Curriculum Times

December 2015: Volume 2, Issue 4

This newsletter is a monthly update on the happenings within the TPS Curriculum & Instruction offices. We will keep you apprised of upcoming trainings, opportunities for you and your students, and resources to use at your site or in your classroom. If you have something that would be a good inclusion, please email curriculum@tulsaschools.org.
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2015 2-D High School Art Competition Winners

The Oklahoma High School 2-Dimensional Art Competition formerly the High School Print and Drawing Competition is a competition among Oklahoma high school students hosted annually by the Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts and the Nona Jean Hulsey Gallery since 1985.


BTW

Cat Sack-2 awards (Rob Wakeley – photography teacher)

Edison

Nancy Hurst (Clancy Gray-Art Teacher)

Daniel Javier (Clancy Gray-Art Teacher)

Indra Coronado-2 awards (Julie Thomas-Art Teacher)

Jaiden Huges (Julie Thomas-Art Teacher)

Kayla Andrus (Julie Thomas-Art Teacher)

Shawn Johnson (Julie Thomas-Art Teacher)

Kyle Clark (Julie Thomas-Art Teacher)

Christian Spaulding (Julie Thomas-Art Teacher)

December Deadlines for Fine Arts Teachers

  • December 1-Speech/Drama Secondary Monologues-contact Amber Harrington, Chair
  • December 5-Band and Orchestra All State Auditions
  • December 15-Fine Arts Chairs Meeting-ESC-4:30-5:30
  • December 16-Scholastic Arts – Visual Arts grades 7-12-Deadline for entries
  • December 17-Elementary Music Meeting-Patrick Henry-4:00-5:00 “Incorporating Improvisational Movement and Dance”
  • December through January-ongoing enrollment for applications to teach at the Kravis Summer Arts Camps-contact Ann Tomlins

Kudos to...


  1. The Assistance League of Tulsa that awarded $27,491.19 to fine arts teachers in 17 schools for classroom fine arts supplies and equipment.
  2. Myrna Kaiser who awarded $8,000 to visual arts teachers in 16 schools for visual arts supplies for their classrooms.
  3. The Center of the Universe Corporation that awarded $3,000 to music teachers in 7 schools for music supplies for their classrooms.
  4. Explore Tulsa Fieldtrip Grant-Julie Thomas; art teacher at Edison High School received a grant to take students on a Photography Excursion to Downtown Tulsa.
  5. Patti Duncan and Karen Miller who attended the New York Metropolitan Opera workshop in New York City and qualified Tulsa Public Schools with a continuing partnership to receive 50 student tickets annually to the NY Met HD Live.
  6. Nathan Greenwood, Tulsa Public Schools Chair of Orchestras has been appointed Director of El Systema Tulsa, an afterschool orchestral program serving Tulsa Public Schools’ students.
  7. Amber Harrington, Director of Edison Eagle Theatre qualified thirty-eight students for the OSSAA State One-Act Play Competition.
  8. Julie Thomas, Art Teacher qualified sixteen students in the Oklahoma City University 2D Art Show.
  9. Melissa Harris, art teacher for Eisenhower Elementary School for putting up a beautiful art display in this month’s Superintendents Display Case on the 2nd floor of the Education Service Center.
  10. Liza Villareal, Central High School for the spectacular string ensemble performance for the School Board meeting on November 16 and Doug Styers and the Jambassadors who rocked the school board meeting on November 2.
  11. Lee Griffith, Lenny Hope and Ashlyn Metcalf at Hale High School for their beautiful Fall Art Show, open through November.

Hale HS Fall Art Show Piece

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Central HS String Ensemble at TPS School Board Meeting
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Eureka Math Trainers in Tulsa!

On January 15, the district-wide PD day, and Saturday the 16th Eureka Math trainers will be in Tulsa! While it is not mandatory to attend both days, it is strongly encouraged. These sessions will be lead by some of the actual writers of the Eureka Math curriculum so they can share their expertise in the whys and hows behind the unit progressions and lessons.


