Gonzalez Premier Express

Week of February 16, 2016


To become the PREMIER elementary school in Dallas ISD


Our 2E students will lead us during announcements this week. Please, make sure students are familiar with the script and report to the office by 7:58 a.m. I would like to start announcements no later than 8:05 a.m.

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We continue to make great strides toward our vision of becoming the Premier elementary school in Dallas ISD.

Let's make sure that we

    • are purposeful with our planning for our regular lessons as well as for our tutoring/Saturday School. Keeping students to develop skills which are critical for their academic and cognitive development is a great idea, as long as we really address the needed skills through actual interventions that work (ISIP, Measuring-up, RM City, STAAR Guides, etc.)
    • are engaging students through Think Pair Share and/or Table Talk to support students in their internalization of concepts. When students are able to discuss the content and ideas, they will learn at least 70% of what is being addressed.
    • are using the TEI rubric to know exactly what is expected of you and how you may move from one level to the next. Also, you may ask anyone from the leadership team if you need specific ideas or examples in teaching practices to support your performance.


    • Ms. Herrera, Ms. Araujo, Ms. Gomez, and Ms. Meza for their support and hard work on putting together the "hearts" tree. It is a great project where our students and families describe their reasons for loving Gonzalez. It was great to read some of the reasons why our students and families choose our school!!!
    • Ms. Shelby and Ms. Edwards for their leadership and coordination of the Mock STAAR testing last week. It takes a bird's eye view to set up and coordinate a great testing environment; we know this makes a huge difference!!!
    • Ms. Smith and the cafeteria staff for their support and flexibility. They continue to ensure our students have their food as fast as possible and accommodate our requests for field trips and mock testing.
    • Mr. Willis and Coach Crawford for their leadership and support with the basketball program. Our students continue to improve their skills as they improve their behavior and academics. Also, special "thank you" to Mrs. Buchanon and the cheerleaders for doing a show off during the half times.
    • Mr. Riser, Ms. Del Toro, Ms. Cooray, Ms. Pohly, Mrs. Pier, Ms. Sandlin, Ms. Tyler, Ms. Michael, Mr. Joel Gonzalez, Mr. Gonzalez-Perez, and Mr. Mena for supporting our basketball teams and cheerleaders. It is a great example of fostering school pride and spirit while building relationship with kids and the community.
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    Our cheerleaders participated in the Fun Cheer Competition last weekend and won FIRST place in the small elementary novice category. Mrs. Buchannon has done a terrific job with the girls; we appreciate her hard work and dedication!!! Also, Ms. Cooray and Ms. Del Toro attended the weekend event to support our cheerleaders. Click the video link to see our cheerleaders' performance. We are very proud of them!


    February 15-

    • No School - President's Day

    February 16

    • TELPAS Writing Collection Begins - Narrative Present Tense (Teacher responsible for collection: RLA)
    • AA History Committee Meeting
    • 3rd-5th Literacy Cadre Training: 2:00-5:00pm @Nolan Estes Room A(not Buckner)

    February 17-

    Ms. Shelby e-mailed and placed a hard copy of the MOCK STAAR schedule and logistics for next week. As you may know, doing mock STAAR testing has two purposes. One of the purpose of mock testing is to progress monitor student performance and make adjustments based on the data; the other purpose is to ensure a great testing environment by monitoring the logistics of this plan. Therefore, it is very important that we take this mock testing seriously and that we talk with students about its importance. Also, this is one of the last times that you will formally be with the group that you will be testing during the actual STAAR day; so, I encourage all of you to collaborate so that the testing teacher will be more familiar with your students and provide information

    • MOCK STAAR: 3rd Grade Math - 4th Grade Math

    • 504 Checklist - Shelby
    • Admin Calibration

    February 18-

    • MOCK STAAR: 3rd Grade Reading - 4th Grade Reading
    • MOCK STAAR: 5th Grade Science

    • Dyslexia Log Due - Joel Gonzalez
    • Data Uploading & Organization
    • Ballet Tryouts - Cooray 3:15-4:15

    February 19-

    • 4th Six Weeks Ends - Make sure that you have provided students opportunities to make up work or retest any major assessments failed by the students. As a reminder, homework grades must only be used to the students' advantage.
    • African American Read-In
    • UNCF $5

