The Bruin Blast

Labor Omnia Vincit

Week #15: December 14th-18th, 2015.

Review the Habits of Mind: Sharpen the Saw


Note from the Executive Director

Dear ACE Team,

Please consider the best ways to prepare students for testing. Students do not get smarter from testing alone. In fact, long periods of individualized testing creates boredom, apathy and reinforces misconceptions and errors. Students gain skills and knowledge by engaging in aligned learning activities. Unfortunately, studies show that students from urban, high poverty areas spend up to 80% more time doing independent test prep, specifically practicing testing, than do their suburban peers.

Let’s use every minute possible to interact with students in ways that build content knowledge and skills. Some strong ideas include reviewing previous test data (interims and DOLs) and then creating short, targeted mini lessons to address specific SEs. Give practice questions one or two at a time. Students could partner up and debate, then share answers. When reviewed in whole group, misconceptions may be uncovered and correct answers explained. If more than 4-6 questions are assigned at once, we lose the timely connection to reframe thinking in the teachable moment. Quick pace with dry erase board, timers, and even contests are also helpful to create urgency and fun. Additionally, teaching students to use their profiles and focus on specific areas of need within small groups is also impactful.

Thank you for your efforts! I know our students will shine. We have a long way go - but there is no doubt we are making progress.

Best wishes for a wonderful week,

Jolee Healey


Research Study

On Monday, we will have 5 researchers on our campus from 7:00-8:00. They have selected teachers randomly and are asking for an hour of time. All the information you provide is confidential and will be used as a part of their research. If you feel strongly about not participating you can let me know and another person will be selected. However, I would like for you to being open to expressing your opinion about our work at Blanton. Through these studies they will be helping to determine if a campus can be transformed though effective teachers and leadership. Again, your help is needed in gathering data that could change the future of how schools are staffed.

They have previously provided Starbucks cards for your online survey and will be providing breakfast and lunch on Monday.

Below are the times. There may be time changes if needed. Also, if you prefer to do your interview during your planning period you can let me know and I will adjust the times. Thanks!!

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Coming up...

Get on the Christmas wagon!!!

Monday: Wear red and jeans

Tuesday: Be a Grinch and wear green and jeans

Wednesday: Wear Santa Hat or Christmas-related hat and jeans!

Thursday: Ugly Christmas sweater & jeans

Friday: Jingle all the way! Wear jingle bells and jeans!Ugly Christmas sweater & jeans


December Stipends

It has been reported that there may be errors in the stipends. For those that qualify for stipends, please check your statement and confirm your stipend is correct. Below is the Incentive graph and an explanation of how it is determined what your stipend should be. Overall effectiveness level is used for compensation purposes. Please click on the form and complete directly to report any errors. You do not need to complete the survey if you received your stipend and it was correct.
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Reading/Writing Corner

Dear Teachers,

We both appreciate all the hard work you have done with our Blanton scholars! As the first semester winds down, let’s take what we have learned and be ready to move forward to finish the 2015-2016 school year strong! Enjoy a restful Christmas break with family and friends and as always, don’t forget to read a great book!

Dr. Garcia & Mrs. Mondragon


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We celebrate the GREATNESS in you!!

  • Congratulations Ms. Winans for finishing your Masters in Professional School Counseling!!! You are a great role-model for all of us and our scholars, and we are so fortunate to have you :)

  • Good luck to all the runners on the Mayor's Race!!! May your best pace be with you!!

  • Happy birthday, Ms. Helms! (Dec 17)

Got a birthday coming up? A milestone to celebrate? News to share? Recognize someone's help/work? Click on the link below to submit!