Gonzalez Premier Express

Week of February 22, 2016


To become the PREMIER elementary school in Dallas ISD


Our 1AK 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

    • provide students with the most effective instruction possible. Preparation and planning are key to ensure teaching is purposeful and to maximize instructional time
    • engage 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.
    • use the STAAR Release and Common Assessment data to identify the areas in which students are struggling and pull-out interventions to address these problematic skills.
    • use 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. Shelby and Ms. Edwards for their leadership and coordination of the Mock STAAR testing last week. We had a great testing environment and have made note of the areas of improvement.
    • Ms. Arango for her support in setting up the mock STAAR data and predictions spreadsheets. It is a tedious job, but helps us in the information the various numbers provides for us.


    February 22-

    • TELPAS writing : Narrative writing about past event: Students will write about something they did during that morning, yesterday, or last weekend (Teacher responsible for collecting RLA)
    • 5th Six Weeks Begin
    • K-2 Literacy Cadre at Burleson (K-2 reading teachers select one to attend and let Ms. Edwards know which session you will attend)

    February 23-

    • Grading Window Closes - We will export grades at 8:00 a.m.
    • TEI Expert Session @4:45-5:45
    • K-2 Literacy Cadre at Cuellar (K-2 reading teachers select one to attend and let Ms. Edwards know which session you will attend)
    • PTA 6:00 African American Program /AA History

    February 24-

    • Middle School counselors visit HB Gonzalez for Choice Sheets
    • RTI Committee meeting - Shelby
    • Writing Prompt Due - Edwards
    • K-2 Literacy Cadre at Anderson (K-2 reading teachers select one to attend and let Ms. Edwards know which session you will attend)
    • Weekly PLC Data Analysis / STAAR Action Plan

    February 25-

    • 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Parents Advocating for Student Excellence (PASE) at Spruce HS (encourage parent participation - FREE child care)
    • 4th grade field trip to the Perot Museum - Gonzalez-Perez
    • Weekly PD - TELPAS Calibration (As a reminder, you must have completed the online training before doing this part.)
    • Girl’s Basketball @H.B.G 4:30-5:30

    February 26-

    • International Book Day & Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration
    • BOC Meeting 3:30-4:00 p.m

    February 27-

    • Saturday School

    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

    Bouncing Into Focus!

    See Mrs. Pier's DonorsChoose.org project and share with everyone you can think of. Look under Bouncing into Focus! Make sure and pick the project under Mrs. Pier. It is a great project and will make for an exciting classroom enabling students to retain their focus easier.

    Online Resources for Your Classroom

    Find engaging, TEKS-aligned resources that you can use with your students, as part of classroom instruction, interventions, acceleration, or additional practice.

    The Texas Gateway not only builds upon the success of TEA’s online learning community Project Share but also expands access to resources—such as videos, interactives, formative assessments, professional development courses, and other classroom support materials—designed to strengthen classroom instruction to help every student succeed.

    District Announcements

    • Notice of Intent Survey: To meet students needs and ensure Dallas ISD schools are effectively staffed for the upcoming school year, Human Capital Management is gathering information from staff regarding their plans for the 2016-2017 school year. Staff will receive an email to complete the survey through Employee Self Service beginning Monday, February 22, 2016. The deadline to complete the survey is March 11, 2016. Please note, the survey is for informational and planning purpose only; it is non-binding.

    • Open Transfer: The Open Transfer process allows current Dallas ISD teachers, counselors, and media specialist, who meet the guidelines, to accept a new position at another campus for the following school year without approval from the employee's current principal. The Open Transfer period for the upcoming school year will be March 8, 2016 through April 22, 2016.

    Marshall Memo - Six Suggestions for Effective Instruction of English Language Learners

    In this article in Educational Leadership, Jane Hill (McREL International) offers these suggestions for engaging and challenging beginning-level ELLs:

    Consider each student’s stage of language acquisition. This allows educators to set realistic expectations for what each student should be able to do. These are the levels and the kinds of questions appropriate to each one:

    • Pre-production (often called “the silent period”) – Show me… Circle the… Where is…? Who has…?

    • Early Production (single words or two-word phrases, yes-or-no responses, and repeating familiar patterns) – Yes-or-no; either-or; Who, What, How many?

    • Speech Emergence (short sentences) – Why…? How…? Explain… Questions requiring short sentences.

    • Intermediate Fluency (sentences of increasing length and complexity) – What would happen if…? Why do you think…? Questions requiring more than one sentence.

    • Advanced Fluency (near-native fluency) – Decide if… Retell…

    “Although ELLs need to be held to the same standards as native English speakers on what they know and understand,” says Hill, “how they get there and how they demonstrate that knowledge will look different, depending on their level of English skill.”

    Use tiered questions. Teachers should ask students questions appropriate to their level, but when they approach the upper end of a level, it’s effective to start asking questions from the next level up. For example, students at the Early Production stage get yes-or-no questions and then, as they become more proficient, Why? How? and Explain… questions.

    Don’t expect the same product from all students. “When every student receives the same homework assignment, ELLs may struggle because they haven’t learned the skills they’re supposed to practice through that task,” says Hill. “They may even practice incorrectly.” Better to tier homework and in-class assignments, tailoring the language demands to students’ levels.

    Engage Pre-production students at the same level of thinking as other students. Don’t water down the curriculum for ELLs at early stages of English acquisition, says Hill. The five levels of English do not correspond to Bloom’s taxonomy of learning, she says: “How well a student can speak a second language has nothing to do with her or his ability to think abstractly.” A question can be at a low level of English usage but a high level of conceptual understanding. For example, a Pre-production student studying ecosystems might demonstrate analysis by categorizing types of plants found in desert and alpine tundra biomes using pictures and labels.

    Don’t assess language when you want to assess content knowledge. In a science lesson on how the eyeball allows humans to see, it would be a mistake to ask ELLs to write a comparison of nearsightedness and farsightedness. Instead, the teacher might ask those students to use the results of an experiment to construct models of eyeball shapes that would result in near- or farsightedness.

    Be aware of one’s own language use. Teachers should slow their rate of speech, speak in complete sentences, and make full use manipulatives, miniature objects, photos, pictures, drawings, gestures, body movement, pantomime, and facial expressions. Hill also advises that teachers not overuse idioms and pronouns, opting instead for nouns, which convey more meaning to ELLs.

    “Engaging Your Beginners” by Jane Hill in Educational Leadership, February 2016 (Vol. 73, #5, p. 18-23), http://bit.ly/1RGb5Cs; Hill can be reached at jhill@mcrel.org.