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For Your Classroom & School

Our Principles

Pedagogy for Texas Literacy Programs 

Supports Multiple Approaches

Student and teacher choice are at the heart of Texas Wonders. Resources were designed to support you and your entire classroom as you teach your way—whether you follow our recommended pathway of instruction or create your own workshop lessons using our resources.

Texas Wonders: 

  • Makes it easy to integrate your favorite resources or use our resources with your preferred approach or framework–including workshop-focused, blended learning, project-based learning, and authentic, literature-focused learning.
  • Helps you choose your pathway with resources for modeled reading, shared reading, guided reading, and independent practice and application for every new week and text set.
  • Focuses on student-centered learning, small-group teaching, and mini-lessons with embedded support for English Language Learners, gifted and talented students, and students in need of Tier 2 support.  
  • Provides resources and tools that meet students where they are and take them where they need to be, in both print and digital formats—100% print, 100% digital, or anywhere in between. 
  • Bases instruction on research—and is dedicated to putting best practices into the daily routines of your classroom.  

Teaching the Whole Child—Including Social Emotional Learning

Texas Wonders resources have been developed to support you in teaching the whole child, for success this school year—and throughout their lives.

Texas Wonders is organized around three related focus areas to help students learn how to learn and become critical thinkers:  

  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Six Habits of Learning
  • Classroom Culture

Social Emotional Learning

We are proud to partner with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization, to provide an integrated approach to SEL skills within the Texas Wonders curriculum.   

SEL lesson plans are built on active engagement, carefully crafted to bolster each week’s targeted literacy skills. 

  • Engage Together is an active learning experience that bridges students’ prior knowledge and skills to the SEL concept.  
  • Explore Together is a “view and do” experience that combines a media-based investigation with collaborative learning.  
  • Connect the Learning works to transfer students' understandings to everyday moments and learning at home through language-rich interactions.

Family Time: We engage families in their children’s education and development through a powerful home-school partnership that strengthens SEL skills. 

Six Habits of Learning 

This focus area prepares students to master standards and be lifelong learners. These habits are specifically designed to encourage curiosity and critical thinking and are reinforced throughout the year and across the grades. They teach children how to learn and how to master the skills that will prepare them for the TEKS. Each unit of instruction focuses on one habit that will set students up for success. 

Classroom Culture 

This focus area fosters the development of your community of learners. Your Teacher’s Edition highlights opportunities to strengthen relationships via collaboration, restating your community focus, and developing a love of reading.  

The resources in Texas Wonders are designed to help students build mastery of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking across content areas, giving them the tools they’ll need for academic success in every subject and every grade. 

Teaching Through Genre

Texas Wonders is grounded in a firm understanding of genre. Students read widely across connected text sets, notice and annotate, listen and speak about what they’ve noticed, and write in the genre using an expert model or mentor text. Along the way, they are learning the elements of each genre, looking at author’s craft, and gaining the skills they need to read independently. Represented genres include:

  • Folktale
  • Poetry 
  • Informational Text
  • Fantasy 
  • Argumentative Text 
  • Realistic Fiction 
  • Non-Fiction 
  • Biography 
  • Drama 

Foundations of Rigor

Texas Wonders offers a thorough grounding in foundational skills, from children’s first steps in phonemic awareness and print concepts, through sophisticated academic vocabulary and advanced morphological analysis. Along the way, integrated Tier 2 lessons fill any gaps quickly. 

  • Step-by-step literacy building: Students are encouraged to listen before speaking, speak before writing, and think critically all along—asking questions, finding text evidence, and building a more advanced set of literacy tools. With integrated grammar, spelling, and handwriting instruction, students build their capabilities every day. 
  • Cross-curricular learning: As students develop fluency, they are also increasing their knowledge of science and social studies topics to prepare for broader content area learning, integrating new ideas, and making deeper connections between texts.  
  • Connections through authentic literature: Students dive into a world of rich authentic literature and stories that connect them to the world around them in new, inspiring ways.    
Examples of Workstation Activity Cards, Inquiry Space Performance Tasks, Close Reading Routine, and ACT Access Complex Text
Content Area Learning examples

Differentiated for Every Student

Differentiated instruction is built into the resources and lessons of Texas Wonders, providing all students with the scaffolding or extensions they need to be an active part of their classroom community. 

