Sunday, January 27, 2019

iACT Announcements - Week of 1/28

Upcoming Dates
*January 28th - January 30; All MAP tests completed
* February 5th - 4th Grade Writing Benchmark. Many staff heading to TCEA!
* February 6th - New Teacher Meeting @ Central Office (3:45 p.m.)

Tier 1 for ELLs

Image result for ELLLet's start 2019 off with some new Tier 1 strategies to use when working with our English Learners!!

F.I.S.T. Reading
* First sentence is read.
* Indicate a question based on first sentence.
* Search for the answer.
* Tie question and answer together through paraphrasing.

Four Step Paraphrase
* Write a topic sentence or question
* Read the selection

* Choose 10 key words from selection
* Write supporting statements with words.

T.O.W.E.R. Writing
* Think
* Order ideas
* Write
* Edit
* Rewrite

Tips for Supporting EL Students
* Provide a picture or other non-linguistic representation to accompany vocabulary.
* Allow EL students to utilize native language to understand terms/vocabulary {Google Translate is an awesome resources

The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies
If you’ve struggled to find effective ways to develop students’ speaking and listening skills, here’s a great list of 15 strategies for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging -

Finding Balance in a Digital World
We use digital media every day, from texting, streaming TV shows, and gaming all the way to using voice assistants or ordering our food online. For today's kids, it's a lot more than just "screen time." So how can we help students balance their online and offline lives? It starts with recognizing just how much media we use.
This is a lesson plan from Common Sense Media that’s written for Grade 6, but could be adapted for upper grades, as well -

Seven Keys to Effective Feedback

Who would dispute the idea that feedback is a good thing? Both common sense and research make it clear: Formative assessment, consisting of lots of feedback and opportunities to use that feedback, enhances performance and achievement. See this ASCD article for what feedback IS and ISN’T -

Monday, January 21, 2019

iACT Announcements - Week of 1/21

Upcoming Dates

* January 21st - MLK Holiday
* January 22nd - Asst. Principal Meeting at Middle School @ 9:00, Interactive Read Aloud Training (3rd - 5th) with Debbie J @ Central Office, STEM Innovator Coaching Day (MS),
* January 23rd - Jayne Knighton @ Ruth Cherry, Relay Cohort in Dallas, CKH Training, Supt. Advisory Committee @ 4:00 p.m.
* January 24th - Relay Cohort in Dallas, CKH Training, Jayne Knighton @ Herndon, 4th Grade teacher Essay Grading @ 3:30,
* January 25th - Gretchen Bernabei Workshop with NTxASCD @ Central Office,

MAP Testing
Window continues to be open until Jan. 30th. Please let Kathy Milton or Amy Hopkins know if you are experiencing any difficulties with testing. They are working closely with Zach Allen and the Technology Department to troubleshoot issues.

The Importance of Teaching the Behaviors You Want to See
How do you respond when students don't exhibit the behaviors you would like to see? Do you tell students they need to change? Do you lecture them about responsibility or respect? Do you complain to your colleagues about kids these days? Do you punish or reward?
Read this excellent article by David Geurin about what educators can do to better address non-learning behaviors - 

20 Ways to Cut Grading Time in Half
In the following pages you’ll find 20 really smart ideas you can mix and match to cut back on the time you spend grading and get those piles of paper under control! - 

Teaching Digital Citizenship with Storybooks
Teaching digital citizenship in a meaningful way can be daunting. These picture books illustrate important concepts beautifully -

Sunday, January 13, 2019

iACT Announcements - Week of 1/14

Upcoming Dates
* January 14th - 2nd SLO Check for teachers (remember that teachers update the spreadsheet they have in Google Drive - already linked in Eduphoria); IDC Meeting @ 4:00 at Central Office
* January 15th - L2L Meeting @ 4:00 pm at Central Office
* January 16th - STEM Innovators Coaching Day, Relay Cohort @ 4:00 p.m. at Central Office
* January 17th - Jayne Knighton @ RCMS, CTC Make-Up Training (9:00 - 12:00) @ Central Office
* January 21st - MLK Holiday
* January 23rd - Jayne Knighton @ Ruth Cherry, CKH Training, Supt. Advisory Committee @ 4:00 p.m.
* January 24th - CKH Training, Jayne Knighton @ Herndon, 4th Grade teacher Essay Grading @ 3:30
* January 25th - Gretchen Bernabei Workshop with NTxASCD @ Central Office

TexQuest is a statewide digital resources program that provides anytime, anywhere access to high quality, authoritative digital resources to all educators, students, and students' immediate families in Texas K-12 public schools and open enrollment charter schools. Supported, in part, by appropriations from the Texas State Legislature, Texas districts pay a small per student participation fee to gain access to TexQuest resources from the providers.

Some of the resources in TexQuest: encyclopedias, newspaper articles, images, videos, e-books, learning games, test prep…. and SO MUCH MORE!

RCISD TexQuest resources can be accessed through Clever under the "Inquiry and Research" section.

Information/Training on TexQuest
*Introductory Slideshow
*The Username/Password with descriptions of each resource can be found here
*Links to training videos on each resource:

Please see your campus Library Media Specialist for more information and/or training. This is a valuable resource for you and your students!

File:Google Classroom Logo.pngCheck Out These Great Resources
4 Great Social Studies Apps
4 Good Chrome Apps for Science Teachers

New Features Added to Google Classroom
Last week, Google unveiled a couple of new features for Google Classroom!  

Monday, January 7, 2019

iACT Announcements - Week of 1/7

Upcoming Dates
*January 7th - Lesson Fixer Upper and Humanex Survey Results
*January 8th - Campus Workday and Humanex Goal Setting
*January 9th - New Teacher Meeting @ 3:45 at Central Office
*January 10th - 2nd Grade Report Card Meeting @ 3:30 at Central Office
*January 14th - 2nd SLO Check for teachers - see announcement below; IDC Meeting @ 4:00 at Central Office
*January 15th - L2L Meeting @ Central Office
*January 16th - STEM Innovators Coaching Day
*January 17th - Jayne Knighton @ RCMS

MAP Testing
Middle of Year (MOY) window opens on January 9th closes on Jan. 30th. 2nd grade tests should only be set to read to those students that need it. 3rd - 10th should not turn on oral administration unless students receives that accommodation. Please call Kathy Milton with any questions.

It’s time for the January 14th SLO (Student Learning Objective) Progress Check!
Teachers should have already downloaded and filled out the Student Growth Tracker at the
beginning of the year.

Here are the directions (for new staff members not having done this earlier in the year.)
*Documentation will be done on a Google Sheet- Here is the link to the Google form for the
Student Growth Tracker. It will force you to make a copy. The link will be placed in Strive.
See the above directions on where to place the link to your Growth Tracker Document in Strive.
*The dates for each of the progress checks is listed on the form - Nov 12th, January 14th,
and February 18th.
*Remember that the point of the checks is for teachers to adjust instruction for the students who are not growing - not just document where kids are.

Amazon Inspire is a service that provides educators a place to discover, manage, rate, review,
and share educational resources. Teachers, schools, districts, and third-party publishers contribute
to the Amazon Inspire library of instructional resources across the country. Amazon Inspire
will help educators discover digital resources, benefit and learn from the work of their peers,
and help improve the quality of education across the country.

Impact of Reading: Why 30 Minutes?
How many minutes per day should students be reading? What is the relationship between how much students read and their comprehension growth? In this article, you’ll learn the research and impact of reading 30 minutes per day.