Teaching & Learning Newsletter

December 11, 2015


Great coaches, teachers, and parents play a critical role in making excellence possible. We all know that children thrive on feeling loved, accepted, valued, and respected. Coaches, teachers, and administrators, also benefit from such feelings. People of all ages blossom and become their best in a supportive, respectful environment.

    Terry Orlick, PhD, In Pursuit of Excellence


    Thank you so much to Lane Buban and Bennie Mayes for attending the New Teacher Celebration on Tuesday. It meant so much to their teachers to see them there supporting them!

    Sixth Grade Pre-AP Social Studies students participated in the inaugural Bryan I.S.D. National History Day Fair on December 2 and 3 held at each middle school. Each student was interviewed by a judge and questioned about their project. Students who placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd have the opportunity to advance and compete at the Brazos Valley Regional History Fair on February 12, 2016. Thank you to the Social Studies Instructional Coaches for making this inaugural event successful.

    Coaching Tip

    Identify: The goal is for coaches to use a video camera to record a typical class taught by the collaborating teacher.

    Coaching Action:

    1. The coach asks the teacher to identify a class to be observed.

    2. The coach videos

    3. The coach watches the video to identify areas they think the teacher might be interested in working on.

    Setting the Goal with the teacher after observing the video.

    Questions the coach may ask the teacher to establish goals:

    • On a scale of 1-10, how close was that class to your ideal class?
    • What pleased you about the class?
    • What would have to change to move the class closer to a 10?
    • What would the students be doing differently? How could we measure that change and identify measurable student goals?

    4. Confirm with the teacher that the identified goal is one they really think is important. If not, repeat the process until you identify a goal the teacher sees as important.

    5. Share the list of high-impact teaching strategies.

    6. Collaborate with the teacher to identify a teaching strategy to be implemented in order to achieve a goal.

    Core Content Area News


    Make your nominations now for grade K-6 math and science teachers for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program. Applications due April 1, 2016.

    If you feel someone is worthy of this award in BISD I wanted you all to have the info.

    2016 PAEMST Nomination/Application Windows Open

    The 2015-16 nomination and application windows for grade K-6 math and science teachers for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program are open. Educators may be nominated by themselves or by others. The PAEMST awards are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of math and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of math and science education. Since 1983, more than 4,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals. Access nomination and application forms here.


    Expository Writing Training

    Dottie Hill, from Gretchen Bernabei's team is presenting at First Baptist Church of Bryan, January 4, 8:30am to 3:30pm. She will share information and teaching strategies on expository writing. The training will be based on strategies from Mrs. Bernabei's book, Fun-Sized Academic Writing for Serious Learning. The training is open to 4th and 7th grade writing teachers, as well as others from your campus that you feel would benefit from the training. Teachers that sign up before Wednesday, December 16 will be given a book. The link to the training is given below. Thank you for encouraging your teachers and instructional coaches to attend if at all possible.

    Link to workshop in Eduphoria: Click here

    Short Answer Response ELA/EOC Teachers

    Dr. Kristi Thaemlitz will provide a Short Answer Response Professional Development for 9 & 10 grade ELA teachers on January 4th. This training is designed to address the need for continued support with student constructed responses.

    The training will be held at Rudder HS from 8:30-3:30 in the Cafe. Link to workshop in Eduphoria: Click here



    DDRT Information from 2014-2015

    The DDRT Reports from 2014-2015, which were inadvertently deleted from Aware this summer, have now been restored in Eduphoria. You will find them in the individual student forms under the heading [Do Not Use] RTI: Post-RtI Meeting --> District Data Review Team (DDRT) Report. DDRT Reports for this school year are still located under the heading RtI: DDRT Forms. Please let Kristen Beesaw know if you have any questions.

    Professional Development News


    Aspiring Principal Academy

    The Aspiring Principal Academy will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 8:15-10:30.


    Admin Meeting

    Admin Meeting is Thursday, December 17 at 8 am. Please remember to bring a $10 gift card to some place UNIQUE for our lunch activity!


    Process Champions PLC

    Please remind your Process Champions that we are meeting next week! Secondary meets Monday at 4:30 and Elementary meets Tuesday at 4:00.

    Special Education News

    All Principals/APs

    The Specialist in School Psychology, are scheduled to attend a webinar presented by the law firm of Walsh Gallegos on MDR (Manifestation and Determination Review ARD) to make informed decisions in ARDC meeting and come to consensus.

    Curriculum & Instruction Department

    If you have any questions, about the content in the Teaching & Learning newsletter, please don't hesitate to contact any member of the department.