  • Struggling Readers: Supported with targeted support including Tier 2 resources, to help them "level up."
  • Gifted and talented: Supported with additional choices to extend their reading, research areas of interest, and write about everything they’ve learned.    
  • English Language Learners (ELLs): Supported with instruction directly integrated into your core Texas Wonders curriculum, providing both academic and social language acquisition. Resources are built to ensure equity of access for all, from newcomers to those with advanced proficiency.    
  • Digital dashboard: Helps you keep track of growth and proficiency, providing instructional recommendations and giving you more time to engage with students one-on-one as you teach your way.   

Builds Strong, Confident Writers

In Texas Wonders, students engage in daily writing practice and learn to develop habits that will equip them to communicate their thoughts and beliefs in writing clearly and effectively. Targeted mini-lessons and embedded opportunities for teacher and peer conferencing help students develop into effective writers.  

With Texas Wonders, students will: 

  • Write about reading, building skills as they go.
  • Follow the writing process, developing a strong routine.  
  • Work on extended writing in specific genres.  
  • Master the close reading routine—responding to the shared read, applying skills and strategies, citing evidence, and writing.
  • Read the interactive student edition with pencil in hand, talking productively with partners, and writing whenever they read.

To offer equity of academic content, the instructional plans, genre studies, themes, skills, strategies, and test preparation for Texas Maravillas mirror those of Texas Wonders. The following is unique to Texas Maravillas

Authentic Spanish Literature

These culturally relevant texts include authentic Spanish literature by well-known, award-winning authors from across the globe. All selections are connected to the grade’s genre text sets, all with matching Lesson Cards for small-group or independent use.  

Bridge to English

In schools fostering bilingual learners, the Bridge to English supports provide teachers with instruction that facilitates and expedites the transition from the Spanish language arts classroom to the English language arts classroom. These lessons address reading, writing, phonics, grammar, and usage.

Scaffolded Instruction for Language Acquisition

Scaffolded support for Spanish Language Learners is integral to the instruction in Texas Maravillas. Texts are accompanied by scaffolded features that are appropriate to students’ language proficiency levels, along with an emphasis on academic language development. Spanish Language Learners at all levels are supported in both content and language acquisition.  

Workshop Experience for Texas Wonders and Texas Maravillas

Create community in the classroom. Provide a model of good reading and motivate students to read on their own. Our elementary literacy programs develop background knowledge and boost comprehension and vocabulary—while promoting critical thinking skills and developing oral language. 

  • Listening comprehension 
  • Setting intention 
  • The Essential Question 

Both elementary literacy programs provide connected, integrated, and explicit foundational skills—building the base for strong readers. We help students move through word building, decoding, and encoding with print and digital practice. 

  • Phonological and phonemic awareness 
  • Phonics and spelling 
  • High frequency words 
  • Handwriting 
  • Differentiated spelling lists

A genre text set includes an anchor text in a specific literary or informational genre for shared and modeled reading. Exemplar and authentic anchor texts are at the center of literacy study, with paired selections for analytical comparison using Dr. Doug Fisher’s Close Reading Routine. 

  • Authentic anchor texts 
  • Dual language 
  • Classroom library 
  • Skill and strategy 
  • Mini-lessons 
  • Integrated word work

The leveled-text collection is designed so that all learners—including ELs—across a broad range of strategic reading levels, will be motivated by captivating texts during guided reading instruction. Differentiated small group instruction challenges and supports learners. 

  • Leveled readers-120/grade 
  • Collaborative and flexible 
  • Skill practice 
  • Embedded tier 2 intervention 

Writing About Reading

Throughout both elementary literacy programs, in every grade level, if students read a text, they write about it—before, during, and after reading, with genre-based writing during writing workshop time. Students are supported by explicit writing process instruction at every step—from planning to publication. 

  • Daily analytical writing 
  • Genre process writing 

Independent Reading, Research, and Inquiry

Teach it your way with Connected Extended Text Sets for novel study, literature circles, book talks, and deeper independent reading. Connect reading to science and social studies content through research, inquiry, and project-based learning opportunities. 

  • Student choice
  • Literature circles
  • Novel study

Writing with Embedded Grammar

  • Student writing models track the evolution of a peer’s writing as students work on their own. 
  • Writing skills lessons break the writing process down into discrete writing tasks. 
  • Anonymous peer review creates an authentic audience for student writing. 
  • Embedded grammar instruction links mechanics and conventions to student writing tasks. 
  • A dynamic digital binder keeps a portfolio of all student work that follows them from grade to grade. 


