Ms. Amber Parker

Phone: 713-295-6500 extension 219


Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Amber Parker

Amber Parker has been teaching in Houston ISD since 1999. She holds an undergraduate degree from University of St. Thomas in Houston, and a Masters Degree from University of Houston-Downtown. She grew up in Galveston, Texas where she attended public school and played flute in the Marching Tornado Band. Ms. Parker has a dog named Iko and a cat named Mary-cat. 

When Ms. Parker is not teaching or reading, she is probably drawing, knitting, wasting time on the internet, or binge watching a silly show on Netflix. 

Ms. Parker's e-mail-

Tutorials- Tuesday, 3:55 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Daily Supplies for English:

- Journal (Bound Composition Book)

- Pen or Pencil

- Independent Reading Book

Most classwork and notes can be found by logging into Google.Classroom.

HISD E-mail: (#s- Student ID number)

Password: Student's HISD Network Password

  • Virtual School- Week of 4/20-24/2020

    Posted by Amber Parker on 4/20/2020 10:30:00 AM

    Student Directions 4/20-24/2020

    *This is your overview of the week. All assignment materials are posted in Google Classroom. 

    *Week of 4/20-24/2020 Overview Video


    This week your BIG MUST DO tasks will focus on planning a “Literature or Text Based Research Project.” With that project, you will take SOMETHING that you have read this year, and form a question that you are interested in researching. The end product will be a presentation in which you “virtually” teach us about your topic.

    Literature Based Research is taking topics that are covered in something that you have read, and forming a question that requires investigation and research to answer. 

    It is the connection between reading for pleasure (or assignment), and wondering about the wider world.

    Literature Based Research Project Overview Video

     The Project The steps in this project will take you through forming a research question, conducting research, writing your thesis, and creating an instructive product based on your findings. That means that you will be creating a presentation to TEACH others about your topic. Your final projects will be presented to your classmates through a “Virtual Gallery.”

    Project Steps

    *Where you see “Teacher Approval,” that is a point where you need to pause for me to check your work before you move on.

    Planning- Week of 4/20-24/2020

    1. Forming an Idea (Submit Google Doc)
    2. Forming a Research Question (Submit Google Doc) (Teacher Approval)

    Research- Beginning Week of 4/27-5/1/2020

    1. Use credible sources to conduct research 
    2. Maintain Bibliography of sources used (Teacher Approval)

    Building Your Project

    1. You will have choices how you will create a presentation which teaches others about your topic

    Final project due date is still TBD (to be determined). I should know that next week.

    Week of 4/20-24/2020 Tasks

    Must Dos- You have to do this. No excuses (unless your technology isn’t working, and then you need to contact me!)

    • *Forming an Idea Google Doc
    • *Forming a Research Question Google Doc

    (These two tasks will be one grade. Each will be worth 10 points, for a 20 point grade. I have to grade and approve this before you can move on.)

    • Complete High School Survey
    • Read a Book, the news, short story, poetry, website, SOMETHING! READ!

    Nice to Do

    • Keep a journal. Share your entries with me if you would like to.
    • Practice Grammar skills with Khan Academy

    Something Else


    • Support a Teacher- Let a teacher know that you appreciate them. Believe it or not, we teachers are getting a lot of pressure from a lot of directions. You may not see it, but it’s true. The people who are being awesome are you students. It makes our day when we get a text, e-mail, or message from you, with a funny meme, or just saying, “How are YOU doing today?” Think about the teachers who might need some support, and reach out to them. You can find teacher’s email addresses on the Pin Oak Website, or if you need another way to contact them, let me know… I’ll try to help!


    • Try something new- Never baked a cake? Find a recipe, and try it out! Never washed dishes? DO IT! Never sewn a button onto a shirt? Learn to sew a button! Learn to do something you don’t know how to do! Better yet, Take a picture, post it in the comments, and tell us how it went!
    Comments (-1)
  • Virtual School- Week of 4/13-18/2020

    Posted by Amber Parker on 4/14/2020 12:30:00 AM

    As with last week, I have divided the tasks into three sections:
    MUST DO- I expect these tasks to be done this week. These tasks will be graded. To view my instructional video, click here.

