The Bruin Blast

Labor Omnia Vincit

Week of September 7-11

Habit #2: Begin With The End In Mind

Principal's Corner

There was one student that stood out to me this week. His face was what I would describe as flat. He did not show any emotion about how he felt about our conversation. I talked to him about his role as a thinker and how I need him to focus on 2 things that would help him be a Bruin. He needs to start with his brain and want it in his heart. He told me he would try but yet there was no emotion. I knew I hadn't convinced him that he could be a better student. When I saw him in the hall with his teacher I stopped and asked how he was doing. He glanced down and immediately I knew he had not fulfilled his end of the bargain; to focus on listening to the teacher and to work hard. I spoke to him and repeated that he has to want it for himself, he has to want it in his brain and in his heart. I repeated it several times and held him close. I repeated it and repeated it and then I looked at him and saw a smile from cheek to cheek. It got me thinking that we need to spend time with our students building relationships. They have to know that you care.

Often times students test us. They want to know that what you say is what you mean. If you have meaningful conversations with them about how important they are to you and how they can be great thinkers they will rise to your level of expectations. But they will test you; they will test your ability to separate their actions from who they are as a person.

I want you to think about how you separate their actions from who they are as young people. How will you teach them that behaviors don't define them. They can choose who they want to be and who they will become by making good choices. Sometimes we falter but what is so great about being human is that we can think about what we did and choose to do something different next time because we learn. But we as educators must CHOOSE to teach our students how to make those tough choices.

With all of this said I ask that when you teach habit #2 Begin with the End in Mind, share with your students how you had to set goals to become who you are now and they to must set goals and think about where they want to be next year and 20 years from now. Teach them that their choices will help them reach their goals.

Week at a Glance

Monday 9/7

Labor Day

Tuesday 9/8

Introduce Habit #2: Begin With The End In Mind

K-5: Data Digs @ Bruins Cave during planning periods

Wednesday 9/9

Child Abuse Training, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM @ Library

(Bring your PD binder)

Thursday 9/10

K-2 Balanced Literacy Training: The Basics Overview, 4:15 PM - 5:45 PM @ Library

(Bring your PD binder)

Friday 9/11

Grandparent's Day Celebration @ 7a.m. in the Cafeteria

Tuesday Planning

9/8 Data Dig Agenda:

  • 3 min: Labor Day Fun Share Out
  • 5 min: Making the Most of Small Group Instruction - Article
  • 20 min: Friday's Quick Check Data Digs
  • 20 min: Action: Walking the Walk (Responding to Data through Lesson Plans)
  • 5 min: Regroup & Reflections

Meeting Location: Bruin Cave (Data Room)

Items to bring:

  • Friday's Quick Check Data
  • Week #3 Lesson Plans
  • PD Binder

Bruin Code:

· Own results, student achievement depends on me

· Grow myself and others by sharing and receiving feedback

· Be clear, courageous, and direct

· Prioritize accelerating student achievement as the main thing

· Be generous

· Consider the third way

· Ask questions, and share thoughts/concerns/opinions about the topic during the meeting, not after in order to respect team decisions

Look what we saw this week!!!


Bell to Bell Instruction

Restroom Breaks if taken as a class should be
  • quick and timed
  • used as a time to practice a skill (math flashcards, sight words)

Please ensure that students are not taking pens, markers or pencils into the restroom. Remind them to take care of our campus.

Calibration Walks

Last week we conducted calibration walks. These walked have helped us to speak a common language and to identify a few areas that we can begin to focus on to improve student achievement. What we learned is that our general education students are not as vocal in their classes. In order for our students to become more accustomed to speaking purposefully they must be taught routines for your expectations of student engagement.

Focus of the week:

  • Purposeful Instruction
  • Student Engagement
  • Transitions

Please remember that our goal is always to ACCELERATE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.

Student Engagement

Try out this strategy

4 Corners

To check for understanding, ask students higher-level questions from your lesson. Ahead of time, post large cards in each corner of the room with A, B, C, and D written on them. Once you ask the question, have students go to the corner of the room that best represents their answer. For example, if their response is B, they will go to the corner that has a B posted. It is important that students discuss their reasoning and justify their responses.

Reading/Writing Corner

Multiple-response strategies are techniques designed to elicit responses from most of the students in a class numerous times during a class period. The use of multiple-response strategies enhances the level of student engagement while increasing student performance.

MRS: Spotlight on Turn-Talk

Remember that our students are becoming accustomed to our expectations about communicating ideas with one another so it is critical that they get plenty of opportunities to practice.

Here are a few tips to ensure that all students are participating and that time is used effectively:

  1. Partner previously assigned

  2. Facing each other (whole body)

  3. Both take turns responding

  4. Making eye contact

  5. Speaking in complete sentences

  6. Eyes on teacher once teacher gives signal

*Model, model, model

Ensuring a tight system for a turn and talk eliminates time off task

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Math Corner

"The only way to learn mathematics, is to do mathematics."

Mathematicians, ensure your students success through the application of math by embedding the Process Standards in your lessons :)

On Monday, let's talk about how you are implementing the Process Standards and where they are in your lesson.

Below you will see the anchor chart that you can find on Schoolnet here:

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Labor Omnia Vincit

We are Blanton PROUD,