Bryan Adams Feeder

Cougar News: March 16, 2015

In this Issue:

Feeder Celebrations & Events

  • Congrats Lady Cougar Basketball
  • Congratulations Gaston Scholars
  • Congratulations Gaston Student Leon Hayden
  • Hill Girl Scouts STEM Project
  • Hill STEM Students Canned Food Drive
  • Hexter Garden Maintenance Day
  • Larry Smith is a Winner

Upcoming Events:

  • Teaching Trust

Reading from the Marshall Memo: When Student Collaborative Work Is Fruitful and When It’s Not

Links for Feeder Use:

  • Reclaiming Cougar Country
  • BA Roaring Readers Volunteer Link

Bryan Adams Feeder Pattern Celebrations for March


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Way to Go Cougars, Congrats!

Congratulations to the Bryan Adams Girls Basketball Team for competing in the UIL State Championship. The Cougars, under the direction of Head Coach Darren Eubanks, made us proud!

Congratulations Gaston Scholars

The Dallas ISD Scholars Program recognized Gaston 7th and 8th graders who demonstrated academic excellence and college readiness potential. Congratulations to Yvete Campos, Elijah Guerra, Castle Keathley, Carlos Mancilla, Emiliano Morales, Alejandro Sanchez, Alexander Sanchez, Juliana Esparza, Maximo Mateo, Rogelio Mendoza, Alexander Ruiz-Reyes, Angel Stepp, Sebastian Vazquez, and Tuesdae Watson. These students will be honored at the Dallas ISD Scholars Recognition ceremony on March 19.

Gaston Student placed at National History Day held at SMU

Congratulations - Gaston 7th grader Leon Hayden recently placed 2nd at National History Day held at SMU by creating a website about Leonardo DaVinci. Leon advances to the state competition which will be held on May 2.

Hill Girl Scouts STEM Project Cookie Box Creation

Please vote for Cookie Box Creation People’s Choice award. Hill's entry is #5. You can vote more than once. Voting continues through March 21. The awards recognition will be Sunday, March 22 at 10:00 AM at the Galleria in front of the Skating Rink.

Shelly Thibodaux

Physical Education Teacher/Athletic Coordinator

Robert T. Hill Middle School


Robert T. Hill STEM Students Canned Food Drive

As part of their Community Service Project, several students are collecting canned goods to help those in need. Everyone is asked to contribute to this worthy cause. Please donate by placing these items in the Robert t. Hill Middle School Library.

**The project has been extended to March 20, 015 due to the weather.

Hexter Garden Maintenance Day - Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 8:00 am - Noon

Get your garden gloves on!!! Please join us for the Hexter Garden Maintenance Day! Bring the whole family, along with garden tools if you've got 'em (shovels, gloves, wheelbarrow, etc).

For our maintenance day, "Garden Party", we will be sprucing up the beds and infrastructure, and ensuring the students have a opportunity to plant (the kids love it)! Also, we will be weeding, mulching and fertilizing.

Service Hours: This is a great opportunity for students, Scout troops and clubs to obtain service hours!!! Coffee, water, juice and breakfast snacks will be provided.Thanks so much for your continued support of our Hexter Garden & Outdoor Classroom!

"Goodness Grows in Our Garden"

For questions or more information, please contact Rosemary Costello @, 972-762-0047

Thank you for helping our garden continue to blossom!


Friends of the Hexter Garden



Volunteer Survey

If you are interested in supporting the garden in any way, take a minute to fill out our online survey for 2014-2015.

Join Us! facebook group, (click "Ask to Join") website

Hexter Garden Mission

The Hexter Garden provides our students with hands-on experiences that enhance their academic success, their love of learning, and their personal wellness.

Friends of the Hexter Garden (FOHG)

is a group of Hexter Elementary community members who are dedicated to keeping our school garden thriving. We support the Garden by providing maintenance and community outreach. If you're on this email list, you are a Friend! This list lets you know about garden workdays, volunteer opportunities, plant sales, etc.

Help Us Grow

If you know other Hexter parents, teachers, or community members who would like to be Friends, please feel free to forward this email. They can sign Up to join this group by filling out the volunteer form (link above).

Hexter Garden
9720 Waterview Road

Dallas, Texas 75218

Larry Smith is a Winner!

Congratulations! We are pleased to announce that Larry Smith Elementary was one of the Quality Survey winners for February earning $300 of ArtsPartners funding to use for students!

Teaching Trust - ED Fellows Program Accepting Applications, Deadline March 31, 2015

The Ed Fellows Program in collaboration with TFA- DFW is currently accepting applications. I’m specifically reaching out because we value our partnership with Dallas ISD and need your support to source quality nominations.

Our leadership program is designed to develop teacher leaders who can implement proven practices in their own classrooms with fidelity and influence colleagues to drive and sustain student achievement on their campus. We believe the actionable leadership strategies our program teaches can support the work your principals lead on their campus.