    1. Watch and answer questions over "The Danger of A Single Story";
    2. Create an Identity Bubble Statement (these will be a combined grade).

    NICE TO DO- This is something that I would like for you to try if you have time.

    1. Journaling;
    2. Khan Academy

    NEED SOMETHING ELSE- These are assignments that build on some of the reading options in the Must Dos, and that will provide you with more enrichment if you find yourself needing more challenge or creativity.

    1. Do Something Good

    I will also post a mid-week check-in, which I hope will be a fun way for students to interact with me, and with one another!

    Comments (-1)
  • Virtual School- Week of 4/6-9/2020

    Posted by Amber Parker on 4/6/2020 9:30:00 AM

    Detailed assignment instructions are posted in Google Classroom. Please see information there.

    Watch Ms. Parker's Weekly Video

    This week, I have divided the tasks into three sections:
    MUST DO- I expect these tasks to be done this week. These tasks will be graded.

    • Informational Text Analysis
    • Khan Academy Grammar Practice (no more than 30 min. per week required)

    NICE TO DO- This is something that I would like for you to try if you have time.

    • Journaling

    NEED SOMETHING ELSE- These are assignments that build on some of the reading options in the Must Dos, and that will provide you with more enrichment if you find yourself needing more challenge or creativity.

    • Do Something Good
    • Kitchen Research

    I am also asking everyone to sign up for a time slot to meet with me this week. If you do not have access to Teams, there is a section at the end of the form attached to this post where you can state that. If that is the case, I know that I need to do a check in with you over the phone.
    There will be (8) spaces in each time slot.
    Be prepared to discuss what you have been reading lately: last week's short story, this week's article, or your independent reading.

    Comments (-1)
  • Field Trip and Recommendation Requests

    Posted by Amber Parker on 10/29/2019 1:15:00 PM

    Holocaust Museum and Museum of Natural Science Field Trip

    HMH and HMNS Permission Slip

    Date: Friday, November 15, 2019

    Time: 8:30a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

    Where: Students will travel to Holocaust Museum Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Students will eat a sack lunch at the Reflecting Pond in Herman Park (weather permitting). 

    Why: Reinforce historical setting and information students have learned about the Holocaust through Holocaust Literature in English class; Reinforce concepts about chemistry and the solar system which students have learned/ will learn in science.

    Cost: $10 per student (Students should talk to Ms. Parker if there is any difficulty paying for the trip. As this trip is an education opportunity, we want all students to participate.)

    Students are receiving permission slips this week through English class. The entire permission slip, and the money should be turned in to Ms. Parker by Friday, November 8, 2019.


    We will need at least 10 chaperones for this trip. Please e-mail Ms. Parker at if you are able to chaperone. There is no cost for chaperones on this trip. You must be registered with ViPS (Volunteers in Public Schools) in order to chaperone. Please visit Pin Oak's Volunteer Page  in order to register, and follow up with Ms. Escamilla at to finalize your registration.


    High School Letters of Recommendation

    Students who are applying to private high schools, and some HISD magnet programs will need letters of recommendation from their English and Math teachers.

    I take high school recommendations very seriously, and I will write an honest recommendation to help you gain entrance into your choice schools. I must have your recommendation request and form(s) at least two weeks before the school's deadline to make sure that they receive it on time. I cannot guarantee that any recommendations requested less than two weeks before the deadline will arrive on time. 

    If you are requesting a letter of recommendation for your high school application, Please follow the steps below:

    1. Complete the online High School Recommendation Request form through the link in Google Classroom. Only students may fill out this request (sorry, parents... they have to do the work).
    2. Recommendations will either be completed online (through the Ravenna system) or in paper form.
    • Online- I will complete the form before the High School's due date and send an e-mail to students once it is completed.
    • Paper- I must receive all of the following from you:
      • A copy of the recommendation form SIGNED by YOUR PARENT (I will make copies if you are sending the same recommendation form to multiple schools. It is easier for me to fill it out once and make copies.
      • Stamped, addressed envelopes for each school you want your recommendation sent to. Make sure that you write your name on the front of each envelope (re. Sally Smith).
      • I will make sure that recommendations are mailed in a timely manner, and I will e-mail the student when they are complete.

