Excellence Without Boundaries
April 12 5th Six Weeks, Week 6
BY MAY 2016, AT LEAST 80% OF ALL STAAR EXAMS TAKEN BY ARMS STUDENTS WILL MEET THE PHASE II PASSING STANDARD.
My message this week focuses on our attention to our plan. With less time, planning becomes even more critical.
Maximize, Maximize, Maximize. Know how every minute of every day this week will be utilized. When a curve ball is thrown you are more equipped to refocus and keep the main thing the main thing.
One Band. One Sound.
(I know it is different, but add the Glenn on the end) Thank you :-)
Spotlight on Ms. Coley & Ms. Davis (TEAM)
I'd like to give a Legend shout out to Mrs. Davis and Ms. Coley. They brought the 6th grade teachers Sonic slushes today as a treat. They always make us feel so loved and appreciate. We are so thankful for their leadership and guidance. They are phenomenal!
*My apologies for the delay in the Spotlight. This was from the first day of STAAR when sixth graders were on an alternate schedule. Thank you Ms. Gill for following up with me and again very sorry for the delay.
Spotlight on ARMS Staff (TEAM)
I wanted to say thank you a special thank you to the teachers that took time out of their evening to share with the attendees what is occurring at ARMS-Ms. Tesfai and TAG student, Isaac Green, Coach Garcia and his Partner PE students who attended, Mr. Adams (Japanese Club) Ms. Quintana (Earth Hipsters), and Ms. Ward (M&M's).
Mock STAAR Tuesday & Wednesday 4/12-13
- 6th & 7th Grade Math
- 8th Grade Science
- 6th Period
- 7th Period
- 8th Period
- 6th & 7th Grade Reading
- 8th Grade Social Studies
- 1st Period
- 2nd Period
- 3rd Period
Testing Key Highlights:
- All core teachers will test.
- Elective teachers will monitor.
- Students will be divided by POD then alpha.
- Approximately 25 students per class.
- SPED/504 students will test in the library and various rooms.
ARMS Way Culture Expectations
- No Gum
- All Cell Phones are OFF-- UNLESS instructed by a staff member
- No earphones around students necks or in their ears
We are seeing an increase in students chewing gum. I carry a box around and address this with students. Staff if you see a students chewing, instruct them to put it in the trash.
Cell Phones & Earphones:
I have confiscated 5 phones last week (when I was picking up one every blue moon) with students having earphones in ears and plugged into cell phones that are on. Students are also walking down the hall with earphones showing. Earphones are never in students ears unless in a learning capacity, defined by the teacher.
Cell phone usage during lunch is on the rise. Be aware and take the phone up.
arms tardy data 4/4-4/8
6th Grade Daily Target -
7th Grade Daily Target-
8th Grade Daily Target
Know our daily/weekly tardy data by class. Share the tardy targets as you support students responsible movement to class.
As you encourage students down the hall, share encouraging words:
**Great day for learning
**Happy ____________ it is going to be a great day
**You look ready to learn
Praise them, for example:
**Way to Walk with purpose
**Thank you for your hustle
**Thank you for Walking and Talking
**Great example of Walking on the Right
Address non ARMS Way behavior:
**We walk, We Walk (when students are running)
**I have seen you walk by me already. We walk in the direction of OUR class.
ALL Teachers : ACTION Must be completed- List is being submitted to District on Wednesday 4/13
All teachers documentation of receipt is required by the district. Click here to complete survey to acknowledge receipt.
ARMS Rangers please review the following email shared by Mr. Hatton in regards to the Attendance Recovery - Principal Plan, so that we are all aware of this very important component of students promotion eligibility.
To recap the meeting, committee members asked to compile 5 assignments per grade level content by Friday. The students will start asking for these assignments after Mock STAAR. The following teachers have the list of students per grade level:
6th grade: De La Rosa and C. Lewis
7th grade: Hice
8th grade: Lewis
The students have been highlighted or underlined to indicate their which category. The counselor’s will pass out the contract’s and the tutoring logs to the students so parents can sign and be returned to them. The program will run until May 6. Next meeting is April 20.
Seat recovery time: These are for the full year classes.
