to develop the
SLA lessons. Often, word study must be completely reworked to accommodate for the unique SLA
standards. Reading has minimal changes (vocabulary / poetry) and in Writing there are some
convention differences. They also provide the possible, optional literature titles for SLAR.
We need more resources for SLAR.
Exemplar Lessons are independent of specific literature title to allow for greater district and local
flexibility. However, the best idea/solution for increasing SLAR resources is for campuses to acquire
sufficient numbers of grade-appropriate texts that represent a variety of genres.
We do recognize this as an area of need and will continue to examine options for improvement possibly
by working with our new correlation vendor and existing vendors.
What subject areas will be translated into Spanish at the elementary level?
In Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies anything that is communicated to or utilized by the student
is translated (Grades K-5). This includes:
Any questions or direct communication to student within the Exemplar Lessons
Unit Tests (Grades 2-5)
Algebra 1: On the IFD, why is specificity the same for SE A1.D in Unit 01 and in Unit 09?
SE A.1D: Represent relationships among quantities using concrete models, tables, graphs, diagrams,
verbal descriptions, equations, and inequalities.
In our current standards, HS does not have process standards. However, this SE is similar to a process
standard; it is all about representation. Unit 01 is “The Study of Functions” and Unit 09 is “Quadratics.”
The representations (concrete models, tables, graphs, diagrams, verbal descriptions, equations, and
inequalities) in both of these units are the same, but each will vary depending on the function(s)
Math Facts: What is planned for addressing student development regarding math facts?
Math Facts in all grade levels are developed conceptually using a variety of concrete models, pictorial
models, and abstract applications. Instructionally, the focus is to develop a conceptual understanding
and not just memorization of facts. However, in Grade 1, additional time for automaticity of basic facts
is encouraged in practice stations and spiral reviews. In Grade 2 and 3, two days a week are dedicated
for basic fact study in spiral reviews. In Grade 4 & 5, one day a week is dedicated for basic fact study in
spiral reviews. In addition, the use of local resources could be considered to meet the needs of
individual students. As always, CSCOPE encourages teachers to adjust instruction to meet the needs of
Math Handouts: Can more white space be provided on handouts for students to show their work?
We have received feedback to minimize the space on handouts due to copying and paper costs. Districts
communicated that they would rather have students use their own paper to show work if necessary.
However, if your district allows the handouts to be edited, CSCOPE provides handouts in editable Word
Editable Resource Documents (ERDs) so districts could make these adjustments as necessary.
Geometry: Can we go back to “constructions” as an entire unit in Geometry like it used to be?
Grade 11 TAKS tested approximately 20 out of the 38 standards. On STAAR, all but 1 standard is now
tested. (Not tested: G.1A Develop an awareness of the structure of a mathematical system, connecting
definitions, postulates, logical reasoning, and theorems). During TAKS, constructions were done at the
end of year since they were not tested. In STAAR, constructions are a supporting standard and will be
assessed. Since it is a supporting standard and not a focal point for the grade level, the CSCOPE
development team believed it was appropriate to bundle the constructions within the appropriate units.
Next year, the discussion of the constructions will be more specific. We have added them to the VAD
under G.2A. Constructions are being added in Units 3 & 7 so now constructions are in Units 1, 3, 4 and 7
as well as their respective EITGs.
In Grade 8, there is too much fluff at the cost of calculation.…practice needs more balance.
The mathematical concepts embedded in Grade 8 TEKS require students to apply these concepts within
the context of real-world situations. CSCOPE Mathematics provides diverse ranges of problems and
problem situations for students. It is important for students who struggle to be exposed to problems
which involve problem-solving strategies and multiple operations within a problem-solving plan.
“Research demonstrates that instruction on solving word problems based on underlying problem
structure leads to statistically significant positive effects on measures of word problem solving.”
(Gersten, et. al, 2009, p.26).
However, teachers can add extra practice to possible lessons, outlined in the Instructional Transition
Guide, with other materials to allow students to achieve the standards clustered together in the
Instructional Focus Document. The Instructional Transition Guides reference 2010-11 exemplar lessons
that contain elements of learning to ensure that students gain access to the rigor and content of the
IFD; however, they can and should be supplemented with other available resources.