Lesson Specific Scaffolds

Lesson specific scaffolds include: 

  • Visual glossaries 
  • Spanish cognates 
  • Speaking frames 
  • Sentence frames 
  • Differentiated questions 
  • Audio with variable speed 
  • Audio text highlight 

Peer-to-Peer Feedback & Collaboration

  • Students learn from exemplary peers in StudySync® TV collaborative conversation and instructional videos.
  • Anonymous peer review creates a community of writers and gives students an authentic audience to provide immediate feedback every time they write. 

Continuously Growing Library

  • The library houses over 1,500 selections, including short stories, poems, excerpts of novels and dramas, essays, speeches, and primary source documents. 
  • The library also houses over 200 full-length novels and dramas, as well as an array of Spanish-language texts. 
  • New texts are added every month, and teachers can recommend library items. 
  • Search the library by genre, grade level, topic, or even Lexile™-level. Every text features reading comprehension quizzes, text-dependent questions, and writing prompts aligned to the TEKS. 

Support for English Learners

  • Targeted scaffolds automatically appear with every digital assignment. 
  • Targeted, differentiated content is available for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and advanced-high learners 
  • Emphasize explicit vocabulary instruction, language acquisition, spelling and grammar, and reading comprehension with ELL skills lessons. 
  • Access optional language summaries in Cantonese, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Arabic coming soon. 

Support for Students with Disabilities 

  • Student content is interoperable with standard screen readers. 
  • The digital subscription provides a high contrast option and uses visual clues in addition to colors to convey information. 
  • The student platform can be used by keystrokes or voice commands for students who are unable to use a mouse. 

Support for Struggling and Gifted & Talented Learners

  • Intentional scaffolds like visual glossaries, annotation guides, and writing supports help approaching-level students interact meaningfully with the core content. 
  • Lesson-specific suggestions drive beyond grade-level learners to stretch and extend their learning. 
  • Support provided for foundational skills. 
  • Texts range from grades 2–12. 

Top 10 Reasons to Choose StudySync

  1. Flexible digital and print resources including media-rich technology tools transform the traditional literature program into an engaging experience.  
  2. Complete grammar lessons are integrated into  extended writing projects with hundreds of mini-lessons for continued support.  
  3. Access a growing digital library of over 1600 texts, including works by Texas authors and a variety of current and classic publications including novels with full instruction.  
  4. All reading, writing, language, speaking, and listening content is seamlessly integrated into one core path. 
  5. The program provides daily reading and writing opportunities in the areas of social studies, science, and current events at three Lexile® levels with high-interest Blasts
  6. A one-of-a-kind writing platform with embedded plagiarism tracker allows for integrated teacher and peer review. A digital portfolio of all student work follows them from year to year.
  7. Rigorous reading routines teach students to analyze and respond to increasingly complex literature while encouraging collaborative conversations and using comparative texts within and across genres.  
  8. The programs provide unparalleled support for all learners, including ELs, with point of use, auto-assigned scaffolding. 
  9. Tech-enabled scaffolds automatically appear in the digital environment ensuring equity of access for all learners.  
  10. Comprehensive progress monitoring, formative and summative assessments, TEKS tracking, and reteaching tools help guide every student toward achievement.  


Texas Wonders and Texas Maravillas Author Bios

Jeff Anderson

Jeff Anderson

Author of Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth

Dr. Diane August

Dr. Diane August

Managing Researcher/Director, American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Dr. Diane August is a Managing Researcher at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and brings 40 years of experience in the many aspects of educating language-minority children. At AIR, her area of expertise is policy, research, and technical assistance related to the education of preschool and school-age second-language learners. Prior to her position at AIR, Dr. August was a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) where she directed federally-funded studies related to the development of literacy and science in English-language learners. Prior to CAL, she has served as a Senior Program Officer at the National Academy of Sciences where she was study director for the Committee on Developing a Research Agenda on the Education of Limited English Proficient and Bilingual Students. Dr. August has also worked as a teacher, school administrator, legislative assistant, grants officer for the Carnegie Corporation, and director of education for the Children's Defense Fund. She received her Ph.D. in education and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology at Stanford University. She has been published widely in journals and books.


Dr. Donald Bear

Dr. Donald Bear

Professor Emeritus, Iowa State University; Professor Emeritus, University of Nevada, Reno; Former Board Member, International Literacy Association

Dr. Donald Bear is Professor Emeritus in literacy education at Iowa State University and the University of Nevada, Reno where he taught at all levels and directed reading centers. He is an author and co-author of numerous articles, chapters, and 17 books—including Words Their Way, sixth edition; Words Their Way for PreK–K Learners; Words Their Way with English Learners, second edition; Vocabulary Their Way, second edition; and Words Their Way with Struggling Readers.

