Bryan Adams Feeder Pattern Updates

January 4, 2016

Gaston Competes in UIL

Sparky Visits Kiest

Tthe Dallas Fire Department/Sparky visited Edwin J. Kiest students before the holiday break to tell remind them of the importance of staying safe around fire and what to do if there is a fire at home.

Casa View Family Night

The Gift of Giving at Robert T. Hill Middle School

The students and staff came together to partner with the Salvation Army and their Precious Angel Program for the third year. They wanted to give a smile child or an elderly person this Holiday season. They understand the meaning of giving even when they themselves may be going through a difficult time. This is the true meaning of giving from the heart.

The first week of December begins with classes selecting an angel tag. Then the Library leaders/helpers put up the Christmas tree, get empty boxes from the Cafeteria, decorate them, label them with the name of the teacher, put the boxes under the Christmas tree, gather the gifts, put them in bags, and send them off with Ms. Rodriguez to the Salvation Army.

This year 206 gifts were collected. Kudos to the students, their parents and staff members at Robert T. Hill MS.

Preparing for Student presentation at Bayles

Happy Holidays from Our Principals

Does a Growth Mindset Make Students Better Math Problem-Solvers?

“Having a positive mindset in math may do more than just help students feel more confident about their skills and more willing to keep trying when they fail,” reports Sarah Sparks in this article in Education Week. “It may prime their brains to think better.” Recent neuroscientific research at Stanford University is showing how students’ beliefs about math learning can produce more efficient brain activity. Lang Chen and his colleagues studied elementary students’ brains with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and found that those with a “growth” mindset about math did better at spotting correct and incorrect math problems than those with a “fixed” mindset, even after controlling for differences in IQ, age, working memory, reading level, and math anxiety. The brains of students with high positive-mindset levels had greater activity and faster, smoother connections in the areas associated with quick recall of facts and math problem-solving.

“This is very, very exciting,” said Stanford professor Carol Dweck (who was not part of this research project). “My hunch is that often in the fixed mindset your mind is preoccupied with ‘Is this hard?’ ‘Will I look smart?’ ‘What will happen if I don’t do this?’ ‘I’m not good at math,’ instead of getting that brain ready to do it.” It’s analogous to warming up a car on a cold morning before driving off – the engine is primed to work more efficiently. The key insight from this research is that the brain isn’t compartmentalized, with motivation separate from math problem-solving. “The emotion and thought structures in the brain are totally entwined, totally docked in the brain,” says Mary Helen Immordino-Yang at the University of Southern California. “If you are trying to do math and worrying about whether you are going to fail or not, rather than the process of doing math… that is not deep learning.”

Chen and Jo Boaler (also at Stanford) are hard at work on figuring out how to help students shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. “Mindset can change quite a lot across age and grade level,” says Chen, “so we really want to see how that change can relate to different brain functions and different math achievement.”

“In Math, Positive Mindset May Prime Students’ Brains” by Sarah Sparks in Education Week, December 9, 2015 (Vol. 35, #14, p. 6),

Open Carry

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, Texans will be able to legally carry their handguns in a holster openly anywhere they could carry concealed in accordance with House Bill 910. Individuals who obtain a License to Carry (LTC) or have a valid concealed handgun license (CHL) will be able to carry their weapon in plain view, when properly secured in a belt or shoulder holster.

The City of Dallas has trained 311 and 911 call takers on the new laws and regulations to ensure they are able to answer concerned citizen's questions. Dallas Police Department has trained police officers on the new laws so that they are aware of what is legal and what is a violation under the new open carry law.

Once Upon a Mattress Date Change

We want to thank the community for your continued support of the Bryan Adams High School Fine Arts Department and our production of Once Upon a Mattress. Due to issues with receiving the music in a timely manner from the publishing company, we have moved the production dates to March 2-4, 2016 at Bryan Adams High School. All performances will begin at 7PM in the BAHS auditorium.

Don’t miss a chance to see this funny, and heartfelt show! Be on the lookout for pre-sale ticket information in 2016.

As a reminder, all feeder students are eligible to receive one free admission if they wear their school shirt to the performance, or bring one canned food item to be donated to the North Texas Food Bank. Join us for our Feeder School Night on March 2nd, with a small opening night party after the show. At that time we’ll be offering pictures with the cast for feeder school students!

We appreciate your support of the Bryan Adams fine arts department and we look forward to bringing you excellent productions in 2016!

The Qualities of a Good Teacher

In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, A.C. Grayling (New College of the Humanities, London) says there are two ways that ineffective teachers can harm students: putting them off a subject and undermining their confidence and self-belief. “Good teachers do exactly the opposite of these things,” says Grayling, “and as a result inspire, guide, and give their students a broader sense of life’s possibilities… the desire to know more, understand more, achieve greater insight.” He lists several qualities that the best teachers possess:

- Enthusiasm – Students often catch this in their classrooms.

- Charisma – Teachers can be Pied Pipers for their subject.

- A capacity to clarify and make sense – This quality illuminates any subject.

- Humor – It lightens the hard work students need to do.

- Kindness – A teacher’s power is enhanced when there’s a human connection.

- A genuine interest in students’ progress – This involves constantly checking for understanding and responding accordingly.

Good teachers have these qualities in varying proportions, and the net effect is that students begin to teach themselves. “And that, paradoxical as it may seem, is the best outcome of good teaching,” says Grayling. “Independence of endeavor, and soon therefore of mind, should be one of the fundamental aims of education.”