    Please feel free to e-mail if you have any questions.


    Comments (-1)
  • Cycle 2- Holocaust Literature, Persuasive Language, and Propaganda

    Posted by Amber Parker on 10/21/2019 4:40:00 PM

    We are currently reading literature which focuses on the time period of the Holocaust. Through the work we will do, we are going to study a time period in which persuasion and propaganda was used to persecute innocent people. This can be an emotionally challenging unit of study, and I encourage students to talk to me, to you, and to each other about the events which we learn about. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Students chose books and are working with "Literature Circles." Students have worked with the other students in their group to create a plan for reading. They will meet with their Literature Circle groups on Monday/Tuesdays and Wednesday/Thursdays to discuss the reading. 

    Holocaust Museum and Museum of Natural Science Field Trip

    We have scheduled a field trip to the Holocaust Museum and the Museum of Natural Science for Friday, November 15. We have not finalized all of the details yet, but we will need approximately 10-12 chaperones for 8A. If you are interested in attending the field trip with us, please contact me at

    Google Classroom Assignments

    I have been assigning as much work as possible through Google Classroom to cut down on lost papers and to give students experience working with "paperless" assignments (as they will experience in High School). There are some kinks to work out of this system:

    • Students should click "Mark as Complete" in the Google Classroom assignment when they are done. This lets both them, and me know it is finished. Google Classroom does not automatically know that an assignment is done. (If you have used the set-up correctly, I can still see your 
    • Some activities require watching short videos, but we are currently without enough headphones. Students are encouraged to bring headphones to class for these assignments. Headphones must have a traditional jack (not an I-phone adaptor). 
    • I am giving students time in class to work on assignments, but not all students are using that time efficiently. Just because we have computers out does not mean that it is free time. I expect work to be done by the due dates I set.

    October 21-25, 2019

    • Monday/Tuesday- Review Rhetorical Appeals- Ethos, Logos, Pathos
    • Wednesday/Thursday- Analyze Persuasive Techniques in a Political Speech
    • Friday- Work Completion Day

    October 28- November 1, 2019

    • PSAT Wednestay, October 30, 2019
    • Rotation Stations
      • Students will review Rhetorical Appeals and Persuasive Techniques in Propaganda, 
      • Analyze figurative language and meaning in poetry, 
      • Analyze the roles of the Perpetrators, Bystanders, Rescuers, and Survivors in their Literature Circle Novels. 

    We will tentativly plan for a Test covering Rhetorical and Persuasive techniques on Monday/Tuesday, November 4/5. 


    Comments (-1)
  • Cycle 1 Test Review Guide

    Posted by Amber Parker on 9/28/2019 4:30:00 PM

    I have assigned some Grammar Practice on Subjects and Predicates, Direct and Indirect Objects, and Phrases and Clauses, through Khan Academy. There are videos to watch, and practice activities which you can do and check your progress. You can access Khan Academy though the HISD HUB (

    The Cycle 1 Test Review Guide is below:
    Be prepared for the following:
    Reading Portion- Read a passage in the style of a personal narrative. Answer questions about:
    • PLOT- Exposition, Inciting Incident, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution
    • Character’s Actions
    • Make inferences about the story
    You will have several excerpts from songs. Be prepared to identify the types of FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE used in the songs. Be familiar with the following:
    • Simile
    • Metaphor
    • Idiom
    • Hyperbole
    • Imagery
    • Personification
    • Allusion
    • Onomatopoeia
    • Euphemism
    Grammar Portion- Be prepared to identify the following in sentences similar to the grammar practice covered in class:
    • Subject and Predicate
    • Direct Object and Indirect Object
    • Phrases
    • Clauses
    • Independent Clauses
    • Subordinate (Dependent Clauses)
    *All notes and practice materials have been glued in students class journals and are available through Google Classroom accounts.

