Watauga Weekly

September 19-23, 2016


Guess What??? Warrior Way is still CLOSED...

Monday, Sept 19

7th Girls Volleyball vs. Beford @ WMS

8th Girls Volleyball vs. Beford @ Bedford Jr.

7th Boys Football vs. Beford @ WMS

Tuesday, Sept 20

Board Meeting @ 7:00pm (Mrs. Cumbie being honored!)

8th Boys Football vs. Bedford @ Bedford Jr.

Wednesday, Sept 21

Football Pictures

Thursday, Sept 22

All Day ARDS

Friday, Sept 23

Volleyball Pictures

Saturday, Sept 24

BISD Marching Festival

T-TESS Goal Meetings

Are in progress...

Have you submitted your Goals? Please do so ASAP if you haven't. Once you have submitted your Goals, schedule your Goal Meeting with your appraiser. We need to knock those meetings out.

Go in to Eduphoria. Then go in to Appraise. :)

Be sure you "save" and then "submit to appraiser"!

Ask a buddy if you need help! Or your appraiser...

CLOSE Reading

Close Reading of Challenging Texts in Middle School

In this article in AMLE Magazine, Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs, and Erica Woolway of Uncommon Schools say that many middle-school teachers want to get students reading texts that will engage and motivate them – often contemporary young adult fiction. This is all well and good, say Lemov, Driggs, and Woolway, but “what students ‘like,’ or more precisely think they will like, is inherently limited. We can all name a handful of texts we read against our better teenage judgment – infallible though it seemed at the time – but which turned out to be transformative – instantly in many cases, years later in others.” So teachers need to make sure students use their finite and precious classroom hours to grapple with some complex texts of the sort that they’ll encounter in college and life. Here are five types:

Archaic texts – The first sentence of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is 98 words long and includes unfamiliar turns of phrase like “to wit,” “inasmuch,” and “in this workhouse was born…” In earlier eras, whether in novels or documents like the Declaration of Independence, people used words in different ways, and students need to be able to unpack and comprehend such texts.

Nonlinear time sequence – The narrative of Bigmama’s by Donald Crew switches back and forth between memories of a specific trip to the narrator’s grandparents’ house and recollections of visits made over several years. It’s challenging to keep all this straight, and Bigmama’s is ideal for helping young readers slow down and figure things out.

Complexity of narrator – R.J. Palacio’s book Wonder uses six different narrators to tell the story of a boy with severe craniofacial disfigurement, and one of them uses idiosyncratic punctuation and no uppercase letters. “It’s a useful book, first and foremost as an object lesson in kindness and understanding,” say Lemov, Driggs, and Woolway. “But it’s also a starter kit for understanding books with complex and potentially confusing narration.”

Complex plot and symbolismWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin weaves fairy tales into the journey-of-discovery narrative, with characters telling other characters’ stories and characters reacting to fairy tales they hear, which shapes the plot. Mastering this kind of text helps students prepare for challenging narrative structures like those in William Faulkner’s novels.

Resistant texts – The beginning of Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut uses a highly unconventional style to capture the difficulty of telling a story (the firebombing of Dresden in World War II) that cannot be told simply. “The elements create a thrilling narrative unbounded by traditional rules,” say Lemov, Driggs, and Woolway. “But confused readers – readers unaware that a text might deliberately try to disorient them, readers who have never struggled with that disorientation – may in fact be confused by the premise, not comprehend that they are not supposed to comprehend, and fail, perhaps even give up on the narrative.” Poetry doesn’t always conform to our “expectation of logic” – for example, “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. Close reading and unpacking of short passages of texts like these prepare students for the intense challenges of reading difficult material.

“Selecting Complex Texts with Intention” by Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs, and Erica Woolway in AMLE Magazine, September 2016 (Vol. 4, #2, p. 36-37), no e-link available; this article is based on the authors’ book, Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy (Jossey-Bass, 2016)


"Shout Outs" will be a new section each week in our S'more...

"SHOUT OUT" to the following teachers for attending the Monday night Volleyball game:

Wes Eidson

Heather Levingston

Sarah Strittmatter

Josh Huff

David Dillard

"SHOUT OUT" to Elizabeth Cumbie for attending the Tuesday night Football game!

