Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Newsletter

March 2013

Melinda Baiza, Director

Register for 2013 Summer Professional Development

We are happy to announce this year's summer professional learning opportunities. You may login to Eduphoria Workshop and select 2013 Summer Staff Development and browse for a workshop. Simply select the workshop and then click the Register button. Register Today! (How to Register Video)

*Note* All Region 13 workshops require that you have campus administrator approval and register in their system at https://ecampus.esc13.net/login.html We will post announcements about further Staff Development information on this site for future reference. http://sd.taylorisd.schoolfusion.us

Testing Season Arrives!

Well, it's that time of year again...testing season! As we get into this crazy time of year, I just wanted to first give kudos for all the great things I've seen as I've done learning walks on several campuses. At TOC, I have witnessed some great positive, respectful relationships with students as you all have worked through new instructional routines. At THS, I observed several awesome expository writing lessons to prep for EOCs in the 9th and 10th grade classes. At LECHS, I saw outstanding instructional routines involving upper-level questioning and scaffolding to more advanced student responses. And at TH Johnson, I saw some amazing small group lessons, and lots of instructional scaffolding through the "I do, we do, you do" model.

Secondly, I wanted to remind everyone that I am here for you. If you need a model lesson that involves vocabulary, instructional routines, or helping your students prep for STAAR and EOC, shoot me an email. If you need someone to bounce ideas off of, be a sounding board for a new idea you want to try out, or to hunt down resources for you, never hesitate to call me. I will continue to be out on campuses to observe all the cool things going on in your classes, so even if you want to catch me in the hallway, I always have a minute to chat. - Johna Underwood

Free App of the Week- Penultimate

Can you just not get away from using a traditional notepad and pencil? Well, you need to check out Penultimate! It allows you to take notes much like you would with a pencil but you can use a stylus on an iPad. This app has been hugely popular and use to cost money. Now it's free. It syncs with Evernote as well so you can have it everywhere you go on a variety of devices.

Duck Data-Dashboards...

February Student GPS usage tracking shows that 52 unique users logged into the Taylor ISD dashboards 211 times. Of the 312 educators with access to the dashboards, 205 unique users have logged in at least once, representing 65% of the district's users. These users have logged in 1,917 times to date.

A special SHOUT OUT to Danny Ward, Roy Longcrier, Kimberly Holmes, Clarence Wooldridge, Lauren Minzenmayer, Jennifer Thomas & Jude Martin for being Student GPS dashboard POWER USERS. Rock On!!

Give me a call or shoot me an e-mail to watch your class so that you can meet with a Student GPS Dashboard 'Power User'. Find out why and how these educators are using the dashboard data to help drive their instruction.

Happy Navigating!

Nicole Purser

Put a PIN in it!

I'm sure most of you have heard about the social media website Pinterest. Some use it for finding new recipes, or wardrobe style ideas, or even funny pictures of animals doing kooky things. But I'm here to advertise the website's use for helping us all become better, more organized and effective teachers.

Some think Pinterest will become addicting, and for some that might become the case. I know I am, but I think in a good way. We are all so busy and often do not have the time to "share" the teacher-y ideas we discover on the web, or for that matter, to remember where we found the idea again when we need it. Plus, Pinterest can connect us to a plethora of really great teaching ideas, strategies, center activities, STAAR tips, management tools, and even FREE stuff!

It's easy to join and free. You just need an email address.


If you want a quick tutorial on how to join or how to navigate the Pinterest website on your computer, iPad, or smart phone be sure to email me at lboyer@taylorisd.org and I'll be glad to drop by during your planning time or after school and get you started.

Be sure to follow me, too! (*If you search my name and then click "Pinners" you will see my picture.) Happy Pinning!~ Lucie Boyer

TELPAS Season is Here!

Our district ELL students are currently underway with TELPAS Assessments that measure the areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing in English. Teachers at all campuses have received training and support as TELPAS raters and are in the process of collecting data for holistic rating of students within these areas. All ELL students in grades 2-12 will also participate in standardized Reading TELPAS testing using the TELPAS on-line system. If you have any additional questions, concerns, or need support please contact either Debbie Matthys, your Campus Coordinator, or me. We are here to support you! ~ linda

Taking the Time to Reflect

Taking the time to reflect is beneficial for teachers and students alike. Teaching is a challenging and demanding profession. Taking the time to reflect on our instruction is an invaluable tool to help us meet these challenges and demands. For more information, please take a look at this link. http://www.nctm.org/resources/content.aspx?id=17133

Need a Starbucks?

S- Substitution

A- Augmentation

M- Modification

R- Redefinition

Learn more about the technology integration model called SAMR by clicking this link. SAMR Model & Starbucks