Patriot Update

November 15, 2015

I've Learned...

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou

Inspirational ABC's for Educators...

Dave and Shelley Burgess

J is for Jazz

In jazz we hear a convergence of cultures, a blending of styles, and a keen emphasis on improvisation. the notes on the page provide a starting point, but it's the imaginative and collaborative spirit of the musicians "riffing" off of each other that creates a unique musical experience each time they play. This same spirit fills the best of our schools with the wondrous sounds of learning.

Heart at Work!

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

  • Carrie Towey, you've got heart! Carrie was so kind to me. I went down to cover Susan's duty (lunch) and Carrie said, "You do not need to be here. I can cover it." She told me I had things I could be doing...such a servant's heart. Thank you for being a great staff member!
  • Bette Perot Co-Cur Team, you've got heart! I want to thank all of our co-cur team for always thinking of my students and being aware of some of the struggles of having Dyslexia. every single one of these teachers has helped me or my students in the past couple of week. I thank them for all of their willingness to help my kids be on the "same playing field."
  • Kourtney McCollough, you've got heart! By all accounts, our Veteran's Day program honored those who serve and sacrifice on our behalf. Thank you for the passion and commitment you bring to making performances so special.

Thank you for serving our campus with your whole heart!

Total Participation Techniques


Ranking is an activity that requires your students to analyze components of the concepts that you are teaching and then justify their reasons for assigning rankings. It can be done on the spot, or it can be carefully planned to allow for more thorough analysis. For example, after teaching about the causes for the American Revolution, a teacher might list the events studied and ask the students to rank them in order of most important to least important in leading to the American Revolution. Keely Potter and Megan Babcock used the Ranking activity with quotes from Kate DiCamillo's book The Tiger Rising. They asked students to rank the quotes in order of most descriptive to least descriptive in describing the relationship that was developing between Sistine and Rob. Students were asked to cut the quotes from a handout, paste them in order of significance, and then write out their rationale for selecting the order they chose. When analyzing students' explanations for their rankings, Potter was highly impressed with the way that one student moved from literal interpretation to an understanding of symbolism. "She' plugging in pieces of the color symbolism. This is the first time she's used it. I think it's through the ranking where they're manipulating the quotes and taking the words out of the book. What the ranking does is it triggers noticing the specifics, moving it and then changing your mind." Ranking requires analysis and evaluation. In the example from The Tiger Rising, students were being asked to analyze the specifics in each quote, determine its weight in terms of describing a developing relationship, and then defend their choice.

Ranking can also be used to help students synthesize and analyze what they've learned. After her students learned about the moon and space travel, Julie Wash provided them with a list of 15 random items such as matches, an oxygen tank, water, and inflatable life raft, etc. In small groups, students ranked the objects that they would take based on each item's usefulness if student were going to travel to the surface of the moon. The activity triggered conversations involving what would be needed for matches to work, and whether or not these would be useful to take based on what the students knew about the moon. According to Wash, "The discussion that ensues from the ranking is beautiful because you're forced to make a decision.

How it Works

1. Select items, concepts, steps, events, descriptive paragraphs, or other things that can be analyzed and ranked within your unit or lesson.

2. Ask students to rank them according to specified criteria.

3. Ask students to provide a justification for the way that they chose to rank the concepts.

4. If students are working on their own, allow them to pair-share or network regarding how they ranked items and how they justified their rankings. Allow them to process what their peers shared and to change the order of their rankings if they've had a change of heart based on new information.

Instructional Rounds Feedback

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Upcoming Amber Richards Days at BPE

  • November 19
  • December 10
  • December 17

***Email her at to request support, ideas, resources, or want her to cover your class so you can observe another teacher so she can plan accordingly.

Casey's Kids Fun Run - November 14

The 19th annual Keller ISD Casey's Kids Fun Run will be held Saturday, November 14, at the KISD Natatorium. Proceeds are kept locally to benefit Keller ISD families. Early registration ends Friday, November 6, to guarantee a Casey's Kids Fun Run T-shirt, but late registration will be accepted up until 7:30 a.m. the day of the event.

Upcoming Events

Lion King Rehearsals - Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays

After school

Tuesdays....Running Club

Thinking Ahead...Pictures Needed

Display cases change on December 1st - Theme: Kids at Work. Start taking pictures of kids engaged in learning now so you'll have them then.

December 3rd - Support Our Fourth Graders - Eat at Chik Fil A

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