Mid-Year Reflections

Volume 4

Questions for Reflection

  1. In what areas can I improve professionally?
  2. What's stopping me from improving in these areas?
  3. In what ways can I support my collegues in their student's learning?
  4. Do my actions as an educator show my belief that all students can learn at high levels?

Learning Progressions

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Assessment should be continuous and designed to not just indicate whether students "get it" or "don't get it", but to clearly identify their thinking on a topic, their location on the pathway. Ongoing assessments provides insight on how to move students to the next milestone pathway so all students are on track to reach the ultimate destination. Learning should not be seen as a series of discrete events, but as a progression or trajectory with clear connections. Learning progressions describe the pathway that students take to reach these standards.

Content Updates

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Science Update

Next Set of Science District Assessments

3rd- DA #3 February 23-March 20
4th- DA #2 January 7-27th (Matter and Energy- The hardest to teach/hardest to learn unit)
5th- DA #3 December 15-January 16th (DA #2 window closes December 5th)

When looking at DA Data to make instructional decisions, I recommend "Step 2" in aware. This report breaks down % by SE and question and shows teachers the % of students that chose which answer choice, highlighting misconceptions or guessing my students. Please let me know if I can support you, coaches and teachers in this data analysis.

CAST- Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching
Thank you for your support in me taking 5th Grade Science Point People to this amazing conference on November 21st! We had a great time and learned so much.
Point People are aware of the expectation to share their learning with colleagues at their campus.

Upcoming OI Trainings:
Kinder Science/Social Studies - January 13th
1st Science/Social Studies -January 27th
2nd Science/Social Studies -February 2nd
3rd Science/Social Studies - January 13th
4th Science- January 20th
5th Science - December 11th
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Social Studies

Social Studies TEKS
ALL elementary grades include the following Social Studies knowledge and skills statement in their TEKS: "The student uses problem solving and decision making skills, working independently and with others in a variety of settings…"

What kinds of conversations are your teachers having to ensure your students meet this standard?

Grow your PLC! One of my favorite chats: https://twitter.com/txeduchat Sunday nights at 8:00
Check out some the previous chats at: http://txeduchat.com
Follow me on Twitter: @snnickols

OI Training dates:
K-3 see Science above

Do you have the next “History Teacher of the Year”? Nominate one of teacher:
https://www.gilderlehrman.org/programs-exhibitions/national-history-teacher-year at "The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History" by February 1, 2015. There will be a winner in every state who will receive $1,000 and become a finalist for the national award receiving $10,000 and a ceremony in New York City. So nominate an outstanding teacher who finds creative ways to bring history alive in his/her classroom!

District Assessment Windows 3-5
3rd Grade DA2 Diversity: February 6-February 27
4th Grade DA1 Early Colonization: November 14-December 12
4th Grade DA2 So Long Santa Ana: February 13-March 6
5th Grade DA1 American Revolution: November 14-December 12
5th Grade DA2 US Constitution and Bill of Rights: December 15-January 21

Interested in training your staff on Thinking Maps? I would love to talk with you about this for next year!

Stacie Nickols snickols@mckinneisd.net
Want to learn more about Thinking Maps first? http://thinkingmaps.com
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Math Update

Welcome Kerise Ridinger the new elementary math coordinator. She comes to McKinney from Lewisville ISD where she recently served as a district design coach. I have had the pleasure of working with her this week. She has great ideas and a clear vision for mathematics in McKinney ISD. Kerise and I will continue to work together until December 19th.

TEKS Update:
All math TEKS begin with the phrase: "The student will apply process standards to..."
Process Standards involve the utilization of a problem solving model, self selecting tools and manipulatives to solve problems, and communicating about mathematical thinking through the use of diagrams, symbols, and graphs. The process standards should be the foundation of all mathematical learning.

Upcoming Training
4th Grade Adding and Subtracting Fractions- December 9th
3rd Advanced Fractions- December 11th

These trainings will cover difficult to teach difficult to learn 3rd quarter concepts.

The 5th grade December 16th training has been cancelled. The material was taught during the November 5th grade point people meeting.
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Language Arts Update


ELAR will center and focus on the following mission...

· To advance the literacy growth of MISD students based on a balanced literacy model of the reading and writing workshop that will engage students’ metacognitive skills in all content areas so they are equipped to evaluate, problem solve, and communicate as readers and writers.

Upcoming PD:

(Please be sure to register in Eduphoria)

• Dec. 9 ~ ConnectED Workshop – Connecting the Dots with Purpose

Malvern Elementary @3:30-4:30

· Coming Soon:

Lexia for the RTI Campus Leaders

Writing Mini Lessons & Strategies for 3rd and 4th

Writing Webinar Opportunity:

Wonders in STAAR Writing - great for staff learning!

January 13, 3-4:15 pm (Central)

Part 1: Know When to Hold Them, Know When to Fold Them: Making Writing Come Alive!

Part 1 focuses on Narrative and Expository writing. Develop an understanding of Progression and the difference between the Topic and the Charge using a foldable graphic organizer. Help your students learn to use their whole body in the writing process, and they will remember what you have taught them.

January 27, 3:4-15pm (Central)

Part 2: CSI (Comma Splice Investigator): Investigate Revision and Editing Like Never Before!

Part 2 tackles Revising and Editing. Learn how to take spelling, word choice and grammar to an attainable and memorable level by learning symbols that speak louder than labels for parts of speech. See how Comma Drama comes to life and how CSI (Comma Splice Investigators) solves the craziest comma crimes. All of this will lead to amazing sentences and sentence fluency never thought possible!

Click here to find out more!

Reading and Writing Focus:

Create intentional dialogue about the connections between Figure 19 skills and the Process Standards for other content areas. Students need to know how Figure 19 applies all day and is fused into other areas of learning. Having metacognitive skills woven throughout strengths the learning for all areas.

Lens on Writing Prompts:

The following study is a relevant read as we use the Writer’s Workshop model and are given Writing Prompts for our state assessment.

Writer’s Workshop vs. Writing Prompts - First Grade in Georgia

This study, during this halfway mark of the year, creates a reflection on how prompts are being used in the classroom for best instructional purposes. Prompts are great to use within other content areas. Prompts are great to empower a science or social studies concept. Prompts are great for growing a math skill as students communicate their learning. Prompts give the scaffold start and guide for a learning progression of a new writing style being taught - narrative, persuasive, etc. But, we should be aware of the WHEN, HOW, WHY and WHO will use the prompts before providing them to our students.

Writing prompts can be used as a formative, at planned times, to asses how students are using all skills learned up to a given time period. It is a great informal way to assess students writing skills.

Writer’s Workshop is a time for students to write using self selected topics. It is a time that the “process” of writing is being defined, modeled, and practiced within a TO-WITH-BY method.

High Yield Strategy TIP:

Take a look at a 2nd grade classroom using. Click on High Yield Strategies in a Reading Workshop lesson.

Spelling Bee 2014-15

Click on updated calendar and view updated information for County Spelling Bee. Thank you for sharing this information to your spelling bee campus contact person.

Follow me on Twitter: @mona_rsavage