18 – 22 --1 assignment and 1 hour of tutoring
23 – 27 --2 assignments and 3 hours of tutoring
28 – 33 --3 assignments and 6 hours of tutoring
34 – 39 --4 assignments and 9 hours of tutoring
40 – 44 --5 assignments and 12 hours of tutoring
45 or more-- Approved Petition (6 assignments and 15 hours of tutoring)
If you have any questions please ask me, Mr. Hatton, or see one of the committee teachers listed above.
DISD Student Perception Survey
Ms. Crabtree will discuss briefly at the Staff Meeting on Tuesday, 4/12
We will do the survey Thursday, 4/14, during 2nd period and use the Math Blitz schedule
Every Day is Earth Day ARMS Events - 4/18 - 22
Monday - Friday 4/18-22
- Student led Earth Day Announcements
- Student Earth Lunch Activities
- Treat for Trash
Tuesday - 4/19
- 10 on Tuesday
Wednesday - 4/20
- Hats off to Earth Day
Thursday - 4/21
- Earth Movie Night - Wall-e @ ARMS 5:30pm
Friday - 4/22- EARTH DAY!!!
- Green for Earth
Students are asked to wear a green shirt with school uniform bottoms or $1 Jean Day is on the 22nd.
Come Celebrate -Ms. Chapa's Baby Shower (4/26)
What is the Marshall Memo?
In the spirit of our second "G" GROWTH, every week I will share 1 or 2 of the article summaries with ARMS staff. In hopes of sparking interest, sharing another perspective, or strategies as we all collectively work to improve teaching and learning @ ARMS. Take what works for you, leave what doesn't.
Dylan Wiliam on Feedback That Makes a Difference to Students
In this article in Educational Leadership, assessment expert Dylan Wiliam reports the startling research finding that students often learn nothing from the comments and grades their teachers write on their papers – in fact, many students learn less when teachers provide feedback than when they write nothing at all. “The apparently simple process of looking at student work and then giving useful feedback turns out to be much more difficult than most people imagine,” says Wiliam. “The only important thing about feedback is what students do with it… If our feedback doesn’t change the student in some way, it has probably been a waste of time.”
Two examples: An English teacher tells a student that her composition will be better if she reverses the sequence of the third and fourth paragraphs. The composition will improve, but the teacher did the intellectual heavy lifting and the student probably learned very little. Similarly, if a teacher corrects arithmetic errors, there’s nothing left for the student to do except calculate the score. “The real issue is purpose,” says Wiliam. “We need to use the information we obtain from looking at the student’s work – even though that information may be less than perfect – and give feedback that will move the student’s learning forward.” Here are his suggestions for teachers:
• Design tasks and ask questions that make students’ thinking visible. This means more prep work for the teacher, especially in math classes, but frontloading well-framed tasks makes it much more likely that feedback will be useful. We won’t always get it right, says Wiliam, but he reassures us with a reminder that batting .300 in the major leagues is considered very good.
• Make feedback into detective work. A math teacher might return a 20-question test to a student with the comment, “Five of these are incorrect. Find them and fix them.” This approach ensures that students receiving feedback do as much work as the teacher who provides it. It also makes students look at their work with a more analytical eye.
• Build students’ capacity for self-assessment. The ultimate goal of feedback should be to get students to the point where they can self-correct without the teacher looking over their shoulder. Instrumental music teachers understand this intuitively, and focus the 30-40 minutes they spend with their students each week on developing the skill of being able to notice mistakes and improve technique in the hours of solo practice. “Contrast this approach with most content-area teaching in schools,” says Wiliam, “where teachers seem to believe that students make most of their progress when the teacher is present, with homework as a kind of optional add-on.”
Human nature being what it is, many students find it emotionally challenging to be critical of their own work. A good scaffolding strategy is having a class look at an anonymous piece of work and describe the feedback this person should receive, then have students critique the work of a classmate, and finally self-correct. After a task like this, it’s helpful to ask students what they found easy, what they found difficult, and what was interesting. Alternatively, students might be asked what they would do differently if they did the task again. Once students can do this, feedback from others becomes less and less necessary.
“In the end,” says Wiliam, “it all comes down to the relationship between the teacher and the student. To give effective feedback, the teacher needs to know the student – to understand what feedback the student needs right now. And to receive feedback in a meaningful way, the student needs to trust the teacher – to believe that the teacher knows what he or she is talking about and has the student’s best interests at heart. Without this trust, the student is unlikely to invest the time and effort needed to absorb and use the feedback.”
