Excellence Without Boundaries
May 2 , 6th Six Weeks, Week 3
BY MAY 2016, AT LEAST 80% OF ALL STAAR EXAMS TAKEN BY ARMS STUDENTS WILL MEET THE PHASE II PASSING STANDARD.
National Teacher Appreciation Week!
You change lives, you influence thinking, you spark questions, you encourage the heart & the mind, you facilitates how our children view and embrace the importance of being a learner and a contributor. You are a fundamental and critical part of the fabric of our country.
We are the best comprehensive middle school because of our teachers and staff. We want our students to thrive, not just live. This is the heart of a teacher and you shape the heart of ARMS.
I celebrate each and everyone of you!
We have many sayings at ARMS that all highlight our purpose and commitment to meaningful action.
One Band. One Sound.
ARMS Way All Day
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
Every Minute of Every Moment of Every Day Counts
This is the most important work of our time
Grades Attendance STAAR
Excellence Without Boundaries
All of these sayings that we hear or read around ARMS are examples of what we value. The empowering spirit of the words lives in the the "collective heart" of ARMS. None can be achieved without "We". WE is key when designing the future.
As you see emails with invites to planning meeting that are occurring in late May, please take a moment and attend. Your perspective is valuable!
Everyone enjoy the weekend, stay safe, and see you on Monday, refreshed and ready to engage in the Most Important Work of Our Time!
Proud Principal of Legendary ARMS,
Spotlight on Ms. Garcia & Ms. Alvarez (TEAM)
I would like to spotlight Ms. Garcia and Ms. Alvarez for their commitment and teamwork! This week all 8th grade students were able to receive information about if they have the GAS (Grades, Attendance, and STAAR) and on track for promotion to high school! We appreciate your hard work!
(Pictured here engaged in their own learning at our Office Teams PD session this week)
Spotlight on 8th Grade ELAR and Math Instructional Teams
I would like to spotlight the LEGENDARY 8th Grade ELAR and Math Instructional Teams. Our 8th grade students have been prepared for success on the STAAR and beyond because of your hard work and commitment to excellence! Thank you Ms. Remikie, Ms. Pounders, Ms. Perez, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. George, Ms. Leake, Ms. White, Ms. A. Lewis, Ms. Walsh, Ms. Addison, Ms. Lacey, and Ms. Jenkins!! As you prepare to finish the race strong and to meet our goals defined in August 2015, thank you and I appreciate all that you do!!
Spotlight on Mrs. J. Miller (Grit & Team)
Mrs. Miller continuously expands her students dance experiences beyond ARMS. We have had many collaborative efforts between ARMS and many other DISD schools, Dallas community dance organizations, and professional dancers. Mrs. Miller provides her dancers with opportunities to learn from her and from others, to be a part of larger dance productions, to understand what it takes to put on an entire show all the while maintaining her positive attitude and empowering spirit.
I include this picture because it is Mrs. Miller with two former students who are moving into their senior years next year at Booker T. Washington and Skyline. They performed a powerful dance at the Glitz, Glam, and Glow showcase, in honor of Ms. Miller. Once again demonstrating the lasting impact she has as an educator. In addition, our ARMS students performed their own dance pieces and this was the ultimate gift to an educator, to see what you have taught, that is has been learned, and it all comes together beautifully.
Spotlight on Mrs. Taylor-Glenn (Grit)
I appreciate wholeheartedly the way that Mrs. Taylor-Glenn holds everyone accountable for meeting and exceeding the high expectations we've set for ourselves as educators and for our students. She is diligent in following up with all stakeholders and offering support if needed to meet our goals. ARMS is headed in the right direction because we have a leader who leads by example and doesn't mind getting in the trenches to do the hard, challenging work right along side of us! We are very fortunate to have Mrs. Taylor-Glenn as our ARMS leader.
"Team Main Halls" :-), work to create a sense of urgency. Please continue and heighten the awareness that the stairwells, main hall, basement main hall, are about moving TO your destination in a purposeful and urgent manner. Talking and connecting are fine, as long as the movement is again, purposeful and urgent.
