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Week of February 1-7, 2016

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Staff Members Must Have a Commitment to Children and a Commitment to the Pursuit of Excellence

Passionate teachers are distinguished by their commitment to achievement of their students. Teachers play a crucial role in the development of students. At Kiest, the commitment of the staff matters in creating a learning environment that increases the potential of the students. Our students know that when the teachers set high standards for them and are committed to their learning, they take their studies more seriously. This is the point when teaching stops to be just a job, to turn into an inspiration for students.

As a campus, we motivate teachers to interact with each other, to build a positive environment within each team, with their students, and our parents. Abraham Lincoln once said: "Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality". At the beginning of the school year, we made a promise to our students. This promise was to get them ready for college. That is our commitment and our passion. We are staying that course as we continue our journey to excellence.

Proud to be a Kiest All Stars!
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We Are a Proud Two-Way Dual Language Campus!

Scholars from Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Estrada's classes received this banner provided by the Bilingual/ESL Department last week. The banner will be displayed in front of the school to remind parents that our campus provides Two-way Dual Language instruction from K-2. The scholars on this picture will be the first ones to move to 3rd grade two-way next year.

Becoming a Math Person

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Why students develop an aversion to mathematics — and how teachers can help change their minds

By Leah Shafer, on January 16, 2016 2:22 PM



We’ve all seen it happen to a child confronting long division, or a teenager grappling with geometry. We’ve even done it ourselves. The frustrated pencil drop, the defeated shoulder slump, and finally, the resigned proclamation: “I just can’t get this. I’m not a math person.”

But what does being a “math person” really mean? And more important, how can teachers help every student feel prepared and excited to tackle new concepts in mathematics?

According to HGSE Lecturer Noah Heller, the idea that there are “math people” and “not math people” is a social construct and not based on inherent characteristics. It stems from the belief that math intelligence is a fixed trait, rather than something that grows and develops with hard work and opportunities to learn. But the notion of a “math person” is still a useful one for math teachers to consider when trying to develop lessons and classroom norms that foster perseverance in all students.


Forced into Mathematics

When students proclaim that they’re “not ‘math persons,’ that’s an indication that they feel outside of mathematics, that math doesn’t belong to them,” explains Heller, the master teacher in residence for mathematics at the Harvard Teachers Fellows Program. “They feel like the math learning expected of them is something that they’re forced to do and memorize, or a way in which they’re asked to conform their thinking or cram for examinations. When students say they’re not ‘math persons,’ they mean that they don’t see mathematics as a useful practice that can help them interpret and navigate the world.”


Developing a Mind for Math

Math intelligence — and therefore the traits of a “math person” — can be nurtured and enhanced, Heller says. Teachers can take steps to help students develop a growth mindset — the view, popularized by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, that it takes determination and persistence to achieve success (in math, in this case), not innate talent. Heller outlines some of those mindset-changing steps here:


  1. Create opportunities for cooperative learning. When students learn from each other by discussing problem-solving strategies, they discover new techniques for approaching problems and new attitudes that help them persevere.
  2. Give students the chance to productively struggle. Math lessons are often set up to value outcomes, which are either right or wrong. But rich problems take time to figure out. Teachers should give students the chance to interpret complex problems in their own way, and they should encourage students to try a new approach if they’ve hit a dead end.
  3. Encourage participation, even if the student doesn’t have the right answer yet. “If there’s a threat of being wrong every time I raise my hand, and being wrong is a bad thing, then very quickly I decide math isn’t for me, I don’t like this, I’m not a smart person,” Heller explains. Teachers need to frame wrong answers as opportunities for learning, rather than as summative assessments of ability. When a student participates, he doesn’t have to feel sure he has the right answer — just confident that sharing his work will help move him in the right direction.
  4. Re-envision math as a language. Math teachers, says Heller, can work to “create classrooms where learners are situated as insiders, where they have opportunities to construct knowledge so that they feel it belongs to them and is useful in their world.” To foster that environment, Heller likens math class to a language class. Math students should feel that they can claim ownership over mathematics in the same way English language learners learn to claim ownership over English.


Above all, to succeed in math classes and to feel motivated to pursue mathematics-related careers, students need to feel comfortable with and excited about mathematics — they need to feel like they, too, are math persons.

Itinerary ~ Week of February 1-7, 2016

Monday 2/1 Announcements this Week 2B

  • Attendance is due by 9:00AM
  • Bilingual/ESL Parent Meeting @ 1:00PM
  • STEM Night Committee Meeting @ 3:15PM
  • Beach Club @ 3:15PM
  • K-2 Literacy Cadre Training @ 3:45PM

Tuesday 2/2 Announcements this Week 2B Groundhog Day

  • Attendance is due by 9:00AM
  • Real School Garden Classroom Training
  • PLC- Real School Garden 3:15-4:45PM

Wednesday 2/3 Announcements this Week 2B

  • Attendance is due by 9:00AM
  • Tutoring 3:00-3:45
  • Science Club
  • Destination BA @6:30PM

Thursday 2/4 Announcements this Week 2B

  • Attendance is due by 9:00AM
  • United Negro Campaign Kick-Off
  • TELPAS Training- All Teachers during Grade Levels
  • Gaston MS Band visits 5th Graders @12:30PM
  • Tutoring 3:00-3:45
  • New Raters TELPAS Assessment Deadline
  • Lesson Plans due by 6:00PM
  • Cici’s Night- 4:00PM-10:00PM

Friday 2/5 Announcements this Week 2B- 100Days of School

  • Attendance is due by 9:00AM
  • Dress up as a 100 yr. old person
  • Tailgate Luncheon for Staff

Saturday 2/6 – Saturday School 8:30-11:30 Staff/ 9-11 Students