Teach Like a Pirate

J.R. Irvin Elementary Weekly Staff Newsletter - vol 2

TLAP quote of the Week

Do whatever you do intensely. Robert Henri

Teacher of the Week~ Jill Dunegan

My name is Jill Dunegan. This is my 19th year in teaching, and my first year in first grade. I can already tell that I'm going to love it!

I got my teaching degree from The University of Texas at Austin (HOOK 'EM HORNS) where my daughter, Macy, is currently a junior studying economics. My son Sam is working and a freshman at Navarro College. I've been married 23 years to Dan, who happens to be an Aggie graduate of Texas A&M. Yes, we are a house divided. :)

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Mission Statement

We value every student, creating an environment for all to be successful!

Homework Help!

Homework help is up and running! Mrs. Ray will be there at 7:15am each morning in the classroom across from the library to assist students with homework questions they have. Please share with your students and parents that this is a place to come after they have done as much as they can at home on their own. Students that have not started their homework will be redirected to the gym. Thanks Mrs. Ray!

Upcoming Dates

  • Morning Assembly Helpers - Braun
  • 9/7 No School!!!
  • 9/8 Committees (Sunshine, Nighttime and Student Awards) 3:15pm-4:15pm
  • 9/8 6:00 2nd grade parent meeting; 6:30 PTV meeting
  • 9/9 SAT Process/RTI Meetings during conference - in conference room
  • 9/10 6:00 Kinder parent night
  • 9/11 Spirit Day PTV Sales During Lunch
  • 9/14 6:00 5th grade Parent Night; 6:45 3rd grade Parent Night
  • 9/15 Staff Meeting 3:15-4:15
  • 9/16 Grade Level Meetings-Bring ring binder
  • 9/18 Spirit Day; Fire Drill - time to be determined


  • ISIP Window Opens 9/1-9/16
  • 9/8 Reading Testing Window Opens
  • 9/8 Math Screener Testing Window Opens


Handwriting without Tears

Handwriting without Tears Learning Lounge

Get Connected to HWT’s Free Online Resources


To Register:

1. Go to http://www.hwtears.com/texas

2. In the upper right corner, click on Login.

3. Under Don’t have an account?, click on Sign up for a free account here.

4. Enter your information using your home address as Billing address, and your district email for your email address. (This is what will give you permission to use the free resources for the TX adoption.)

5. Select your own password, and be sure to remember it!

6. Once you are registered, login in using your district email as your username and your selected password each time you login.

What Resources are available?

Explore the website for a plethora of wonderful teaching tools, instructional videos, a Screener of Handwriting Proficiency, and much more, by clicking on the links in the light blue box on the left pane!

Be sure to click on For Adopted Districts, as this is where you access the resources specific to your district. These include: http://www.hwtears.com/texas/adopted-districts

1. Full versions of the Rock, Rap, Tap & Learn CD (music)

2. Digital Teacher’s Guides

3. Digital Teaching Tools, which can be used with your Smart Boards (and other interactive whiteboards) to help with stroke formation

4. A+ Worksheet Maker, which can be used to reinforce handwriting habits in all subjects for grades K-4.

5. New Kindergarten Lessons

6. Spanish workbooks

Please direct any questions to Tara DeSantiago, Curriculum Specialist at tara.desantiago@hwtears.com

Substitute Teachers

If you are going to be out absent, please make arrangements for your duty. Substitutes are supposed to leave at 2:45, and it helps to have our staff on duty.

Thank you!

P is for Pirate

Dave and Shelly Burgess wrote a book which is the Inspirational ABC's for Educators. Every week I will include a snippet from the book.


Rough and constantly shifting educational seas make it easy to get thrown of course. Our guiding principles anchor us. We would be hard-pressed to ding more secure anchors than these:

EVERY CHILD can learn. EVERY CHILD possesses enormous potential just waiting to be unlocked. EVERY CHILD will rise or fall to the level of our expectations.

Empower each student to reach for greatness. Don't settle for anything else!

How do we anchor our students?

Burgess, D. & S. Teach Like a Pirate. (2014). Dave Burgess Consulting. CA: San Diego.

Anchor News

STAAR Math scores came in and I am pleased to announce that:

3rd grade: 84%

4th grade: 93% (Highest in district)

5th grade: 89%

Way to go to our teachers and students!!!!

Congratulations to Robyn Braun for 100% passing rate on STAAR!!! AWESOME!!!