Wilson Ranger Post

October 19, 2015

Recognizing the Great People at Wilson

We have several upcoming and ongoing opportunities to recognize our Wilson Family. For our new staff members or for those of you who might need a refresher...here's a quick overview of some of the different recognition programs. Also, there are some of these programs that need your attention in the next week or two.

GEM (Great Educators Matter) is our internal employee recognition program. These nominations are due twice a year. See below for a little more detail.

Red and Black Super Stars are awarded by the Coppell Education Foundation. Both students and staff can be nominated. See below for the nomination form.

Super Teacher is a teacher recognition program called "SuperTeacher" in an effort to highlight the 21st Century lessons that teachers are designing all over the district to engage students in their curriculum. More on that later.

Teacher of the Year nominations are underway now. Information on this is included below.

Kids of Character Breakfast is held monthly in the library. The learner's parents attend with him/her. We provide a certificate and a group picture appears in the paper. Nominations go to Lisa.

Weekly we love to highlight those caught showing character at Rise and Shine and don't forget to have a class Ranger of the Week!

GEM nominations due Monday!

Great Educators Matter

The internal Employee Recognition Program (GEM: Great Educators Matter) seeks to recognize outstanding employees who serve the mission of the district in a manner that exceeds job/salary expectations...those who go "above and beyond the call of duty" on a quarterly basis. CISD employees are nominated by their peers and, two times per school year, as many as 30 are recognized before the Board of Trustees. Their names are also added to the "Wall of Honor" in the district's Vonita White Administration Building.

Please email you GEM nominations to Christina by Monday, October 19th.

Red and Black Super Stars Due Oct 23rd

The first Red & Black Super Star deadline is in a week — Friday, October 23rd.

You may nomintate students and staff members for this award!!!

So far no students from Wilson have been nominated (not sure about staff, they only sent out student info). This committee would like to give an award out to one student in each grade at each school — so a total of 6 awards per school.

Please nominate any student you feel deserves recognition for hard work, progress made, exhibiting good character or showing good leadership. The nomination Google form is very short to fill out.

Also, while you're there, nominate an awesome college as well!

Nomination form link

Teacher of the Year Nominations - Due Oct 30

It's time to nominate our Wilson Teacher of the Year for the 2015-16 school year!

Please consider nominating a collegue who possesses...

  • A tremendous concern for learners and the ability to engage and inspire them

  • The capacity and willingness to work cooperatively with colleagues and different groups in the community

  • A drive to initiate activities that transform instruction for all learners

  • The desire to stay informed about current educational trends and practices and the aptitude to incorporate what is learned into the classroom

  • The ability and willingness to make meaningful contributions to education

  • The implementation of innovative, creative ideas and technology in a future-ready learning environment


  • Be certified to teach in Texas public schools

  • Have been employed in Coppell schools for a minimum of 3 years (the teacher may be in his/her 3rd year with CISD); an adjustment will be made for Lee since it’s the second year after reopening)

  • Be a classroom educator (This includes PE, art, music, special education, literacy, etc.)

  • Plan to continue employment in Coppell ISD through the 2016-2017 school year

  • Be willing to collaborate and communicate their innovative instructional strategies and educational story to others

Click here for the nomination form.

Upcoming Wilson PD: Legos and GT

Consider registering for these upcoming Professional Development sessions:

Legos in the Classroom

October 20, 2015 at 3:30 PM to October 20, 2015 at 4:30 PM

The following credit is given when the course is completed:

Flex Hours, 1 Credits

Texas SBEC CPE, 1 Credits

Note: a survey is required at the end of this course to receive credit.


GT Nuts and Bolts

October 27, 2015 at 3:30 PM to October 27, 2015 at 4:30 PM

The following credit is given when the course is completed:

Flex Hours, 1 Credits

Texas SBEC CPE, 1 Credits

Note: a survey is required at the end of this course to receive credit.


RtI Need to Knows????

What questions do you still have about the RtI process???

  • Interventions?
  • Progress Monitoring?
  • Math?
  • Reading?
  • Length of time?
  • What do I need for the RtI meetings?

We are putting together an after school session for November 4th. Please email any burning questions to Mary with RtI NEED TO KNOWS in the subject line, and we will make sure they are addressed in the sessions.