References: Gersten, R., Beckmann, S., Clarke, B., Foegen, A., Marsh, L., Star, J. R., & ... What
Works Clearinghouse, (. (ED). (2009). Assisting Students Struggling with
Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle Schools.
NCEE 2009-4060. What Works Clearinghouse.
Why in Grade 8 is dimensional analysis between systems taught in 4th 6 weeks. Several days are
spent on converting customary to metric when it is not a TEKS in the past and not tested.
Dimensional analysis is specifically referenced in the specificity of the Vertical Alignment Document
under the following:
TEKS 8.2D- Use multiplication by a given constant factor (including unit rate) to represent and
solve problems involving proportional relationships including conversions between measurement
This Supporting Standard is taught in Unit 03: Proportionality: Representation and Applications; Unit
04: Geometry: Transformations in the Coordinate Plane and Perspectives; Unit 07: Measurement: Two-
and Three-Dimensional; and Unit 11: Graphing Calculator Investigations.
Dimensional analysis is included in the specificity for 8.2D in Unit 03, 07, and 11. Additionally,
dimensional analysis is not new to Grade 8, as students used this tool to use, find, and justify unit rates
and ratios in proportional relationships with division in TEKS 7.2D.
Probability has not been taught, but heavily tested….why in 4th 6 weeks?
Of the seven standards tested in Reporting Category 5: Probability and Statistics, two are related to
8.11A- Find the probabilities of dependent and independent events (Readiness Standard) and 8.11B-
Use theoretical probabilities and experimental results to make predictions and decisions (Supporting
8.11C- select and use different models to simulate an event (will not be tested on STAAR. In 11-12)
CSCOPE Grade 8 Unit 08, there are two readiness standards: 8.2B and 8.11A, one supporting standard:
8.11B, and one student expectation that is not tested: 8.11C. The remaining six standards in the unit
are process standards: 8.14ABCD; 8.15A; and 8.16AB. Unit 08 is suggested for six days at the end of the
fourth six weeks which is one extra day as compared to the 10-11 CSCOPE Grade 8 Unit 05: Probability.
In 10-11 this was the last unit of the first semester. Due to the significance of probability in middle
school, this unit was placed in the fourth six weeks of 11-12 to ensure teachers would not be tempted to
shorten the unit to end the first semester on time to coincide with the YAG in the event that they were
Students have been finding the probability of independent events since Grade 4.
4.13A Use concrete objects or pictures to make generalizations about determining all possible
combinations of a given set of data or of objects in a problem situation.
5.12A Use fractions to describe the results of an experiment.
5.12B Use experimental results to make predictions.
5.12C List all possible outcomes of a probability experiment such as tossing a coin.
6.9B Find the probabilities of a simple event and its complement and describe the relationship
between the two.
7.10B find the probability of independent events
The only new material in this unit is finding the probability of dependent events. This unit is strongly
tied to Readiness Standard 8.2B, as student must perform various calculations with rational numbers.
Additionally, this unit follows the suggested 19 day CSCOPE Unit 07: Measurement: Two- and Three
Dimensional where students must describe the resulting effects on perimeter, area, and volume when
the dimensions of a figure are changed proportionally; a unit that requires various calculations with
What is the plan to bundle the TEKS to the Focal Points?
According to TEA, “The Texas Response to Curriculum Focal Points” was created directly from the TEKS
for K–8 mathematics. The TEKS at each grade level were sorted into three or four categories, each
category based on a common mathematical idea to which all the TEKS in that group were related. The
“Texas Response to Curriculum Focal Points” includes a descriptive title with a brief explanatory
paragraph for each focal point, followed by the related TEKS from that grade level. Each curriculum
focal point also includes all of the TEKS for the underlying processes in that grade to emphasize the use
of these mathematical processes throughout the curriculum. All TEKS statements that did not fit into
one of the three or four categories in a grade level were skills that either introduced material that
would become a focus in a later grade or continued or extended material from a previous grade. These
TEKS are listed at the end of each grade-level section and are labeled accordingly. This placement does
not indicate that these TEKS should be ignored; however, they are not meant to be the focus of
instruction for that year.” (Texas Education Agency, 2009, p.3)
Texas Education Agency. (2009). Texas response to curriculum focal points.
