Anchor Weekly

A newsletter for Alta Vista Staff~Week of September 18, 2017

Don't Forget! Next Week's Calendar

  • Region 12 Math Coaching Follow up on Tuesday, September 19
  • Faculty Meeting on Wednesday, September 20
  • Ms. Alvarado's Baby Shower on Thursday, September 21
  • Reading PLCs on Friday, September 22
  • Mayborn Discovery Box Day with 3rd Grade on Friday, September 22

COMING UP! 1st Six Weeks Ends on 9/29/17

Calendar Link:

Reading PLC Meetings on Friday, September 22

Christa Miller will be here to discuss writing. Bring samples of writing that are high, medium and low. Bring questions you have about writers workshop.

Enrichment for Intervention Time

Grade level teams will need to develop a plan for enrichment activities for students that are not in need of interventions. This could include a variety of different activities including: Book Clubs, PBL projects, Makerspace, STEM Bins, math fact games, and more.

Regular interventions will start on September 25 with math. Materials should be prepared and ready to go ahead of time. See Mrs. Helton if you have questions.

Math Professional Development

Here are some different professional development opportunities that we can arrange through our curriculum department. If your grade level is interested in one of these opportunities for PLCs or after school, please let Mrs. Helton know.


  • Lesson Design
  • Differentiation with Envision
  • Data Driven Decision
  • Building Common Assessments
  • Diagramming the TEKS
  • Activities for Small Group Instruction
  • Making Use of Manipulatives
  • Intervening with Pearson Black Box

From Your Captain

We have multiple behavior situations this week that occurred when teachers were not supervising students. This happened when they were talking to other adults or left the classroom unsupervised. DO NOT LEAVE STUDENTS UNSUPERVISED. If you need to leave the room for a bathroom break, to make copies, or get materials, call the office for assistance.

Several parents have asked why they could not see grades in Parent Portal. When we checked on the situation, there were no grades to view. It is a campus expectation that grades are entered weekly into TEAMS so that parents have accurate information regarding their students' progress.

Lesson plans MUST be copied over to your personal planner because district personnel do not have access to view your team planners.

Behavior Team Notes

Students cannot learn if they are not connected to the class. As academic demands increase, we are seeing an increase in behavior issues as well. Keep working on routines, procedures, and activities that connect you with your students, and connect your students with each other. Morning meetings should be happening in every class every morning. If you need help getting morning meetings started in your class, contact Ms. Freeman or Ms. Maynard.

If you have a behavior situation and need assistance, call the office or text the entire behavior team. If you just text one person, he/she may not be able to provide the assistance you need in a timely manner due to other interventions.

As per our campus behavior management plan, teachers should be calling parents about behavior issues. If you need to call someone from the behavior team to assist with an issue, then you need to follow up with parents. Mrs. Freeman and her team should not be making the first phone calls to parents in regards to ongoing behavior incidents.

STEM Night Plans

You can access a general overview of our STEM Night plans here:

Each grade level has been assigned a book that teachers will read to the class ahead of time. During the even, each grade level will have a STEM activity that relates a science and math concept to the book. For more details or to give input, please see Mrs. Helton.

STEM Night will be replacing our annual Science Night. 5th grade students will be expected to create a science fair project for display (TEK: design an experiment that tests the effect of force on an object). All other classes are asked to create a classroom project using the scientific method to test a current science objective (IE: forces, heating/cooling, properties of matter). The point of the project is to walk students through the scientific method as it relates to the science topic you are currently teaching.

Science Penguin has a great foldable for the scientific method. Click on the link above (Writing/Journaling Resources) to also download this FREE resource.

September Makerspace

Email Mrs. Helton to schedule a Makerspace time for September. During this month's activity, students will be building Lego boats and testing to see if they float or sink.

You can choose from 2 different books: Toy Boat (recommended for younger students) or Journey (wordless picture book).

The lesson plans can be found here:

Growth Mindset Weekly Lessons

Each month, we will be posting a link to weekly growth mindset lessons (about 30 minutes). We encourage you to find some time to explicitly teach growth mindset.

The theme for September is: Everyone Can Learn!

No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment. --Carol Dweck, Mindset

Here are the lessons for September:

Lesson Plans & Team Planning

Remember that the new lesson plan template will be effective starting September 11. You can find the templates in the Google Drive folder here:

Don't forget to add to Google Drive and Make a Copy so you can edit and share with your team.

Here is the new form to use for team planning (instead of the paper version):

Writing/Journaling Resources

The Science Penguin has a great resource for teaching students input (teacher directed) and output (student directed) in their journals. Even though the examples she uses are related to science, they can be easily adapted for any subject.

Check out the resource here: (you have to sign up for FREE first!)