CHARGE UP to STAAR - May 2nd - 5th
ARMS students will have the opportunity to stay for two hours after school and transportation home is provided (for normal bus riders). Teachers are compensated for their time. Charge Up to STAAR email and documents have been emailed to staff.
Content area, teachers identify students that would benefit from the extended time in preparation for May STAAR exams. Student letters should go home no later than Wednesday, April 27th. Parents are asked to provide a response to the letter, if their child will be attending.
arms tardy data 4/25 -29
Each grade level is using the data to focus on identifying areas of need whether it be: particular transition periods, movement of students in the building, particular students who are tardy, or classes that have frequent number of tardies.
A critical part of the success we are having is due to the targeted conversations that we are having as PODs, grade levels, or teams. Keep having those data driven conversations. Consider the following:
- What trends do we see? (i.e. period, day, student, student traffic)
- What anomalies are we noticing? What might have caused that to occur?
- What have we tried that is working? How could a minor adjustment make it even better?
- What continues to be our challenge area(s)?
- What are our incentives, rewards, and consequences?
- What are our actions steps? Who does what by when? AND How do we know we are successful?
- How clear are we about our adult expectations and our student expectations?
What is the Marshall Memo?
In the spirit of our second "G" GROWTH, every week I will share 1 or 2 of the article summaries with ARMS staff. In hopes of sparking interest, sharing another perspective, or strategies as we all collectively work to improve teaching and learning @ ARMS. Take what works for you, leave what doesn't.
A Compendium of Key Teaching Principles from Cognitive Science
In this article in Kappan, Benjamin Riley reports on a paper recently published by the Deans for Impact (a group of education-school leaders) summarizing cognitive science principles essential to effective teaching and learning. The ideas, developed with Daniel Willingham (University of Virginia) and Paul Bruno (a former middle-school teacher), are organized around six essential questions, with practical implications for the classroom:
A. How do students understand new ideas?
• Students learn new ideas by linking them to what they already know. This means it’s essential for teachers to develop and refer to prior knowledge. Teachers should also make frequent use of analogies, elaborate on them, and help students see how prior knowledge connects to what is to be learned.
• Students must transfer information from working memory to long-term memory. Because working memory has limited capacity, students can be overwhelmed if too much information is presented at once. Effective teachers make content explicit through carefully paced explanation, modeling, and examples; present new information through multiple modalities; and make good use of worked problems.
• Learning doesn’t progress through a fixed sequence of age-related stages. Rather, the mastery of new concepts happens in fits and starts. “Content should not be kept from students because it is ‘developmentally inappropriate,’” says the report. “To answer the question ‘is the student ready?’ it’s best to consider ‘has the student mastered the prerequisites?’”
B. How do students learn and retain new information?
• Information is often withdrawn from memory just as it went in. For students to remember what information means and why it is important, we need to get them thinking about meaning when they encounter to-be-remembered material. Effective teachers assign tasks that require explanation or require students to organize material in meaningful ways. Stories and mnemonics are also helpful in getting students to impose meaning on hard-to-remember content.
• Practice is essential to learning new facts, but not all practice is equally effective. For long-term mastery, it’s best to space practice over time and interleave questions from different content areas. Frequent quizzes with low stakes, and students testing themselves, help establish long-term retention through the “retrieval effect.” At a metacognitive level, it’s good for students to understand this principle of long-term memory.
C. How do students solve problems?
• Each subject has basic facts that support higher-level learning by freeing working memory and illuminating applications. In reading, these include phonics and letter-sound pairings; in math, they include basic facts such as the multiplication tables.
• Effective feedback is often essential to acquiring new knowledge and skills. Good feedback is specific and clear, focused on the task rather than the student, explanatory, and directed toward improvement rather than merely verifying performance.
D. How does learning transfer to new situations in or outside the classroom?
• To transfer learning to a novel problem, students need to know the problem’s context and its underlying structure. It’s important for students to have sufficient background knowledge to appreciate a problem’s context.
• Examples are helpful to learning new ideas, but it’s often hard to see the link to other examples. Having learned to find the area of a table top, a student might not see how this applies to finding the area of a soccer field. Explicitly comparing the examples helps students remember the underlying similarities. With multi-step procedures, students need to identify and label the sub-steps so they can apply them to similar problems. It’s also helpful to alternate concrete examples and abstract representations.
