OCTOBER 19, 2015


I have a lot to say. I hope you're listening.


Thanks very much to those of you who attended our Fall Carnival on Saturday! Your presence was greatly appreciated! I know I saw Chase, Lisa Dunn, Angela Cathey, Cathy Wells, Donna McBride, Bethany Miller, Nala Beal, Christina Witta, Cindy Griggs, Madeline Tittle, Jennifer DeCorte, Becky Hogue, Janet Dickerson, Sheryl Copeland, Kim Meadows, Andrea Reed, Amber Cook, Drew Hohman, Shanna Harlin, Pam English, Kelli Shipp, & Beth Carpenter! I apologize if I left anyone out who was here!

It’s hard to believe this week marks the end of the first nine weeks. Thank you for the work that you do in the classroom each & every day. YOU make a difference!

In this week’s Bulletin you’ll find an interesting article by John Hattie on Solutions to Distractions that I think makes several valid points.

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Important Information this week!

  • We will begin Eagle Mountain 25 next week for sure. Eagle Mountain #1 - When responding to an adult, answer by saying “Yes ma’am” or “No-sir.”

  • Our PBIS committee meets after school today.

  • Several people have yet to pay their Social Dues. Full time teachers are asked to contribute $25 & part time people are asked to pay $10. Please take care of that this week if possible.


The Flipped Class: Which Tech Tools Are Right For You?
  • Our first round of Clubs is scheduled to begin Friday, & I know you will spend the first time going over expectations & norms as well as the purpose of your club & generating excitement for it. This is such a wonderful opportunity for our learners, & there is no question what it does for student engagement when they are truly passionate about what they are learning. I appreciate your efforts to ensure that your Club has a college & career readiness focus tied to it this year!

  • Please be flexible & realize there are always a few kinks the first week or two as we get the logistics worked out.

  • We will have fifth grade student ambassadors assist with the younger students as well as a few parent volunteers to help us get the younger students where they need to be. I think it’s going to be a great day!
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  • You’ll be given a new set of vocabulary words for your grade level today –again, you’ll have the entire week to immerse your class with the word & then provide opportunities next week for them to teach others & share their knowledge.

  • Our DESIGN TEAM will be taking a field trip/site-visit to Lee Elementary in Coppell ISD on November 5th. We will be given a comprehensive tour of the school & it will serve as a great springboard for discussions about what we are doing here and why we do what we do. There is such power in visiting other successful campuses. (By the way we’ve already had requests from two different groups to come observe our Liink project, which is exciting!)


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  • I hope you’ve seen the new Author’s Wall of Fame mural by the Kindergarten hall. The purpose of this is to display quality student writing & is open to all grade levels. Feel free to post your student’s writing for others to see!

  • We also have an Author’s Corner in front of Hope’s room where our fourth graders' writing can be displayed. Thank you for ensuring that our learners are given meaningful time to write daily.

  • Team leaders would like to tie in Drop Everything And Write Day on Club Days. It was suggested that teachers have students write about their Club experiences after Clubs.


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  • Another topic that was discussed at our team leader meeting last week was supervision of staff students after school. Students are not to be in the lounge or running around the school unsupervised. They may be in the gym or outside. This has been an on-going issue lately, so we’re asking that we tighten up on that please.

  • Your team leaders have probably shared with you that we’re asking each grade level to present to us about grade level goals, curriculum issues, your individual classroom students, how you are supporting campus & district initiatives, etc. You will be given the questions ahead of time so there are no surprises – it will be similar to data meetings we’ve had in the past, & you may present as a team. Please do not stress about this – this will be informal & we will give you very detailed information & you will be given plenty of time to prepare - I just wanted you to know about it WAY ahead of time!

  • I will be starting PDAS appraisals next week. Your team leaders can give you more information.





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Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World

Editor's note: This post is co-authored by Fran Siracusa, co-founder of and educational technologist for Calliope Global.

As citizens of the world, students in today's classrooms seek global contexts for learning. Opportunities for networked and international collaborations are bringing both the world to classrooms and classrooms to the world. With a focus on international standards of instruction, globally-minded programs inspire students to be curious through investigation and reflective in analysis of thought. These pathways lead to the development of cultural literacy by allowing students to examine issues of global significance through interconnected sharing of experience and exchange of ideas. Collaborative learning spaces empower students to work with each other and with students in classrooms of the world to assume multiple perspectives, explore alternative solutions, and thoughtfully solve problems.

By examining the landscape of the classroom, educators can design collaborative learning spaces that will support the teaching and learning of skills needed for the interconnected world of today and tomorrow. By seamlessly connecting pedagogy, technology, and space, teachers can create spaces that promote social learning and maximum engagement. These collaborative classrooms are alive with action -- teaching, learning, innovating, creating, making, and exploring. Innovative learning spaces can encourage both individual and collective voices, and, through use of emerging technologies, they inspire students to become skillful curators of their digital worlds. Though there cannot be a single universal blueprint for designing a collaborative learning space, teachers can use the goal of global collaboration to inspire classroom design that allows for connected sharing and learning.

While there are many design ideas that could help drive this transformation, we suggest the following three as a starting point.