Austin, TX: Author.
The focal point bundling is too large of a bundling for instruction. However, the overarching focus of the
grade level is important. Therefore, the focus areas were considering while breaking these large focal
point bundles into instructional bundles. The overarching bundle is noted in the 3 rd paragraph of the
rationale of each unit in Grades K-8.
Will spiraling questions and “bell ringers” be added to the assessments?
“Bell ringers” are used to accomplish a variety of goals. Usually they are questions/problems used to
open a class period and are usually used as a classroom management tool to allow time to accomplish
“housekeeping” tasks while having students focused on content, usually with review questions. They
are most effective when they are targeted to specific needs of students in the class as identified by
district or classroom data. For social studies, this would be a completely new development project that
is not included in the TESCCC development cycle at this time.
When will the lessons be posted for the new IFDs?
We are in the process of writing new social studies exemplar lessons to match the IFDs that align with
the new standards. We are exploring with the Leadership Team the appropriate posting windows for all
components for 12-13, including social studies lessons. When these posting time lines are determined,
they will be communicated to you later this spring.
In the future, will the assessments have more graphs, charts, pictures (political cartoons)?
We recognize the desire and need for additional graphics on the unit tests. For social studies, including
graphics and other stimuli in the unit test questions is made more difficult because the test item writers
must originally create every chart/graph due to copyright constraints. This is a time-consuming and
complex process, and in an effort to provide unit tests in 11-12 (one year ahead of the original
development schedule) in a timely manner, we were unable to infuse as many charts/graphics as we
would have preferred. We will continue to work to improve the unit test items as part of our
continuous improvement process, adding appropriate graphics whenever possible.
Topics sometimes seem out of sync with the calendar, for example, learning about American
symbols in February.
In general, we did not design any of the CSCOPE social studies courses based on dates or holiday
celebrations in the calendar. The K-3 courses are bundled conceptually based on the requirements of
the TEKS and to lay the foundation for student understanding of big ideas in social studies. The bundles
are then arranged so they build upon each other. When it was appropriate, however, we attempted to
also put these standards in a logical place within the calendar year. For example, in Kindergarten, the
“symbols” standard states, “The student understands important symbols, customs, and responsibilities
that represent American beliefs and principles and contribute to our national identity.”
This standard is addressed first in Unit 3, “Celebrate Freedom,” where the flags and Pledge of
Allegiance are addressed.
Flags as symbols are also addressed in Unit 8 when we discuss “People Who Contribute to the
Community,” and Stephen F. Austin is a state figure discussed in the unit. In addition, the Texas flag
is included in building understanding of Texas as a state, and people who contribute to building
In Unit 9, the standard is again included, this time we talk about “People Who Have Helped Shape
the State and Nation.” The American flag is included in this unit as an understanding of national
identity is discussed, including George Washington. S.F. Austin, G. Washington, Navarro, and
Columbus are not taught in great depth in those later units but are infused to help students make
connections and use prior learning in a new context.
Christopher Columbus is another example in grade 3. While we do not place a specific unit of
instruction regarding Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, he is included in Unit 8, where we
discuss “how individuals …have contributed to the expansion of existing communities or to the
creation of new communities.”
Since the TEKS do not require schools to celebrate specific holidays, CSCOPE provides instruction
directly related to the TEKS in a way that makes sense conceptually. However, we realize schools
often have long-standing customs related to holidays, and CSCOPE encourages administrators and
teachers to collaborate on how best to use CSCOPE resources in their instructional planning related
to district holiday celebrations or emphasis.
The content in 4th and 7th grades is similar. Could the 4th grade writer and 7th grade writer work
together so there is more alignment between the two grades?
In actuality, the lessons for grade 4 and 7 are being written by the same person, who was also involved
in creating the curriculum documents. As these courses are both Texas history, there will be overlap,
with greater depth and cognitive rigor at the 7th grade level.
The lesson asks the teacher to “go find an image.” Is it possible to put some of the images within the
lesson using live links?
