Teach Like a Pirate

J.R. Irvin Elementary Weekly Staff Newsletter - vol 3

Mission Statement

We value every student, creating an environment for all to be successful!

TLAP quote of the Week

A ship is always safe at the shore, but that is NOT what it is built for. ~ Albert Einsten

P is for Pirate

Dave and Shelly Burgess wrote a book which is the Inspirational ABC's for Educators. Every week I will include a snippet from the book.


As educators, sometimes we have to buckle up, conquer our fears, and take a leap of faith. Progress is almost always found outside of our comfort zone. Safe lessons are a recipe for mediocrity.

When have you take a risk? Was it successful? Unsuccessful?

When I was in the classroom, I found sometimes that I sometimes learned more from my unsuccessful risks than the successful ones. Don't be afraid to take risks.

Burgess, D. & S. Teach Like a Pirate. (2014). Dave Burgess Consulting. CA: San Diego.

Teacher of the Week~ Christine Dobbins

My name is Christine Dobbins. I am starting my 25th year of teaching, ALL of which have been in Kindergarten. I have been at Irvin Elementary for 14 years. I love teaching, and especially LOVE my kinder babies.

I grew up in Marble Falls, Texas and later attended and graduated from Abilene Christian University. I moved to the DFW area in 2003 and married my husband Donnie. We love anything outdoors: participating in various distance running events, camping, hiking, baseball games, etc.

I am excited and looking forward to a great year!!


Mrs. Harkrider and Mrs. Hansen used a hook to write personal narratives. They brought items in a suitcase and then revealed them so students could see how they spent their summer vacation.

Mrs. Johnson made a special delivery to 1st grade classes and students had to wait until the afternoon for Number Corner to reveal what was in the box. They learned that Capri Suns were bundled in tens just like in their number corner lessons.

Homework Help!

Homework help is up and running! Mrs. Ray will be there at 7:15am each morning in the classroom across from the library to assist students with homework questions they have. Please share with your students and parents that this is a place to come after they have done as much as they can at home on their own. Students that have not started their homework will be redirected to the gym. Thanks Mrs. Ray!

Upcoming Dates

  • Morning Assembly Helpers - Foster
  • 9/14 6:00 5th grade Parent Night; 6:45 3rd grade Parent Night
  • 9/14 School Mall Kickoff
  • 9/15 Staff Meeting 3:15-4:15~Wear jeans and TLAP shirt.~Bring ring binder
  • 9/16 Grade Level Meetings-Bring ring binder
  • 9/16 ISIP September Window Closes
  • 9/18 Spirit Day; Fire Drill - time to be determined
  • 9/22 ELAR and Math Vertical Teams meet 3:15-4:15
  • 9/25 Book Fair begins
  • 9/25 Movie Night~Book fair open from 6:00-7:00~Concessions open at 6:30~Movie begins at 7:00


  • ISIP Window Opens 9/1-9/16
  • 9/8 Reading Testing Window Opens
  • 9/8 Math Screener Testing Window Opens

September Teacher Birthdays

10th: Robyn Braun

23rd: Lynn Foster

30th: Rebekah Johnson


Handwriting without Tears

Handwriting without Tears Learning Lounge

Get Connected to HWT’s Free Online Resources


To Register:

1. Go to http://www.hwtears.com/texas

2. In the upper right corner, click on Login.

3. Under Don’t have an account?, click on Sign up for a free account here.

4. Enter your information using your home address as Billing address, and your district email for your email address. (This is what will give you permission to use the free resources for the TX adoption.)

5. Select your own password, and be sure to remember it!

6. Once you are registered, login in using your district email as your username and your selected password each time you login.

What Resources are available?

Explore the website for a plethora of wonderful teaching tools, instructional videos, a Screener of Handwriting Proficiency, and much more, by clicking on the links in the light blue box on the left pane!

Be sure to click on For Adopted Districts, as this is where you access the resources specific to your district. These include: http://www.hwtears.com/texas/adopted-districts

1. Full versions of the Rock, Rap, Tap & Learn CD (music)

2. Digital Teacher’s Guides

3. Digital Teaching Tools, which can be used with your Smart Boards (and other interactive whiteboards) to help with stroke formation

4. A+ Worksheet Maker, which can be used to reinforce handwriting habits in all subjects for grades K-4.

5. New Kindergarten Lessons

6. Spanish workbooks

Please direct any questions to Tara DeSantiago, Curriculum Specialist at tara.desantiago@hwtears.com

Substitute Teachers

If you are going to be out absent, please make arrangements for your duty. Substitutes are supposed to leave at 2:45, and it helps to have our staff on duty.

Thank you!