Friday's session is entitled Eureka Math: Customization and Preparation of Eureka Lessons. This session empowers educators to customize and deliver the lessons of Eureka Math, fine tuning them to meet the needs of their students through a simple step-by-step process. Educators are first guided through the process as they work with a pre-selected lesson; they then work to apply the preparation process to collaboratively and independently prepare "just in time" lessons to be taught in the coming days or weeks.


Saturday's session is Eureka Math: Focus on Fluency. In A Story of Units, fluency practice is a daily, substantial, and sustained activity that is carefully designed to help students develop the speed and accuracy that allow them to solve complex problems efficiently. Many fluency routines build from grade to grade, developing further coherence within the curriculum and leveraging the time spent introducing each routine. In this workshop, participants will examine and practice three types of fluency work that appear frequently in the curriculum-counting exercises, white board exchanges, and Sprints-and will take home strategies that they can use immediately to invigorate their mathematics instruction.


Both sessions are capped at 100 participants, so be sure to sign up early on My Learning Plan.

I want to hear from YOU!

Have you heard of the remind app? First, if you have not, check it out! It is a great way for you to communicate with parents and students off hours. Second, I’d like to use this to communicate with any elementary math teachers in the district who would like to hear about new resources, ideas, etc. through the ease of your mobile device. Signing up is easy. Simply open up a new text message on your mobile device and set the message to send to: 81010, the message to send is as follows:


Kindergarten teachers: tpsgkmath

1st grade teachers: tpsg1math

2nd grade teachers: tpsg2math

3rd grade teachers: tpsg3math

4th grade teachers: tpsg4math

5th grade teachers: tpsg5math

Math Resources at the Plenty

Do you get tired of looking for math lessons, mini lessons, resources, videos, games, etc. that align to the unit/standard you are working on? This was one of the biggest pains I dealt with as a classroom teacher! If you're looking for a one stop shop resource to depend on, look no further than quantiles.com. To find the aligned resources, use the following steps:


Find the top teal banner

Choose 'Use the Quantile Framework'

Choose 'Math Skills Database'

Choose the type of standards you're working within, the grade, and the standard and then click search

If more than one result appears, choose the level to which is most suitable for your students

Scroll down to 'Resources' and choose 'Show ## Resources'


Here you will be given different types of resources to use or share with your students. These items range from online videos, games, and manipulatives to lessons to utilize in small or whole group instruction and in some cases print resources to share with or read to students.


If you teach 4th - 8th grade, you can use the Quantile Teacher Assistant to pinpoint resources which most closely align to student's Quantile scores. Once you get into that section, you can move the sliders to contain your classes quantile range. Here is a document to help you plan for those small group lessons.

Sumdog Holiday Contest

Take part in the Holiday contest - starting December 11, 2015! It is free to take part and there are prizes to be won. The contests are aimed at ages 5 - 14 but if a teacher feels a student is at an appropriate level for other students, they are also welcome to join in. Students can play online either at school or at home using the website or the app! In order to join in the fun, teachers can enter their class here. For any questions, contact info@sumdog.com.

Secondary Mathematics Update

December promises to deliver us the final version of the new standards. If you are into those kinds of things you can be watching for them on the State Department of Education’s web site here. In January the department of Curriculum and Instruction will begin the work of developing maps and plans that align to those standards. If you have suggestions please contact your academic coordinator with your suggestions.


New content has been added to the academics.tulsaschools.org web page. Under the resources tab you will find two new math links. One goes to a new SMI information page. The page contains links to resources to assist teachers in better understanding the test, its data, and how to use the data. You must log into the site to see the tabs using the universal user name of teach and the universal password of tulsa. The second link will take you to the Balanced Numeracy Framework page. This framework is still being rolled out and as pieces are rolled out, they will be linked on the page.


The next department chair meeting will be January 12th. We will focus on the Mathematical Teaching Practice “Facilitate Meaningful Mathematical Discourse”. Please read the article before coming to the meeting. If the new standards are available, at that time we will also begin work on understanding the vertical alignment of the new standards.


