Weekly V-Mail: Special Edition

January 29, 2016

Important Reminders

Please bring a new or gently used book appropriate for grades 6 - 12 to the conference. These books will be used for the Summer Reading for All program. Let's show our support to keep students reading!

If you have questions or need help navigating the conference, please don't hesitate to give me a call on my cell (512) 656-9705.

Important Changes

Parking at Gupton Stadium has changed. In order to park in this area, you must enter the parking lot from Gupton Way. This is the ONLY entrance this year. You may exit at Gupton Way, East Park Street, or South Vista Ridge (you may only make a right turn at this particular exit).

There will not be shuttles to 1890 Ranch this year for lunches and no lunches will be served in the cafeteria. However, there will be food trucks outside the auditorium or you can have lunch on your own.

Barnes and Noble will have a book table at the conference this year.

Elementary Keynote

12:44 – 2:14 Mattering IS the Agenda: Angela Maiers - Competition Gym

All Elementary staff are expected to attend this. When we think of people who made the biggest impact in our lives, it was not their expertise or accomplishments that provided us with direction, guidance and reassurance to accomplish our goals; it was their sincere belief in us. They let us know through their words and actions that we mattered. The humans in our lives want that same validation. In fact, every single person you will ever meet shares this common desire. They want to know they matter.

Reading Sessions

8:15 – 9:30 Notice & Note: Signposts and Strategies for Non-Fiction B317

Participants will learn essential questions that set students up for closer, more attentive readings of nonfiction texts. 5 Notice & Note nonfiction signposts that cue kids to apply the skills and processes that sophisticated readers use instinctively, and strategies readers can use to clear up confusions when the text gets tough.

8:15 – 9:30 & 2:15 – 3:30 Enhancing Student Comprehension A1712

Participants will acquire better insight on how to differentiate instruction, while using meaningful text. These strategies will help build effective 21st Century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication across content areas.

8:15 – 9:30 Guided Reading Guru’s A1607

We will share how to make the most of Guided Reading to help ALL students have a year’s worth of reading growth with simple organization systems, lesson ideas, engaging reading strategies, and progress monitoring tools. Participants will walk away with ideas in hand to implement the next day.

8:15 – 9:30 Bring on the Books! (Donalyn Miller – The Book Whisperer”) B100 Auditorium

Explore new titles that upper elementary and middle school students love to read, as well as instructional strategies and resources for using these books in the classroom.

9:45 – 11:00 Conferring with Readers: Finding Focus (Donalyn Miller – The Book Whisperer”) B100 Auditorium

In this session, Donalyn Miller will offer practical managements tips and classroom examples that will help attendees focus their reading conferences and maintain momentum for conferring all year.

12:45 = 2:00 Send in the Clowns: Ringmaster Your Reading Workshops and Other Circuses! B317 Study Hall

Learn to juggle all the best firesticks; flowcharts, matrices of skills, useful journaling, authentic writing, discussions and discourse, found vocabulary, and independent reading. Turn reading into the greatest show on earth!

2:15 – 3:30 How to Survive with Daily 5 A1607

Come get a refresher on the Daily 5 for kinder and first grade students. Participants will walk away with ideas to differentiate their Daily 5 stations, management ideas, and FREEBIES! We would love for you to bring your Daily 5 favorites to share too!

2:15 – 3:30 Every Book Can Be A Social Studies Book, Grades Kinder – 5th A1708

Discover lots of children's literature titles that cover our Social Studies and ELA TEKS. Some of the examples may surprise you! Be prepared to look at some books and decide what Social Studies TEKS could be covered in these great children books!

Tuesday 8:15 – 9:30 Notice & Note: Signposts for Fiction A1817

In this session you will learn about the six signposts that help readers notice significant moments in a fictional text. Come hear about ways to help your students transition into close readers and become engaged in their reading through questioning and discourse.

Tuesday 9:45 – 11:00 Increasing Rigor in Nonfiction Reading B316

Participants will leave this session with a new understanding of rigor as it pertains to reading nonfiction, as well as strategies to increase their students' interest and interaction with nonfiction text.

Engagement, Ownership, Discourse & Rigor

Engagement, Ownership, Discourse & Rigor
8:15 – 10:45 & 12:45 – 3:15 The Role of Discourse: Affecting Student Learning Behaviors B204 MPR/Dance

Let’s explore a viable, high value strategy that can not only help us attain the SLBs, but also support our work towards more student engagement and higher levels of rigor.

8:15 – 9:30 Moving Beyond the “I Wonders” C403

The inquiry process is a recipe for student engagement, student ownership, and rigor!

8:15 – 9:30 Setting up Systems for Quality Classroom Instruction C425

Come learn how creating structure and order in your classroom can create an environment that promotes student discourse and increases student learning!​

8:15 – 9:30 & 9:45 – 11:00 Cooperative Learning and Student Discourse A1704

Increase rigor through cooperative learning and purposeful student discourse. Participants will experience a variety of cooperative learning structures that will increase student engagement and accountability.