Making Good Use of the Final Minutes of a Class
In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, James Lang (Assumption College) says he’s observed two things in college classrooms over the years: students starting to pack up their things in the last five minutes (intensely annoying to instructors), and instructors hurriedly covering a few more things. “[M]ost faculty members eye the final minutes of class as an opportunity to cram in eight more points before students exit,” says Lang, “or to say three more things that just occurred to us about the day’s material, or to call out as many reminders as possible about forthcoming deadlines, next week’s exam, or tomorrow’s homework… We’re still trying to teach while students’ minds – and sometimes their bodies – are headed out the door.” Lang suggests using a mixture of these closing techniques over time:
• The minute paper – The teacher wraps up the formal class a few minutes early and asks students to respond in writing to two questions:
- What was the most important thing you learned today?
- What question still remains in your mind?
The first question gets students thinking about the whole class, making a judgment about something important to them, and articulating it in their own words. The second question asks them to consider what they haven’t understood. “Most of us are infected by what learning theorists call ‘illusions of fluency,’” says Lang, “which means that we believe we have obtained mastery of something when we have not.” To answer the second question, students must dig for any confusion or weakness that remains in their own comprehension of the day’s material. Collecting students’ responses (on paper or in electronic messages) gives instructors valuable information on how well the class went and, if things were unclear for a majority of students, a starting point for the next class. Even if the answers aren’t collected, Lang believes that students benefit from retrieving information about the class from memory and clarifying points of confusion and uncertainty.
• Closing connections – The instructor finishes class five minutes early and tells students they can leave as soon as they have identified five ways the day’s material appears in contexts outside the classroom – current events, personal experiences, popular songs, debates in the school or college, and so forth. “You’ll be amazed at how quickly they can come up with examples,” says Lang. These might be handed in, jotted on the board, or posted on the course website.
• The metacognitive five – “We have evidence that students engage in poor study strategies,” says Lang. “Likewise, research shows that most people are plagued by illusions of fluency. The solution on both fronts is better metacognition – that is, a clearer understanding of our own learning.” Once a semester, Lang has his students jot down how they studied for a test they’ve just taken. He follows up by comparing test results with study methods: invariably, effective approaches (like self-testing and flashcards) correlate with higher scores, while less-effective methods (like reviewing notes and re-reading material) correlate with lower scores. “Imagine what a difference we could make,” says Lang, “if we all took five minutes – even just a few times during the semester – to offer students the opportunity to reflect on their learning habits.”
• Closing the loop – If the class began with questions, put them back up on the screen at the end and have students use what they just learned to answer them. If the class began with a question about students’ prior knowledge on the topic, end by asking students to explain how the class confirmed, enhanced, or contradicted what they knew before.
“We have such a limited amount of time with students,” Lang concludes, “– sometimes just a few hours a week for 12 or 15 weeks. Within that narrow window, five minutes well-spent at the end of class can make a difference.”
“Small Changes in Teaching the Last 5 Minutes of Class” by James Lang in The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 1, 2016 (Vol. LXII, #29, p. A36-37), http://bit.ly/1qoNCLt; Lang’s book on this subject is Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016); Lang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARMS Baseball vs. Long- 12:30 @ Skyline
ARMS Baseball vs. Balch Spring – 2:15 @ Skyline
ARMS Softball vs. Lang – 12:30 @ Forester
ARMS Softball vs. Balch Spring -2:15 @ Forester
Monday, April 18
ARMS Softball vs. Florence- 6:00 @ Samuel
Wednesday, April 20
ARMS Baseball vs. Hood- 5:45 @ ARMS
Monday, April 25
ARMS Baseball vs. Lang- 5:45 @ Lang
Wednesday, April 27
ARMS Softball vs. Hill- 6:00 @ Bryan Adams
Monday, May 2
ARMS Baseball vs. Florence- 5:45 @ ARMS
ARMS Softball vs. Gaston – 6:00 @ ARMS
Weekly Events April 12-15
Monday, April 11
Inclement Weather Day- NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, April 12
POD Action (PL)
STAAR MOCK Testing (Math 6-7, Science 8)
Staff Meeting @ 4:30 – Library
Wednesday, April 13
STAAR MOCK Testing (Reading 6-7, Soc. St. 8)
Coffee w/ Principal 8:45
Parent Workshop 9:00
Thursday, April 14
DISD Student Perception Survey, 2nd Period
Friday, April 15
Core Meeting 9:30- 10:55 – Conference room 127
Trailblazer Data Meeting (Time TBA)
5th- 6 weeks ends
Saturday, April 16
Math Saturday School
On The Horizon........