1. Involve Students in the Process From the Beginning

The design of a collaborative learning space begins with a dialogue between all stakeholders. Everyone, including teachers and students, are part of the conversation and the design experience from the start. With a focus on purpose, together they can create plans for a classroom that will invite active participation and inquiry. This establishes a framework that evolves the role of the classroom teacher from distant lecturer to engaged facilitator of learning. As partners in the design process, the teacher and the students can together take a holistic approach to define the goals of a collaborative learning space by answering the question: "How will learning look in our classroom?" Curricular content can be integrated into the design process, and digital tools can allow for creativity and critical thinking. The Bubbli app allows users to create 360-degree spherical photos called bubbles. Students can capture entire scenes of classrooms, including floors, ceilings, walls, and everything in between, and then they can add audio. Social tools allow for bubbles to be directly shared with the world and organized into albums. Albums can turn groups of bubbles into interactive stories and can serve as digital artifacts to add to digital portfolios of student learning.

2. Make Every Space a Space for Learning

In the process of designing a collaborative learning space, all available areas should be considered spaces for learning. Hallways can become meeting spaces for small groups, glass and windows can be transformed into writing spaces, and classroom walls can allow groups to visually map out thinking. By removing the conventional teacher desk, teachers and students will better understand their evolving roles as co-constructors of knowledge. Without a front of the room, every seat is the best seat in the class, and students are always at the center of learning. Flexible seating allows for spaces to transform depending on the purpose of the lesson. Varied seating options, too, such as stools, rocking chairs, beanbag chairs, and floor seating, give students choice and variability throughout the day.

3. Connect Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces

The design of a learning space can act as a catalyst to promote collaboration and innovation. Seamless integration of technology into classroom furniture and lessons can empower students to create personalized paths to learning. You can design a collaboration station by moving a flat-edged table to a wall. Chairs surrounding the table will invite student groups to work and collaborate here. An Apple TV added to a mounted flat-screen television lets you mirror devices during project sessions. Physical spaces can then be connected to virtual spaces through creativity and productivity apps. Classrooms can create international learning teams with students of the world, and then use apps -- such as Nearpod, Padlet, Kahoot!, Google Drive, and Periscope -- in global collaborations and projects. Videoconferencing platforms like Google Hangouts and Skype in the Classroom allow students to connect to the world through conversations and sharing their stories.

Collaborative learning spaces have the power to transform learning and teaching. The landscape of a connected classroom unites pedagogy, space, and standards of instruction. By connecting to global classrooms in meaningful and authentic ways, there can be endless opportunities for collaboration and engagement, and, in effect, the world becomes the learning space of the classroom.

Jennifer Williams

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Week 9 – Create a presentation for your class using one of the following presentation tools: Prezi, Powtoon, Emaze, Power Point, or another one that you like.

Since you are getting the Bulletin late this week, you may postpone this one for the time being – With it being a crazy busy week, we will come back to this one, so please don’t stress over this one!

Emaze Presentations
How to use PowToon
Prezi Tutorial: My first prezi


1st WEEK – TWITTERWe all have accounts & need to be tweeting out what is happening REGULARLY in our classrooms. . I EXPECT this to be happening weekly & regularly..We have told our PTA as well as other parents that our teachers are tweeting & that they should follow us on Twitter in order to see what is happening in our classrooms. I get that not EVERY parent will follow us, but that's ok - we need to do a better job of educating our parents about the benefits so they will WANT to follow us! We are beginning to move away from just purely INFORMATIONAL tweets to more genuine LEARNING tweets which is exciting to see! IT's a PROCESS!!!

For those of you who are new to our campus, I understand that this is something new to you & that there's a learning curve involved. I do! EME started tweeting as a campus in the second quarter of last year, & we will continue tweeting - this is not going away! If you are still learning or need additional support or help by all means LET US KNOW! I do completely understand & recognize that it will take some time for some to catch up, but thank you for working to get where we NEED to be!

I think you will be pleased to know that during the second nine weeks there won't be nearly as many Tech Do's - instead, we will take a few & delve DEEPER into those such as TWEETING & SKYPING which will be more effective & productive for us in the long-run.

We're all busy & you're doing a great job, but please know that we've committed to tweeting REGULARLY with our parents, so I do expect us ALL to be doing that! I'm very proud of the strides we've made with technology - the best is yet to come!

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Monday – PLC’s meet, PBIS Committee meets – 3 PM

Tuesday – Student Club Selection takes place, Kelli is out today, Mad Science Club begins

Wednesday – Drew out for ALI meeting, Liink Meeting today with Dr. Rhea for K & 1 teachers-3PM

Thursday – Instructional Rounds has been moved to next week - Author Celebration Day in 4th grade

Friday –Eagle Mountain University Clubs begin 7:50-8:35. Staff Pizza Party for reaching our Education Foundation Goal – Way to go EME! Tim is out for Math meeting, End of the first nine weeks

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How can we ensure that every student achieves at least one year’s progress for one year of schooling?

Governments and schools have spent billions of dollars trying to fix education. But evidence shows that many popular solutions have little impact on student learning.

In two new reports, renowned education researcher John Hattie explores common policy “fixes” that distract from other, potentially better, solutions.

John Hattie on creating a culture of ‘collaborative expertise’


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Blooms Taxonomy According to Seinfeld


  • Kudos to Hope Howell for hosting her Author’s Celebration Day! You are to be commended for your passion for teaching writing – what a difference it is already making! We honor & love the fact that you are creating a community of writers! Truly impressive!

  • Congratulations to Cindy Griggs for securing a Donors Choose classroom project called “Supplies for Classroom.” I appreciate Cindy utilizing additional resources to help get her classroom needs met.

  • Thank you Drew for the informative training on Suicide & Bullying prevention (as well as R-time training last week) during our campus professional learning day. You gave us the information we needed to know in an easy to understand manner. Drew also led a district wide training last week on Love & Logic for parents that was well –received & well-attended. Great job, Drew!

  • Thanks to Angela for helping with I-Station testing last week. We appreciate you stepping up!
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