Weekly Tiger News

September 19 - September 23, 2016

Oh The Places You'll Go.... College Bound

Every Child, Every Day!!!

Cultural Awareness

· Our first districtwide Early Release Day is Wednesday, September 21, 2016. Students will dismiss at 12:15p.m. Please remember to remind your students and parents. All campus teachers will be shuttled by bus to the KHS auditorium to hear Dr. McCloud speak on Cultural Awareness. Lunch will be provided. Our session is scheduled to start at 2:00 until 4:00 PM. Once the transportation schedule is finalized, it will be sent to you.

6 Ways Teachers Can Foster Cultural Awareness in the Classroom

By Matthew Lynch on November 30, 2014

A multicultural society is best served by a culturally responsive curriculum. Schools that acknowledge the diversity of their student population understand the importance of promoting cultural awareness. Teachers who are interested in fostering a cultural awareness in their classroom should actively demonstrate to their students that they genuinely care about their cultural, emotional, and intellectual needs. To this end, there are several strategies that you can use to build trusting relationships with diverse students. To incorporate cultural awareness into your classroom curriculum, you should:

1. Express interest in the ethnic background of your students. Encourage your students to research and share information about their ethnic background as a means of fostering a trusting relationship with fellow classmates. Analyze and celebrate differences in traditions, beliefs, and social behaviors. It is of note that this task helps European-American students realize that their beliefs and traditions constitute a culture as well, which is a necessary breakthrough in the development of a truly culturally responsive classroom. Also, take the time to learn the proper pronunciation of student names and express interest in the etymology of interesting and diverse names.

2. Redirect your role in the classroom from instructor to facilitator. Another important requirement for creating a nurturing environment for students is reducing the power differential between the instructor and students. Students in an authoritarian classroom may sometimes display negative behaviors as a result of a perceived sense of social injustice; in the culturally diverse classroom, the teacher thus acts more like a facilitator than an instructor. Providing students with questionnaires about what they find to be interesting or important provides them with a measure of power over what they get to learn and provides them with greater intrinsic motivation and connectedness to the material. Allowing students to bring in their own reading material and present it to the class provides them with an opportunity to both interact with and share stories, thoughts, and ideas that are important to their cultural and social perspective.

3. Maintain a strict level of sensitivity to language concerns. In traditional classrooms, students who are not native English speakers often feel marginalized, lost, and pressured into discarding their original language in favor of English. In a culturally responsive classroom, diversity of language is celebrated and the level of instructional materials provided to non-native speakers are tailored to their level of English fluency. Accompanying materials should be provided in the student's primary language and the student should be encouraged to master English.

4. Maintain high expectations for student performance. Given that culturally responsive instruction is a student-centered philosophy, it should come as no surprise that expectations for achievement are determined and assigned individually for each student. Students don't receive lavish praise for simple tasks but do receive praise in proportion to their accomplishments. If a student is not completing her work, then one should engage the student positively and help guide the student toward explaining how to complete the initial steps that need to be done to complete a given assignment or task.

5. Incorporate methods for self-testing. Another potent method for helping students become active participants in learning is to reframe the concept of testing. While testing is usually associated with grades (and therefore stress) in traditional classrooms, in a culturally responsive classroom frequent non-graded tests can be used to provide progress checks and ensure that students don't fall behind on required material. Teaching students to self-test while learning new information will help them better remember and use what they've learned in class and will help them realize on their own when they need to study a topic in greater depth.

6. Maintain an "inclusive" curriculum that remains respectful of differences. A culturally responsive curriculum is both inclusive in that it ensures that all students are included within all aspects of the school and it acknowledges the unique differences students may possess. A culturally responsive curriculum also encourages teachers' understanding and recognition of each student's non-school cultural life and background, and provides a means for them to incorporate this information into the curriculum, thus promoting inclusion.

Schools have the responsibility to teach all students how to synthesize cultural differences into their knowledge base, in order to facilitate students' personal and professional success in a diverse world. A culturally responsive curriculum helps students from a minority ethnic/racial background develop a sense of identity as individuals, as well as proudly identify with their particular culture group. Teachers can play a big role in helping these students succeed through the establishment of culturally responsive classrooms.

Classroom Strategies

Snapshots

Snapshots are scheduled for this week. Make sure you have looked a the blueprint of what will be tested. All scantrons need to be scanned by Wednesday, September 28th. We will scan our scantrons by Friday, September 23rd. During PLC, next week we will discuss the data and determine if we need to make adjustments to our focus groups and our intervention groups. After each assessment you will need to fill out the Teacher Action Form to determine weaknesses and a plan for intervention. I will share this with you this week.


Please remember that since the assessment covers standards that have been taught, the expectations that student results should be at 70% or better.

Think Through Math and IStation

Think Through Math is finally up and running. Ms. Scott and Ms. Gonzalez will be switching off using TTM and IStation during intervention time. Each grade level has Ipads to use during intervention time. Place your scores on your Progress Measure from in the google drive by September 23rd.


Please get with Ms. Johnson and Ms. Silcox if you missed your schedule time for testing.

Student Grades

You must input 2 grades per content area each week? Do you know how many of your students have a grade average lower than a 70%? How are you providing academic support to these students?


By inputting grades each week, this helps parents keep informed of how their child is doing academically. There should be no surprises at the end of the nine weeks.

Sheldon Elementary Attendance

September is Attendance Awareness Month and it is our responsibility to communicate to parents and students the impact of absences on their learning.


We saw a decrease in our attendance. It is important that you are talking to your students and letting them know how important it is for them to come to school each day. Our attendance has gone down two weeks in a row. What are you doing to help increase attendance in your classroom? What incentives do you have in place for perfect attendance?


Sheldon Elementary Attendance:

Our attendance for the week of September 5th is 97.80%

Our attendance for the week of September 12th is 97.74%

Shout Outs!!!!

  • Roberta Huston - Thanks for having your sub tub all ready to go with a class schedule and work when she unexpectedly had to take a day. Great job!
  • 2nd Grade Team - The team came to ELA planning very well prepared with their different task and went over and beyond expectations. Keep up the great work!
  • Ms. Stagg, Ms. Huston, Ms. Wilburn, and Ms. Perez for attending last Saturday's staff development on Interactive Notebooks. Thanks for taking a Saturday to do some learning. I heard it was great training. Also thanks to those who have attended training during the week. I appreciate your dedication!

Transporation

We are in our third week of school. Continue the momentum to ensure students get home safely! Please make sure you submit a revised Mode of Transportation form with any changes.

Upcoming Events:

  • Celebrate Freedom Week

  • September 19 - Team Leader Meeting at 4:00 p.m. in the Library

  • September 20 - Differentiated Training at 3:50 p.m. in the Science Lab

  • September 21 - 1/2 Day Early Release - District PD Culture Awareness

  • September 23 - PTO Store Begins (Lunch time)

Reminders:

  • Teachers, please make sure you are at your door when the bell rings at 7:40 a.m.
  • Greet your students each morning as they enter the classroom.
  • Teachers, please let Ms. Garza know when you have a missed punch on the time clock. It is important to clock in on time each day.
  • All letters to parents need to be approved by an administrator before sending home.

Apply for School Grants

· Chevron is working with DonorsChoose.org again this year to help K-12 teachers in public schools get the supplies they need for eligible public school classroom projects. What do your students need? Microscopes, art supplies, books? Post your project request now. The time period for submissions on www.fuelyourschool.com is Sept. 1-Nov. 15, 2016. Don’t wait—because the earlier you post your project during the submission period, the better your chance will be to receive funding.

Principal and Assistant Principal

Rachelle Ysquierdo and Angie Lavios