Please encourage your principals to nominate high achieving teachers today. We are in search of educators eager to practice their skills to grow, learn and elevate their impact. The application deadline is March 31. We look forward to receiving DISD applications.


Ana Luz

Ana Luz Hernández, Recruitment Manager

Teaching Trust | Transforming Education at Its Core

1825 Market Center Blvd., Suite 260, Dallas, TX 75207

214-206-3849 x321| f: 214-206-3854 |

From the Marshall Memo #576

When Student Collaborative Work Is Fruitful and When It’s Not

In this article in Educational Researcher, Deanna Kuhn (Columbia University) notes that getting students working in collaborative groups is widely regarded as an enlightened classroom practice that will (a) build “21st-century skills” and (b) help students master academic content. On (a), Kuhn says there’s no doubt about the downstream benefits of collaborative classroom activities. “The intellectual demands encountered in adult life are not only many and varied but also subject to frequent and rapid change,” she says. “A large proportion of these are encountered in contexts that are collaborative… Young people have not been well prepared for adult life today unless they are comfortable and well practiced in addressing collaboratively the kinds of problems and objectives that 21st-century life poses. Without question we need to learn how best to prepare them for these roles.”

But on (b), Kuhn says, “Collaboration is a long way from the silver bullet many educators wish it to be.” When students work in groups, the most-competent members sometimes do the heavy lifting, coming up with the answer (or solving the problem) without transmitting their skills and knowledge to their peers. Group members sometimes engage in parallel work without truly engaging with each others’ thinking. And some students work better alone than in a group. The true test of collaborative learning, says Kuhn, is “mutual engagement in a coordinated effort in which group performance and/or subsequent individual performance exceeds that which any member brought to the group.” Under what conditions does this happen?

Not with problem-based learning (PBL), she believes. In a number of experiments, Kuhn and her colleagues found that students working individually or in groups all made gains in PBL classrooms. The key ingredient was not collaboration but grappling with a challenging problem with knowledge insufficient to solve it, which required students to extend and apply existing knowledge and understanding to generating a solution. It’s the problem, not the collaboration, that provides the academic payoff. The impetus to solve the problem (and avoid failing to solve the problem) is as effective with students working alone as it is for a group of students.

But collaboration is a definite plus with argumentative discourse – pairs of students engaging in an ongoing dialogue with other students holding an opposing point of view. As Kuhn describes it, “The pair must attend to and examine the opposing pair’s position with the aim of weakening it. They must also work to develop and uphold their own position in the face of parallel efforts of the opposing pair to weaken it. These dual objectives can only be met successfully if participants recognize the two different perspectives that exist, reflect on and gain understanding of each of them, and strive to coordinate them in a manner that fulfills the objectives of the activity… Thus, participants’ talk is not confined to the task content itself; they also engage in talk about their thinking.” In the argumentative discourse format, interacting with one’s teammate is absolutely essential. Kuhn and her colleagues conducted an experiment in which students tried to engage in this kind of discourse solo and it was far less productive. In another experiment, they had students take part in argumentative dialogues through written essays, and the benefits were also disappointing. In other words, it’s the content of collaborative work that determines whether there will be true collaboration and students will enhance their skills and knowledge.

Kuhn concludes that “intellectual collaboration does not come naturally… [I]t is not enough simply to put individuals in a context that allows for collaboration and expect them to engage in it effectively. Intellectual collaboration is a skill, learned through engagement and practice and much trial and error. Without sufficient skill development, children may fail to benefit from it.” When they are very young, children begin to recognize the differing perspectives of others, and as they mature, they gradually learn to take those into account and move past parallel play. “A developmental perspective raises the possibility of introducing educational interventions with the objective of accelerating progress and/or maximizing attainment,” says Kuhn. “Collaboration entails demanding, resource-consuming skills of coordination, as we have highlighted, as well as affective, interpersonal ones. Their development, at a minimum, requires extended practice.”

“Thinking Together and Alone” by Deanna Kuhn in Educational Researcher, January/ February 2015 (Vol. 44, #1, p. 46-53),; Kuhn can be reached at

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Dear Cougar Family,

Join us in Reclaiming Cougar Country!

1. Purchase a yard sign from Bryan Adams High School Student Council members or from your local PTA. Order form is below. $5.00 each

2. Help increase communication by sharing good news. It's simple; just write a short description of an upcoming event or summary of a recently held event with a photo. Share news in the following ways:

3. Consider volunteering with our "Roaring Readers" program. We are committed to ensuring all first grade students finish the school year reading on or above grade level. This is a significant challenge and community support will make a big difference. Please visit the link below to learn more and share it with a friend.

Together we can make a difference in our community for our children. It's a great time to be a cougar! Thank you for your partnership,

Jolee Healey

Executive Director

Bryan Adams Feeder Pattern