"Super" Spruce Scoop

Volume 2 Edition 17

January 4, 2016

Spruce Feeder Pattern Vision

Be the highest performing feeder pattern in Dallas ISD preparing scholars for the 21st Century.


A good way to measure progress toward our vision is through the results of Assessment of Course Performance data. While the data does not tell the whole story, it does paint a pretty clear picture of our progress toward our feeder pattern vision.


To summarize our data collectively, our elementary schools and middle schools continued to improve student achievement when compared to last year and compared to the district. Comstock and Balch Springs Middle Schools both did quite well in a few areas. Comstock had outstanding math results with strong gains in several other content areas while Balch Springs had outstanding results in science and did quite well in math. Richard Lagow Elementary School and Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary School achieved well in all core content areas tested. Anderson Elementary School, Dorsey Elementary School, Macon Elementary School and Moseley Elementary School did well in a few core content areas.


If we continue to stay focused on helping teachers improve their practice and use data to monitor student success, we will continue to move in the right direction in achieving our feeder pattern vision. Thank you for the hard work to this point in the school year and let's continue to have other Turn Their Heads (TTH).

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Many people set goals to workout our more often, eat healthier, etc. as the new year approaches. In schools, there really is not a process that parallels with the new year's resolutions. However, many of our schools that perform well work with teachers to conduct mid-year reviews. The process consists of holding one-on-one meetings with the principal and each teacher on the campus. While there are several iterations of how it is done, one main outcome any iteration has toward helping our schools is the opportunity for teachers to be reflective on their work from the beginning of the year until now.


During the mid-year review process, a discussion can be held around data points and anecdotal data. Such data points of significance are ACP scores, SLO, ITBS tier progress, spot observation data, discipline referrals and teacher attendance. Anecdotal data points could consist of discussing the polish statement implementation from each of the spot observations conducted from the beginning of the year to date as well as preparation and planning toward providing good instruction. There is not one right way to hold a mid-year teacher conference, but doing so will result in outcomes helping our scholars.

Reflection

The article linked below was provided by Felicia Marshall, our Academic Facilitator in a recent bi-weekly newsletter. It is a perfect article for this time of year as we launch into the second semester and ponder the work we have done as well as the impact we have made on our students. When leading professional development or conducting mid-year reviews with teachers, it can serve as a nice springboard into the conversation.

Week Ahead

  • Monday, Jan. 4 - Teacher Work Day / Staff Development Day
  • Tuesday, Jan. 5 - Teacher Work Day / Staff Development Day
  • Wednesday, Jan. 6 - 4th six weeks begins
  • Thursday, Jan. 7 -
  • Friday, Jan. 8 -

STAAR Intervention Academies

Below are two different screen shots for STAAR Intervention Academies for teachers provided by Region X and Dallas ISD. They will be held at Gilliam Collegiate Academy. Our teachers will benefit from continued support in looking at the various ways in which the state standards are assessed. Please encourage them to sign-up as soon as possible and attend.
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Nancy Moseley

Below is a screenshot of Nancy Moseley Elementary School website. I am highlighting it because it serves as an effective form of communication to parents and visitors as well as establishes what the campus is about. Here is a link to it should you like to explore what they have posted.
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Marshall Memo - Does a Growth Mindset Make Students Better Math Problem-Solvers?

“Having a positive mindset in math may do more than just help students feel more confident about their skills and more willing to keep trying when they fail,” reports Sarah Sparks in this article in Education Week. “It may prime their brains to think better.” Recent neuroscientific research at Stanford University is showing how students’ beliefs about math learning can produce more efficient brain activity. Lang Chen and his colleagues studied elementary students’ brains with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and found that those with a “growth” mindset about math did better at spotting correct and incorrect math problems than those with a “fixed” mindset, even after controlling for differences in IQ, age, working memory, reading level, and math anxiety. The brains of students with high positive-mindset levels had greater activity and faster, smoother connections in the areas associated with quick recall of facts and math problem-solving.



“This is very, very exciting,” said Stanford professor Carol Dweck (who was not part of this research project). “My hunch is that often in the fixed mindset your mind is preoccupied with ‘Is this hard?’ ‘Will I look smart?’ ‘What will happen if I don’t do this?’ ‘I’m not good at math,’ instead of getting that brain ready to do it.” It’s analogous to warming up a car on a cold morning before driving off – the engine is primed to work more efficiently. The key insight from this research is that the brain isn’t compartmentalized, with motivation separate from math problem-solving. “The emotion and thought structures in the brain are totally entwined, totally docked in the brain,” says Mary Helen Immordino-Yang at the University of Southern California. “If you are trying to do math and worrying about whether you are going to fail or not, rather than the process of doing math… that is not deep learning.”



Chen and Jo Boaler (also at Stanford) are hard at work on figuring out how to help students shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. “Mindset can change quite a lot across age and grade level,” says Chen, “so we really want to see how that change can relate to different brain functions and different math achievement.”

“In Math, Positive Mindset May Prime Students’ Brains” by Sarah Sparks in Education Week, December 9, 2015 (Vol. 35, #14, p. 6), www.edweek.org