Anchor Weekly

A newsletter for Alta Vista Staff~Week of January 28, 2019

Don't Forget! Next Week's Calendar

  • College & Career Week on Monday, January 28-Friday, February 1
  • Region 12 Math Coaching on Monday, January 28
  • Mock STAAR (Gr 4-5) on Tuesday, January 29
  • Art Trailer Visit (Gr 4) on Wednesday, January 30 in morning
  • Faculty Meeting on Wednesday, January 30
  • Career Day on Thursday, January 31
  • Math PLC on Thursday, January 31
  • 100th Day of School Celebration on Friday, February 1
  • Super Bowl Potluck on Friday, February 1
  • CTCTM Math Conference on Saturday, February 2 at University High School (8 am-1 pm)

Coming Up: Class Pictures on February 8

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We will be giving Mock STAAR for Grade 5 Reading and Grade 4 Writing on Tuesday, January 29. We will be using the computer lab, library spaces, conference room, portables, and support staff to provide small group and oral administration for this test. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding involving any revised schedules or personnel changes that we may need to make to accommodate testing needs.

We will NOT be changing the campus schedule on Tuesday.

Math PLCs

We will meet for Math PLCs this week. Don't forget your student work samples!

Career Day

Thursday, January 31st is Career Day at Alta Vista.

Career Day Schedule

Mrs. Maynard will be emailing teachers detailed Career Day Plans. 5th, 4th and 3rd time blocks are solid. Speakers will be in classrooms and students will be rotating rooms.

  • 3rd: 10:00 - 11:45
  • 4th: 8:15 - 10:00
  • 5th: 8:50 - 10:00: guest speakers; 1:00 - 1:30: local college reps - MCC, Baylor, TSTC (tentative)

Ms. Maynard is still working on plans for grades PK-2 but is short speakers. Please email her ideas!

Below are designated dress up days for week of January 28th.

  • Monday, January 28th - It's "Elementary"! Wear Alta Vista t-shirt.
  • Tuesday, January 29th - Middle & High School are cool! Wear Waco ISD middle school shirt; for example, Cesar Chavez or Waco ISD high school shirt or colors ; for examples, Waco High Lions / red or University Trojans / purple.
  • Wednesday, January 30th - College T Shirt Day
  • Thursday, January 31st - College and Career Day
  • Friday, February 1st - Dress for Success: Students are encouraged to dress up to show possible future careers.

From Your Captain

Those who have taught in Waco ISD will remember the Fundamental Five which are strategies to increase student productivity and achievement. There are two I want to focus on that we are doing, but we could increase productivity in both of these areas to be Incredible.

FRAMING THE LESSON…WHY IT IS IMPORTANT! Helps to avoid or minimize “information overload”. “Students are bombarded all day long with new information that they must rapidly sort, categorize, evaluate, prioritize and make decisions about what is and what is not important.” Therefore, “the mind constantly filters new information in its effort to place the information into its proper place.” “The brain uses these mental filters as what to keep and what to discard…one keeps what he or she thinks is the most important.” (Lead Your Schools, Fundamental Five) **This may sound familiar to posting the objective, but it explains why we do it and how the kids benefit.

The second one is being in the power zone. This goes along with our Teach Like a Pirate and not being the lifeguard just sitting on the stand watching but instead being engaged in the lesson with the student. This can be done by working in small group, working with individual students and even during whole group as you walk around and actively listen and monitor the discussions and work of students. This is not sitting for lengthy times at a table,, desk or other area in which you are not working directly with small groups of students.

The benefits of teaching in the Power Zone are: classroom management, improved relationships, increases instructional effectiveness. These are some of the ways it helps with those areas: Address unwanted behavior immediately • Manage transitions • Increase proximity • Connect with students personally • Show genuine interest • Promote equitable learning • Build rapport faster • Monitor and adjust personal instruction • Answer Questions • Provide immediate feedback • Differentiate when needed • Provide clarification.

Alta Vista BINGO

Don't forget to work on our BINGO Challenge. Sign your name when you complete an item, and email Mrs. Helton when you get a BINGO!

Prizes include: jeans pass, get of duty pass, arrive early/leave late pass, Sonic/Starbucks drink passes, and more! Have fun!

Conscious Discipline

Continue to reinforce our school agreements: Be Safe, Responsible, Respectful, Ready to Learn!

This week, email Mrs. Helton your classroom "Kindness" slogan by Friday at 12 pm (even if you already did). Winners will receive bonus House Points. Also email Mrs. Helton your "kindness counts" for the week.

Here is a link to the January Morning Meeting plans:

You can preview February Morning Meeting plans here:

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Staff Members of the Week!

Congratulations Mrs. Long for being our Teacher of the Week for having strong classroom procedures and working hard to implement Morning Meetings.

Congratulations Mrs. Denton for being our Staff Member of the Week for having lots of patience and love for challenging students and implementing CICO with gusto.


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Hands-On Science

Ms. Rawles had students actively engaged in a hands-on science lab comparing the atmosphere of the Earth and Moon.


RtI A-Z Meetings will be the week of February 4. You can sign up here:

TELPAS Writing Window will open up on Monday February 11-March 1. We will train ALL teaching staff on Wednesday, February 6. There are no major changes to the writing collection process, so start making plans now for how you will collect these writing samples (it is a team effort)! See Mrs. Alvarado if you have any questions. TELPAS Rater Calibrations will be on Wednesday, February 13 after school; please make child care arrangements now so that you have plenty of time to complete your calibration.

SEAS The Night Plans

Mark your calendar now for our next family engagement event on Tuesday, February 19 at 5:30-7:30 pm. We will have hands-on learning activities, read alouds and free book from Junior League, book fair, music performance by grades 1-2, and a free meal.

You can take a look at the plans here:


Connect the Dots

Lead4ward has many great instructional strategies found here:

"Connect the Dots" is a great strategy for practicing with vocabulary, math stimuli, important events, or even test questions. Let Mrs. Helton know if you try this strategy out! (There might be a prize in it for you).

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QDAC Feedback Needed

Please email Nancy Alvarado (our QDAC rep) your input on district professional development. What would you like to see going forward?

Attached is the instructional calendar for 2019-2020 as well as the incentive pay plan for 2018-2019.

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Behavior Training

The elementary staff at Wiley Opportunity Center are repeating their series of after-school trainings for classroom teachers, this time on Monday afternoons. Everyone is invited to attend! The Wiley staff help problem-solve and provide a listening ear in addition to the training. Registration and details on Eduphoria.

Location: Wiley Opportunity Center

Time: 4-5 PM

  • Monday, Jan. 28 Checking Emotional Engines
  • Monday, Feb. 4 How to Lead Great Morning Meetings/Circles
  • Monday, Feb. 11 "Own It Fix It" to Change Behavior