BearNotes-Wk 28 Mar.21st-25th

Serving kids. Growing scholars.

Note from the principal...


This week our topic from the Dimensions Guide focuses on teacher sensitivity which include indicators such as awareness, responsiveness, addressing problems and student comfort.

Teacher Sensitivity

What is it?

Teachers are sensitive when they consistently, quickly and effectively respond to individual children on verbal and behavioral cues. Sensitive teachers are aware of each child's academic and emotional abilities and needs, which allows them to anticipate areas of difficultly and provide appropriate levels of support. Teachers who are aware of and respond to each child supportively facilitate the ability of all children in the classroom to explore actively and learn.

This dimension also aligns to TEI Domain 3 Classroom Culture.

Why is it important?

Children in a classroom with sensitive teachers grow to see teachers as a source of support, reassurance and guidance. Teaching sensitively helps children feel comfortable with sharing their ideas and challenging themselves academically and socially. It also allows children to work well on their own and in groups because they know that if a problem or question arises they can go to the teacher, who will help them resolve their problem effectively.

How can I increase my sensitivity to children's needs?

Understand each child's social and academic functioning and individualize accordingly. - Use formal and informal assessment throughout the year to understand each child's level of social and academic functioning. Use this information to individualize the curriculum and your interactions with each child. As you plan and implement daily activities, anticipate and respond to each child's strengths and needs so that your activities are developmentally and individually appropriate.

Take time to notice how children are doing in the moment. - Actively monitor how children are doing throughout the day. During instruction (small and whole group) and center/station time check in with children to ensure they understand the activity. Watch for children who appear disengaged or confused. These "in the moment" interactions will keep you consistently aware of children's individual needs so that you can provide timely and appropriate support.

Respond in the moment to children's academic and emotional needs. - Consistently monitor children to be aware of how they are doing in activities. Be aware if work is too difficult (or too easy) for children and respond in a timely manner. For example, if you are working on making a pattern with children and you notice a child does not understand, work individually with the child as soon as possible to help him understand the activity and related concepts. If necessary adapt the activity to meet the child's academic needs.

Tune in to and be responsive to children's non-verbal cues. - Young children don't always express what they are thinking or feeling. Check in with individual children, especially when a child's facial expression and body language tell you that the child needs academic or emotional support, and be responsive as needed. If a child can't express his thoughts in words, use language to describe what he might be thinking and then provide comfort or assistance.

Make every effort to listen to and respond to children. - Teachers are often overwhelmed with questions and children's requests. Try to take time to respond to all questions or requests. Respond immediately or let the children know you heard them and will respond at a later point - and then make a point to follow up. This lets children know that they are important to you and that you are someone who helps and is responsive to their needs.

Actively encourage children to see you as a source of comfort and support in the classroom. - Although some children rely on the adults in their life for comfort and support, other have had fewer positive experiences with adults and may need explicit teaching and experience in how to rely on adults for emotional and academic support. Making statements to the class or individuals such as "I can help if you are having a hard time", or "May I help you with that?" and regularly providing comfort and assistance to children encourages them to see you as someone they can go to for support.

In challenging moments, try taking your children's perspective. - Every teacher experiences moments that test his or her patience. By making an active effort to take children's perspective during these challenging moments, you may find yourself being less reactive and more responsive to children's needs.

Next week... Behavior Management.

Welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed their much deserved time off.

Have an awesome week!


Our condolences...

In recent weeks Brashear has experienced loss. Our prayers are with Ms. Font in the loss of your mother, Ms. Jones in the loss of her uncle and Ms. Venable in the loss of her aunt.

The 1st round of STAAR Testing...

Yep! The first round is upon us. In 5 school days we will be presented with our first opportunity to demonstrate our academic readiness in Grade 5 Reading and Math and also Grade 4 Writing. Teachers and scholars in these grade levels having been working really hard and during this last week before the test your continued support of their efforts is greatly appreciated. Consider reaching out to a teacher and letting him or her know you are behind them and that you are available to assist if needed. And let us not forget the scholars, a kind word of encouragement from someone other than their teacher is always a nice and welcomed surprise. You can literally make a child's day simply by saying "I believe in you". I challenge you to try it and see what a difference it will make!

Tuesday, March 29th - Grade 5 Math and Grade 4 Writing

Wednesday, March 30th - Grade 5 Reading

No Administrative PLC's this week!

Teachers please be sure to enter your tutoring data into SchoolNet.

Intervention Support Plans Due

Per District Policy:

Teachers with a six-week and/or semester failure rate of greater than ten percent (10%) in any subject area will be required to develop and submit an Intervention Support Plan for struggling students that will be monitored by the principal/designee.

Intervention Plans are due this Thursday, March 24th to the CIC's - Reading, Writing and Socials Studies plans should be submitted to the Ms. Alonzo. Math and Science plans should be submitted to Ms. Hill.

If you are not sure if you meet the criteria and are required to submit a plan please reach out to me.

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Upcoming Events

Mon., Mar. 21st - Black out date

Mon., Mar. 21st - STAAR administration/monitoring training 3:45 - 4:30 - Cafeteria

Tue., Mar. 22nd - Grades need to be current for Progress Report

Wed., Mar. 23rd - District Principals' Meeting 11:30am - 5:00pm

Thu., Mar. 24th - Kimball Principals' Meeting 9:00am - 12:00noon

Thu., Mar. 24th - 3-week progress reports go home

Thu. Mar. 24th - Black out date

Thu., Mar. 24th - Failure Action Plan due COB

Fri., Mar. 25th - Good Friday - No School

Mon. Mar. 28th - Black out date

Mon. Mar. 28th - STAAR Rally 2:00

Mon. Mar. 28th - PLC's 3:45 - 4:30 (agenda and sign sheet)

Tue., Mar. 29th - 5th Grade Math STAAR; 4th Grade Writing/Revising and Editing; 3rd Grade Math Benchmark (lunch times may need to be adjusted)

Wed., Mar. 30th - 5th Grade STAAR Reading; 3rd and 4th Grade Reading Benchmark (lunch times may need to be adjusted)

Thu., Mar. 31st - 4th Grade Math Benchmark (lunch times may need to be adjusted)

Thu., Mar. 31st - World's Finest Chocolate fundraiser assembly K-2 9:00 - 9:20 &

3-5 9:25 - 9:45 (excludes 4th grade)

Apr. 4th - Apr. 8th - ACP Art Performance window

Wed., Apr. 6th - Music Memory Contest (UIL) - Meyerson Symphony Center

Fri., Apr. 9th - Black out date

Mon., Apr. 11th - No school

Apr. 12th - Apr. 22nd - TerraNova testing window - Grades K-2

Tue., Apr. 12th - Black out date

Tue., Apr. 12th - Student Perception Surveys - Grades 3-5

Wed., Apr. 13th - Dallas Museum of Art Field Trip - 4th Grade 10:00 - 1:00

Wed., Apr. 13th - Dallas Children's Theater Field Trip - Band and Glee 11:30am - 2:00pm

Thu., Apr. 13th - 5th Grade Science Benchmark

Fri., Apr. 15th - End of the 5th 6-Weeks

Mon., Apr. 18th - Beginning of 6th 6-weeks

Apr. 18th - Apr. 19th - ACP Music Performance window

Apr. 20th - Apr. 21st - ACP PE Performance window

Jacquelyn Burden - Principal

Affirmation of the Week - In service, I make a difference.

Quote of the Week - “We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”

C. JoyBell C.