Free instructional software is available for your site from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The software is called the “Core Math Tools”, and it may be downloaded here. IT has approved this for use on our computers, and did I mention that it is free. The download page also contains links to sample lessons, more information on the tools, and data sets.

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The Science Kits are IN!!!

Elementary teachers K-5 should also have now received all of their kits to utilize with their science textbooks. These kits have the materials you need to excite and engage your students! There will be science kit Just in Time Training for elementary teachers on Monday, December 14 for K-2 teachers and Wednesday, December 16 for 3-5 teachers. Sign up in My Learning Plan. If you have questions or need help, please contact LeeAnne Jimenez. If you are missing books or kit items or have broken kit items, please contact Cindy Barber, Instructional Materials Coordinator, so that she can get them replaced for you.

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The science fair is coming back to Tulsa Public Schools! It will not be the same old science fair in which you (or your students) have participated before. This will be more of a science showcase and will be K-12. Save the dates for late March. If you want to be in on the planning, please contact LeeAnne Jimenez.

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Spotlight on: Oxley Nature Center

Have you ever taken your students to Oxley? It is a new experience every time. They have an interpretive center as well as many trails to hike. What you see in spring will be different than fall and winter. They have several family events coming up as well. Check them out here!

Where are you in your curriculum? If you are following the pacing calendars, you should be in the following units:

Biology – Unit 3 - Heredity

Physical Science – Unit 3 – Forces and Interactions

8th grade – Unit 4 – Earth’s History

7th grade (JH) – Unit 2 – Molecules to Organisms

7th grade (MS) – Unit 3 - Heredity

6th grade – Unit 3 – Molecules to Organisms

5th grade – Unit 2 – Ecosystems

4th grade – Unit 2 – Earth’s Systems

3rd grade – Unit 2 – Motion and Stability

2nd grade – Unit 4 – Growing and Changing

1st grade – Unit 3 – Plants and Animals

K grade – Unit 3 – Plants and Animals

Don’t forget to check out the Curriculum and Instruction website and the TPS Curriculum Resources site to keep up to date.


The district wide professional development day is coming up January 15. Be sure to look for the following science related classes:

CSI Zoo (Secondary)

Science the Write Way (All)

What do Energy, Animals and Soil Have in Common? (5th grade)

Project Archaeology (Upper elementary)

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Constitution Hall Pass: The 13th Amendment

Sunday, December 6, 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in America. To celebrate the occasion, the National Constitution Center developed one of their “Hall Pass” episodes that tells the story of the creation and ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Join the staff at the National Constitution Center for a live chat about the Constitution and the 13th Amendment after you watch this episode of Constitution Hall Pass! with your students. The chat will be live from Monday, December 7 to Tuesday, December 15, 2015, between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM CST. You and your students can pose questions online and interact with the staff.

Looking for a new resource, idea, or strategy?

Check out the list of items collected by several teachers and myself over the last couple of months.

UPCOMING Professional Development and Meetings

December 8th - Secondary Social Studies Department Chair Meeting , 4:30-5:30 pm, Wilson


January 15th - On the District Professional Development Day, you will have a variety of sessions to choose from to ranging in content development, new teaching strategies or tech integration tools. Some of the social studies sessions you might want to check out are:

  • The American Revolution - Why America is Free
  • Boomtown - Engaging Literacy Strategies through the Lens of Tulsa, Oklahoma and U.S. History
  • Google Virtual Field Trips
  • Thinking Geographically - How Do Humans Interact with Their Environment
  • The Holocaust - Cause, Course, Effects and Eyewitness Accounts

"Crop It" - A Tool to Analyze Visual Primary Sources

What is it?

Crop It is a four-step hands-on learning routine where teachers pose questions and students use paper cropping tools to deeply explore a visual primary source.


