Gonzalez Premier Express

Week of September 28, 2015


To become the PREMIER elementary school in Dallas ISD

As we begin the last week of the 6th week marking period, let's continue to purposefully plan for engagement from teacher to student and from student to student. Highly effective teaches make sure that students talk through rich discussions and justifications at a high cognitive thinking level. Also, a great lesson takes planning and organization; the execution of such lesson ensures the implementation of the lesson cycle and differentiation. Furthermore, highly effective teachers plan and implement the use of hands-on items, such as index cards, sticky notes, white boards, graphic organizers and other tools so that the knowledge is internalized by our students.

Let's continue to do a great job of highly effective delivery of instruction to our young senators.


Our 5E students will lead us during announcements this week. Please, make sure students are familiar with the script and report to the office by 7:58 a.m. I would like to start announcements no later than 8:05 a.m.


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Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

One of our school goals is to broaden constructive relationships with the members of school community. Our first PTA meeting was a success!!! Let's continue to make sure we encourage parent participation in school events, parent workshops, and parent conferences to create partnerships to build the whole child.
Teachers and staff who participated and represented their grade level and/or department -
Ms. Lopez
Ms. Coleman
Ms. Thiele
Mr. Gonzalez-Perez
Mrs. Buchanan
Ms. Cooray
Ms. Gomez
Mr. Evangelister
Ms. Tyler
Mr. Riser
Ms. Wilburn

Marshall Memo - Shifting Students from a Fixed to a Growth Mindset in Math (althought it works for any subject)

In this article in Education Week, Evie Blad reports on how students’ mindsets can have a direct impact on achievement in mathematics. “A blend of family attitudes, cultural ideas, and frustration often leads students to believe that math ability is a fixed trait like eye color,” she says. “They believe they are either born with the skills necessary to succeed in math class or they’re not.” Researchers say teachers can attack this deep-seated problem in three ways:

Explicitly teaching the growth mindset. Students need to be told repeatedly that math is no more difficult than other subjects, that mistakes are a normal part of learning, and that they haven’t failed if they can’t quickly solve a problem using a prescribed algorithm. Stanford University’s Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) has released a series of online courses about mindset for teachers and parents with videos, exercises, and sample lesson plans (https://www.mindsetkit.org). A key mindset-shifting concept is that if something feels hard, that’s a sweet spot for learning, and persevering through the difficult part will yield big gains. “When you just focus on getting to the answer,” says Palo Alto teacher Mari Montoy-Wilson, “you really rob kids of grappling and working on that sweet spot. You don’t want to scaffold or carry the load too heavily for your kids.”

Teaching math differently. An essential companion to weaning students from the fixed mindset is presenting problems in a way that develops conceptual understanding versus speedy solving of problems using memorized algorithms. This dovetails nicely with the Common Core emphasis on sense-making, abstract reasoning, developing strategies to use math concepts, and critiquing others’ reasoning. This kind of math helps students escape the I-got-it-wrong-and-therefore-I’m dumb-at-math syndrome and prepares them for success in the upper grades – as well as for using math in their everyday lives. An example: a traditional perimeter problem asks students to find the perimeter of a rectangle 10 inches long and 6 inches wide. A conceptual problem asks students to draw two rectangles that have a perimeter of 32 inches and explain how they arrived at their answer. Another “open” problem for high-school students: figure out how many baseballs it would take to fill a classroom. Mariel Triggs, a San Francisco teacher who has used this problem, says, “I get these students and they will say, ‘I am not good at math,’ and I began to realize that what they were really saying was, ‘I don’t know how to do the problem in front of me.’ I frame it like a fun puzzle.”

Teachers exploring their own mindsets. “Teachers love the idea of mindsets as almost a panacea,” says University of Texas professor Philip Uri Treisman, “but they themselves have very fixed ideas of their own learning.” Many learned math the traditional way and need support to shift to a more conceptual approach. Teachers should practice their own sense-making and model it for their students. If math were music, says Treisman, the traditional approach would be learning scales and the new approach would be playing songs.

“Teachers Nurture Growth Mindset in Math” by Evie Blad in Education Week, September 9, 2015 (Vol. 35, #3, p. 1, 10-11), www.edweek.org

2015-16 DTR Eligibility Criteria Now Available

Dallas ISD continues to identify highly effective teachers through the Distinguished Teacher Review by highlighting their contributions across the district. DTR eligibility criteria for 2015-16 are reflected below. All eligible teachers will be notified via email by October 15th.

  • Teachers must have an Effectiveness Level of Proficient I or above and be in the top 25th percentile within their teacher category.*

  • Creditable Years of Service (CYS)- 2+ (in at least third year in 2015-16)

  • Summative Score (both prior & current year) - 65 or above

  • Achievement & Survey Points (both prior & current year) -At least 50% of combined points

*Teachers entering their third year of service in 2015-16 must earn a Proficient I evaluation rating or above and be in the top 25th percentile within their teacher category. For teachers who are new to Dallas ISD and are in at least their third year of service, a summative performance evaluation must be completed by December 1st.


September 28 -
  • Common Assessment Begins - Please make sure you are using the All Learning system to scan your students' bubble sheets.
  • Coaching Visit from Mr. Lusk
  • Carlos will be on campus. Please, make sure you have submitted your technology tickets so that he may take care of your technology needs.
  • After school program - Please, work share with our students your expectations regarding behavior and academic performance. All students should report to the cafeteria for snacks and wait for their sponsor to guide them to their meeting location.

September 29-

  • Ident-a-Kid
  • Attendance for Credit training at Comstock - 9:30 - 11:00 - Villalobos/Mena
  • Tutoring - Please, work with your team so that you have representation at dismissal area as well as in the cafeteria for snacks.

September 30-

  • Councilman Rick Callahan will visit our campus.
  • Weekly PLC Meetings - 3rd - 5th grade teachers will meet with Ms. Tina Chong from the JivDaya Foundation for a Kindle fire training update.

October 1-

  • IStation beginning of the month testing - Collaborate with your grade level to sign up for a time in the computer lab so that the teacher may be present during this time so that students take this assessment more serious.
  • 3:30 - 5:00 After School PD - Data Uploading and Organization

October 2 -
  • Field Trip Request Forms Due - Ruiz
  • Fundraiser Request Forms Due - Ruiz
  • End of the First Six Weeks - Remember to have a minimum of 2 grades per week. Gradebooks are due on Tuesday, October 6


October 6 -
  • Gradebooks are due
  • TEI expert meeting and Seagoville North Elementary - 4:30 p.m.
October 7 -
  • Coffee with the Principal - Library 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

October 9 -

  • Fair Day - No school for staff/students
October 15 -
  • Parent Conference Night

October 16 -

November 3 -


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Wishing you the very best!!!

Ms. Martinez - October 3