Donald has been a classroom teacher and is involved in innovative professional development activities. His work in assessment and word study is used widely. He has received several awards for teaching and service and was recently a board member of the International Literacy Association (ILA).


Kathy Bumgardner M.Ed.; Ed.S.

Kathy Bumgardner M.Ed.; Ed.S.

CEO/Founder/National Literacy Consultant, Strategies Unlimited, Inc.; School Improvement Specialist, Belmont, North Carolina

Kathy Bumgardner is a veteran educator and a passionate presenter who combines research-based instructional best practices and positive humor at every opportunity. With a teaching career of 30+ years, spanning a variety of grade levels, diverse classrooms, and literacy positions in North Carolina schools, Kathy fully understands the value of sharing research-based teaching strategies that work in the “real-world” classroom.

Kathy currently is the founder, CEO, and National Literacy Consultant for Strategies Unlimited, Inc. in Belmont, North Carolina. Through her company, she has many documented successful results in individual schools and districts across the country. In this role, she directly coaches and teams with teachers, students, and administrators in collaborative efforts to raise student achievement through sharing her real-world knowledge of best instructional practices.

Kathy is the creator of Think-Aloud Clouds, Comprehension Genre Walks, and many other tried-and-true interactive and collaborative literacy tools in her Literacy Toolkit. These valuable resources support successful differentiated reading and writing classroom instruction. She shares many of these literacy tools and classroom resources on her highly popular website with teachers all over the world.


Dr. Jana Echevarria

Dr. Jana Echevarria

Professor Emerita, California State University, Long Beach

Dr. Echevarria is Professor Emerita at California State University, Long Beach. A founding researcher and creator of the SIOP Model, Dr. Echevarria has published widely on effective instruction for English learners, including those with learning disabilities. She has presented her research in the U.S. and internationally, including serving as a Fulbright Specialist in Macedonia.

Moreover, her UCLA doctorate earned her an award from the National Association for Bilingual Education’s Outstanding Dissertations Competition. She received her university’s Outstanding Professor Award, was a finalist for the Senior Research Award given by the American Education Research Association, Second Language SIG, and was inducted into the California Reading Hall of Fame. She serves as an expert on English learners for the U.S. Department of Justice.


Dr. Douglas Fisher

Dr. Douglas Fisher

San Diego, CA; Professor of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University; President, International Literacy Association

Dr. Douglas Fisher is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College, having been an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education and is a member of the California Reading Hall of Fame. He is a renowned speaker and author of numerous articles and books and is President of the International Literacy Association (ILA) Board.


Dr. Vicki Gibson

Dr. Vicki Gibson

CEO/Chairman, Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates; Educational Consultant, Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates

Dr. Vicki Gibson has been teaching students, training teachers, writing curriculum, and directing instruction since 1975. Dr. Gibson is CEO/Chairman of an educational consulting group, Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates, that provides high-quality professional development onsite and online for administrators and teachers. She is also the curriculum director of Longmire Learning Center, Inc. (LLC), a private educational facility serving families with children ages 2–8 years.

Dr. Gibson owned three private preschools, taught and lectured for ten years at Texas A&M University, and taught for 10 years in public schools as a kindergarten teacher, special education resource teacher, adaptive behavior specialist, and learning disability specialist. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. at Texas A&M University.


Dr. Jan Hasbrouck

Dr. Jan Hasbrouck

Co-Founder and Educational Consultant, Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates

Dr. Jan Hasbrouck is an educational consultant, author, and researcher. She served as Executive Consultant to the Washington State Reading Initiative and as an advisor to the Texas Reading Initiative. Dr. Hasbrouck worked as a reading specialist and literacy coach for 15 years before teaching at the University of Oregon and later as a professor at Texas A&M University. Dr. Hasbrouck has provided educational consulting to individual schools across the United States as well as in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Ghana, and Germany, helping teachers, specialists, and administrators design and implement effective assessment and instructional programs targeted to help low-performing readers.

Dr. Hasbrouck earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Oregon and completed her Ph.D. at Texas A&M. Her research in areas of reading fluency, reading assessment, coaching, and second language learners has been published in numerous professional books and journals. In 2008, she and her colleague, Dr. Vicki Gibson, partnered to form Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates, with the mission to provide high-quality professional development to educators nationally and internationally.