    Comments (-1)
  • Cycle 1 Test and Personal Narrative

    Posted by Amber Parker on 9/25/2019 4:35:00 PM

    Cycle 1 Test- Grammar and Comprehension

    Grammar Quiz and Test- We took a “pop” quiz over the grammar concepts we have been covering in class on Monday/Tuesday, and many students are not thrilled with their scores. The good news is, students can replace the quiz grade with their grade on the grammar portion of our test next Monday/ Tuesday, 9/30 or 10/1.

    I am holding a special tutoring session Thursday, September 26 from 3:55-4:30. I will post review material on Google Classroom as well. 

    Concepts to Review:

    • Subjects and Predicates
    • Direct and Indirect Objects
    • Phrases and Clauses
    • Independent or Subordinate (Dependent) Clauses

    Cycle 1 Test- Along with a grammar portion, the Cycle 1 test will include a passage in the style of a personal narrative. Students need to be prepared to answer questions about:

    • Plot (Exposition, Inciting Incident, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution)
    • General Conflict and Resolution
    • Summary
    • Effect of Figurative Language

    Students also need to be prepared to answer questions about Figurative Language in song lyrics.

    Personal Narrative-Personal Narrative Instructions

    In class, we have read several examples of personal narratives, and students have planned their personal narratives. I am attaching the handout which students are receiving in class which gives all of the requirements. Students need to adhere to the following due dates so that I have time to grade their writing.

     Friday, 9/27 (all classes- whether you see me or not)- Turn in Revised Draft of Personal Narrative. This may be handwritten, or typed in Google Docs and shared with To revise in Google Docs, go into “Suggesting” Mode in with the pencil icon in the upper right corner of the tool bar. 


    • Monday/ Tuesday, 9/30 or 10/1- Work on final product in class once you have completed your test.
    • Wednesday/ Thursday, 10/2 or 10/3- Work on final product in class. Final product is due at the END OF CLASS. 


    Book Talks and Bookmarks- Do not forget that Independent Reading Book Talks (Flipgrid) and Bookmarks are due this Friday, 9/27!

    Students going to Yellowstone in Group 1:

    • Revised Rough Draft is due Friday,  9/27
    • Students will take their Cycle 1 Test in class (10/ 7 or 10/8). 
    • Students’ Personal Narrative Final Products are due on Monday, 10/7 (no matter which day you have class) so that I have time to grade them.
    Comments (-1)
  • 9/23/2019- English Update

    Posted by Amber Parker on 9/23/2019 5:30:00 PM

    Good afternoon! I hope that everyone stayed dry and safe last week, and enjoyed an unexpected day off. Ms. Sher, Ms. Woodard and I are working on revising our plans to account for the unexpected events. I will post more after we have a chance to meet tomorrow, but here is what I can tell you now:

    The Grammar Test originally scheduled for 9/25 or 26 is postponed. 

    The Figurative Language Scavanger Hunt in which students were looking for examples of figurative language in music and analyzing them is due NOW. Students had most of class last Wed./ Thurs. to work on their analysis, so they need to turn in their work. 

    Personal Narrative-We are beginning to draft personal narratives. Students started by creating a plot diagram of their story. I am checking those in class, and students are beginnng to draft their stories. I have posted a tentative copy of the assignment in Google Classroom. I may need to change point values on the rubric, but all of the directions should be finalized. 

    Missing Work from Progress Reports- The Gradebook was just reopened this afternoon. I will enter work that was turned in last Thursday tomorrow. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Week of 9/9-13/2019- Plot, Personal Narrative, and Grammar

    Posted by Amber Parker on 9/7/2019 6:05:00 PM

    Week of 9/9-13/2019- Plot, Personal Narrative, and Grammar

    I have entered assignments that I have begun collecting into Gradespeed and I am beginning to enter grades. As a reminder, a blank grade means that I have not gotten to your class yet. MSG means that the assignment has been entered, is late, and students need to see me ASAP to turn it in!

