Taylor I.S.D.

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Newsletter

May 2013

Melinda Baiza, Director

Summer Time FREE Learning Opportunities!

Want to supplement your professional development this summer on your own time?

Check out these fantastic FREE online learning opportunities brought to you through Region 13!

  • Connecting with the ELPS: Building Vocabulary #FA1224830
  • Connecting with the ELPS: Checking for Understanding #FA1224833
  • Connecting with the ELPS: Listening-One Strand of the ELPS #FA1224831
  • Connecting with the ELPS: The Magic of Writing for ELLS #FA1224832
  • Effective, Strategic, and Successful Decisions for SPED ELLS #FA1224197

You can register for these free courses by-

Step 1: Log onto your e-campus account through https://ecampus.esc13.net/.

Step 2: Type in and search for the Workshop ID for the course(s) that you are

interested in on the top of the page.

Step 3: Follow the workshop wizard to register and confirm your free workshop


Step 4: Launch the workshop when you're ready to learn online!

Happy Summer & Learning,


Change Can Be A Good Thing!

Taylor ISD has been accepted as an Early Adopter for PEIMS dashboards. The Early Adopter Kickoff is around the corner, May 16, 2013 at the Hays Performing Arts Center, where we will meet representatives from school districts from all over the state. I am looking forward to hearing best practices from the Student GPS Early Adopters, as well as sharing the concerns our district currently has with the Student GPS Dashboards.
The transition from our private vendor into the hands of TEA will allow dashboard users to see many of their feature requests fulfilled.
Thank you to all of the Student GPS Power Users for 2012-13. I am looking forward to the number of end-users increasing when TEA implements new features on the dashboards.

Until then,
Happy Navigating!

~Nicole Purser

Slideshow and Video Tips & Tricks

The end of the year is the prime time to create slideshows and videos for the events of the school year. Here are a few tips and resources you may not know about.

  1. Microsoft Office 2010 (PC)- Click File>Save As and change the Save as Type feature to Windows Media Video (.wmv) to make your presentation a movie.
  2. Keynote- Click File>Export>Quicktime movie after recording animations and narrations to make your presentation a movie.
  3. YouTube- Don't just upload videos to YouTube. You can now edit them online. They also have a slideshow creator.
  4. Other Online Tools- Prezi and Animoto.
  5. Batch Resize Images- Try this http://www.picresize.com/batch.php
  6. Editing Photos- SumoPaint and FotoFlexer


As we move toward the end of one school year, and begin planning for the next, I wanted to share a few words from one of my favorite teachers/authors.

"I continue to advocate the power of reflection - for teachers, for students, for all humans. As I have posted before, reflection is when we assess, and realize what we know, and thus, when sustainable growth occurs. Unfortunately, in such a fast paced world, rarely do we take time - or allow our students time - to just think. We live like we are playing video games: if we are blown up, we just start over immediately without really considering what led to the disaster. I use my students’ reflections to inform instruction, and sometimes, to give myself a kick in the pants or a pat on the back. How else will I know if activities are worth doing, if students are learning and growing?"

from Melanie Mayer, author of Two Roads Diverged and I Took Both, and high school English Language Arts teacher.

I hope we all give ourselves, and our students, the time to reflect on the academic learning, and the general life-lessons, that we can take away from this year. I know I certainly have learned many great lessons from fabulous teachers that I will continue to carry with me.

Happy musings!


Summertime Reading---for Teachers

Summer is almost here! Woohoo! And even though in the summertime I love reading a good mystery or romance novel on the beach (or even in a hammock on a summer morning), I wanted to offer some suggestions for a different kind of summer reading. If you are looking for some ideas for readings that will help you reflect, fine-tune, and ponder the passion and expertise of teaching, then here are some of my most favored suggestions.

Titles for all grades:

*Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading by Tanny McGregor

*Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Isabel L. Beck

*Rigor Made Easy: Getting Started by Barbara Blackburn

*Rigor is Not a Four-Letter Word by Barbara Blackburn

*Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov

*Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo

Titles specifically for elementary:

*Growing Readers by Kathy Collins

*Teaching for Deep Comprehension by Linda J. Dorn

*Reading with Meaning, 2nd ed. by Debbie Miller

*Teach with Intention by Debbie Miller

*Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All by Debbie Diller

*Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work by Debbie Diller

*Practice with Purpose: Literary Work Stations for Grades 3-6 by Debbie Diller

I hope everyone has a great summer! Happy Reading! ~Lucie

STAAR News: The Implementation of the New Mathematics TEKS into STAAR

Timeline for Grades 3 - 8

  • adoption of the new TEKS, April 2012
  • development of STAAR items to address the new TEKS, 2014
  • implementation of the new TEKS in the 2014 - 2015 school year
  • field test new STAAR items in the 2014 - 2015 school year
  • assessment of the new STAAR items in the 2015 - 2016 school year

Timeline for STAAR EOC

  • adoption of the new TEKS, April 2012
  • development of STAAR items to address the new TEKS, 2015
  • implementation of the new TEKS in the 2015 - 2016 school year
  • field test new STAAR items in the 2015 - 2016 school year
  • assessment of the new STAAR items in the 2016 - 2017 school year

Alignment of STAAR with New Mathematics TEKS

Prior to the implementation year,

  • test questions that assess the skills and concepts from the current TEKS that are NOT included in the new TEKS will be deleted from the test banks
  • test questions that assess the skills and concepts from the new TEKS will be developed so that they can be field-tested beginning in the implementation year and potentially included on future assessments

Alignment of STAAR with the New Mathematics TEKS

During the implementation year, STAAR will include

  • test questions that assess skills and concepts are in both the current and the new TEKS
  • field-test questions that assess the new skills and concepts added to the TEKS

For any given school year, STAAR mathematics assessments will always be in alignment with the TEKS implemented for that particular school year.

Taylor ISD CIA

Please contact Kim Kolinek if you have any questions about the content of this publication or have suggestions for future issues.