Eagle News

Building Blocks of Success Week of December 14, 2015

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Dallas ISD Core Beliefs

  • Our main purpose is to improve student academic achievement.
  • Effective instruction makes the most difference in student academic performance.
  • There is no excuse for poor quality instruction.
  • With our help, at risk students will achieve at the same rate as non-at risk students.
  • Staff members must have a commitment to children and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

Campus Action Plan

Key Actions

  1. Allen Elementary will increase student achievement by providing purposeful instruction in Reading, Mathematics, Writing, and Science.

  2. Improve the quality of instruction by increasing rigor and student engagement.

  3. Allen Elementary will improve positive perception of school climate and culture by all stakeholders including students, staff, parents and community.

Building Blocks to Success!

This last week of school we will continue with ACP testing. All students in grades 3 to 5 will take ACP tests in all content areas. Please encourage our students to: get a good night’s sleep, eat a nutritious breakfast, and be on time for school.

During this week, we need all faculty and staff to be on time, and be here every day. Let’s monitor the students and motivate them by starting the day with positive comments and encouragement!

Our last day of school before Winter Break is Friday, December 18. We will resume classes on Monday, January 4, 2016! Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

Proud to be an Eagle!

Week at a Glance...

Magnificent Monday, December 14, 2015

  • ACP Language Arts

  • Secret Santa Small Gift

  • Jeans with red or green shirt only

  • Terrific Tuesday, December 15, 2015

  • ACP Mathematics

  • Secret Santa Small Gift

  • Jeans with Jingle Bell

  • Wonderful Wednesday, December 16, 2015

  • ACP Reading

  • Secret Santa Small Gift

  • Jeans with Santa/Holiday Hat

  • Thrilling Thursday, December 17, 2015

  • ACP Science

  • Instructional Calendars are due

  • Secret Santa Reveal

  • Winter PTA Program

  • Jeans with Holiday Sweater

  • Fabulous Friday, December 18, 2015

  • ACP Make-Ups

  • Winter Parties

  • Jeans with Holiday Socks

  • End of Six Weeks: all grades must be in before leaving

The Perfect Classroom Gift: A Gift of Words

I belong to a book club, one that has continued since 1990. Think of all the books we have read together. And we're serious about this, too. We're not one of those clubs that gather together to eat and then never talk about the book. We talk about the book.

One month a year we read a play out loud -- assign parts, read from beginning to end. We are not a group of actors and it's a cold reading, but we enjoy it. Sometimes we read and then go to the play; sometimes we see the play first and then read. Both work.

Once a year, in December, we each buy a book of poetry, mark in some way a poem or two that we particularly like, wrap it attractively and bring it to book club. We have this crazy little ritual where we put all the books on the dining room table and then walk around the table. At some unknown signal that we all recognize we stop and take the package in front of us. And then we open our gifts, one at a time, and read the chosen poem out loud to the whole group. What a wonderful evening of words, a breathless barrage of ideas, images, stories. We enjoy meeting our old favorites, delight in exploring new poets. We go home fulfilled.

Twenty-five years equals 250 books read, 25 plays acted out, and 25 evenings of poetry.

In the Classroom

"How can I replicate this poetry experience in my classroom?" I wondered as I drove home that first December of the book club. "I can't ask my students to spend 10 dollars or more but they have to experience what I just experienced." And out of that came what I call "the gift of words."

Okay, class, here's what I want you to bring with you on the last day of school before winter break. I want you to find a poem, a saying, a paragraph you like -- something that speaks to you because of its message, its beauty, its format. I want you to copy it onto a piece of paper, put it into a box, and wrap it. Be sure to include, before you wrap it, the name of the author and your name as the giver.

When the day came, students placed their packages on my desk. They varied from huge to tiny, from carefully wrapped to hurriedly tossed together. And yes, there were those who forgot, who scribbled "Just do it" on a piece of notebook paper, folded it like a paper football, and added it to the pile. I provided a few extra, just in case.

How to start. "Whose birthday is closest to Christmas? Okay, you're first. Pick any present you want." Suspense. What would she get? I was not disappointed. The contents varied -- favorites from "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein to Bible verses, song lyrics, and short sayings like "Just do it." The experiment was a success. Everyone in the class had a gift and I had the greatest gift of all.

With Adults

Since that December in 1990 the idea of a gift of words has spread out of the classroom -- into professional development meetings, into family gatherings. When Center X at UCLA wanted to "celebrate" my pseudo-retirement, my first words were, "No gifts." "How about a gift of words?" was their response.

And that is what I received: a basketful of little boxes, beautifully packaged, each holding a precious gift -- words just for me. I savor each message. My favorite was by James Michener: "I love writing. I love the swirl and the swing of words as they tangle with human emotions."

I have watched the words swirl and swing in my book club, in my classroom, in my writing groups. I could not ask for a better gift.

By Jane Hancock - Co-Director of the UCLA Writing Project

Originally Published: November 12, 2014 | Updated: November 23, 2015

Edutopia. org

The Rotary Club of Up-Town Dallas donated a dictionary to all third-grade students.

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Science Fair Winners

We celebrated our Science Fair on Thursday. Kudos to all teachers for a job well done. Thank you to all staff members who coordinated and participated in our 2015 Science Fair. Our parents (70 families) came to the award ceremony. Good luck to all the winners as they will be representing our school in the District Fair.

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Coffee with the Principal

One of my main goals as principal is to provide a line of open communication between Gabe P. Allen Elementary School and the community we serve. For that reason, we have created a time when all our parents and community members can express their concerns, ask questions, and be informed of everything that happens on our campus. We have called these meetings "Coffee with the Principal" and they take place every third Wednesday of the month (unless otherwise announced) from 9:00 to 10:00 am in the parent center.

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D-Tube of the Week

Gabe P. Allen Elementary

Sheila Ortiz Espinell- Principal

Franceslia Rodriguez- AP

Russell Sims-AP