Dr. Laura Justice

Dr. Laura Justice

Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology at The Ohio State University; Executive Director, Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy; and Fulbright Scholar

Dr. Laura Justice is the EHE Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology at The Ohio State University. She is also Executive Director of the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy and the Schoenbaum Family Center. Dr. Justice is interested in identifying ways to more effectively support the early language and literacy development of children experiencing risk, including children with communication disorders and children living in poverty.

Justice is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, appearing in such journals as Child Development; Psychological Science; Developmental Psychology; Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; and American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Justice is also the author of two major textbooks in communication sciences (Communication Sciences and Disorders: A Contemporary Perspective and Language Development: Theory of Practice). Justice is heavily involved with literacy promotion in international contexts, including ongoing work scaling up a parent-child reading program in indigenous Maya villages in eastern Mexico.


Michelle H. Martin

Michelle H. Martin

Endowed Professor, University of Washington; Endowed Chair, University of South Carolina; Founder of Read-a-Ramat

Dr. Timothy Shanahan

Dr. Timothy Shanahan

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois; Chicago Inductee, Reading Hall of Fame, 2007; Past President, International Literacy Association

Dr. Timothy Shanahan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is Founding Director of the UIC Center for Literacy. He operates a popular website for educators, and his thought-provoking blogs are carried regularly on Reading Rockets. He was Director of Reading for Chicago Public Schools and recently served as Visiting Research Professor at Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the author/editor of more than 200 publications and books. His research emphasizes the connections between learning to read and learning to write, literacy in the disciplines, and improvement of reading achievement.

Dr. Shanahan served on the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy. He took a leadership role on the National Reading Panel (NRP), convened by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the request of Congress to evaluate research on methods for teaching reading. He chaired two other federal research review panels: the National Literacy Panel for Language Minority Children and Youth, and the National Early Literacy Panel and he helped write the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). He was a co-principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Title I Study of Implementation and Outcomes: Early Childhood Language Development funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. He received the William S. Gray Citation for Lifetime Achievement and the Albert J. Harris Award for outstanding research on reading disability from the International Literacy Association (ILA), the P. David Pearson Award for Scholarly Influence from the Literacy Research Association, the Milton D. Jacobson Readability Research Award, the Amoco Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the University of Delaware’s Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement.

In 2009, he was selected as Researcher of the Year at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Social Sciences/Humanities). He co-developed Project FLAME, a family literacy program for Latino immigrants, which received an Academic Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Education. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware in 1980. He was inducted to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007 and is a former first-grade teacher.


Dr. Josefina Tinajero

Dr. Josefina Tinajero

Dean, College of Education, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP); Professor of Bilingual Education, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP);
Board Member, American Association of College for Teacher Education (AACTE); Board Member, National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)

Dr. Josefina (“Josie”) Tinajero, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and Professor of Bilingual Education, is a leading scholar, educator and advocate on issues of equity and excellence for culturally and linguistically diverse children and families. She has been a major force in shaping public policy in the U.S. in support of linguistically diverse children and families and has founded educational programs that provide novice and experienced educators with the skills and knowledge needed for educating an increasingly diverse society.

Dr. Tinajero’s rich knowledge and experience in relation to effective educational reform, cultural and linguistic diversity, and school achievement have been key vehicles for effecting positive change at UTEP and in the local community. Currently, she is co-PI of a major grant from the Carnegie Corporation. This project, “Teachers for a New Era” is a landmark initiative designed to strengthen K–12 teaching by using research and evidence to develop state-of-the-art programs at schools of education.

Dr. Tinajero is an active member of the board of directors of the American Association of College for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE). She is a member of the Governing Board of the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER). Dr. Tinajero’s areas of expertise span diverse fields, including program development and school-university partnerships, and she has served as a consultant for numerous U.S. school districts in their design of ESL, bilingual, literacy, and bi-literacy programs. She has served on state and national advisory committees and boards for standards development, including the English as a New Language Advisory Panel of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and the Texas Reading Academies.

She served as president of the National Association for Bilingual Education for an unprecedented four terms and president of the Texas Association for Bilingual Education. She is the author of several comprehensive, multi-component reading/language arts and ESL programs. Dr. Tinajero has received numerous awards and was named one of 80 Most Influential Hispanics in the U. S. by U. S. Hispanic Business Magazine. She holds a B.S. degree in elementary education/reading and an M. Ed. in supervision and administration from UTEP, and a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University/Kingsville in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in bilingual education.


