The Bruin Blast

Labor Omnia Vincit

Week #17: January 11-15

Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind


Principal's Corner

Blanton Bruins,

What a great first week! It is exciting to see teachers and students celebrating successes! Students were tracking their data on their class trackers and planning with teachers about their next steps. I know that our students will continue to make accelerated gains through your hard work, high sense of urgency and your high expectations. Students are also beginning to understand their role as academic scholars!

Thank you all for working so hard this first semester! Have a great weekend!


Climate Survey

Attached you will find the climate survey. Please take a couple of minutes to look at it. In the next few weeks we will be asking for your input on how we can improve as a campus. Thank you again for completing the survey. We can only get better if we know what areas need improvement. Please know that the leadership team is committed to supporting ALL Blanton Bruins: teachers, support staff, students and parents.

Saturday School


3-5 Teachers

Click on the link below to sign up for Saturday School dates. Type YES or NO under the days that are marked for Saturday School.

Coming up this week:


Reading/Writing Corner


Writer's Workshop K-2

Thank you K-2 teachers for participating in the Writer's Workshop training. Remember that in our first unit we are showing students what good authors do: like telling stories with illustrations, labeling & adding details and we are also having them practice using different resources for spelling. By the end of the unit, students should be writing stories across several pages and using real-world purposes for writing. This will help students make a smooth transition into personal narratives for next month. Some of you are ahead in the units and that’s awesome to see!

The observations are broken down by the different parts of the Writer's Workshop. Since this week the focus was on connections, next week we will focus on the teaching/modeling part of the writer's workshop.

Ways to Incorporate Writing Across the 3-5 Curriculum

While the majority of writing takes place in the Reading/Language Arts classroom, writing can also be used while teaching Math, Science, and Social Studies. Here are some suggestions that can be used in any classroom:

  • Journal Writing: Journal writing creates confident writers. Journals are an informal place for students to summarize their thoughts regardless of the subject. Give students a choice using writing prompts or just let them write freely. In a content-area class like Math or Science, students can write about the concepts they learned that day in their own words. Expressing themselves through writing helps reinforce learning.
  • Quick-Writes: Quick-writes help students to practice writing while focusing on critical-thinking skills. Set a timer for 10 minutes and give students a writing prompt. Show them a historical picture, read a quote from your favorite scientist, or ask them to write about how they’d use a math theory in real life. Anything that gets them thinking…… and writing.
  • Real World Writing: Think about the type of writing most often done in your discipline and have the students do it. For example, mathematicians write theorems and textbook problems. Scientists write lab reports. Journalists in all fields write articles. Have students create a website or a pamphlet for an authentic writing experience.
  • Research Projects: Ask students to write research-based arguments, not just persuasive ones. The goal is for all students to become self-directed learners who are adept at researching and writing about a wide variety of subjects.

Writer's Workshop this week....


Big image

ESTAR/MSTAR Winter Screener

2-5 Math teachers,

On Monday 1/11/16 the window opens for the ESTAR/MSTAR Winter Screener. Remember to log in on Monday morning and assign the screener to your students.

You received today the login cards for your students. If a student is a new to the campus, most likely there isn't a login card for him printed. Make sure that you get the login username from the website.


  • The ESTAR/MSTAR Winter Screener consists of 24 questions, and should take between 20-40 minutes.
  • For this week only, you can choose to use the Reasoning Minds time. It is highly suggested that all students finish in one sitting, but just in case they don't finish, they can log out and continue at a later time.
  • Also, you can choose have students take the screener in your computer station during the day.
  • Make sure to actively monitor! Even though is a screener, it is highly important that students are not clicking through it, and that their Tier is truly reflecting how algebra-ready they are.
  • Accommodations are to be used, based on their IEP only.
  • There are Spanish screeners for the students that are receiving Spanish instruction. The Spanish test is paper-based only, so you would need to input that students answers manually.
  • It is highly recommended to give students grid paper (3-5 STAAR) or scratch paper, so they show they work. Keeping it consistent to our classroom's expectations! :)

Hopefully all students are done with the Winter Screener by Friday 1/15. On the week of the 19-22 we will get together one day during your planning period so we can decide what Diagnostics Assessments the Tier 3A & 3B students will be taking. I'm thinking Tuesday the 20th, let me know if this day works for you.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. 3-5 Math teachers, see you tomorrow at Haskell for the Carnegie Learning Academy. Remember to clock in under Supplemental using the code: 75001





Big image

We celebrate the GREATNESS in you!!

Got news to share (birthdays, milestones, anniversaries, etc?), please click on the link below: