Colt Chronicle

May 9th-May 20th


Remember that flexibility is the name of the game next week with STAAR. Pam has created the best case schedule, but in all likelihood, things will run different. Be prepared for changes and updates as adjustments are made. It's all for the kids!

Important Items from the Site Calendar:

9th: STAAR Math: jeans and quiet shoes

10th: STAAR Reading: jeans and quiet shoes

11th: STAAR Sciences: jeans and quiet shoes

Staff Meeting for Professional Staff at 3 pm (plan on ending time of 4:30 PM)

12th: Teacher of the Year Gala

17th: Jessica's baby shower at 3 pm

18th: PLC Wrap Up meeting at 3pm (professional staff)

19th: Parent Event at 6pm

20th: Field Day: longer length shorts are ok to wear today

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Shout out to Blanca for giving Swivl a shot this week! She borrowed the device to record herself during a lesson to observe herself. If you would like to borrow the Swivl at any time just let me know. Also, if you want to find out more about I would be happy to answer any questions and help you get set up. I'm sure Blanca would be willing to share her experience with anyone who was interested in giving it a shot.

- Scott

Using Swivl for Classroom Observations

Tweets you may have missed!

Let's use the #coltslearn tag to tweet to when we experience learning or a resource that supports our work here at McCall. Here are some highlights of what has been tweeted recently:

THERE WERE TOO MANY FUN ONES TO SHARE HERE!!!! Check out and search for the #coltslearn hashtag to catch up!

Learning Commons News

As a reminder, here is how a Learning Commons differs from a Maker space. We WILL have a maker component, but our focus is more on building a space for many learners at one time to use the space. Our article that refrences a learning commons will stay here as you continue to get familiar with the idea.

We would like to hear how teachers and staff may see this space in the future. Here is a link to help gather those thoughts...

Article shared previously about Maker v Learning Commons

Summer PDH Opportunities Below!

Technology Conference

Tuesday, July 19th, 9pm to Wednesday, July 20th, 5pm

Denton, Texas

This may be a GREAT, CHEAP conference you may want to attend and rack up some PDH! George Curos is keynoting!!

Professional Development Hours for 2016 Guidelines

The district has created some FAQs document as we roll into the new guidelines that professional staff will be responsible for 7.5 hours of PDH individually. I have copy and pasted that document here for your perusal.

Flexible Professional Development Hours FAQ

What is the purpose of having flexible professional learning days?

Plano ISD values continuous professional growth and recognizes that an important component of professional learning is making time in a teacher’s busy schedule. In addition to the district designated Professional Development days in August, January, and February, there will also be 15 hours of flexible time that teachers may use in lieu of working on April 17th and June 5, 2017.

How is the professional learning time designated?

7.5 hours will be campus-based face-to-face professional learning focused on goals related to the School Improvement Plan. These “Flexible Campus Hours” may be spread throughout the year in the form of an extended day beyond the typical work day. Hours will be determined by the principal at the beginning of the semester so that staff may plan accordingly to work beyond the typical hours on these designated days.

The other 7.5 hours of professional learning time will be considered “Flexible Teacher Hours.” Teachers should determine choice areas of that support goals and interests related to professional growth.

May I choose to not attend the 7.5 hours designated by my principal for campus-based professional learning?

No, all staff members will be expected to attend the flexible campus hours in lieu of working on Monday, April 17th. It will not be an option to work on April 17th.

May I choose to not pursue the 7.5 hours of individual choice professional learning?

All teachers are strongly encouraged to pursue professional learning on an on-going basis. However, if an employee chooses not to accrue these 7.5 flexible teacher hours, the employee will work the scheduled full work day on June 5.

What is the calendar for professional learning?

The professional development calendar for the 2016-2017 begins June 7, 2016. Teachers should plan with their principal prior to taking summer professional development.

Do I need to seek approval from my principal for my flexible teacher hours?

Teachers should work collaboratively with their principal to gain approval of the plan for flexible professional development time.

What types of choices are available for my individual choice professional learning?

Examples of possible options include after-school or weekend professional development offered by PISD district departments, weekend or summer professional learning (e.g. EdCamps, professional conferences, regional service center offerings), and on-line professional learning.

May I do a book study for my flexible teacher hours?

A group of teachers may choose to engage in a book study. Flexible professional learning time may be banked for this purpose for the meeting and discussion time, but not for the actual reading time.

Must I be at school in order for the hours to be banked?

No, the goal of this is to allow for flexibility throughout the year.

What record should be kept of these hours?

Campus professional development will be entered into MLP for record keeping purposes. Each teacher will be responsible for keeping a log of their flexible teacher hours.

I know that I cannot bank hours for an event that pays me a stipend, but can I forgo the stipend if I want to bank the hours instead?

Yes, provided that your principal has approved this plan for your hours.

Why does this have to be outside the school day?

These flexible hours are being banked for use to enable a teacher to not report to work on two contract days, and so the accrued hours would need to be beyond the typical work day.

My team and I meet after school every year to plan instruction. We feel that this is beyond our regular school day. Can we count that?

This would not be a situation where hours may be counted as banked hours, because meeting to plan is considered standard practice or expectation currently in place. As a guiding principal, these banked hours should be beyond those typical expectations.

How Do I Add Outside Hours to MLP?

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AVID Corner - Scholarly Language

Collaboration is one of the main components of the AVID College Readiness System. The resource below was shared at the AVID PLC meeting earlier this week. We demonstrated using the Scholarly Language stems by having teachers read an article the sparked opinions for and against a certain topic. Teachers then shared their opinions on the topic. Teachers used the Scholarly Language stems below to both agree and disagree with others.

I have found that using these sentence stems helps with speaking in complete sentences and guiding students to (respectfully) disagree with someone else who has a different viewpoint than they do.

You can use the sentence stems for any activity that you would like. They are versatile and easy to apply throughout your day. I will add a printer friendly version of the Scholarly Language cards to the AVID folder I shared with you on Google Drive.

Scholarly Language

Use these sentence starters to sound like the scholar you are.

When expressing an opinion:

“I think…” “I believe…” “In my opinion…”

“It seems to me that…”

“Not everyone will agree with me, but…”

When responding:

“I agree with what _______ said.”

“You are right about that.” “I am not sure.”

“I have not heard of that before.”

“That is an interesting idea.”

“I thought about that also.”

When Disagreeing:

“I do not agree with you because…”

“I see it another way.”

“My idea is slightly different from yours.”

“I have a different answer than you.”

When soliciting a response:

“Do you agree?” “What do you think?”

“We haven’t heard from ______ yet.”

“What answer did you get for number ____?”

When asking for clarification:

“Could you repeat that?”

“Could you say more about that?”

“In other words, you think that…(paraphrasing)”

“Could you give me an example of that?”

“I have a question about that.”

When interrupting:

“May I interrupt a moment?”

“May I add something here?”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but…”

When offering a suggestion:

“Why don’t you/we…” “Maybe you/we could…”

“Here is what I think you/we should do…”

McCall Elementary Administrators

Stacy Kimbriel, Principal/ @skimbriel

Scott Schweikhard, Assistant Principal /@SSchweikhard