Rationale

In our fast-paced daily activities we make sense of thousands of images in just a short glance. Crop It slows the sense-making process down to provide time for students to think. It gives them a way to seek evidence, multiple viewpoints, and a deeper, more detailed, understanding before determining the meaning of a primary source.


Description

This routine helps young students look carefully at a primary source to focus on details and visual information and use these to generate and support ideas. Students use evidence from their “crops” to build an interpretation or make a claim. Crop It can be completed as part of a lesson, and can be used with different kinds of visual sources (for example cropping a work of art, a poem, or a page from a textbook).


Teacher Preparation

  1. Print a collection of primary sources related to the unit or topic under study. The collection may include:

  • various types of sources that include images, such as photographs, cartoons, advertisements, and newspaper articles. Consider images that challenge students to use varying amounts of background knowledge and vocabulary, or that can be read by students working on different reading levels;

  • sources representing different perspectives on the topic;

  • sources depicting the people, places, and events that will be tested in a unit;

  • sources representing perspectives that are missing from the textbook’s account

2. Print enough copies so each student can have one source: it’s fine if some students

have the same image.

3. Print and cut out enough Crop It tools so that each student has a set of two tools.

4. Prepare to display a series of questions either through a PowerPoint presentation or

on chart paper. Sample questions can be found here.


In the Classroom

Step One: Choose an Image

Ask students to choose a source from the collection that either: connects to an experience that you have had; relates to something that you know a lot about, and/or leaves you with questions.

*Note: other criteria may be substituted such as choose an image that relates to a question you have about the unit, relates to your favorite part of this unit, or that represents the most important topic or idea of this unit.


Step Two: Explore the Image

Pass out a set of two Crop It tools to each student. Demonstrate how to use the Crop It tools to focus on a particular piece of a source. Students can make various sizes of triangles, rectangles, and lines to “crop” or focus attention on an important part of the source.

Invite students to carefully explore their image by using the tools. Pose a question and ask students to look carefully and “crop” to an answer.

For example, ask students to:


  • Crop the image to the part that first caught your eye?
Think: Why did you notice this part?



  • Crop to show who or what this image is about.

Think: Why is this person or thing important?


  • Crop to a clue that shows where this takes place.

Think: What has happened at this place?


(See Question Sets Handout for additional sample questions.) Invite students to revise their answer by choosing another crop that could answer the same question. Encourage students to consider: if they could only have one answer, then which crop would be best? Why?


Allow students to look at the crops of other students. Students can explain their crop to a partner. Or ask students to place their source and crop on their desk, and invite students to silently walk around and notice the different types of evidence that students used to answer the same question.


Step Three: Identify the Evidence

Collect the types of evidence students cropped on large chart paper by asking them to recall the different types of details that they cropped. These charts encourage students to notice details and can be used later, when adding descriptions to writing or as supports for answers during class discussions. The charts might look like the example below and will constantly grow as students discover how details help them build meaning.

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Step Four: Close the Lesson

Conclude the lesson by asking students what they learned about the topic related to the collection. Ask them to reflect on what they learned about looking at sources, and when in their life they might use the Crop It routine to understand something.


Common Pitfalls

Avoid asking too many questions during Step Two: Explore. Keep the questions and the cropping moving fairly quickly so students stay engaged and focused on their primary source.


To increase the amount of thinking for everyone, don’t allow students to share their own crops with a partner or the class right away. Ask students to revise their own crop by trying different ideas before sharing.
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Scholastic

During December, please make a special effort to check that your students are actually logging in to their own profile for iRead, Read 180, or System 44. We have had several instances in the district of someone else doing work under a student’s login.

Reading Strategy: Reading with a Sense of "Wow", The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo

This strategy may be used with any reading level and with any nonfiction text. Reading with a Sense of “Wow” reinforces the skill of monitoring for meaning and may be taught as a whole group during shared reading, in small group during guided reading, or as an independent reading strategy during student conferencing.