    February 20-

    • STAAR Academies
    • Saturday School
    • DI Regional Tournament - Wilburn / Edwards
    • African American Read-In at Cornerstone Baptist Church - Kennard/Tabarez

    2016 ACP Spring Film Festival Registration - Upcoming Events

    • Registration is now underway for the ACP Spring Film Festival featuring test items for second semester tests. Sponsored by Evaluation and Assessment and Teaching and Learning, the ACP Film Festival is an opportunity for teachers whose courses require an ACP to view the test questions for the grades and subjects they teach.
    • This event is for teachers of record only. All participants are required to register and agree to the security oath. To register, visit the assessment website at http://assessment.dallasisd.org/. Show times will vary according to the grade and subject taught. For additional information, please download the flyer

    • Students taking STAAR in May (first administration) will NOT take that subject’s ACP. Click here to download General List of 2016 Spring ACPs

    4 Ways to Create a “You Can” Environment

    February 18, 2015 | Shelly Hollis

    Have you ever had a child come into your class with a “reputation that precedes him or her”? You’ve heard about his or her behavior from other teachers, and you’ve formed an idea of what teaching this student will be like. Does this preconceived idea influence the way you treat this student?

    Or perhaps because of cultural and societal expectations, and varied learning disabilities or home life circumstances, you may believe there is no way certain children can be successful leaders.

    How does your perception of students impact your behavior toward them?

    “Paradigms (how we see things) drive our behaviors (what we do, our habits), and what we do drives the results we get” (The Leader in Me, 231).

    As educators, the paradigms through which we view our students each day determine our behaviors toward them. Ultimately, these behaviors will yield effective or ineffective results. A critical question for every educator is “What is my honest paradigm of the worth and potential of each student in my care?”

    Dr. John Hattie, author of Visible Learning for Teachers, writes on why a teacher’s paradigms matter in student success.

    “We invent so many ways in which to explain why students cannot learn: it is their learning styles; it is right or left brain strengths or deficits; it is lack of attention; it is their refusal to take their medication; it is their lack of motivation; it is their parents not being supportive; it is because they do not do their work, and so on. It is not that the explanations are wrong…. or right…. but the underlying premise of most of these claims is the belief that we, as educators, cannot change the student…. My point is that teachers’ beliefs and commitments are the greatest influence on student achievement over which we have some control…”

    What teachers “do” in the classroom flows from the paradigms they have about their students and affects the paradigms students have of themselves. Students’ self-efficacy (a belief that “they can”) is deeply impacted by their teachers’ paradigms.

    4 Ways to Create a “You Can” Classroom Environment

    What does a classroom look like with a teacher who has the paradigm of “you can,” despite all of the excuses listed in Hattie’s quote? Here is a quick snapshot…

    1. The teacher maintains a deep belief that students can learn and communicates this belief through words and actions.
    2. The teacher works to create a classroom environment that is respectful and trusting for all students.
    3. The teacher responds quickly to feedback from students indicating misconceptions or confusion concerning content. The teacher does not restate the content louder but rather teaches it with different strategies.
    4. The teacher has a healthy dose of self-efficacy, believing that his or her actions can positively impact the students.

    Notice each of the statements begins with “the teacher.” Todd Whitaker comments in his book What Great Teachers Do Differently that effective teachers know they are the variable in the classroom. When they change, students may respond in different ways, which can lead to more positive results.

    The Paradigm in Action

    In one school I had the privilege of visiting a few years ago, some parents told me about their daughter entering kindergarten as a selective mute, meaning she could speak, but chose not to speak at school. No one heard her voice at all for the first year.

    However, her teachers saw her through a paradigm of “she can,” and they formulated a plan to persuade her into speaking to her teacher and then to her classmates. By fourth grade, when I met her, she shook my hand, introduced herself, and told me about her leadership role in the school. At the end of each day, she got on a walkie-talkie and called students for the car-rider line. And now she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

    I encourage you to examine the paradigms to which you and other individuals in your school are clinging. Do the paradigms reinforce the worth and potential of every child and staff member in the building? If they don’t, work to change them in a positive way.

    There is power in our paradigms! Believe your students CAN, and they WILL!

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    Keep in your thoughts and prayers

    Ms. Trevino's mother passed away last Wednesday night. Please, keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.


    • Ms. Ibarra - February 15