Monday, April 18
6th- 6 weeks begins
Trailblazer Meeting @ 4:30- 5:45- Conference Room 127
Tuesday, April 19
Staff Breakfast (Office)
10 for Tuesdays - Earth Day Event
Wednesday, April 20
Hats off to Earth - Earth Day
Thursday, April 21st
Earth Day Movie Wall-e @ 5:30pm in Auditorium
Friday, April 22
Core Meeting 9:30- 10:55- Conference Room 127
Saturday, April 23
Reading Saturday School
Monday, April 25
Tuesday, April 26st
Ms. Chapa- Baby Shower, 4:30pm in Library
Wednesday, April 27
Administrative Assistant Day
Thursday, April 28
Lowest Tardies Free Dress Day
Empower Team Meeting @ 7:30 – Parent Center Conference Room
Friday, April 29
Core Meeting 9:30- 10:55- Conference Room 127
Saturday, April 30
Saturday School Rotation (Math, Science, RLA, SS)
ARMS Community Meeting- Start to a Stronger Community Connection
Ms. Mayberry updated the audience on the neighborhood association goals and need for more active participation.
Ms. Young shared information about the train issues and other new economic developments that impact our city district.
Ms. Nutall provided us with information about board processes and the importance of understanding how the budget is developed and how it impacts schools.
Attendees also heard first hand from ARMS Staff and students on the various ARMS organizations, ARMS academic highlights, and the many things that make ARMS LEGENDARY!!
Special thank you to Ms. Rivera for her diligence in planning the 1st ARMS & Cedar Run Community Meeting. This was the brain child of ARMS SBDM so I say a tremendous thank you to Ms. Salazar, Ms. Rivera, Ms. Williams, and Ms. Belknap for starting us off and we have many more ahead of us.
Ranger Pride at Academic UIL Competition
Taking 22 students to the UIL competition was a wonderful experience. For many of our students, this was their first experience in an academic competition with most of DISD middle schools represented, both comprehensives and academies. All students represented our school well.
Dictionary Alexander Santavilla - 6th Grade - 8th Place
Editorial Writing Johanna Montanez - 7th Grade - 2nd Place
Impromptu Speaking Jessica Camacho - 7th Grade - 2nd Place
Johanna Montanez - 7th Grade - 1st Place
Jesus Martinez - 7th Grade - 8th Place
Edward Jimenez - 6th Grade - 7th Place
Martin Valadez - 6th Grade - 9th Place
Majoy Jackson - 7th Grade - 6th Place
Isaac Green - 8th Grade - 2nd Place
Jasmine Mendoa - 6th Grade - 10th Place
Majoy Jackson - 7th Grade - 1st Place
Jessica Camacho - 7th Grade - 9th Place
Isabella Trejo - 8th Grade - 10th Place
ARMS staff please extend a congratulations to the following Rangers for their commitment and hard work.
ARMS Band Earns High Ratings at UIL Competition
- Concert Band earned a composite rating of Good in Stage and Sight Reading.
- Symphonic Band earned Superior 1st Division in Sight Reading and Excellent 2nd Division in Stage Performance.
Both Concert and Symphonic band were rated on new, higher standards and received high marks.
As Mr. Weichmann shared, our students have come to expect perfection from themselves and some disappointment was felt among band students.
If you see our band students, commend them for achieving at a high level and great success in Sight Reading!! Heads up high and Ranger Pride!! Encourage students to utilize this opportunity to refine and grow in their craft as musicians.
Tremendous thank you to Mr. Weichmann and Ms. Standlee for their unrelenting support and leadership of ARMS Band.
Ann Richards Middle School
At Ann Richards MS, our vision is to be a flagship middle school at the hub of the community, nurturing diverse leaders, and empowering intelligent trailblazers.