Strategy: Approach the text expecting to learn. As you read new information (facts, figures), or see something new (photographs, diagrams), pause and let the information sink in. React and respond with “Wow, I never knew…”


Lesson Language: When you read with curiosity and interest, you’re more likely to learn and remember the new information you encounter. The stance you take as a nonfiction reader may be slightly different than that of a fiction reader, because when you read nonfiction you read to understand facts, numbers, visual information, and more. As you read, try to let the information “sink in”, thinking about how it answers question or satiates your curiosity. You may even react to new information as you come across it, by saying “wow” and adding on to what’s so interesting about what you just read.


Prompts:


  • What did you learn that’s new to you?
  • Say back what you learned. Start with, “Wow, I never knew…”
  • What’s sinking in?
  • What did you feel like you missed?
  • If you can’t say it back, try to reread.


Serravallo, J. (2015). Teaching Reading Engagement: Focus, Stamina, and Building a Reading Life. In The reading strategies book: Your everything guide to developing skilled readers (p. 251). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Available for purchase from Heinemann publishing here.

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Literacy Station Tip: Sharing Time

Teachers often wonder about ways to keep students accountable and ensure students are practicing reading and writing skills during literacy station time. After station work time, it is useful to have a brief sharing time with the class. This provides an opportunity for students to reflect on what they’ve done that day and deepen their learning. This time also provides a level of accountability and provides helpful insight into what students are learning at stations and what modifications could be made to make the time more meaningful. At the end of station work time, gather students in the large-group teaching area. Lead a short, focused discussion about what students learned during station time and guided reading. Sample questions that can be made into cards can be found here.


Diller, Debbie. Practice with Purpose: Literacy Work Stations for Grades 3-6. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse, 2005. Print

6 Traits Tip of the Month: Sentence Fluency

Use this checklist to make sure your sentence fluency is strong.
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6 Traits Writing Information on TPS C & I Website


Get to Know Unit 5 on January 26 - 4:30 - 5:45 at Wilson. Sign up on My Learning Plan here.


Interdisciplinary Literacy

Embed literacy in your math class by using C.U.B.E.S. to complete a word problem.

Circle the numbers.

Underline important words.

Box the question. (Or Box the math action words.)

Equation. (Or the E can stand for Eliminate unnecessary information.)

Solve and explain using Sentences.


Check out updated resources for interdisciplinary literacy on the C & I Website.

District Reading Lists

We have held six different forums to gather feedback on the district reading lists. If you missed the forums, you can still provide feedback.


Review the three documents on the reading lists page of the Curriculum website.


Use this form to tell us what you think.

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Differentiating with Social Media Tools

The Differentiating with Social Media Tools is a great compilation of resources. Currently this tool includes 70 social media resources; when to use, if can be used as an assessment, and how to differentiate Content, Process, and/or Product: The author encourages educators to share new sites. Join chat sessions on Twitter: #DI4ALL


Sample

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The Family Dinner Project:

Build a collaborative bridge between home and school. Share with your students’ families. Over the past 15 years, research has shown what we intuitively have known for a long time: Sharing a fun family meal is good for the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience and self-esteem.

Additionally, family meals are linked to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression. We also believe in the power of family dinners to nourish ethical thinking. This website provides healthy dinner recipes, meal planning tips, scheduling advice, and conversation starters to get families talking at the dinner table.


Revisiting Growth Mindsets

In a recent article in Education Week Carol Dweck reflects on people’s perception and actual practice with growth mindset.

Several “take aways”:

Misconception: growth mindset isn’t just about effort; effort is not the end game. Sheer effort alone won’t guarantee success or improved scores. Students need to try more than one approach, get help when they are stuck, set goals. So though we praise students’ hard work, doing their best which makes them feel good; the goal is learning and improving. Help students learn to thrive on challenge and to face setbacks as part of the learning process.

Address “false growth mindsets”: developing a growth mindset is a journey. Dweck discusses recent research with middle school math teachers. Many teachers endorse a growth mindset, but didn’t follow through in their classroom practices. Consequently, students respond to the teachers’ fixed mindset actions, not the teachers’ growth mindset language.