Catlin Tucker

Catlin Tucker

Google Certified Innovator, bestselling author, international trainer, and frequent Edtech speaker

Catlin Tucker is a Google Certified Innovator, bestselling author, international trainer, and frequent EdTech speaker, who currently teaches in Sonoma County where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2010. Catlin's books Blended Learning in Grades 4–12 and Blended Learning In Action are both bestsellers. She has also written a book titled Creatively Teach the Common Core Literacy Standards with Technology to support teachers in thinking outside of the box as they shift to a new set of standards. Catlin is currently writing her fourth book titled Professional Learning for Blended Instruction to be published in early 2018. Catlin is working on her doctorate at Pepperdine University. She writes the "Techy Teacher" column for ASCD's Educational Leadership. She is active on Twitter @Catlin_Tucker and writes an internationally-ranked education blog at

Dr. Doris Walker-Dalhouse

Dr. Doris Walker-Dalhouse

Professor, Department of Educational Policy & Leadership, Marquette University

Dr. Doris Walker-Dalhouse is an educational consultant, researcher, and professor at Marquette University. Her primary areas of research are vested in the cognitive process of writing, literature-based reading, the socio-cultural aspects of literacy as well as teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. In addition to her numerous publications, Dr. Walker-Dalhouse has been the recipient of a myriad of awards exemplifying her continuing efforts in education. She was an active board member with the International Reading Association, president for both the Minnesota Reading Association and Red River Reading Association, and is presently an affiliate of the National Reading Conference, as well as many other professional and academic organizations. She earned her B.A. from Kentucky State University and achieved both her masters and Ph.D. in reading education from The Ohio State University.


Dinah Zike

Dinah Zike

Educational Author and Consultant; President and Founder of and Dinah Zike Academy, Professional Development Facility

Dinah Zike is an award-winning author, educator, and inventor known for designing three-dimensional, hands-on manipulatives and interactive graphic organizers known as Foldables® and Notebook Foldables. Dinah’s manipulatives strengthen communication skills in all content areas, and it has been estimated that as many as 85 percent of the students in the United States will use something she has designed at some point in their K–12 education. As a frequent keynote speaker and continuing education consultant, Dinah and her trainers work with thousands of student teachers, classroom teachers, administrators, and parents every year. Ms. Zike has been an author and consultant for McGraw Hill since 2001. Additionally, she has published a large array of popular resource books and educational materials—most notably, Dinah Zike's Notebook Foldables® and InRIGORating Notebooks With Strong Communication Skills—for her own company.


Texas StudySync Advisors

J. Scott Brownlee

J. Scott Brownlee is a Career & Talent Development Consultant at UT-Austin’s McCombs School of Business and a core faculty member for Brooklyn Poets, a NYC-based literary nonprofit. The author of four books of poetry, he received the Texas Institute of Letters 2015 Bob Bush Award for Best First Book of Poetry, as well as the 2014 Robert Phillips Prize from Texas Review Press. 

Dr. Marcela Fuentes

Dr. Marcela Fuentes is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Latinx Literature at Texas A&M University. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ workshop and was the 2016–2017 James C. McCreight Fellow in Fiction at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She co-founded The Iowa Youth Writing Project, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting writing programs and events for K–12 students in the Iowa City area. 

Valentina Gonzalez

Valentina Gonzalez is a Professional Development Specialist for English Language Learners in Texas, coaching teachers in ELL strategies and leading professional development at the state and national level. She has a natural love of language stemming from her experience as an immigrant from Serbia, Yugoslavia. Her years in education include roles as a classroom teacher, ESL Specialty Support Teacher, and ESL Facilitator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from The University of Houston, and a master’s in Educational Administration from Lamar University. 

Gerrit Jones-Rooy

Gerrit Jones-Rooy is Director of Literacy at Collegiate Academies in New Orleans as well as a ninth grade teacher. Previously he worked as a Staff Developer for the Reading and Writing Project, leading work across the country as well as in Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Poland and Thailand. He is the author or co-author of several Teachers College units including "Turning Every Kid into a Reader, Really" and "All About Books: Writing in Non-fiction." 

Dr. Lynn Knowles

Dr. Lynn Knowles spent the majority of her 28-year teaching career at Flower Mound High School in Texas, where she served as English department chair and taught English II pre-AP and Humanities, as well as AP Capstone. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The University of Texas, a master’s in Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Texas Woman’s University.

Wendy Massey

Wendy Massey has taught high school for 20 years now. She has experience teaching Grades 9–12 but primarily has taught English II Pre-AP and PSAT/SAT Prep. She has served several years now as the English department co-chair; in addition, she has served on the curriculum writing team for her district and has been the Academic Decathlon language coach. 

