Teaching & Learning Newsletter

December 18, 2015


Your focus leads your performance and your life. So remember to take time to refocus this season.

    Terry Orlick, PhD, In Persuit of Excellence


    The coordinators would like to thank all of our wonderful Instructional Coaches for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the students of Bryan ISD. December 14th through December 17th coaches participated in a review of rigor strategies that will be shared with teachers. The coaches also spent time reviewing the coherency cycle of effective PLC instructional planning. The following days were spent completing a variety of tasks associated with refinement of the curriculum documents and assessments in preparation for the spring semester.

    A BIG thank you to Julea Johnson for providing technology assistance that made the curriculum writing process run smoothly.

    Coaching Tip

    As we discussed in our meeting Monday, continue to set goals, to explain, and to modify how a new teaching practice will be taught so that it is tailor-made for a teacher's unique needs.

    Coaching Actions:

    1. Meet the teacher one-on-one.
    2. Give the teacher a copy of the checklist for the teaching practice to be learned. (found in handout)
    3. Go through the checklist item and explain each one and what you are looking for.
    4. After discussing each item, ask the teacher to goal set and select the item they want to work on.
    5. Complete observation.
    6. Model for teachers in the classroom.

    Core Content Area News

    All Principals

    Think Through Math Update

    Think Through Math (TTM) has been offered a state-level contract to be the provider of Texas SUCCESS math resources for grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and Algebra I. Contract end dates will be August 31, 2017. All BISD students in grades 3-8 have had access to TTM since the beginning of the school year at a discounted rate . This service will not be disrupted. We are currently in the process of pulling data files so that all Algebra I students can be uploaded as soon as TTM becomes available for high school students. FMI contact Lauren Wooldridge. Click here

    DDRT Information from 2014-2015

    The DDRT Reports from 2014-2015, which were inadvertently deleted from Aware this summer, have now been restored in Eduphoria. You will find them in the individual student forms under the heading [Do Not Use] RTI: Post-RtI Meeting --> District Data Review Team (DDRT) Report. DDRT Reports for this school year are still located under the heading RtI: DDRT Forms. Please let Kristen Beesaw know if you have any questions.

    2016 DDRT Meetings

    There will not be a DDRT meeting on January 4. DDRT meetings will resume on January 8. Click here to access the link to sign up for a slot. Please note that behavior DDRT and academic DDRT will no longer be split. There will be a space on the sign up to indicate which type of input is being requested.

    Please remember to have all campus RtI meetings, progress monitoring, and information forms complete in Aware to facilitate the DDRT session. This includes having the Form 98 Request for DDRT Input complete and uploaded. Please contact Kristen Beesaw if you have any questions or need help uploading documentation.


    MSTAR Intervention Lessons

    The following link will direct you to important MSTAR intervention resources provided by the Meadow Center's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties. All middle school math teachers have been notified about this valuable resource and have access to this information via Team Connect or the website link.

    As a reminder, the winter administration of MSTAR Universal Screeners will be open for BISD teachers from January 11 to February 5 and the Diagnositc Assessment window is from January 18 to February 12. All grade 6, 7, and 8 math students are required to take the Universal Screener. For more information, contact Lauren Wooldridge


    Horizontal Meetings

    The next 4th grade writing horizontal will be held January 11, 2016 at Bowen Elementary from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. Please encourage all fourth grade writing teachers to attend this important writing session.

    The instructional coaches will be delivering the K-2 Horizontal on their home campus during the week of January 11-14.


    The state has provided Istation for grades 3 - 5 again through the Texas Success program. We have been in contact with the company and they are expecting to be ready to share out information sometime in January. We will let you know as soon as we find out more information. This is exciting to be able to have this resource for teachers to use to progress monitor their students, have a strong online resource for students to use and use as a resource for small group intervention lessons.


    Presidential Awards for Excellence

    Make your nominations now for grade K-6 math and science teachers for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program. Applications due April 1, 2016.

    If you feel someone is worthy of this award in BISD I wanted you all to have the info.

    2016 PAEMST Nomination/Application Windows Open

    The 2015-16 nomination and application windows for grade K-6 math and science teachers for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program are open. Educators may be nominated by themselves or by others. The PAEMST awards are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of math and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of math and science education. Since 1983, more than 4,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals. Access nomination and application forms here.

    Bilingual Education

    As we approach the new year, tap into the power of imagery, communication, and collaboration to make vocabulary building fun and meaningful! Research has proven that students with a larger, more nuanced vocabulary become more proficient readers, writers, critical thinkers, and learners, making them more likely to succeed in academic environments.

    Curriculum & Instruction Department

    If you have any questions, about the content in the Teaching & Learning newsletter, please don't hesitate to contact any member of the department.