The Hero Focus

Heritage Staff Newsletter - December 12, 2016

John Hattie and Effect Sizes

Thanks to Mallory for supporting our reading/writing workshop efforts by providing processes, research, opportunities to reflect, and unlimited support with tools, strategies, and techniques. The powerful research that she presented last Thursday afternoon emphasizes the important work that we are doing this year. Our PLC's, team planning, and team work will result in powerful results for our students. Providing feedback through conferring and formative assessments will give students and you the important information for growth and progress. Developing strong relationships with our students will provide powerful connections that will launch their social and emotional development and ultimately increased academic achievement.

If you are interested in learning a little more about Hattie's Effect Sizes, click on this article to review the list and a summary of the research.

Hattie Ranking: 195 Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement

Winter Break is Near: 3 Ways to Motivate Positive Behavior - Provided by Shayna Llamas

So I didn’t have to look far to find some inspiration as I sat down to write. As got up to serve myself a glass of milk, inspiration hit.

"Three and a half days til winter break. Hang in there. Love, Mia." That is my daughter who decided to bag up some Christmas goodies to give to her teacher along with that sweet note. You see, we all know that the week before winter break can be fun and challenging. As the days and minutes tick down to the final bell, the classroom buzzes with excitement. Students’ attention wanders away from you. They lose focus on their classwork. Disruptions and discipline problems rise as they get more and more hyped up for vacation.

Here are 3 ways to make class time extra special to recapture students’ attention — and keep them engaged and learning — until that last bell rings.

1. Keep behavior expectations high and heighten rewards for positive behaviors.

At this time of year, it might be tempting to overlook behavioral infractions, but this is the perfect time to remind students of how important it is to maintain positive behavior every day.

  • To keep students focused on the positive, double the frequency or intensity of rewards. Make sure you have plenty of Hero Bucks!
  • Continue to narrate the positive behaviors you see each day to reinforce those expectations.

2. Channel students’ energy in positive, productive ways.

Since students will likely have extra energy, you’ll need to find ways for them to expend it in positive — rather than disruptive ways.

  • Use movement to keep students engaged. Give students opportunities to “earn” movement breaks for positive behaviors.
  • Provide opportunities for students to work with partners or in small groups.

3. Make ordinary things special by adding some holiday sparkle.

Students feed off of your energy. So if you are positive and productive, your students will be too.

  • Give assignments or projects a holiday twist, e.g. “The 2016 Holiday Biography Project” or “The Red & Green Reading Challenge.”

Spicing up the regular classroom routine will give students something to look forward to, which will help the days pass faster for both you and your students. By channeling students’ excitement into positive behavior, you can make the most of your instructional time and motivate students to work extra hard in the classroom.

Holiday Brain Breaks:

Updates and FYI's

  • Progress Monitoring Week! This data is so important!!! Thank you for your due diligence in getting it complete.
  • Dec. 12th: Polar Express Parade 8:30 and PTA Sonic Drinks for the staff
  • Dec. 13th: Progress Reports available in HAC
  • Dec. 14th: Staff Holiday Luncheon Celebration
  • Dec. 15th: Fire Drill 10:10
  • Dec. 16th: Holiday Parties
  • Dec. 16th: Early Release 11:55 (District Link to Information)
  • Afternoon of Dec. 16th: Team Photos (more information to come) and work in your rooms.

Upcoming Events to have on your radar:

  • March 24th - 12 hours of EQ time due
  • Check to see how you are doing on getting your 6 hours of GT update
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Professional Development

  • Dec. 14th: PLC's in Conference Room - GT information from Tory
  • Dec. 15th: Dream Teams
  • Dec. 15th: Amber Richards on Campus - Please schedule time ASAP for her to come into your classroom to observe or model number talks.
  • Jan. 2nd: Campus Professional Development 8:30-3:30 - if you are still needing some Sheltered Instruction hours, you will be able to earn what you need for district compliance on our first day back from the Holiday break. We will be working together to add ELPs/ESL strategies (which are great for every child) to the lesson planning you started on your collaboration day. We will also be adding daily formative assessment strategies that includes math problem solving.
  • Jan. 5th: PLC's - PLC's were changed to Thursday this first week back so that we can work with Amber Richards while she was on campus. We will be continuing our work with the problem solving process.
  • Jan. 5th: Staff Meeting
  • Jan. 6th: Teachers will observe Amber Richards modeling problem solving with students. We will create a schedule that will allow all teachers to observe Amber modeling problem solving strategies.


The district and state are interested in our feedback on technology instruction at Heritage Elementary. Please complete the Bryte Bytes survey found on K-Cloud. We appreciate your participation!

K-Cloud log in.

Thank you!

  • Thanks to Texas Stevens for organizing and running the spelling bee this year!
  • Thanks to Tina Bode and the Fun Committee for organizing and Kelly Braun for hosting the Heritage Staff Holiday party. So much fun!!!!!
  • Thanks to Sarah Adams and the Events Committee for helping to set up and support all the events!
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Yearbook Pictures - Follow these steps

Just click on the link below and follow the steps:

  2. Click on NEW, then FILE UPLOAD. Choose the photo you’d like to upload.
  3. Once the photo appears in the file, right click and choose RENAME. Give your picture a very specific name in order to help the parent volunteer who will compile the yearbook (teacher’s name, activity, date if applicable, etc.)

You are encouraged to submit photos not just from school-wide events, but special class moments as well. Let me know if you have any questions!

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