Dr. Patricia Morales

Dr. Patricia Morales is founder of ellservices©, consultant, and a professional development provider in English as a Second Language (ESL), Bilingual Education, and Dual Language Education. She is also an independent educational consultant at the Teaching and Learning Division of the Harris County Department of Education in Houston, Texas. She has taught university courses focusing on language acquisition and pedagogy, and continues to prepare thousands of teachers pursuing certifications in bilingual education and English as a Second Language in Texas.  

Richard Orlopp

Richard Orlopp moved to Texas after graduating from Rutgers University with degrees in English and Journalism. He never left. He has taught English for the past 17 years and currently teaches AP Literature and Composition and International Baccalaureate seniors at Coppell High School.  


Jessica Rogers

Jessica Rogers is a Lecturer at Baylor University and founder of Rogers Education Consulting, which specializes in Balanced Literacy professional development. She has over 15 years' experience in education, including teaching ESL, inclusion, gifted and talented, self-contained classrooms, mentoring teachers, and designing and implementing professional development. Her passion is making abstract educational theory and cutting-edge techniques practical for the classroom teacher.   

Muhammad Shimal

Mr. Shimal has been teaching for 11 years now. His teaching experience spans high school to college classes domestically and internationally. He currently teaches English Language AP/ Dual Credit for Juniors and College Prep classes for Seniors. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, a Master's degree in Linguistics, and is currently finishing his Ph.D. in English at the University of Texas at San Antonio.   

Research and Thought Leadership for Texas Programs

Overview of Literacy Is for Life

Learn about the "7Rs"—the seven literacy curriculum attributes schools need to improve literacy instruction, boost student outcomes, and prepare students for college and careers.

My hope for Texas students is that they will come to see themselves as able to make sense of even difficult texts—that their reading determination and perseverance can be keys to their academic success.

Literacy Webinars

In these on-demand webinars, you'll have the chance to hear from industry leaders about topics important to Texas educators. 

Aligning Instruction with the Revised TEKS for ELAR

Vicki Gibson, Educational Consultant and Trainer | Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates  

Administrators and teachers need an efficient tool that identifies the changes in expectations for instruction, student practice, and assessment to ensure classroom practices align with year-end outcomes reflected in the TEKS.  

Engaging Critical Media Literacy Lessons in the Middle School Classroom

Gwynee Ash, Professor | Texas State University

This session helps teachers draw on media headlines as a means of reinforcing standards-based critical literacy skills in response to ideas and texts shared on social media. 

Equity of Access for Students Who Need It Most

Jana Echevarria, Professor Emerita | California State University, Long Beach

Dr. Echevarria discusses how English learners are provided effective means for accessing the core curriculum as well as accelerating their language development and literacy skills.

Best Instructional Practices in a Balanced Approach to Instruction 

Kathy Bumgardner, Founder and Lead Literacy Consultant | Strategies Unlimited, Inc.  

Kathy Bumgardner talks about classrooms today and how we can continue to support our students.

Making RTI Work for Kids and Teachers in Texas

Jan Hasbrouck Educational Consultant and Trainer | Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates 

Dr. Hasbrouck discusses how RTI can be an effective framework to help EVERY K–12 student succeed and how data from the right assessments can help us make the best instructional decisions to make a difference. She also shares a specific, outcomes-based model to systematically organize data.

Rigorous Reading for Texas Students

Douglas Fisher, Professor of Educational Leadership | San Diego State University  

Dr. Doug Fisher talks about Rigorous Reading for Texas.

Foldables, Learning Styles, and Multisensory Strategies

Dinah Zike, Educational Author and Consultant; President and Founder of

Dinah Zike discusses Foldables, learning styles, and multisensory strategies.

Training & Professional Development for Texas Programs

Overview of Professional Development for Texas Programs

Beginning with an executive planning meeting, a a McGraw Hill team will meet with district curriculum leaders to plan and address specific instructional objectives. This meeting will help bring the right specialists to work with district teachers for implementation success. 

By planning professional development opportunities and scheduling options together, McGraw Hill and the district administrative team can prepare impactful, useful, and sustainable training events for teachers and curriculum leaders.  

Additionally, by planning as a single team, McGraw Hill PD team members can address the outlined goals and content defined by district leaders. Specific session agendas can be discussed and confirmed during the executive planning meeting as needed.

Our goal is to provide teachers with a comprehensive introduction to McGraw Hill curricula, ensuring teachers have acquired the knowledge and skills to begin using the resources immediately in their classroom.

