Anchor Weekly

A newsletter for Alta Vista Staff~Week of January 14, 2019

Don't Forget! Next Week's Calendar

Coming Up: NED Shows on Friday, January 25 at 8:30 and 9:30 am

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Student Learning Communities Training

Ms. Passis offering a training on student learning communities between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, January 14th in the 6th Street Technology Center. At this training, you will explore a structure for students to discuss goals and strategies for growing academically, socially, and emotionally as a part of a small learning community. As you all know, earning individual growth points is the key to success on the new accountability system.

Here is the link for registration in Eduphoria:

Math PLCs

We will meet for Math PLCs this week. Don't forget your student work samples!

From Your Captain

Just a reminder that it is a district and campus requirement that lesson plans are submitted in Eduphoria and that current objectives are posted on the board.

If you are unable to upload your lesson plans by Friday (campus expectation), then you need to email me to let me know about the issue.

We will start tutoring on Monday, January 28. Tutoring will be every Monday/Tuesday until 4:30pm. Email me IMMEDIATELY if you want to be paid for tutoring so we can get EDRs created. Grades 2-5 will be sending home tutoring sign-up letters next Monday.

Intervention Updates

Interventions start back up this week! Everyone will be doing reading interventions (except 5th grade who will do math in the afternoon as usual).

We will redo intervention groups after BAS. You may have some issues with documenting Branching Minds interventions for the next few weeks but that's okay as we redo groups.

Conscious Discipline

Continue to reinforce our school agreements:

  • Be Safe
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Ready to Learn

We look forward to seeing your picture of Morning Meeting and Kindness Trees. Don't forget to send pics and kindness "counts" to Mrs. Helton by Friday.

Here is a link to the January Morning Meeting plans:

Makerspace & KID Inventor Day

On January 18, we will be doing a school-wide Makerspace for KID Inventory Day. You will pair up with another class and be able to check out materials for your classes to use to invent something new! Each pair will also get a copy of the book "Clink" to kick off their buddy time!

Here are the challenges you will be able to check out. Email Mrs. Helton with the materials you would like to use.

  • Marble Run
  • Legos
  • Keva Planks
  • Play Dough
  • Trash/found objects
  • Cups, popsicle sticks, straws, tape
  • Duct Tape
  • Create your own! Let Mrs. Helton know what you will need
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Staff Members of the Week!

Congratulations Mrs. Rawles for being our Teacher of the Week for creating amazing lessons that encourage creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Congratulations Mrs. Barron for being our Staff Member of the Week for greeting visitors with a welcoming smile and always being available to translate.


SEAS The Night Plans

Mark your calendar now for our next family engagement event on Tuesday, February 19 at 5:30-7:30 pm. We will have hands-on learning activities, read alouds and free book from Junior League, book fair, music performance by grades 1-2, and a free meal.

You can take a look at the plans here:

#DestinationPD @MaybornMuseum


5 Strategies to Get Students Talking

Research clearly states the the more math talk and collaboration we can incorporate into our teaching, the better our students will learn math. I hope you find these 5 tips helpful as you think about ways to build more talk into your day. (Fun fact: Math guru Tim Kanold suggests that teachers are in front of the class NO MORE than 35% of the time, leaving 65% OR MORE for students to be actively "doing" and talking about math.)

So how can we get started?

1. Explicitly teach and model growth mindset concepts

In order for students to be willing to talk, they need to know that sometimes they are going to struggle...and sometimes they are going to make mistakes...and THAT. IS. OK! Continuing to present strategies, activties, and examples about the importance of a growth mindset is key. There are dozens of picture books, video clips, and teaching ideas on how to infuse growth mindset "thinking" into your classroom.

2. Post sentence starters

Sometimes students simply need a little help getting the words out! By posting sentence "stems", teachers can help direct students who need a little scaffolding to the display. There are lots of ways to do this. The sentence stems from Ms. York are a great place to start!

3. Get students working with partners--and often

I often say that it's very hard for ADULTS to work in teams, so we have to understand that students are going to have an even tougher time. It isn't always natural and it isn't always easy. I have had the best success with helping students learn to work in PARTNERS first.

4. Try "fishbowls" or other modeling of productive math talk

Sometimes students need to "see" productive talk in action, so when I see a group working really well, I will often call other students over to watch, listen, and notice. I draw students' attention to what is going well or strategies the group is using and then send them off on their way to try it with their group! I will also do a ton of "guide on the side" coaching as students are working when I might say things like, " could ask "Susan" to explain that again if you didn't understand." or "A different way to say that might be, 'Could I please share a different way to solve that?'"

5. Provide meaningful tasks that REQUIRE talking!

This is big. Students won't talk if there is nothing to talk about! Putting students in situations where they have complex challenges, interesting "real world" problems, and other math that begs for collaboration is key!


Career Day

Thursday, January 31st is Career Day at Alta Vista. Speakers are needed. Email Mrs. Maynard with suggestions.

Below are designated dress up days to included in future staff letter, maybe for week of January 14 and / or January 28th.

Monday, January 28th - It's "Elementary"! Wear Alta Vista t-shirt.

Tuesday, January 29th - Middle & High School are cool! Wear Waco ISD middle school shirt; for example, Cesar Chavez or Waco ISD high school shirt or colors ; for examples, Waco High Lions / red or University Trojans / purple.

Wednesday, January 30th - College T Shirt Day

Thursday, January 31st - College and Career Day

Friday, February 1st - Dress for Success: Students are encouraged to dress up to show possible future careers.

Behavior Training

The elementary staff at Wiley Opportunity Center are repeating their series of after-school trainings for classroom teachers, this time on Monday afternoons. Everyone is invited to attend! The Wiley staff help problem-solve and provide a listening ear in addition to the training. Registration and details on Eduphoria.

Location: Wiley Opportunity Center

Time: 4-5 PM

  • Monday, Jan. 14 Balancing High Structure and High Nurture
  • Monday, Jan. 28 Checking Emotional Engines
  • Monday, Feb. 4 How to Lead Great Morning Meetings/Circles
  • Monday, Feb. 11 "Own It Fix It" to Change Behavior