Weekly RoaR!

Week ending March 6, 2015

Happy Birthday to YOU!

March 8 - Michelle Goldenberger

March 9 - Teresa Abrams

Mark your cally!


March 16

  • 6:30 PM - PTA Meeting, General Session
  • 7:00 PM - 2nd Grade Musical

March 17

  • TELPAS Reading Assessment (8:00 - 2nd grade; 10:15 - 3rd & 4th grade)

March 18

  • STAAR Training for all Testing Administrators

March 20

  • Spring Picture Day
  • Celebrate the Arts choir rehearsal at WHS

March 21

  • Celebrate the Arts Art Show

March 25

  • KC Club, 2:30 to 3:30 PM

March 27

  • End of 3rd Quarter

March 30-31

  • Writing STAAR

Professional Reading

It was my intention upon starting the Weekly Roar to use this communication tool as a way to share classroom innovations and recent research in our field. I have not done so great.

Anywho. I ran across this article from PDK International. If you are not familiar with the organization, Phi Delta Kappa International is a professional association for educators that aims to grow and connect those in the field of education. They are also the publisher of Kappan magazine, the publication in which this article came from.

The article discusses how the "word-gap" many of our students come to us with, is the cause of the academic achievement gap that we eventually see widen through their time in elementary school. So, what can we do to help narrow the gap and give our at-risk, SPED, and LEP students succeed as their general ed peers? Skim the article when you get a chance. It provides some easy teaching methods, including Purposeful Talk, that aim to help address this need.

Here's the link to the article: http://pdk.sagepub.com/content/96/6/50.full.pdf+html

PLCs & Tier 2 & Surveys

On Thursday, March 19, we will not be having PLCs. Don't stop reading!

We need you to take the district climate/culture survey during this time. It is a modified version of last year's surveys, but it still contains 91 Likert-style questions. We will get you the Survey Monkey link on Monday, following Spring Break. Please know that these surveys are learning tools for our district and campus administration. We read every comment, good and bad. If you have an issue that you have not already addressed with us and feel that you need to voice it in the survey, please do. We also welcome solutions to any perceived problem. It is expected that all staff: professional and paraprofessional, complete the survey. Thank you for your time and feedback!

On Thursday, March 19, we will have a floating substitute who will come around to each teacher of a Tier 2 student. During this time, you will meet with Duvall, Branch, Feuerbacher, Mesnard, and Spears. We will be able to help you with all of your progress monitoring questions, as well as support you in any way you need. More information to come! Our meetings will last approximately 15 minutes, and they will take place in room 106.

Branch Byte: SeeSaw

My niece ran up to me this week, super excited about her ongoing class portfolio she has been creating in class. (She is a third grader at the school that I used to teach at, in Sachse.) She exclaimed that she hoped to show me a tech tool that I had not yet heard of. Challenge accepted.

Well, she won. I had not heard of the tool. I, of course, began researching its purpose and functionality. It. is. amazing.

It is an app called Seesaw that acts as a "house" for all things digital. A student can upload pictures, videos, links, notes, etc. It can link to several other education apps that teachers may already be using. The company claims that its functionality is so intuitive that kindergartners can upload content by themselves. The students' feeds are private, only accessible by the classroom teacher and those who receive the QR code from the teacher, so parents. Best of all, it's free. (For now.)

Here's more information about Seesaw: http://web.seesaw.me/