Tomcats This Week
Striving For Excellence
April 4-8- 2016
"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself"
Great job this week! Everyone did their part to make it a successful week! Thank you!
We will do it all again the first week in May! We have Biology, Algebra 1 and US History. The next four weeks are critical for these subject areas! How can you make a difference? Provide intentional quality instruction everyday. All students should be thinking and working at a high level and reading every opportunity that is available. Eliminate down time!
I have given you information to help you plan and an update on the great work our kids are doing! Included is a short article that provides good information to remind us on what we need to focus on in our classrooms! Take 5 minutes to read! Reflect and apply this week! Also, take a moment and watch our students and staff on channel 10 news!
KTEN News Highlights TBHS Geometry In Construction Course!
5 Highly Effective Teaching Practices
I remember how, as a new teacher, I would attend a professional
development and feel inundated with new strategies. (I wanted to get back to the classroom and try them all!) After the magic of that day wore off, I reflected on the many strategies and would often think, "Lots of great stuff, but I'm not sure it's worth the time it would take to implement it all."
We teachers are always looking to innovate, so, yes, it's essential that we try new things to add to our pedagogical bag of tricks. But it's important to focus on purpose and intentionality -- and not on quantity. So what really matters more than "always trying something new" is the reason behind why we do what we do.
What Research Says
This leads me to educational researcher John Hattie, who wrote Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximiz‐ ing Impact on Learning (http://visible-learning.org/2013/01/visible-learning-for-teachers-book-review/) . Through his research, one of his goals is to aid teachers in seeing and better understanding learning through the eyes of their students.
Hattie has spent more than 15 years researching the influences on achievement of K-12 children. His findings linked student outcomes to several highly effective classroom practices. Here I'd like to highlight five of those practices:
1. Teacher Clarity
When a teacher begins a new unit of study or project with students, she clarifies the purpose and learning goals, and provides explicit criteria on how students can be successful. It's ideal to also present models or examples to students so they can see what the end product looks like.
2. Classroom Discussion
Teachers need to frequently step offstage and facilitate entire class discussion. This allows students to learn from each other. It's also a great opportunity for teachers to formatively assess (through observation) how well students are grasping new content and concepts.
How do learners know they are moving forward without steady, consistent feedback? They often won't. Along with individual feedback (written or verbal), teachers need to provide whole-group feedback on patterns they see in the collective class' growth and areas of need. Students also need to be given opportunities to provide feedback to the teacher so that she can adjust the learning process, materials, and instruction accordingly.
4. Formative Assessments
In order to provide students with effective and accurate feedback, teachers need to assess frequently and routinely where students are in relation to the unit of study's learning goals or end product (summative assessment). Hattie recommends that teachers spend the same amount of time on formative evaluation as they do on summative assessment.
5. Metacognitive Strategies
Students are given opportunities to plan and organize, monitor their own work, direct their own learning, and to self-reflect along the way. When we provide students with time and space to be aware of their own knowledge and their own thinking, student ownership increases. And research shows that metacognition can be taught (https://teal.ed.gov/tealguide/metacognitive) .
Collaborating with Colleagues
Great teachers are earnest learners. Spend some time with a colleague, or two or three, and talk about what each of these research-based, best classroom practices looks like in the classroom. Discuss each one in the context of your unique learning environment: who your students are, what they need, what they already know, etc.
How do you already bring these five classroom practices alive in your classroom?
Source: www.edutopia.org/blog/5-highly-effective-teaching-practices-rebecca-alber Reprint
These ladies are 8-1 in district and in 1st place! Come and watch these ladies play! They will appreciate your support. We are home Friday vs. Leonard @ 6:00pm.
This very young baseball is fighting hard every game. On Friday night they lead WW and made them earn a win. These Tomcats play with passion every game and refuse to stop fighting! Come out and support these tough Cats! Friday at home vs Leonard.
These athletes practice before and after school and on the weekends! Every meet they get better. The district track meet is April 13th and 14th in Farmersville.
These students are preparing for their competitions everyday before, during and after school. They compete at a high level!
UIL Academic Meet
30 of our kids are leaving Monday morning @ 6:00am to compete at Texas A&M Commerce!
What's Going On?
What do you want your students to be able to do with technology?
I need this response from you at our next staff meeting on Wednesday, April 13th.
Art, PALS and Cheerleaders have been providing us with Positive Notes. We have a wall that gives students the opportunity to tell us "What Makes You Happy?" There is more to come. Our kids do a great job of realizing that we all need encouragement and a reminder of the difference we make in their lives.
All students have completed their course selection sheets and turned in dual credit forms. Our DC students attended a DC Night with their parents and we held an 8th grade parent night.
Next week our students will get their forms back for a review and take it home to their parents. Bobbie Ann should finish putting our courses in the computer so our students can input their schedules in the computer.
The master schedule has begun! The leadership and instructional teams will be working on this for the next 2 months. Once we make progress- anyone can take a look and give suggestions. We want a schedule that meets the needs of our kids and gives you the opportunity to have the freedom to be innovative. The goal is to have a master schedule complete before you leave for summer break.
Prom- April 16th @ 8:00pm-199 Hogskin Rd- Sherman
Bad Weather Day- April 25th
EOC's- May 2, 3, 4
FFA Banquet- May 13th
Awards Ceremony- Tuesday, May 24th @ 9:00am
Sport's Banquet- Thursday, May 26th @ 6:30pm (Middle School)
Bad Weather Day- May 27th
State Solo and Ensemble- Austin- May 28th
No School- May 30- Memorial Day
Baccalaureate- Sunday, May 29th
TBHS Teacher Recognition- TBD
Finals Schedule- TBD (working on it!)
Senior Grades Due- TBD
Senior Graduation Practice- June 2nd @ 10:30am
Graduation/Last Day of School- June 3rd @ 7:00pm (Plan on attending- need you!)
Leadership Team- 8:45am
UIL Academic Meet- 30 kids- (McMillan, Emily, Vanessa and Margaret)
Fire Drill (end of 2nd)
FFA Competes @ TAMU (CDE's)
Baseball and Softball @ Farmersville
Friday: (TOMCAT SPIRIT WEAR and CULINARY LUNCH!)
Softball and Baseball home vs. Leonard
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!