Some novice teachers worry that if they show humor, kindness, and interest, they’ll come across as weak. But Grayling says there’s “no inconsistency in being both kind and firm, humorous although not prepared to tolerate messing about, and interested without being partial. It is a matter of operational tact and good timing.”

“Good teachers are those who remember being a student,” he concludes. “They hear themselves as their students hear them. They know which aspects of their subject might present a difficulty, which require to be grasped before which, and what their best students will be keen to know, and why… Students’ questions and doubts compel one to think and rethink, often prompting one to see things that had not been noticed before. For this reason it is never boring to teach the same subject repeatedly.”

“What Makes a Good Teacher?” by A.C. Grayling in The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2015 (Vol. LXII, #15, p. B4-B5), e-link for subscribers only

7th Grade Writing Professional Development

Adamson, Bryan Adams, Seagoville, Spruce

The Academic Facilitators from four Feeder Patterns will work with seventh grade teachers to prepare for STAAR writing. The training dates are:

January 4 - 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Monday)

January 19 - 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Tuesday)

February 2 - 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Tuesday)

February 16 - 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Tuesday)

March 1 - 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Tuesday)

Literacy Cadre

Professional Development for 3-5 grade reading cadre members will be on January 4 from 2-5 at the Buckner Building. This is a district-wide professional day so you will need to work your agendas so that your cadre members can attend this training.

As a reminder, your cadre team should spend the next six weeks implementing what was learned during the last training on Generating Text Dependent Questions through content PLCs and classroom observations to look for implementation.

The next round of PD for K-2 reading teachers will be January 19, 20, 21 Please remind teachers who have been in attendance to arrive on time and ready for learning. Thank you to our host sites for accommodating this training.

TEI - Upcoming Dates

January 14

Wave 2 DTR application deadline (by noon)

BA Dance Students Attend Richland College

The Belle BA Dance Company, DanceVersity Hip-Hop Crew and The Belle Officers attended the Richland College Dance Jam yesterday. They took college level dance master classes, as well as performed in The Richland College Dance Show on campus. Our dance department students are making a name for themselves and represented BA very well! They rocked it at Richland College!


Monday January 4, 2016

  • Professional Development/Teacher Work Day--No Students
  • 3-5 Literacy Cadre @ Nolan Estes Training Plaza; Room A 2-5 PM
  • Middle School Writing Professional Development 2-5 @ Buckner Building

  • Tuesday January 5, 2016

      • Professional Development/Teacher Work Day--No Students

      Wednesday January 6, 2016

      • Students Return Today!
      • MOY I-SIP Window Opens Today
      • Principal Focus Group 4-6 @ Haskell

      Thursday January 7, 2016

      Friday January 8, 2016

      Testing Dates


      6-27--Isaton's ISIP Assessment MOY (K-2)


      2--SAT (Grade 11)

      7-April 6--TELPAS (K-12)

      29--STAAR EOC English I (9-12)

      29--STAAR Writing Day 1 (Grades 4 & 7)

      29--STAAR Math (Grades 5 & 8)

      30--STAAR Writing Day 2 (Grades 4 & 7)

      30--STAAR Reading (Grades 5 & 8)

      31-STAAR EOC English II


      4-15--STAAR ALT 2 Assessment Window (3-8 & EOC)

      4-8--ES & HS Art Performance ACP (Grades 5, 9-12)

      12-15--Student Survey Window (Grades 3-12)

      12-22--ITBS/LOGRAMOS Window (K-2)

      18-19--ES Gym ACP (Grade 4)

      18-29--Secondary Band Performance ACP (Grades 6-12)

      20-21-ES Music Performance ACP (Grade 3)


      9-24--Middle School Gym Performance ACP (Grades 6-8)

      16-19--Middle School Art Performance ACP (Grade 7)

      2-6--STAAR EOC Algebra I, Biology, US History (9-12)

      9--STAAR Math (Grades 3,4,6,7)

      9--STAAR Math Re-test (Grades 5 & 8)

      10--STAAR Reading (Grades 3,4,6,7)

      10--STAAR Reading Re-test (Grades 5 & 8)

      11--STAAR Science (Grades 5 & 8)

      12--STAAR Social Studies (Grade 8)

      2-27--Istation's ISIP Assessment EOY (K-2)

      18-26--ACP (Grades 3-5)

      27-June 2--ACP (Grades 6-12)


      • Bryan Adams High School - Principal Richard Kastle
      • Gaston Middle School - Principal Susie Stauss
      • Hill Middle School - Principal Candace Ruiz
      • Bayles Elementary - Principal Robby Wilson
      • Casa View Elementary - Principal Oscar Aponte
      • Gill Elementary - Principal Damien Stovall
      • Hexter Elementary - Principal Jennifer Jackson
      • Kiest Elementary - Principal Yazmine Cruz
      • Reilly Elementary - Principal Marion Jackson
      • Reinhardt Elementary - Principal Phoebe Montgomery
      • Sanger Elementary - Principal Hector Martinez
      • Smith Elementary - Principal Lora Morris

      Executive Director, Bryan Adams Feeder Pattern

      Barbara Martin - English/Language Arts Academic Facilitator

      Kelly Morgan - Math/Science Academic Facilitator