The K-2 Reader

Volume 1 January 2016

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The K-2 Reader

The K-2 Reader newsletter serves to provide announcements, upcoming events, and other relevant information for the entire department. The mission of the publication is to highlight the contributions that each specialist (that's YOU) brings to the department, ultimately serving the teachers and promoting success for each student of Dallas ISD.

Wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY in January to April (18th) and Marcella (25th)!

The department luncheon for January will be on the 28th. The Luncheon Sign Up sheet has been shared with you.

Please bring a baby picture of yourself for a team-building activity. Place it in the basket on Keli's hutch before 1/22.

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Staying "Thin-spired"

Whether you are participating in the department's health competition for toning or fitness, we want to encourage you in your efforts. So, silence that inner critic and focus on these inspiring quotes to stay motivated to meet your goals in 2016!

Remember that "weigh-in" for The Biggest Loser contest is 2/15. Contest ends 3/11.

Daily Tips for Mind, Body, and Soul (from

Educators often need to be reminded to look after themselves. Here are some tips that we can do to de-stress and promote a healthy mind, body and soul.


for the soul...Relax for 2 minutes before you meet with others. Visualize the day ahead going well.


for the body...Half-way through the day, reduce muscle tension. Tense your shoulders without straining, then relax while breathing deeply. Feel the stress fade away.


for the mind...During lunchtime, take a 3-minute breather. Sit comfortably and focus on your breath. Your mind will wander, gently bring it back.


for the soul...Laughter is the best medicine. Have a giggle with colleagues or listen to your favorite comedy show.


for the body, mind, and soul...Eat regularly and stay hydrated. Think positive! Focusing on your negative traits and behaviors means that you turn a blind eye to your positive qualities. Also, make a list of things that help you relax. Then choose one and do it without feeling guilty.

Read Well, Write Well, by Dr. Jill Culmo

On Tuesday, December 15, Paula, April, and I attended a workshop entitled “Read Well, Write Well” at Region Ten. The session was presented by Donalyn Miller. Donalyn is commonly known as “The Book Whisperer.” She is a former Texas educator who specializes in motivating and inspiring students to become avid readers. Donalyn has written two books, The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. She is an engaging, knowledgeable presenter. Donalyn firmly believes that teachers cannot effectively mentor student readers if the teachers themselves are not readers.

During the workshop, Donalyn had us participate in several activities that could easily be implemented in reading classrooms. Here are a couple of her ideas:

Reading Autobiographies—Each person thinks about and makes a list of the books that were important to them during specific times in their lives. Partners then share their lists with one another and talk about how those books impacted their lives. Many times the partner who is listening will be reminded of books that they loved but forgot to list. It’s also a great activity to learn about other books with which you may not be familiar.

Reading Resolutions—The beginning of the new year is a great time for students and adults to set reading resolutions. This might include setting a goal for the number of books you would like to read in a year. Other resolutions might be about rereading an old favorite book, reading something from a genre you don’t usually read, reading an entire book series, or reading an award winning book.

Research has shown that teachers’ views of reading impact students’ perceptions about reading and their long-term interest in it. By participating in these types of activities ourselves, we are better able to let students into our own reading lives.

So, what about you? What books would you put on your reading autobiography? Did you make any reading resolutions this year?

...a note from our Marcella

Dear Early Childhood Friends,

It has been a pleasure returning to the Early Childhood Department for another adventure these past few months. I have crossed paths with “old” friends and made some wonderful new friends (I will be keeping in touch with you). I want to share this bittersweet news with you to say “Adios.” I am accepting the BEST job offer ever! With the birth of my only grandchild, on November 22, 2015, I can now retire and take care of my Princeton every day beginning this February. Thank you so much for the pleasure of working alongside you. Lastly, I would like to share that God always has the “Master Plan” and He is wonderful!

...a note to our Marcella


Talk about "dropping the mic"! You are starting a new chapter after finishing this one with such panache. We'll certainly miss you, but the time is right for you.

We sincerely hope that retirement is wonderful and wish you lots of joyous times with your family. You have made such a difference with your constant optimism, enthusiasm and willingness to help everyone.

Lifelong friends indeed,

Your K-2 Department

Sunshine Productions, Limited

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