The Quest

Volume 3, Issue 2

"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” -Erich Fromm

Information, Updates & Reminders

Sign Up Genius

A new Sign-Up Genius went out this week. Although it is broken into 15-minute intervals to accommodate a focus on Morning Message, feel free to sign up for any content area. Just be sure to select multiple time slots to accommodate whichever content area you choose.

Please sign up for a time to do the following:

  • Have me OBSERVE you teaching Morning Message or a lesson in any content area followed by a brief coaching session
  • Have me MODEL Morning Message or a lesson in any content area followed by a brief time to reflect/debrief

Click HERE to sign up for a time!


  • Our awesome Math Curriculum Coordinators, Tammy Chandler and Penelope Kimbrough, have updated the Mathematics TEKS alignment document and First Steps Alignment Document to include Pre-K Standards! Click on the links below to see how the TX Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines align with the TEKS in the area of Math. Thank you, Tammy and Penelope, for providing a tool to further strengthen the vertical alignment between Pre-K and Kindergarten!

Pre-K - First Grade Standards/TEKS Alignment Document (Math)

Pre-K Guidelines/First Steps Alignment Document


Morning Message is in full swing in many classrooms! The expectation for Morning Message involves three main components:

  1. it occurs every day
  2. it involves writing that conveys meaningful thoughts, and
  3. it is not used as a time to work in the green HWT books

Remember, Morning Message can take on several forms:

  • It can sometimes be a Shared Writing Activity in which the teacher is modeling writing meaningful thoughts shared by the students and teacher.
  • It can sometimes be an Interactive Writing Activity in which the teacher and students both do some of the writing about meaningful thoughts shared by the students and teacher.
  • It can sometimes be an Independent Writing Activity in which the students do the writing while the teacher facilitates, monitors, and confers with each student during the process.
  • It can sometimes be a combination of any of the above!

Video examples of each of the above are available in eduphoria in the Writing Domain under 'Curriculum Overview'. If you are having difficulty fitting in Morning Message and HWT, please talk with your team leader or schedule a coaching session so we can problem solve ways to uphold our Morning Message expectations!

Out & About at ECS

Managing Planned, Purposeful, Play in PPCD-3

Kim Shallcross made modifications to her Math instruction to meet the needs of her PPCD3 students. She faced certain challenges in working with her class as a whole group and restructured her Math block to address these challenges. Kim now splits her class into two smaller groups and teaches the lesson to one group while the other group engages in station tubs, facilitated by her teaching assistant. The video below shows a lesson on identifying shapes along with the corresponding station tubs. Thank you, Kim for sharing how you are differentiating and meeting the specific needs of your students!
PPCD3 Math

Developmental Stages of Writing

The Developmental Stages of Writing shown below are also listed in the TX Pre-K Guidelines under the Emergent Literacy Writing Domain on p. 79. Here is an excerpt from our Pre-K Guidelines document about writing in Pre-Kindergarten:

"Fine motor skills may impact children’s ability to write legibly; however, this should not limit their opportunities to write for meaning. The child’s level of fine motor development should determine the tools and the size of the surfaces that are provided for writing experiences. Fine motor skills can be developed alongside writing and through writing as children progress through the developmental stages."

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Below are some student writing samples from around ECS. What specific stages do you see examples of and what does this tell you about the student? (You do not have to identify all of the photo stages--just the ones that stand out to you.)

Click HERE to submit a response. Those responding by Monday, October 17'th will receive a special prize! **You must include the picture # and the corresponding stage to receive credit for your response!

CONGRATULATIONS to Michelle Donovan, Laine Evans, Elsa Gutierrez, and Courtney Peebles for winning colorful flip charts to use during Morning Message! Your responses to Clay's Pre-Kindergarten Stages of Writing examples in the last Quest were outstanding!