    This week we started taking the Renaissance Reading Assessment. Some students were not able to access it due to an error in HISD’s system. They will take it as soon as the district gets that fixed. There is no need to stress if your student was in this situation.

    Completion Homework- If you did not finish the “Red Roses” assignment on Thursday/Friday in class, please remember that it is due when you come into class on Monday/Tuesday. (My Perspectives English Textbook, pp. 5-8)

    • 5- Complete Vocabulary chart, using Latin Roots and Context Clues to predict word meanings.
    • 6-7- Read “Red Roses”; Annotate by underlining or highlighting the Problem, Solution, and Lesson Learned (label your annotations); Complete the Vocabulary Web by finding words in text that relate to “Rites or Passage” {events that make you mature).
    • 8- Write a 4-6 sentence summary of the passage; You might use the “Somebody… Wanted… But… So…” strategy for your summary; Skip the “Launch Activity” at the bottom of the page.

    Week of 9/9-13/2019

    Plot and Personal Narrative- We will be reviewing Plot Structure and how it applies to Personal Narrative.

    Grammar- Students will receive notes on Sentence Structure, Types of Sentences, and Sentence Fragments next week. They will get practice work, and sections will be corrected in class on the dates listed below. Practice work will not be graded. It is for students’ benefit. Students will have a Grammar Test on 9/25 or 26/2019. Students are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to do the practice work and ask questions when it is corrected so that they are prepared for the test.

    • 9/11-12- Page 1, Section 1- Subject or Predicate
    • 9/13- Page 1, Section 2- Direct or Indirect Objects
    • 9/16-17- Page 1, Section 3- Phrases or Clauses
    • 9/18-19- Page 1, Section 4- Independent or Subordinate Clauses
    • 9/20- Page 2, Section 1- Structure & Purpose
    • 9/25-26- Test

    Notes on Google Classroom- Several of the notes that I use (including the Grammar Notes) are copyrighted material, because teachers wiser than I have put in the work, and I have paid them for their time. I cannot post those notes here because it is an open forum. I will post these notes in Google Classroom. Most students have now joined their English class account, and directions for accessing it are on my “English Resources” page on this site.

    Comments (-1)
  • Mid-week Update- Independent Reading

    Posted by Amber Parker on 9/4/2019 5:00:00 PM

    Students have received information on their Independent Reading assignments. The following infomration is in students' journals, along with a copy of the "Book Bingo" which is mentioned.

    Due Dates:

    • Cycle 1 Bookmark and Flipgrid Book-talk*- Due Friday, September 27, 2019 (*we will learn how to use Flipgrid next week)

    Independent Reading

    You are expected to read at least one independent reading book each six weeks, and you are expected to ALWAYS HAVE A BOOK that you are currently reading.

    *If we are doing Literature Circles as a class, that book can count as your independent reading book.


    • You must complete at least one bookmark per six weeks.
    • If you complete your bookmark and turn it in, you may get another bookmark and complete it for extra credit.
    • Bookmark focus and requirements may change as the year goes on.


    Students will do book-talks throughout the year, either live or recorded via Flipgrid. Students will do at least one book-talk per six weeks.

    Book Bingo Challenge

    Want more of a challenge? Read outside of your “go-to” genre(s) by taking the Book Bingo Challenge.

    • Small prizes will be given for every “five-in-a-row” a student earns.
    • A larger prize will be earned for a black-out.
    • In order to be eligible for prizes, your teacher must confirm that you are currently reading the book, and you must do a Flipgrid book talk for each book.
    Comments (-1)
If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.

Use the link below to access Ms. Parker's Online Scholastic Ordering. Orders will be sent in the second Friday of each month. Paper order magazines are available in the classroom. Ordering from Scholastic helps us keep our class library updated

Class Code: GMZZ6