9:45 – 11:00 Get Your Game On: Making Your Class Engaging through Game-Based Learning A1817

Game-based learning engages students in the learning process by developing critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills necessary to be successful in today’s world.
Come experience game-based learning through the eyes of a student and take ideas back to embed into your curriculum. Game on!

9:45 – 11:00 Increase Your Rigor: What Does That Even MEAN? A1706

The Interactive NoteBook is an AVID tool that combines many best educational practices into one, and is a great way to foster deeper reflection by students, increasing the level of RIGOR in any class. Participants will learn how to implement an INB in their own class/subject area by creating a sample INB during the seminar.

9:45 – 11:00 & 2:15 – 3:30 Genius Hour with Keynote Angela Maiers B201 Little Theater

Everyone has genius! Come make connections between mattering and maximizing your genius through Genius Hour with Angela Maiers.

2:15 – 3:30 POWERBURST Ideas A1713

Come receive 10 minute 'POWERBURST" strategies that will help ALL students be successful in listening, speaking, reading, and writing with a special focus on student to student discourse. This session will be highly engaging with rotations that will provide you with a variety of activities for student success.

2:15 – 3:300 Using Choice to Drive Student Ownership of Learning

Tuesday 8:15 – 10:45 Discourse and the Student Learning Behaviors: Planning and Implementation B204

How do we promote appropriate and effective student-to-student discourse, and, in turn, support our Student Learning Behaviors? We do so with a well-structured plan! Together, let’s build the foundation of a plan that meets the needs of teachers and students, but yet, is viable, reasonable, and effective! NOTE: This session is a follow up to The Role of Discourse: Affecting Student Learning Behaviors. Anyone who participated in one of the earllier CIC sessions, the Administrators’ Retreat, or the Instructional Services Retreat, is welcomed and encouraged to attend.


8:15 – 10:45 Primary Patterns of Power: Explorations of Invitational Grammar & Editing Grade 1 – 3 (Jeff Anderson) B111: Band Hall

Elementary explorations of grammar and editing that address the TEKS, author’s purpose, and writer’s craft.

9:45 – 11:00 Watch How We Grow in Writing

Tuesday 8:15 – 10:45 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know (Jeff Anderson) B111 Band Hall

What are the non-negotiable strategies writers need to survive and flourish? Come think, laugh, talk, and write from ideas found in Jeff’s 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know with a particular focus on expository writing.

Tuesday 9:45 – 11:00 STAAR Writing: Focusing on Organization and Progression to Move Writers C423

As the demand for stronger expository writing instruction increases, teachers will need a long-term commitment and perseverance for teaching writing effectively. In this session, participants will better understand how organization and progression can affect writing: focus, coherence, and depth. Come learn what we know about our district STAAR writing scores and walk away with strategies and lessons that will ratchet-up writing instruction to move all writers forward.


8:15 – 9:30 Smart but Scattered C409

Come learn easy-to-follow steps to identify strengths and weaknesses, and boost specific skills for working with bright & talented children that struggle with everyday tasks.

9:45 – 11:00 The Power of Expectations: How our Beliefs Affect Student Achievement A1620/1601 Lecture Hall

Can we believe students into doing the unbelievable? Can expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies? What does it mean to have "high expectations" for all students and how do we transfer those expectations to the students themselves?

9:45 – 11:00 Mindset Matters! B316

Come hear from students and teachers from LHS and RBMS about how mindsets are being affected using simple classroom strategies. You will be amazed at the difference a few daily strategies can make.

9:45 – 11:00 How to Learn & Retain Anything at School A1606

Do you want to discover some of the most valuable ways to increase and maintain high attention and participation levels in your classroom? Would you want to keep your students engaged, inspired and disciplined?

9:45 – 11:00 New Approach to Classroom Seating Arrangements A1810

Learn how to use David Langford's Continuous Improvement tools to arrange your classroom in a way that allows your students to choose their "best learning spots". Get rid of personal desks and clutter and allow your students to take ownership and improve their quality of learning.

9:45 – 11:00 Strengthening Relationships with Circles B310 Practice Gym

Would you like to lessen disruptions and discipline incidents in your learning environment? Come learn how circles help build a learning community that fosters respect, ownership, and accountability. In this session you will learn how to facilitate 3 Restorative Practice Circles that nurture relationships and build trust-essential elements in all successful learning environments

9:45 – 11:00 & 2:15 – 3:30 Capture the Moment! A1703

Have you been searching for a way to engage parents and keep them informed about the learning happening in your classroom? Are you looking for a way for students to directly communicate their learning and take ownership of it? Come learn about Seesaw! It's a student digital portfolio that is so easy to use that it will seamlessly integrate into what you are already doing! You will leave our session set up and ready to start the next day. It's that easy...and fun!


Bridges Differentiation and Challenge B103

Need something to do with your fast finishers or looking for ways to challenge your PACE students? Come see how to use Math Menus to challenge students of any level. Bring your device.

Tuesday 8:15 – 9:30 Small Group Math Instruction with Bridges A1818

How do you pull small groups with bridges? Let me show you an easy way to collect data to form your groups and some small group lesson ideas.