Action plan: Acknowledge that we are probably a mixture of fixed and growth mindset beliefs. Be more aware of fixed mindset thoughts and practices. Work to change how we communicate and encourage students and our classroom practices so that both consistently reflect a growth mindset.


Suggested ways to encourage (retrieved November 23rd here):

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21st Century Skills

Educational literature and policy experts have been referring to 21st century skills for more than a decade now. These are the skills and competencies that students need to succeed in college and the work force. What, exactly, are 21st century skills? Although there are numerous organizations who have created lists of skills, in Oklahoma, we use the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards. These are our state technology standards. They have been tied in to the model lessons released by Curriculum and Instruction last spring, and they will be included in upcoming curriculum products.


The ISTE 21st century skills include six areas: creativity and innovation; communication and collaboration; research and information fluency; critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making; digital citizenship; and technology operations and concepts. Although technology operations and concepts are things that are taught in discrete technology classes, the vast majority of 21st century skills should be taught by all classroom teachers.


Creativity and Innovation – Students are able to think critically, apply content knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes. What does that look like in a classroom? Students should be applying content knowledge to generate new ideas, processes, or solutions to problems. They should be creating original works to express their own or group learning. Students should be using information to forecast or predict trends, and they should be using models or simulations to explore complex systems or content.

You should see higher level questioning in these classrooms. Students should be regularly explaining their statements and supporting their answers with evidence. You should see students creating products to demonstrate their learning either individually or as members of a group. Students might be creating documents, presentations, online products such as Glogsters or cartoons, or blog or wiki posts.


Communication and Collaboration – Since the 1950s, the corporate world has been bemoaning the fact that our graduates are incapable of working collaboratively. There have been movements to make public education less competitive by doing away with class rank and eliminating honors like valedictorian. Collaboration for 21st century skills goes beyond merely working with others. For 21st century competency, our students need to be able to interact and work collaboratively in a digital environment. They need to be able to increase their own learning and contribute to the learning of others using digital tools. Since the business landscape of the 21st century is more international than ever before, students must be able to communicate with others at distance in a way that is culturally competent.

The district’s move to Google tools provides invaluable resources for student online collaboration. Students can work collaboratively on documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or research projects, sharing documents and files. Many of the exemplar lessons from Curriculum and Instruction ask teachers to use these tools with students. Training for teachers on using Google is available from your instructional technology coaches and from the Eighth Floor. Click here for a list of courses offered by the Eighth Floor and here to sign up for classes.


Research and Information Fluency – In a digital age, the ability to quickly find, evaluate, and ethically use information is essential. There is a tendency to believe that students are born digitally savvy and that there is no need to explicitly teach students how to search the Internet. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth. Research has shown that students are limited in their skills at accessing information and are extremely likely to use the first resource that appears to answer their research questions. Students also commonly believe that they can use anything they find online as their own and that everything online is true.


In the classroom, research and information fluency should be addressed any time students or teachers are using the Internet in class. Teachers should demonstrate effective Internet searching and talk through their thinking with students. Teachers should explain the importance of using specific search terms. Students should be explicitly taught to evaluate Internet resources. They should be able to evaluate the truthfulness and trustworthiness of a resource. School librarians are an invaluable resource for teaching this skill. It is also important for teachers to challenge students who copy information from the Internet. This sort of practice will not be acceptable on a college or university campus or in the world of work, so it is important for students to learn that plagiarism is not acceptable at any time.


In the January newsletter, we will discuss the final three 21st century competencies.

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Database of the month: World Book Encyclopedia in Spanish

Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos

Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos is the optimal beginner’s Spanish language reference tool. The site offers World Book’s excellent editorial content, rich media, and engaging features in Spanish.

Key features:

  • Search and browse options make finding content easy.
  • Dozens of hands-on activities engage different learning styles.
  • The World of Animals feature allows users to explore a wealth of animal facts, images, and videos, and compare animals side by side.

  • A Spanish visual dictionary helps young learners clarify word meanings and grasp complex visual topics in Spanish and English.