When discussing teaching and learning, several components are involved: curriculum, assessment,
instruction, and resources. CSCOPE’s primary purpose is to provide districts with a curriculum system
that is accessible online. While we also provide districts with support related to assessment and
instruction, we try to allow district flexibility and local control in regard to resources.
There are several complications in CSCOPE branching out to provide social studies resources:
One complication is the fact that web addresses change. In the previous social studies exemplar
lessons, we did include resource links in many places from places that you would think would
remain quite stable, including the National Archives, university .edu sites, and even the state of
Texas sites. However, we discovered even these state and national links often are changed, which
creates a broken link in our system. To avoid this frustration for end users, in the new 12-13 lessons
we will include generic instructions to guide teachers in finding resources that meet the general
requirements of the TEKS. Specific resources can then be chosen by the teacher/district, thus
maximizing local control and availability of resources within individual districts. Locally adopted
textbooks and other district-purchased supplementary resources can and should be used when they
support teaching the TEKS, and are an excellent source for social studies resources.
Another complication is the intense need for copious resources to support social studies. Districts
already own and have access to many excellent resources that support the social studies standards.
These resources should be used to support learning the TEKS, along with the CSCOPE resources. For
example, there are often sections in textbooks that give substantial background information about
the TEKS requirements, which are clarified by CSCOPE specificity on the VADs and IFDs. The
textbooks and their ancillary materials also often have wonderful primary source documents and
maps. CSCOPE encourages this integration of existing district resources.
The third complication in providing specific social studies resources is in regard to copyright. A
plethora of excellent materials is available for teaching social studies. We encourage teachers to
use these wonderful materials developed by vendors, such as Law-Related Education, iCivics (which
is written in connection with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor), and the Bill of Rights Institute. All these
are copyrighted materials that CSCOPE cannot include in our lessons. However, teachers may use
them in their classrooms because they are covered by Fair Use provision in copyright law. CSCOPE
would not want to limit teachers’ ability to access these robust resources by having a limited, static
list of resources that may not be as extensive as what the district already has or what teachers can
quickly access. In our lessons we will continue to provide instructional guidelines about the types of
materials that would be helpful for teachers to use to execute the lessons, while not limiting
teachers to specific resources.
The World Geography pacing is killer! Can you tell us why we must teach all of the SEs for each
Region, or could we instead specify an SE for each Region and scaffold across?
The World Geography course is bundled using a blended approach, which was one option presented
during the state trainings. This approach combines regional and conceptual approaches. The units look
at the traditional regions of the world. Within each unit, then, one concept is highlighted so students
have the opportunity to delve deeper into that concept. It is not then re-taught at the same level in
other units, but used by students as they observe and apply their learning to new situations/regions. By
focusing on a concept in a specific unit but repeating the concept in multiple units, students are able to
build a deeper understanding of the various regions of the world while developing a broader
understanding of ideas because they are able to look at the ideas in different context, compare the
effects of concepts in different regions, and build stronger skills through repetition. (One example
includes what we know about the upcoming STAAR test for Geography. Everything we have seen and
heard indicates that students need to be really comfortable with population pyramids, be able to make
inferences about them, and be able to draw conclusions that can be applied. Students will not be able
to do this if they only look at population pyramids in one unit.)
Many standards are addressed in multiple units, but they are not individually taught to the same level
in each unit. Sometimes they are simply included as support, while other times they are implemented
through direct teach. A main purpose of the World Geography course is to provide students with an
opportunity to build geographical thinking, especially as related to geographic patterns and processes
and then to make connections and understand the relationships between those patterns and processes.
Repeated opportunities to practice thinking geographically and looking at how those concepts play out
in different regions will serve our students best as they try to understand how humans interact with the
How can more of the IFDs follow the same rigor and alignment that 8th grade and US History IFDs
The beauty of CSCOPE is that it is a responsive, dynamic, fluid curriculum system that responds to
feedback from teachers in the field. It is our ultimate goal to provide the highest quality of aligned,
rigorous components in all grade levels and content areas, with the philosophy that “our work is never
done.” We will never write an IFD and put it on the “CSCOPE shelf.” We want to always be on the path
of continuous improvement, and through your feedback, continued training and mentoring of CSCOPE
writers and reviewers, and new information from the state, we remain dedicated to revising
components for perpetual improvement.
