Bear Notes-Wk 35 May 9 - 13

Serving kids. Growing scholars.

Note from the principal...


This week our topic from the Dimensions Guide focuses on Language Modeling with indicators such as Frequent Conversations, Open-ended Questions, Repetition and Extension, Self and Parallel Talk and Advanced Language.

Language Modeling

What is it?

Teachers model language when they intentionally encourage, respond to, and expand on children's speech. Strong language modeling also consists of engagement in meaningful conversations between teachers and children. That is, teachers repeat children's words in more complex forms and ask follow-up questions. Children are consistently exposed to a variety of language uses and forms, such a requesting, rejecting, commenting, conversing, predicting, and affirming.

This dimension also aligns to TEI Domain 2 Instruction an Delivery

Why is it important?

Children's language expands when they are given opportunities to use the language that they know and when adults model more complex language. By hearing various uses and forms of language, children develop new language skills. These language skills are important to children's academic and socials success. For some children, a language-rich classroom can be an important supplement to the language they hear in their home environment.

How can I improve the language modeling in may classroom?

Ask open-ended questions. - Children generate thoughts, information and reasons when asked a question that doesn't have a known answer. Questions like, "What do you think?" or "How do you know?" encourage children to use language in more sophisticated ways rather than just giving right answers or short responses.

Have conversations. - Conversations occur throughout the day during structured times, such as meeting time, and unstructured times, such as snack time or recess. Converse with children individually and in small and large groups. Listen to what children say and respond in a way that shows you are interested in what they have to say. Ask follow-up questions to keep the conversation going and include some open-ended questions to encourage children to contribute more to the conversation.

Promote child-initiated language. - Encourage children's use of language by giving them opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas. Provide relevant and interesting topics and things for children to talk about.

Repeat and extend children's responses. - Build on what children say, model appropriate and more complex language and syntax, and provide examples for the different ways we use language. For example, if a child says, "That boy gives me his boat," a teacher may respond, "Evan gave you his boat." This response models the social language skill of using a person's name and offers correct grammatical forms.

Use self-talk and parallel talk. - Talk about what you are doing or what the children are doing to help them link language and action in a way that can help develop their vocabulary and language skills. An example of self-talk would be: "I'm going to give each of you two graham cracker. I'm opening the box, and now I am handing them out to each of you. "In parallel talk, you provide language for children's actions such as, "You put on a chef's hat and an apron, and now you're getting out a pot."

Use advance language. - Use different kinds of words, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions, as well as new or unfamiliar vocabulary. Talk about these words in simple terms that relate to the children's lives. For example, if a child lists all the colors in their shirt, "Red, blue, yellow, green," respond with "It's a multi-colored shirt." This links what the child knows to more advanced language and summarizes known concepts with a new related word.

Encourage children to talk to one another. - Provide opportunities for peer interactions and model conversations. Use clear language to model interactions: Kiara, do you need a pencil? Ask your friend, "May I borrow a pencil?" Encourage children to share stories and talk with one another. Comments like, "Recess is a great time for us to talk with our friends!" encourage children to initiate conversations with each other.
Next week... Literacy Focus, our final domain.


I hope everyone enjoyed Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week and felt truly appreciated! I have said this before teaching (especially in an urban setting) is a tough job and is not for the faint heart. All that you do for kids on a daily basis is worthy of recognition and appreciation.

This week is our final week of large scale STAAR testing, and I am so encouraged by all the hard work, focus and dedication I have seen in preparing our scholars for what is to come. Now, you know I'm not going to wish you good luck, I don't do that. I am simply going to say let's do what we came to do. Meet expectations and goals. Show growth. And demonstrate excellence.

Have an excellent week!


Summer Professional Development


Last Friday, May 6th the summer PD catalog opened. Please check your email for the forms you will need to submit. Both forms are Friday, May 27th.

On the form titled


You will see the campus priorities. Please align your summer learning opportunities to these priorities. Even though you may not have your summative score you may still sign up for classes. In rare cases there may need to be minor adjustments made to your choices. Please be reminded that there is a 3.5 hour required course that all teachers must sign up for: Domain 1 - Rigor Through the Lens of the TEKS. Since all teachers are required to take the course you might want to sign up for it on Friday to beat the rush.

Progress Reports


Please make sure your grades are up-to-date. We will be printing progress reports on Tuesday in preparation for sending home reports on Thursday.



In the next two weeks Mr. Tovar and I will be completing all TEI Summatives. You will receive notice via email once your summative is complete. In the days to follow you will receive a time for your summative conference. Conferences will be scheduled for 15-minutes. This time is your opportunity to bring artifacts and/or evidence that you would like to present. Please note this is the opportunity for the teacher to talk and the evaluator to listen.

SLO's and Peer Observations


It's about that time to start thinking SLO's and Peer Observations! You don't want to wait until the last minute.

Deadline for 2nd Semester Peer Observations -

Friday, May 20th

Deadline for SLO Completion -

Wednesday, May 13th (Revised date)

Deadline for Scoring SLO -

Thursday, May 19th

Administrative PLC's on hold until further notice!

Administrative PLC have been a vital part of our success this school year. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to those who help make them possible.

ACP Testing Schedule

Wednesday, May 18th - Math Grades K-2 and 5

Thursday, May 19th - Reading Grades K-2 and 5

Friday, May 20th - Specials Grades 3-5

Monday, May 23rd - Social Studies Grades 3-5

Tuesday, May 24th - Science Grades 3 and 4

Wednesday, May 25th - Language Arts Grades 3-5

Thursday, May 26th - Makeups

Upcoming Events

Mon., May 9th - STAAR Testing Grades 3 and 4 Math; Grade 5 Math (2nd Administration/

Mon., May 9th - NO PD

Mon., May 9th - Grade 5 Picnic/Science Lesson - (Park)

Tue., May 10th - STAAR Testing Grades 3 and 4 Reading; Gr. 5 Reading (2nd Administration)

Wed., May 11th - STAAR Testing Grade 5 Science

Wed., May 11th - EOY DRA Data due

Thu., May 12th - Progress Reports going home

Fri., May 13th - SLO Completion Due

Fri., May 13th - Cinco de Mayo Luncheon (tentative date)

Sat., May 14th - Little Kids Rock (Seagoville HS)

May 18th - May 25th - ACP window

Wed., May 18th - District Principal's Meeting 12:00 - 5:00

Thu., May 19th - Kimball Feeder Pattern Principal's Meeting 9:00 - 12:00

Fri., May 26th - ACP Make-ups

Fri., May 20th - Peer Observation Due

Fri, May 27th - Summer Learning Forms Due COB

Fri., May 27th - Blackout date

Mon., May 30th - Memorial Day - No School

Tue., May 31st - Blackout date

Wed., Jun. 1st - Field Day - 3-5 8:30 - 11:30

Thu., Jun. 2nd - Field Day - K-2 8:30 - 11:30

Thu., Jun. 2nd - Last day for Scholars

Fri., Jun. 3rd - Last day for Teachers

Jacquelyn Burden - Principal

Affirmation of the Week - I have a mind filled with wisdom and a heart filled with love.

Quote of the Week - "Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning."

Benjamin Franklin