Hackberry Howl

Vol. 1 No.21

It's that time of year!

I have always felt that February is the hardest month for educators. Spring is right around the corner and students itching to get outside and burn off energy. Teachers are on edge as state assessments are around the corner. The easy thing to do is lash out, gripe, complain, and point fingers to why things are not going the way that we like them too. I challenge each one of you to hold each other accountable to NOT being a red balloon. Don't take the easy way out by only pointing out the negative. Find solutions and be the change you want to see in the school.

Round 2: Complaining Fast

“One of the biggest threats to building a great team and organization is complaining. When we complain we focus on everything else but being our best. So this week I want to encourage you to go on a complaining fast. Not because it will make everyone around you happier, although it will, but because it will help you experience more joy, peace, success, positive relationships and better teamwork. To help you break out of a “complaining” rut here are five things you can do instead of complain. These tips will help you realize you are not powerless. You have the power to choose your beliefs and actions. And in your focus on the positive instead of the negative you'll find the faith, strength and confidence to take on life’s challenges and identify the solutions to your complaints.

1. Practice Gratitude.

2. Praise Others

3. Focus on Success.

4. Let Go.

5. Pray.” - Jon Gordon

Monday, February 15 Professional Development

We will start in the library for a great morning of learning! Please bring your computer with you.

7:30am-8:00am-Breakfast Served

8:00am-9:00am-Assessment Training

9:00am-11:30am-TELPAS Calibration

11:30-12:30-Lunch is on your own

12:30-3:30-Rigor Training @ Zellars-PL1


Recommended Reading

The NO Complaining Rule-Jon Gordon

"In The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work, Jon Gordon, a bestselling author, consultant and speaker, shares an enlightening story that demonstrates how you can conquer negativity and inspire others to adopt a positive attitude." Based on one company’s successful No Complaining Rule, the powerful principles and actionable plan are practical and easy-to-follow, making this book an ideal read for managers, team leaders and anyone interested in generating positive energy.



Vanessa Torrence


July 14th


Chelsea, Oklahoma

Current Hackberry position:

1st Grade Teacher

Where did you attend College and what is your degree(s):

Northeastern State University – Oklahoma

BS - Business

Who was your favorite teacher and why:

Mr. Kellahan – He was very kind and knew how to make algebra understandable.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt:

Chef, Baker – I love to cook!

Do you have children:

Yes – 1 son; he is 18

Do you have pets:

Yes – 3 dogs; Barron, Gracie and Bella

Favorite Color:


Do you have a favorite Quote or Saying:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Where is the farthest place you have ever traveled:


Favorite food:

Chocolate!!! Is there anything else??

Hobbies or Activities/organizations you are active in:

Cooking, Taking care of my dogs

Accomplishments or Honors you have achieved that you are proud of:

High School Yearbook Editor

Sorority President

Only one in my family to graduate from college.

2 successful careers

Selected as part of the management team for opening a new region of stores on the west coast.

Raising my son on my own

…….I’m Tired!!!!

Parking Lot

This technique assesses level of understanding at carious intervals of a lesson. In preparation for the next days’ lesson, student should be provided with sticky notes on which to write questions or statements about a given topic or concept. They should place their notes on a large chart that is posted in the room. The chart should be divided into three sections and labeled with headings such as I Don’t Understand, I am Starting to Understand, and I Completely Understand. The teacher should take note of the questions and use them in preparing the lesson. At key points the students should be able to collaborate and move their sticky notes to the section most representing their level of understanding. The teacher is able to determine a general level of understanding among the students and to adjust the instruction accordingly. With this method, students who are hesitant to ask question orally will have their concerns addresses.

Lobo Howls

Ms. Jones send a HOOOOOWWWWWLLLL to Silva for translating a TEKS of the Week assessment from English to Spanish!!

Domenica sends a howl out to Jamie Hatcher- she shared some positive feedback with me about a student of hers that I work with. That completely made my day!!!

Ms. Jones send A big super HOWL to Sawhney for amazing small groups, centers, student engagement, and soothing, calm, inviting environment!!

Stephen sends a howl out to Stoney, Patti, Domenica, Darilyn, and Darcie for attending the assessment training to ensure Hackberry has a smooth testing season!

Stephen gives a screaming howl to Ms. Cruz and Ms. Brinlee for their flexibility and willingness to help Hackberry any way necessary. They have jumped in and helped whenever we needed sub support all week.


Helping one of our own!

As many you may have heard Mindy Fulmer a teacher at Brent Elementary lost her husband. Many Schools in the district are allowing teachers to wear jeans on Wednesdays for $5.00 to help Mindy with hospital bills. If you would like to wear jeans on Wednesdays and help one of our own then turn in money to Karla every Wednesday.

Mark your Calendar

Monday, February 15th

-Professional Development Day-See Schedule above

Tuesday,February 16th


Wednesday, February 17th

-Fire Drill

Thursday,February 18th

-Mcteacher Night

Friday, February 19th

-Spirit Day

Lunch Coverage This Week

Tuesday-4th and 5th


Thursday-1st and 2nd