Communication is the key to success!


"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." William Ward

Brain Based Teaching

  1. Have you changed a STATE today?

  2. Strong, high-quality teaching changes brains every day.

  3. Did you work on memory today?

  4. Did you work on listening skills today?

  5. What higher order questions did you ask today?

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Instructional Strategies

Each week, I'm going to give you an instructional strategy to try in your classroom. These activities help the students become more involved in the lesson in your classroom.

The first resource is some Thinking Stems from Lead4ward. Thinking Stems are used to give students a framework to explain their thinking, expose students to vocabulary often found in the PROCESS STANDARDS, provide language support for ELLs and increases oral language proficiency.

1 Minute Paper: (Process TEKS: Analyze/Interpret; Generalize; Summarize)

1. Students "brain dump" all ideas, concepts, skills, processes, etc., they have learned by writing for 1 minute.

2. Students then draw 1 conclusion about what they learned.(Sentence Frame: From everything we learned today, I can conclude that this is important because _________.)

NOTE: This strategy can be implemented as a formative assessment "exit ticket". Results will inform instruction for the next day.

(form attached to email)


ANCHOR CHARTS (Using Concepts)

1. Place a chart on the classroom wall with the overarching concept associated with the unit listed in the center.

2. Students add ideas to the anchor chart as the unit progresses, linking skills, topics, examples, details, images, and clarifying information to the chart.

Students transfer the anchor chart information to their journals.


NINE Squares

1. Students read a text or view an image.

2. Students then analyze the text or image by determining and writing the following:

• 5 details (what does it say?)

• 2 inferences (what does it mean?)

• 2 valid conclusions (why does it matter?)

3. Students may trade nine squares with a partner to see if each can “guess” the 5 details, the 2 inferences, and the 2 conclusions.

NOTE: As a scaffolding activity, teachers may choose to complete the nine square statements for the students, but present them in a mixed up order. Students would cut the “word bank” cards apart and sort the details, inferences, and conclusions into the nine squares game board.


3-2-1 Test Review (template attached)

Students analyze a graded test to determine where they are strong and where they still need to work.

• 3 = select 3 difficult questions you got correct and explain WHY you got them correct to a friend.

• 2 = select 2 questions you THOUGHT you got correct, but you missed them and correct your mistake with a friend.

• 1 = select 1 question you guessed on or are “clueless” about and find someone to teach you how to best start, think about, and answer that question.


Dec. 11: 8th grade field trip

Dec. 14: FMS Basketball vs. Academy

Dec. 14-17: 9 week assessments

Jan. 4: 1st day of 2nd semester

Jan. 6: Basketball Pictures

Jan. 7 & 9: FMS Boys @ Fairfield Tourney

Jan. 14: FMS Basketball vs. Cameron

Jan. 15-16: FMS Girls BB Tourney at SFA

Jan. 16: All Region Clinic/Concert


5 Ways to Deal with Students Who Are Emotionally Disturbed

by Lynette Walters

1. Be sensitive--Think of your job as being to provide a security blanket for the student. I'm not saying for you to enable them, or give them a crutch, but to instead model your sensitivity to their needs.

2. Be Informed--Study and/or observe the student, if you will. Read the IEP and the BIP and research the disability to further increase understanding.

3. Be Proactive--Knowing triggers that may offset an episode is essential. ALWAYS THINK PREVENTION.

4. Be a Team Player--Consult and collaborate with parents, students, other teachers, coaches, etc to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Working together always enhances a students' chance of educational survival and success.

5. Be an Advocate--Advocate for the child's ability to cope with the emotional disorder in varied settings. Encourage them to be active, remind them that they are in control of their behavior and encourage others to be inclusive.


Dual Coded Tests: In August, we discussed dual codes tests. Your 9 week assessments should closely reflect what the STAAR assessment will look with dual coded questions.

Math: 100% (all grades)

Science: 60% (all grades)

SS: 57% (all grades)

ELA: 5th: 40%; 6th 46%; 7th 41%; 8th 42%


January 26: 7th writing; 5th/8th Math

January 27: 5th/8th Reading

April 4: 6th/7th Math

April 5: 6th/7th Reading; 5th/8th Science

April 6: 8th Social Studies