E. What motivates students to learn?
• Beliefs about intelligence are important predictors of student behavior in school. Motivation is improved if students believe that intelligence and ability can be improved through hard work, and if adults respond to successful work by praising effective effort rather than innate ability. It’s also helpful for teachers to set learning goals (e.g., mastering specific material) rather than performance goals (competing with others or vying for approval).
• Intrinsic motivation leads to better long-term outcomes than extrinsic motivation. Teachers need to keep their eye on whether a task is one that students are already motivated to perform; whether a reward is verbal or tangible; whether a reward is expected or unexpected; whether praise is for effort, completion, or quality; and whether praise or a reward occurs immediately or after a delay.
• It’s difficult to gauge one’s own learning and understanding. That’s why students need to learn how to monitor their own learning through assessments, self-testing, and explanation.
• Students will be more motivated and successful when they believe they belong and are accepted. Teachers should reassure students that it’s natural to have doubts about belonging – but those feelings will diminish over time. Teachers can also encourage students to see critical feedback as a sign that others believe in their ability to meet high standards.
F. What are common misconceptions about how students think and learn?
• Teachers need to recognize and dispel a set of incorrect beliefs about teaching and learning:
- Misconception #1: Students have different “learning styles.”
- Misconception #2: Humans use only 10 percent of their brains.
- Misconception #3: People are preferentially “right-brained” or “left-brained” in how they think.
- Misconception #4: Novices and experts think in all the same ways.
- Misconception #5: Cognitive development progresses in age-related stages.
“The Value of Knowing How Students Learn” by Benjamin Riley in Phi Delta Kappan, April 2015 (Vol. 97, #7, p. 35-38), www.kappanmagazine.org; the full Deans for Impact report, The Science of Learning, is at http://www.deansforimpact.org/the_science_of_learning.html
On The Horizon........
STAAR Testing Math 6-7, Retest 8
Tuesday, May 10
STAAR Testing Reading 6-7, Retest 8
Wednesday, May 11
STAAR Testing Science 8
Thursday, May 12
STAAR Testing Social Studies 8
Friday, May 13
8th Grade Panoramic Picture
Staff Panoramic picture @ 4:20 in gym
Core Meeting 9:30- 10:55- Conference Room 127
Gifted and Talented Night
Monday, May 16
Trailblazer Meeting @ 4:30-5:45 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17
Empower Team Meeting @ 7:30 a.m. (parent conference room)
Staff meeting 4:30- 5:15 in Library
Wednesday, May 18
Coffee with the Principal @ 8:15 Library
Parent Workshop @ 9:00
6th grade PEP Rally @ 6:00-7:30 - Gym
Thursday, May 19
2016-2017 Planning 1
Staff Breakfast (Electives)
Friday, May 20
Core meeting 9:30- 10:55- Conference room 127
8th Grade Dance @ 6:00 p.m - 10:00 p.m. @ Callejo Community Room
6th Grade Field Day 7th & 8th Period
Monday, May 23
SBDM 5:00- 6:00 (Parent Conference room)
Tuesday, May 24
8th Grade Ceremony @ 7:00 p.m. in the gym
Wednesday, May 25
2016-2017 Planning 2
ARMS Athletic Banquet
Thursday, May 26
End of the Year ARMS Staff Ceremony @ 4:30 p.m. in the cafeteria
Friday, May 27
Core meeting 9:30- 10:55- Conference room 127
Monday, May 30
Memorial Day- No School
Mr. Phan's US History Scavenger Hunt
TAG Students immersed in Renaissance Era!
The Struggle is Real!!
Once Again...Phenomenal Art @ ARMS
ARMS Office Teams PD (Part 1)
Ms. Chapa's Baby Shower!
Glitz, Glam, Glow Showcase
Thank you again to Mrs. Sargent for her leadership and continuous support of her students and our ARMS dance program!
ARMS Dedication Dance to Ms. Buffy
Watch Rangers Dance Dedication
Ann Richards Middle School
At Ann Richards MS, our vision is to be a flagship middle school at the hub of the community, nurturing diverse leaders, and empowering intelligent trailblazers.