RtI Running Record Info from Heather Cato

I have updated the PROGRESS MONITORING PAGES in the RtI2 folder to reflect a new running record document. It is labeled as BLANK TEMPLATE. Hopefully educators will find this easy to use, yet helpful in collecting data. As educators begin to use this form, any feed back is greatly appreciated.

k-2 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rAT8jhDVyqmCoLJvK6T-7WApi3Q5DXJod1DWfWNkvRY/edit

3-5 https://docs.google.com/a/g.coppellisd.com/document/d/1AaN-DrnYLFJpNhSY34RdND71lzcwhpvjkqxT3WmnD18/edit

To Whole or Small Group...That is the Question from Jennifer and Carol

As your grade level plans, do you debate the merits of which format to use for your mini-lessons? While whole-group instruction may seem like the most efficient method, it all depends upon the purpose of your instruction and the prior knowledge of your learners.

Some key questions to consider when evaluating both options are:

  1. What does the preassessment data tell you? Is there a wide gap in the knowledge base of your learners regarding a particular objective? Or is it new to everyone?

  2. Is the purpose of the mini-lesson to stimulate interest and encourage connections to background knowledge? Or is it to teach a specific skill?

There is a time and place for whole group instruction, including the following suggestions from Guided Math by Laney Sammons:

  • Involving learners in activation strategies (such as games or hands-on experiences)

  • Reading aloud mathematics-related literature to promote connections

  • Conducting a Math Huddle, Number Talk, or a classroom debate about a key concept

  • Presenting mini-lessons (contingent upon your answer to the pre assessment questions above).

One of the most effective Whole Group mini-lessons I witnessed last year involved a classroom debate related to the long-standing rounding rule of “5 or More, Raise the Score.” At first she displayed a hundreds chart and used engagement strategies to solicit predictions from multiple learners about what a sample of number would round to. Thinking Pairs were then instructed to discuss “How do you know?” Most indicated that they looked at the ones place, and a digit of five or higher indicated they should round up to the next multiple of ten. At that moment, the educator drew a midpoint line vertically through the the hundreds chart.

The educator then told the class she had a Thinking Question for them: Why do you think that whoever made the decision decided that the rounding line goes here (between 4 and 5) instead of here (pointed out other spots)? This question prompted learners to look at rounding from a new perspective and resulted in several in depth responses. She charted responses and used each to highlight key concepts of rounding. She incorporated several components into one short but powerful lesson.

How does this compare to whole group mini-lessons in which the educator models step-by-step how to round numbers? How many of the learners have already checked out, either because the concept is over their head or too simple? If pretests indicate a wide gap in learner abilities, could you forgo the whole group mini lesson and instead tailor the introductory lesson to your learner’s needs through small group instruction? In addition to encouraging differentiation, small group instruction improves formative assessment efficiency and promotes learner accountability among many benefits.

Some final questions to consider as you evaluate your balance between whole group and small group instruction:

  1. How often do you use whole group instruction? What percentage of your class?

  2. Which do you prefer as an adult learner? Whole group or small group?

  3. How do you group learners when doing small group instruction? What data points do you use to create your groups?

  4. How are you ensuring all kids are getting what they need based on their current level of learning?

  5. What does the role of the teacher look like in a classroom with lots of small group instruction?

GIZMOS- Need a Log-in???

Thanks, Ann, for hosting a Gizmos Info Session this week.

For those of you who still need a log in...see below.

New to teaching grades 3-5 math or science?

Click on the link below to create a GIZMOS user account:


From here you will create a username and password.

The following link explains how student accounts are created.


Big image

TEA Update: Length of STAAR

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today notified school districts and charters that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will reduce the length of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) in grades 3–8 for the 2016 spring administrations.

“House Bill 743, which was passed by the Legislature earlier this year, requires STAAR assessments be designed so 85 percent of students can complete the grades 3–5 assessments in two hours and 85 percent of students can complete the grades 6–8 assessments in three hours,” said Commissioner Williams. “The steps I’m announcing for the coming school year are merely the first as TEA works to meet the legislative requirements while also balancing the validity and reliability of each assessment.”

To meet this legislative requirements of HB 743, TEA will take the following actions in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years:

  • For 2016 only, TEA will remove all currently-embedded field-test questions for STAAR grades 3–8, which will reduce the length of each assessment by five to eight questions.
  • TEA has also redesigned the 2016 STAAR grades 4 and 7 writing tests so they will be completed in one four-hour administration.

In addition, Commissioner Williams advised that TEA will also collect detailed data during the spring 2016 test administration on the time it takes students to complete the assessments. That data will then be used to determine how to adjust the STAAR grades 3–8 assessments for spring 2017 testing to more precisely meet the testing time requirements of HB 743.

To read Commissioner Williams’ letter to school districts, visithttp://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Reduction_of_Number_of_Questions,_State_of_Texas_Assessments_of_Academic_Readiness_%28STAAR®%29_Grades_3–8_Assessments.

It's Fall, Y'all!!!

Big image
Big image
Big image
Big image