The Echo Memo: March 21, 2016

A weekly memo to the Smith staff from your leadership team.

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Bright Spots from the Week....


VIEW PHOTOS - of last week's Bright Spots! PLEASE add more from what you see! :)

  • Pledgers - SMILE :)
  • Student Service Club Popcorn Parties for Coins with a Cause
  • Grant Winners from Smith Supporter / Trinity Grant
  • Professional Dev by Rachel Anderson - Benefits of Independent Reading!
  • Science Night
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The Smith Supporters in partnership with the Trinity United Methodist Church of Duncanville, Texas are proud to announce the winners of the Spring 2016 grant applications.

Funds raised by the church and the parent group were focused on providing teacher requests that will benefit the students of Smith Elementary.


The big announcement of which grants are funded took place at the Smith Elementary Science Night, March 10, 2016 at 6:30pm.

Congratulations to:


Rachel Anderson, Reading Specialist: Book Binding machine for student produced books

Tara Flatt-Ferguson, FAST Teacher: Butterfly larvas

Vonda Richardson, Kindergarten Teacher: Volume Awareness Traffic Light for cafeteria


Lavina Padgett, Media/Library Specialist: Maker Space starter: Leggo Brick wall, table and bricks


Smith Elem Garden - lumber and potting soil for above ground planters

Critical Writing!

The last chapter of our book study includes a focus on writing. We all know that to be a better writer - students MUST WRITE every day - every day - every day.



  1. Read Pages 81 - 93, Fundamental Five, "Critical Writing"
  2. Complete the Reflection Page by Thursday, March 24th.
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This Week's Highlights - View Calendar for full detail

SMITH CALENDAR - Click to view the calendar

OR - the HOME page of the Intranet CHECK IN at the Calendar for updates.

Be sure to check the dates for the year at a glance page.

Monday, March 21st

- STAAR Writing Training, 3:45 - 4:30pm

NO AFTER SCHOOL TUTORING ON THIS DAY


Tuesday, March 22nd

- Positive Behavior Committee Meeting, 3:50pm - 4:30pm


Thursday, March 24th

- Fire Drill, 1pm

- PAWS Pep Rally and Jump Rope for Heart Kick Off, 2:30pm

- Book Study, Chapter Online Responses Due, 4pm


Friday, March 25th

- Holiday for All


Tuesday, March 29th

- STAAR Writing Test for 4th Grade

Morning Announcements

Morning Announcements Schedule:

This week students are from Ms. Wood's 4th grade class:

  • Select students for the week by MONDAY and have ready to roll.

  • Post their names in your room as a reminder.

  • Students will need to be in the office at 8:00am, ready to lead.

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Click on the Link to Read More...

BIG NEWS: Smith Supporters and Trinity UMC Grant ANNOUNCEMENTS

L to R: Vickie Echols, Principal; Montrell Lee, Smith Supporter, Lisa Ramirez, Smith Supporter, Debbie Riggsby, Trinity UMC Pastor, and Stacey Brown, Smith Supporter Chair The Smith Supporters in partnership with the Trinity United Methodist Church of Duncanville, Texas are proud to announce the winners of the Spring 2016 grant applications. more »


Blended Learning Models That Don’t Require 1:1 Devices

Using technology with small groups From an article by-- Scott Sterling A common barrier to entry for teachers who are considering blended learning with technology devices is the misconception that you need a device for every one of your students to make it work. Luckily, that’s not the case! Here’s how to implement three common blended learning models without a 1:1 program. more »



Addressing the Effects of Poverty: A Good Read

Do you hear or think this at times: "These kids, they just can’t be motivated!" "Everything that I try just doesn’t work!" "If only the parents were to step up and help us, we would have better achievement results." "I don’t understand why this isn’t working!" "You don’t understand where these kids are coming from; if you did, you would cut them some slack in the classroom." more »


Free STAAR Resources

Check out these FREE resources.... STAAR Mathematics Resources The following links open portable document format (PDF) files unless otherwise noted. http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/staar/math/ ... more »


Text Connections: Guided Reading

A great resource for *Guided Reading Text Connections. * Please bookmark it and refer to as you plan lessons either for the whole class or a *small groups *who are reading on the K-2 level. more »


Math Madness for Grade 1 - 4: March 7 - April 16

How does Math Madness help my students? It's a great way to get students excited about math! In 2015, students raced to answer millions of questions with more than 84% accuracy. more »


Cool Down for Classrooms: Social and Emotional Learning

Mindful Practices empowers teachers and students through yoga and wellness to create a more effective educational environment. more »


Check out Blendspace: Free Tool for Teaching and Learning

Blendspace is a free web tool for teachers to collect resources in one place to form a bundled, interactive lesson for students or colleagues. The Ultimate Math Blendspace offers a huge collection of resources! more »


Test Anxiety - What it Looks Like and Ways to Minimize It

*By Suzanne Gardner District Coordinator of Assessment and Counseling, Duncanville ISD* The spring semester brings increased opportunities for testing. For many students the anticipation of tests, especially high-stakes tests, can create test anxiety. What are signs that suggest your students may be experiencing harmful levels of test anxiety? more »


Questioning - Be Prepared

*A PEDAGOGY OF QUESTIONING* How can I improve questioning in the classroom? How can I help my students ask better questions and ensure the learning sticks?" At a minimum, teachers need to learn the following idea in order to become more proficient at questioning...more

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If you are having trouble accessing the calendar, be sure to contact our Media Specialist, Lavina Padgett. If you have items to add or see something that needs revising - please contact her!

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