Comments, rather than questions
The 8th grade and US History IFDs are wonderful! The writer does a good job bringing in rigor and
alignment. The same is not seen in other grades.
The 3rd grade IFD is very well done and covers content at a high rigor in the strands of government,
geography, and economics. The same strands in 4th and 5th grades may not have that same rigor.
The 5th grade course is very appropriate for the grade level.
How will CSCOPE address sequencing and depth issues for high school science courses in relation to
When the IFDs for the new standards were developed and the writing process was begun for the new
standards for science, the CSCOPE Development Team had no information on the new assessment
program we now know as STAAR. When Readiness and Supporting Standards were announced, we
evaluated the scope and sequence documents to compress the tested information into the first 5 six
weeks and approximately 10 – 12 days into 6th six weeks, based upon a survey of district calendars.
Since that time, TEA has also presented state trainings, produced reference materials (formula charts),
released sample items, and identified Readiness and Supporting Standards.
With the advent of each of these changes, we have taken the “train back to the station” so to speak,
and evaluated the curriculum and instructional documents in order to incorporate these changes. That
being said, in science, we have developed new curriculum and instructional documents during the same
year for both new standards and for the new assessment system.
Now that we have brand new lessons for the new standards, we have an opportunity to begin the
continuous improvement process for both curriculum and instructional materials. Committees are
being developed with ESC personnel, writers, reviewers, and members of the CSCOPE state team to
read and evaluate all teacher feedback and additional information from TEA. These committees will
evaluate each course based upon the specific information that we currently have.
Our most extensive revisions will occur for next year in Biology. For example, the Biology course is being
reviewed to address more concrete areas, such as Ecology toward the beginning of the year, while ninth
graders are transitioning into high school. We still have to address all Readiness and Supporting
Standards before the assessment, but we are trying to allow additional instructional time for those
standards that students have more difficulty mastering. One example in Biology might be splitting
genetics into more than one unit. Over the next few years, we will also be making revisions to the other
high school courses, but we are trying to maintain the general scope and sequence, and adjust days to
add depth to content where needed.
Will bell ringers be added to the science lessons?
“Bell ringers” are not a part of the TESCCC development cycle at this time.
Will lessons be revised to address changing/rotating lab activities, repeated activities in multiple
grade levels, and safety information in labs?
Within the new standards, the TEKS revisions have moved content from one grade level to another,
especially in elementary and middle school grades. The Development Team’s philosophy was to try and
keep those activities that teachers responded to favorably, while making sure the rigor and targets of
the new standards were addressed. For this year, we have repeated some content and activities to
address gaps created when content moved down grade levels. One example would be the concepts on
mixtures and solutions were moved down from Grade 5 to Grade 4. We have the same PowerPoint in
both grades so those 5th graders who missed the content last year will have it for this year’s instruction
and assessment. Next year, it will be removed for Grade 5. We also have some areas that will be
tightened up in our continuous improvement process. The revisions process will include looking for
duplicated activities, making sure we have appropriate safety information in instructional
procedures/teacher notes, and generally reviewing critical elements of the lessons. We read every
feedback submitted in the system, so if your teachers see areas of concern, please have them continue
to submit those suggestions through the feedback mechanism, which should be more accessible and
user friendly in our new technology platform.
Some of the middle school science seems less rigorous than other grade levels.
During the original lesson writing and now during the revisions process, we are continually evaluating
the cognitive rigor of the lessons as compared to the TEKS. There is some room for debate on the depth
of the standards themselves, as we have no information booklets from TEA and only reference
materials for Grade 8. Therefore, we are asking for clarification from TEA on specific items and revising
as clarifications as released.
Another point to remember is the large amount of revisions done in the TEKS within in the middle
grades. For example, the waves TEKS for Grade 8 have been removed, and waves are only addressed in
the revised TEKS as they apply to measurement of planetary distances. This change in the standards led
to the removal of an entire unit, and it was replaced with a less in-depth introduction for waves, so the
standard could be addressed appropriately. Upon first glance, it would appear the material is less
rigorous, but the change was driven by the revision done in the standards.