Bryan Adams Feeder News

November 10, 2014

In this Isssue:

Week in Review:

  • Cougars Running Wild 5K/1K and Prep U Health Fair Update
  • Hill MS Breakfast in the Classroom Celebration
  • Hexter Elementary Garden Day

Upcoming Events:

  • Bryan Adams Open House for Elementary & Middle School Families

School Choice Link

BA Roaring Readers Volunteer Link

Cougar Reading Den:

  • How to Scaffold Challenging Learning Tasks

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Week in Review

Cougars Running Wild 5K/1K Race & Dallas ISD Prep U Health Fair

Two great events, well organized and enjoyed by many! There were 240 participants in the race, surpassing last year's participation. Thanks to Athletic Coordinator, Stacey Segal, and the many people who volunteered to make both of these a success for our community.

Congrats to Hill MS for hosting a Breakfast in the Classroom Reception

“I live by the motto, ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.’ It is important we ensure that ALL of our students are receiving the necessary energy and nutrients to keep their bodies fueled and their brains ready to learn. In Dallas ISD, one of our core beliefs is that with our help, at risk-students will achieve at the same rate as non at-risk students. Breakfast in the classroom is a proven method to improve academic success for all. I wholeheartedly support this endeavor because my goal is to keep our students hungry for knowledge, and knowledge, as we know, is the key to endless possibilities." - Robert T. Hill Middle School Principal Candice Ruiz..............Great job, Hill MS!

Hexter Elementary's Garden Day

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Just Completed! Great job, BA and Thanks to all of our Guests.

Bryan Adams HS Open House

Wednesday, Nov. 12th, 6pm

2101 Millmar Dr

Dallas, TX

Elementary and Middle School Families:

Join us for an informative evening at our high school. We will kick off at 6 PM in the auditorium, then guests will enjoy a self-paced tour. Visit our STEM program, AP classes, Belles dance room, BAnd hall, and the college fair in the cafeteria. We will have all programs represented, plus meet both of our middle schools! See you there!

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Yes, the long awaited School Choice Applications are Available! Click the link to learn more.

BA Roaring Readers Volunteer Information

For the Cougar Reading Den:

From the Marshall Memo: How to Scaffold Challenging Learning Tasks

In this Edutopia article, Rebecca Alber gives an example of an assignment that’s not scaffolded: “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” So what does good scaffolding look like? It’s not the same as differentiation, says Alber. “With differentiation, you may give a child an entirely different piece of text to read, you might shorten the text or alter it, and you may modify the writing assignment that follows… Scaffolding is breaking up the learning into chunks and then providing a tool, or structure, with each chunk… Simply put, scaffolding is what you do first with kids, then for those students who are still struggling, you may need to differentiate by modifying an assignment and/or making accommodations for a student.”


Scaffolding and differentiation have this in common: you have to know the collective or individual “zone of proximal development” – the distance between what students can do by themselves and what they’ll need support on. Alber suggests the following scaffolding strategies:


Show and tell – Providing a model of what students are being asked to produce is an excellent way to set them up for success. This might be an exemplar of a good persuasive essay, the teacher doing a think-aloud of the thought process involved in the learning activity, or a small group of students doing the activity in a “fishbowl” with other students watching. “Remember that children’s cognitive abilities are still in development,” says Alber, “so providing opportunities for them to see developed, critical thinking is essential.”


Tapping into prior knowledge – Have students share their own experiences, ideas, and hunches about the subject matter, making connections to their own lives.


Time to talk – Think-pair-share, turn-and-talk, triad teams, or some other form of structured talking time gives students a chance to process new ideas and information.


Frontloading vocabulary – This can be dreary (look up the words in a dictionary), but it can be very helpful if a few well-chosen words are introduced with visuals, analogies, and metaphors linked to things students know about.


Visual aids – Graphic organizers, pictures, and charts are excellent scaffolding tools, says Alber. “Graphic organizers are very specific in that they help kids visually represent their ideas, organize information, and grasp concepts such as sequencing and cause and effect.”


Processing in real time – Alber suggests presenting a chunk of new material, pausing to ask a well-formulated question, giving students think time (perhaps conferring with another student), and then asking someone to give the gist of the idea.


Won’t scaffolding take too much time? Alber acknowledges that it takes more time than just giving students an assignment, but she argues that teachers need to slow down to get better results – so scaffolding ends up saving time. “[T]he end product is of far greater quality and the experience much more rewarding for all involved,” she says.

“6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students” by Rebecca Alber in Edutopia, January 24, 2014, http://bit.ly/1qlsFuj