Elementary E-News

Issue 28 / November 2015

Data: More Than a Number

As we round out Quarter 2 and are beginning to compile data for students, it is important to think about what it is really telling us about our "WHO".


Instructional Coaches

Remaining Meetings

8:30-3:30 at various locations (be sure to check Eduphoria)

  • *December 8 - virtual
  • January 7
  • *February 9 - virtual
  • March 3
  • May 17

Math - Kerise Ridinger


Consumables - Math Teacher - Trainings

Math Consumables Survey

All Elementary math teachers will need to complete this survey by December 18th! We are gathering information about consumables and teacher preference for consumables in future years. I will send this survey out to math point people the 1st week of December.

Math Update

Mathematics Teacher is a wonderful publication from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The magazine is full of ideas for helping teach meaningful mathematics. Here is a link to the current edition which focuses on creating classroom communities. Which article speaks to you and the culture you are establishing on your campus around mathematical thinking?

With Q1 DAs complete and our learning around analyzing data to establish effective PLCs, Richard DuFour recently published an article on using student assessment data. You can read a summary of the article here. How might you use this information when looking at your campus data?


Winter Point People Meeting Dates: McGowen Elementary Library 3:30 – 5:00

Please note we are combining grade levels to facilitate vertical conversations.

January 28th – 2nd/3rd Math

February 4th – 4th/5th Math

February 11th – K/1st Math



Big image
Raytheon LASER project in action by 3rd grade @ Bennett Elementary

Inside Science Class - LASER - DAs - Trainings - Point People

Inside the MISD Science Classroom – As you enter an elementary science classroom in McKinney, the most important thing that you should always see is Science in Action! Some of the elements a Science in Action classroom are:

  • TEKS alignment in the content that the students are learning.

  • Hands-on science investigations/labs being experienced by the students themselves.

  • Science content-based vocabulary in use – interactive words walls, writing assignments using the content vocab, games, visuals, and discussions.

  • A variety of instruction from the teacher that moves away from whole group teaching and more into authentic learning through student led development and ownership of their knowledge. Encourage the teachers allow their students to be in charge as they work more as the designer and guide of the learning.

  • Conclusion writing – can be modeled at first, but should move into student developed. This piece is extremely important in guaranteeing that the students are making a connection between the learning experiences and the expectation of TEKS mastery. This is also an excellent way for the teachers to formatively assess their student’s ability to apply their learning.

3rd Grade LASER Opportunity – Thank you to Bennett, Burks, Caldwell, Eddins, and Finch 3rd grade classes for opening their classrooms to Raytheon partnerships in learning and allowing these volunteers the chance to work with our students. The day was a huge success! They are looking forward to returning to work with the other campuses soon.

  • December 11: Glen Oaks, Johnson, Malvern, McClure and McGowen
  • February 19: McNeil, Minshew, Press, Slaughter, and Valley Creek
  • March 18: Vega, Walker, Webb (including 3rd grade Alpha), Wilmeth, and Wolford

District Assessments – The data that we gain from the District Assessments aids in curriculum alignment and development, as well as providing teachers with insight into the needs of their students. The performance of our students on a District Assessment should not come as a surprise to the teachers if formative assessments and reinforcement opportunities have been provided throughout the unit.

  • 3rd - DA #2 Jan. 11 - 29
  • 4th - DA #2 Dec. 14 - Jan. 15
  • 5th - DA # 2 Nov. 16 - Dec. 11

OI Trainings – Get a sneak peak of the upcoming content and collaborate with other grade level specific teachers. Teachers can sign up in Eduphoria.

  • K – December 1
  • 1st – December 1st
  • 2nd – December 3rd
  • 3rd – December 1st
  • 4th Science – January 19th
  • 5th Science – December 3rd

UPDATE - Winter Science Point People Meetings:

Minshew Elementary Library 3:30 – 5:00

  • January 28th – 4th/5th Science
  • February 4th – 2nd/3rd Sci/SS
  • February 11th – K/1st Sci SS



Trainings - Point People - Pearson - Article - Mission


Winter Point People Meeting Dates: Minshew Elementary Library 3:30 – 5:00

Please note we are combining grade levels to facilitate vertical conversations.

  • January 26th – 4th/5th Social Studies
  • February 4th – 2nd/3rd Sci/SS
  • February 11th – K/1st Sci SS

Pearson Training Dates for digital Social Studies Textbook at McNeil Elementary

Please encourage your K-5 Social Studies teachers to attend this training to learn more about our new resource.

  • January 12th 3:30-4:30
  • January 14th 3:30-4:30


This concise article about PLCs describes 3 big ideas about how a focus on learning rather than teaching, working collaboratively, and accountability of results is necessary for continuous improvement

What is a Professional Learning Community? Richard DuFour


Mission Statements

MISD: We will provide engaging learning experiences so students can become effective communicators, quality contributors, and socially responsible citizens.

Social Studies: Provide a rigorous and relevant social studies program that is taught with fidelity and continuity to prepare students to be informed, socially responsible American citizens in a global society.

In what ways does the social studies mission statement support the district mission statement?



Surveys - Trainings - DAs - Spelling Bee - Inside Literacy Look

Curriculum Updates:

  • ELAR Design Teams PK-5 are steadily working on updating curriculum Instructional Focus Documents (IFDs) and Exemplar Lessons (hardest to teach, hardest to learn) and other documents for each quarter. A huge THANKS to those campus administrators who have supported their design team members to be committed to the task!

  • Feedback is essential as we update curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to complete a survey at the end of each quarter.

Curriculum Feedback Survey - Quarter 2



  • Sneak Peeks for Quarter 3, PK-5, will be taking place over the next two weeks to allow teachers time to prepare before heading out for Winter Break.

  • Winter Point People @ McNeil Elementary
~ Jan. 26 @ 3:30-5:00 (Tuesday) 4th and 5th

~ Feb. 4 @ 3:30-5:00 (Thursday) Kinder and 1st

~ Feb. 11 @ 3:30-5:00 (Thursday) 2nd and 3rd

District Assessments:

  • Grades 3-4

  • DA # 2 window: December 4 – December 18

  • Scantrons, in Aware, two days prior to opening of assessment window

ELAR Learning Walks:

  • Thanks to those instructional coaches who have scheduled an ELAR Learning Walk! These are instrumental in the coaching conversations shared with teachers. In addition, using the Balanced Literacy Tool encourages common language we want to hear with ELAR instruction.

Spelling Bee:

  • Collin County Spelling Bee hosted by MISD

    • February 3, 2016 @ Faubion Middle School

    • Information will be sent to your campus spelling bee contact

Inside Literacy Look:

  • Literacy Stations are reinforcement of prior week’s standards learning

  • To - With - By model for each reading and writing mini lesson

  • Guided Reading happening each day for each grade level

    • books clubs and lit circles are included for older grades

  • Anchor Charts - created by student and teacher during lesson
  • Writing Conferences are daily