The BEST Beat

Monthly Newsletter from Anna ISD Curriculum & Instruction


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December Best Beat


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At any given moment when you walk into Ryan Schrick’s 3rd grade classroom at Rosamond-Sherley, you will see a group of actively engaged students who are developing a love of reading and writing. One thing she ensures she does is make connections and build relationships with all of her students. They love coming to the carpet for her to read aloud and have meaningful conversation about the text. Mrs. Schrick delves into data, analyzing her students’ strengths and weaknesses to determine how she can best support them. When working with a small group, you will notice her other students working collaboratively in various literacy stations, or independently reviewing skills on Istation. Not only does she do everything she can to meet the needs of her students’, she also does what she can to support other RLA teachers in the district, whether it’s with helping new teachers in planning, sharing resources, or allowing teachers to observe her implementation of curriculum and classroom procedures. Mrs. Schrick is definitely a gift to both teachers and students.

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Sara Ziehm is a new Special Education Teacher to Anna Middle School this year. Sara brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her classroom with strategies, ways of instructing and introducing new material, as well as being an overall presence in the class. In her daily classroom routine, Sara works through activities and concepts with her students goals and needs in mind. Daily, she is helping her students develop calculator skills, number sense and uses fun, hands on activities with money, time, and equations to encourage learning.

During her MAC (Modified Academic Curriculum) class the students were introduced to the different types of change and what their values were. They were asked guiding questions about what each coin was, how much it was, and where they would spend certain denominations. Students answered her questions, as well as asked their own. As Sara transitioned into the workbook activity that focused on money, she noticed that the students were struggling with the coins and which values went to each coin. She created the activity you see pictured above. The students were given a “teacher table” lesson on what the coins were and their values. The students were given a set a coins (as pictured) and a set of answers. Sara walked through the steps of creating the poster, how to mark the coins with their values and how to solve the money equations with a calculator. The students were then given floor or table space to create these charts to show the different summative values of each set of problems. The students used calculators and wrote the value of the coins on each “equation”. The students continued working on the posters for day 2. During the second day of instruction the students were asked to check each other’s posters with questions such as, “Where they correct? Did everyone get the same answers?”. After the posters the students were asked to replicate the work that they created but this time with a handout. Sara increased the skill level because this time the students did not get to write the monetary value on the coin. This step showed Sara what the students were able to remember and if they needed more practice during their use of IXL or during warm up activities. The students were working together and Sara was actively offering praise and redirection as she maneuvered the task with the students. This is just 1 example of the many great ideas and new ways of engaging and educating the MAC students at AMS.

Sara has been such a wonderful addition to the Special Education team and we look forward to all the ideas she will continue to bring to her classroom.

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Did you know that there is a Texas State Plan for the Gifted?

Service Design:

The State Plan requires that districts provide "an array of appropriately challenging learning experiences in each of the four foundation curricular areas" in grades K-12. (19 TAC §89.3). Identified students should receive services during the school day and throughout the school year, with kindergarten being the only exception, as schools typically don't begin servicing kindergarten students until the spring.

According to TEA, gifted students should be afforded flexible pacing, acceleration, opportunities to pursue their areas of passion, and schedule modifications if necessary, to meet their learning needs. Most importantly, teachers are expected to differentiate for their gifted students, adapting and/or modifying "the core or standard curriculum to meet the needs of gifted/talented students." (4.9) Also a necessary part of our gifted students' education is to address their social and emotional learning needs, from kindergarten all the way through high school (3.11). For more information on the social and emotional needs of gifted students, please visit SENG's (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) resource library, with 100's of articles written by mental health professionals and educators in the field.
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WOW, December is here! Everyone should be working through their Middle of the Year MAP assessment at this time. We will be having our 3rd MAP CHAT on January 11th in room 409! Please make plans to attend! Bring your team and let’s work together to dig into your data!

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Not sure how to help renew your students' growth mindsets when we return in January? One of my ALL-TIME favorite activities to do when we return was to help my kids pick their One Word. If you are unfamiliar with the "One Word" movement, I lined the original website above, so check it out! While the website only provides background on what MyOneWord is, I used it to help my students find ways to grow in all areas of their lives. We'd talk about what the purpose of One Word is, select our words, find or make a graphic to represent it, and list at least 3 ways that it applies to our personal lives and our professional/educational lives.


Click the image below to view the Professional Learning and Instructional Planning days for the 2022-2023 School Year. This is a LIVE document and contains the most up-to-date information and locations! If you click the date tiles, you can view more date-specific information.
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Hour of Code December 5-11, 2022

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code," to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.

This year's theme is Learn Computer Science. Change the World.

Hour of Code - WORLDWIDE


Thank you to Ronalea Freeth (at Harlow Elementary) for putting this together for elementary staff! The Hour of Code began as a one-hour coding challenge to give students a fun first introduction to computer science and has become a global learning event, celebration, and awareness event. offers hundreds of one-hour activities in over 48 languages for kindergarten and up. Activities require no experience and can be run on browsers! You can set up a class account on and link it to Clever or send out the hyperdoc below! This year I made 2 different hyperdocs one for k-2 and one 2nd-5th (second grade if your kiddos participated last year I would suggest the 2nd-5th one).



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Did you know that we have a book club dedicated for staff only? Each month, we choose a new book to read and discuss over snacks. We vet our books through Good Reads so we know that you will love it! Our book club provides an opportunity to bond with other book lovers in our district! We'd love for you to join us for our next book, the sci-fi thriller, The Measure by Nicki Erlick onTuesday, December 13 at Special Programs Center Room 409. Hope to see you there!
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After School Staff Book Club! In November, we read Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

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