JMQ Flash

February 1 - 5, 2016

The Weekly Scoop

Good Things

We have so many people on our campus who come to school with a servant's heart! This week we celebrate Mr. Jerry Skinner who cares deeply about every child and every teacher. He puts that caring into action every day. This past week he fixed shelving for Ashton Beaver in her new room. This was above and beyond the call of duty. He selflessly does many good deeds for our school on his own time. I think he takes kindness to a whole new level! Thank you, Mr. Skinner, for your servant's heart and for the words of encouragement you speak to every child and adult on campus!
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Jr. Science Fair Winners

Congratulations to 4th graders, Dean McMillen and Arnold Boateng, and congratulations to 3rd grader, Julia Nunn, for earning medals at the Jr. Science Fair!
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Congratulations to Whitney on the birth of a new baby girl!

Baby Abigail was born Thursday! She weighed 5.4 lbs and was 19.5 inches long at birth. Mother and baby are still at Longview Regional. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they recuperate from an early delivery.

The Week Ahead

  • Practice lock-down drill in your classes this week!
  • Wednesday is the 100th day of school!
  • UIL Awards Assembly is in the gym for Grades 1-5 at 1:50 p.m. on Friday!

Professional Development

Unconditional Love

Ms. Mayo spoke at the beginning of the school year about the civil rights of transgender students in our district and neighboring districts. I listened to her words, but I did not internalize what it meant for us as a school community since she was talking about older students. When I saw this video, I began to wonder how our school community would treat a young boy such as Jake.

I think our response must be to teach and model kindness every moment of every day with all children, but particularly with those children who walk to a different beat. Bullying can result when children do not know how to be kind to those who are unique. Kindness may not be taught in the home, so it is all the more important we teach and model it in our school.

When I taught on my former campus, there was a weekly character trait award given to a student in each classroom and to one teacher in the school. I got the award for "uniqueness" more than once. I must admit that I was not thrilled the first time I received this award because I didn't really want to be different from others; I wanted to blend. The more confidence I gained in myself, though, I began to feel very special when I got the award for uniqueness again in subsequent years. There is a great picture book, Unique Monique, that you might want to read to your classrooms. There is one copy in our library. It is a great read-aloud with many possibilities for discussion about uniqueness and many opportunities for children to respond to writing prompts about their own uniqueness.

When a child like Jake is a member of your classroom community, how will you ensure that he is treated with kindness and fairness? How do you celebrate uniqueness in your classroom? These are thoughts and discussions we need to have now so that we will be ready to embrace and educate every child who is entrusted to our care.


Math Resources

In meetings with Stacey Grant last week, some of you voiced questions about how to set up work stations or teach certain TEKS. What resources do you have available to you?

  • TEKS Resource System - TEKS Resource System and the Enhanced TEKS Clarification should be your first resource! The specificity of what should be taught and how it should be taught is there.
  • There's a plethora of online resources. Preferably choose those from Texas so you are teaching TEKS the way they will be tested. Donna Boucher's Math Corner is one such reputable source. She has a search engine on her home page so you can quickly see if she has a resource you need. There are also freebies you can download!
  • Region 7 webinars and workshops can be invaluable, plus you meet other teachers who will share with you.
  • If you find a valuable resource, please share it with me so I might share it with others! The worst thing we can do is bury our heads in the sand and not search for the answers we need to build our own capacity. Within our own building we can draw from one another's strengths to build capacity. We are a team of learners, and we are "happening." We are moving in the right direction. It takes effort, but when we work together we can more easily transform our instructional delivery from teacher-centered to student-centered. We have lots of data now to drive our instruction, so let's use it to fill gaps and move achievement higher for all students.