  • Bilingual features allow users to switch between Spanish and English content.


TPS Databases are located at here.

User Name: start

Password: library


Select World Book Web

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Select Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos
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Best Practices from Big Day - Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is the ability to perceive the sounds of language and to manipulate them. It lays the foundation for phonics and is one of the strongest predictors of later reading success. --Dr. Anne Cunningham


Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate words, syllables, and sounds in oral language. It includes phonemic awareness, the ability to manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words.


Measures of preschoolers’ level of phonemic awareness strongly predict their future success in learning to read, and this has been demonstrated not only for English, but also for Swedish, Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian. --Adams, 1990


Phonological Awareness in the Pre-Kindergarten Classroom

Children develop phonological awareness through deliberate and explicit daily instruction, with plenty of repetition and opportunities to practice throughout the day. Instruction should be brief, focused, playful, and active to keep children engaged while addressing different learning styles. Introduce phonological awareness lessons with visual support, when appropriate, and gradually move to purely auditory tasks. Children learn phonological awareness skills in a developmental sequence, beginning with larger sound units (e.g., tapping for each word in a sentence: I can run), then focusing on sounds in individual words (e.g., blending two words to make a compound word: cup·cake), and finally focusing on smaller sound units (/b/- /ig/). Phonological awareness instruction lays the foundation for learning to read, spell, and comprehend text (National Reading Panel, 2002).


English language learners are able to transfer phonological awareness from their first language, even when the two languages are very different. Children who speak other alphabetic languages progress through the same order of sound-awareness from larger to smaller units, but may progress through the stages at varying rates


Adams, M. (1990). Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Cunningham, A. E. and Stanovich, K. E.(1997). “Early Reading Acquisition and Its Relations to Reading Experience and Ability 10 Years Later.” Developmental Psychology, 33(6), 934–945.

National Early Literacy Panel. (2008). Developing Early Literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy.

National Reading Panel. (2002). Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implication for Reading Instruction—Reports of the Sub Group. Washington, DC: The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education.


From Theory to Practice

Build phonological awareness every day with engaging, playful activities.


Throughout the Day

  • Keep phonological awareness activities playful, brief, and active to engage children and keep them on-task.
  • Use songs, chants, and games frequently to help children hear and enjoy playing with the sounds of language.
  • Model skills repeatedly for the children and keep instructions simple. One way to do this is to use a puppet to present phonological awareness tasks as a game. For example, have the puppet model how to separate onset (the beginning sound) and rime (the rest of the word). Ask children to join in when they figure out the game the puppet is playing.
  • Recognition of sounds, rhymes, and word parts is easier for children than production. Give many opportunities for children to listen and identify word elements such as beginning sounds or rhymes before asking them to articulate them. Introduce one new phonological awareness skill at a time, so as not to overload children’s memory.


Circle Time/Story Time

You can integrate language play during content-area instruction and Story Time.

  • Use big books to reinforce phonemic awareness (e.g., What animal is this on the cover? (fish) What sound do you hear at the beginning of the word fish?)
  • As you share read alouds with rhyming words, pause as you come to the next rhyme, and cue children to chime in with the word that comes next.
  • When you introduce new math, science, and social studies vocabulary, invite children to repeat the word and then clap its syllables or pronounce its beginning sound.


Small Group Instruction

Small-group phonological awareness instruction is particularly effective. Use this time to tailor instruction to children’s specific abilities.

  • Children who are struggling with a phonological awareness skill often benefit from use of a different approach, such as the use of visuals, movement, and games.
  • Provide opportunities for children to work with partners and independently. For example, model how to sort Picture Cards by initial sounds. Then give children an opportunity to try it with a partner and then on their own.


Scholastic, Scholastic Big Day for PreK Professional Handbook 2010 by Scholastic Inc. p.124,125

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Field Study/Trips

Trips scheduled in December include 1st Grade Pre-Visit at your school and visits to Gilcrease Museum, 7th grade visits to Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art.