"SHOUT OUT" to the teachers who took the time to draw their line on the $ vs. loving your job poster. ~Lev~

Shout out to Elhamad, Strittmatter and Dillard – saw you at the Volleyball game Monday! ~Diane K.~

Jason Finnels—shout out for A-1 performance by band at Open House. Very cool! Also, Thalia and Ginger, thank you for coming to the rescue when AVID needed whiteboards. Karla and Colleen for being great PLC teammates. ~Margaret~


Cafeteria - Pogue

Auditorium - Seale

200 Hall - Pollard

300 Hall - Robison

Warrior Way PM - Spencer

Parking PM - Parking

Sweeper PM - Strittmatter


Click here to nominate


“A Touch of Class” is an opportunity for students, staff, parents and community members to recognize BISD employees for the positive work they do for children and the district.

When “A Touch of Class” nomination is received, a certificate along with a copy of the nomination will be sent to the supervisor of the honoree. The supervisor will determine the appropriate time and place to recognize the employee with their certificate. In addition, random comments will be selected to be shared on the district's Web site as well as in the “B-News” and the employee newsletter, “e-nlightened.”


September 27 - Vision/Hearing Screening in Library

September 27 - Band/Choir Fundraiser Kick-Off

September 29 - CIR Cohort #1 12:15-3:50

September 29 - AVID Family Night

October 5 - Faculty Mtg/Gr. Level Mtg

October 6 - Choir Fall Concert

October 7 - Band 8th Grade Night w/HHS

October 10 - Flex Day

October 11 - Professional Development

October 12 - Picture Retake during lunches

October 12 - AVID STM 4:00 pm

October 14 - Band/Choir Lock-in


aqua (water) aquarium, aquatic, aquaplane, aqueduct, aquifer, aqueous

audi (hear) audience, audition, auditory, audiometer, audiology

bell (war) rebellion, bellicose, belligerent, rebel, counterrebellion

cap (take) capture, captive, captor, captious, captivate, captivity

cise (cut) excise, incisors, incision, circumcise, incisive, precise

bio (life) biography, biology, biomorphic, biochemistry, exobiology

auto (self) autobiography, automobile, autograph, automatic

port (carry) transport, import, report, deport, important, portage

scrib (write) scribble, inscribe, scribe, describe, conscription, transcribe

logy (science) biology, anthropology, geology, mythology, entomology


Kudos to ALL for a wonderful Open House. I think we'll cut it back to 7:30 for next fall. We seemed to really thin out and the drag on... (Remember-Spring is only one hour anyway. No Title 1 Meeting occurs.)

Awesome job, Miss Levingston, on producing your "student response" S'more. That was very cool to read! https://www.smore.com/95pq0

Big thanks to Thalia Ross for lending the AVID class a much-needed whiteboard! ~Margaret~

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Thank you to Travis Irish for his participation in this week's campus Twitter Chat.


You can join each Tuesday at 8:00pm. Questions can be found in the Digital Learning News sent by Mark Thomas each week.

Questions? See Tosh or Christine. (@birdville_DL)


(Don't forget to send Mrs. McGaughy your Twitter handle when you join.)

On-the-Spot Assessment Tools

In this AMLE Magazine article, Ohio district administrator Bryan Drost recommends eight free digital tools to check for understanding and maximize student involvement:

Padlet www.padlet.com is a virtual wall on which students can express thoughts on a topic. It’s also possible to embed audio and video and have students join a threaded discussion.

Recap https://app.letsrecap.com is a video-based assessment tool that allows teachers to pose a question, have students respond with a short video recorded on a cell phone, and then get feedback.

Today’s Meet https://todaysmeet.com allows students to engage in live “backchannelling” while a classroom activity or video is taking place.

Active Prompt http://activeprompt.org allows teachers to upload any image and ask students a question about it; students move a dot on their device to indicate their answer.

Flubaroo www.flubaroo.com is a plug-in for Google Sheets that allows teachers to quickly score student quizzes.

Zaption http://zaption.com allows teachers to take already-made videos (like a YouTube clip), publish interactive lessons, and track student understanding.

Nearpod and Pear Deck www.nearpod.com and https://www.peardeck.com allow teachers to embed interactive assessments into a slide deck and get student responses via their cell phones.

Quizlet Live http://quizlet.live allows students to practice teamwork and communication skills while the teacher checks for understanding.

“8 Digital Formative Assessment Tools to Improve Motivation” by Bryan Drost in AMLE Magazine, September 2016 (Vol. 4, #2, p. 42-43); Drost is at drostbr@gmail.com
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