Initial Teacher and Administrator/Coach Training

A curriculum overview will be customized to address district requirements and may include the following topics:

  • Curriculum organization and orientation to materials  
  • Digital resource overview and exploration  
  • Lesson planning  
  • Student assessment and evaluation  
  • Differentiated instruction strategies and resources 
  • Best practices and effective teaching strategies 
  • Targeted intervention
  • Train the Trainer model  

A unique feature of McGraw Hill programs is how our virtual training resources provide step-by-step online training. Led by nationally-recognized educators, these training sessions direct teachers through video and printable guided practice, available 24/7 from wherever teachers and administrators access the program. 

  • Initial Program Training: This three- to four-hour session contains a program overview that provides teachers with a thorough introduction to Texas StudySync and prepares them for the first day of school. Grade-level sessions will focus on topics including: 
    • Organization of the program
    • Alignment to TEKS and ELPS standards 
    • Lesson structure and planning 
    • Assessment and evaluating student achievement 
    • Differentiation strategies 
    • English Learner support and strategies 
    • Effective teaching strategies 
    • Targeted intervention
    • Strategies for reaching all learners 
    • Placement and diagnosis writing instruction 
  • Weekly Webinars: Connect with other educators to learn and share best practices. Regularly scheduled basic and advanced webinars connect you with a StudySync expert on your schedule. Online implementation modules provide district educators with ongoing implementation and curriculum support. Designed as grade-level specific resources, Online Implementation Modules will be available for all teachers throughout the adoption and include online video libraries through the learning portal. The online format provides flexibility and access for teachers and coaches—short video clips of master teachers, model lessons and experts located at point of use. These video segments are correlated and aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for English Language Arts and Reading.
  • Live Chat Function: Access immediate live assistance and feedback supporting Texas teachers in the classroom. 
  • Texas StudySync Teaching Labs: Watch StudySync teachers model and present implementation strategies for Texas StudySync lessons in the classroom. 
  • Best Practices: Find recommendations on how to implement StudySync in your classroom, featuring teachers from across the country. This feature includes "no technology-no problem" infographics. 

Following the initial implementation, McGraw Hill representatives and designated district and/or school personnel will determine a plan for further training. The follow-up training may include several topics:  

  • On-going new teacher training
  • Digital deep dive  
  • TEKS workshops focusing on new ELAR strands
  • Annual new teacher trainings
  • Digital deep dives  
  • Assessment follow up  
  • Small group instruction  
  • English Language Learner instruction
  • Blended Learning  
  • Novel Studies  
  • Blasts: Using current events to further reading, writing, speaking and listening skills  
  • Texas implementation specialists assigned to each district for ongoing support for the life of the adoption  
  • SyncUP Newsletter: Provides updates on new content and program features, tips and tricks from teachers using StudySync, and scheduled collaborative events  
  • Tutorial Videos: Quick how-to videos on all aspects of using your StudySync account  
  • StudySync Blog: Opportunities to collaborate with other Texas StudySync teachers

In this session, participants:

  • Get an overview of the technology offerings.
  • Train in the effective use of the components purchased with the program for motivating students, monitoring progress, and recording assessments.  
  • Receive ideas for effectively integrating the use of the Internet in classroom instruction.  
  • Learn how to register for the online student and teacher editions.
  • Explore the interactive activities and projects on ConnectED.

Teachers will have access to online PD videos, author videos, classroom model videos, and white papers. Participants must have access to internet-connected computers during the training session.

In the first unit of every grade, the Start Smart pages of your Teacher’s Edition provide an overview and explanation of the instructional lessons and routines.

Your online Professional Development resources are available 24/7, on-demand, so you get the support you need, whenever you need it.  

You’ll find Quick Start courses that will help you make the most of the digital workspace, classroom videos, coach videos featuring our authors, and whitepapers as well as the Instructional Routine Handbook and Research Base Alignment.

Beginning with an executive planning meeting, a McGraw Hill team will meet with district curriculum leaders to plan and address specific instructional objectives. This meeting will help bring the right specialists to work with district teachers for implementation success. 

By planning professional development opportunities and scheduling options together, McGraw Hill and the district administrative team can prepare impactful, useful, and sustainable training events for teachers and curriculum leaders.  

Additionally, by planning as a single team, McGraw Hill PD team members can address the outlined goals and content defined by district leaders. Specific session agendas can be discussed and confirmed during the executive planning meeting as needed.

Literacy Curriculum Bundles

Wonders Print and Digital
Literacy Bundles

Maravillas Print and Digital
Literacy Bundles

StudySync Print and Digital
Literacy Bundles