For specific dates for you school site and more information, click here.

The Power of a a Museum Visit

In this Education Gadfly article, Dara Zeehandelaar reports on a recent study of school field trips. Researchers gathered data on 11,000 Arkansas students in grades K-12 – half took a one-hour tour of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and half remained in their schools. Several weeks after the field trip, students took a quiz and here were the results:

  • Students who visited the museum were able to recall a great deal of information about art and the artists whose work they saw.
  • When shown a painting they’d never seen before, students who took the trip were better able to write critically about it.
  • Field-trip students showed greater historical empathy – they could imagine what life was like in the past and could imagine what a figure in a painting was thinking.
  • Students who had taken the trip were more likely to use a coupon to bring family members on a free visit to the museum.

Researchers found that all four effects were strongest among younger students and those from rural areas, high-poverty schools, and racial minorities.


“The Educational Value of Field Trips” reviewed in The Education Gadfly, Sept. 19, 2013 (Vol. 13, #36); “The Educational Value of Field Trips” by Jay Greene, Daniel Bowen, and Brian Kisida is available here.

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Brainscape flashcards is a smart and efficient way for your students to study and for you to help them even when they are not in your presence. The free service allows you to do everything that the paid version allows with the exception of adding images or sounds. See the following video for more information.

Learn How To Study Faster w/ Mobile Flashcards From Brainscape

The K20 Center Instructional Strategies can be used in many if not all classrooms.


Common Lit is a great place to get literature related to go with all academic areas.


edWeb is a great place to find webinars on topics relevant to your teaching situation. You can participate in live webinars or watch the recordings after they are live. This one is about science and social studies literacy and was very informative.


Annotating to Engage, Analyze, Connect and Create is an article from The New York Times with strategies useful in engaging student through various forms of annotation.

Academic Coordinator of the Month - Julie Hasfjord

Julie Hasfjord is the Academic Coordinator for STEM. She grew up in Tulsa, attending Carnegie Elementary School and graduating from Jenks High School, but only moved back to the Tulsa area in June of this year after spending 20 years in North Carolina and Tennessee. After receiving her Master’s degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, she taught for 14 years in Nashville, becoming Nashville’s Teacher of the Year in 2013. She has a passion for STEM equity and access in urban environments and she became a leader for STEM education in Nashville. She currently lives in Broken Arrow with her husband of 15 years and two children, ages 6 and 10.
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The Curriculum Department will host monthly “Just in Time” sessions for teachers of all grade levels. These professional learning sessions are opportunities for teachers to collaborate on unit and lesson plans, share strategies, and gather additional resources for their upcoming units of instruction. During each session, Academic Coordinators will share specific strategies and resources to engage students and promote mastery of standards. Teachers from various grade levels will be invited to share their effective lessons and tools. Each participating teacher will leave the session with new ideas for lesson plans. Teachers can sign up using My Learning Plan.

About Us

Dr. Perri Applegate, Academic Coordinator for Secondary Curriculum Integration

Cindy Barber, Academic Coordinator for Instructional Materials

Sharon Dautermann, Academic Coordinator for Elementary Curriculum Integration

Ayn Grubb, Academic Coordinator for Secondary ELA

Julie Hasfjord, Academic Coordinator for STEM

Gary Horner, Academic Coordinator for Secondary Math

Natalie Hutto, Academic Coordinator for Elementary ELA

LeeAnne Jimenez, Academic Coordinator for Science

Lea Ann Macomber, Music Coordinator

Andy McKenzie, Director of Early Childhood Services

LeeAnne Pepper, Academic Coordinator for Elementary Math

Mary Jane Snedeker, Academic Coordinator for Social Studies

Dr. Ann Tomlins, Director of Fine Arts

Dr. Linnea Van Eman, Coordinator of Gifted & Talented

Cathy Walton, Administrative Secretary


Danielle Neves, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Archived Editions

Volume 2, Issue 1: September 2015

Volume 2, Issue 2: October 2015

Volume 2, Issue 3: November 2015