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Weekly Teacher Download for the week of Sept. 19, 2016

2016 September 16
by HISD Communications




  • Recapture and how it affects your classroom: The state of Texas’s school finance formula considers HISD a ”property-wealthy” district and requires us to send $162 million back to the state. To help balance the budget, the district slashed central office budgets, but also had to cut $40 million from campuses. Learn more about how this broken school-finance system affects your campus, and help educate parents and the community using this helpful website:
  • New resource to help you build Global Graduates: Are you utilizing project-based learning in your classroom? Need some help determining how you evaluate your students’ work? Check out Advanced Academics’ new resource to help you do just that. Rubrics for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 are available to provide teachers with a summative assessment tool for projects. Click here for more information.
  • Learn how to integrate computer coding into your lessons: If you want to integrate computer coding into your lessons, sign up for an introductory course on Scratch 101, an online resource that provides strategies for incorporating coding into reading, writing, math, or science lessons. The training is open to teachers in grades 3-8 and is scheduled for 8-11 a.m. at the Ryan Professional Development Center. Register using OneSourceMe, Course # 80006. Bring your own laptop and headphones.


  • ‘Take Two’ for your first day of class: As you enter your fifth week of school, the first day feels like a distant memory. You have learned and experienced much since the day you introduced yourself to your students and set classroom expectations. Now is a good time to reset your expectations by replaying the first day of school. Rick Smith, author of Conscious Classroom Management, describes content as the train, and procedures as the railroad tracks.  When you purposefully lay down the railroad tracks of procedures, the content train runs more smoothly. As a beginning teacher, you may be feeling like you are spending much of your time disciplining your students; correcting and redirecting undesirable work habits and behavior. Don’t confuse discipline and procedures. In the words of Harry Wong, author of The First Days of School, “discipline concerns how students behave. Procedures concern how things are done.” Procedures describe the process of how you want things done in the classroom (entering the classroom, quieting the class, sharpening the pencil, going to the restroom, turning in an assignment). Before you reteach your students how to responsibly follow procedures, revisit your procedures and routines to make sure they align to what happens in your classroom that you want to reinforce or eliminate. Now you are ready to replay Day 1. Be overt. Remember the three-step process for teaching procedures: 1. Teach – state, explain, model and demonstrate; 2. Rehearse – have students practice under your supervision; 3. Reinforce – re-teach, rehearse, practice and reinforce until it becomes a habit or routine. Need more help? Email us at


  • Texas Gateway offering free course to boost science teachers’ instructional knowledge: This free resource from the Texas Education Agency provides pedagogical and content knowledge support for elementary science teachers. “Science Academies for Grades K-4, Part 1” provides connections to College & Career Readiness Standards, English Language Proficiency Standards, and Response to Intervention framework, which will help teachers plan for high-quality instruction for all their students. Texas Gateway courses are all TEA-approved and available at no cost to practicing and pre-service teachers across the state. Teachers simply register to get instant access to courses in which they can watch instructional videos, engage in interactive activities, participate in discussions, and earn CPE credits. Click here to register.
  • Network and grow during summit for Pre-K teachers: Pre-K teachers can network with colleagues, expand their learning, and deepen their understanding of effective instruction and strategic activities for engaging students and scaffolding learning at the upcoming Prekindergarten Saturday Summit on Oct. 8. Included on the schedule are engaging presentations, including keynote speaker Dr. Pam Schiller, and an overview of Ready Rosie. Pre-K teachers will receive free literacy and numeracy instructional used in the breakout sessions, as well as a $100 stipend for attendance. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn together! These professional development hours can be used to fulfill requirements of House Bill 4. Please note the training is limited to PK and PALS teachers only. Register by Friday, Sept. 30, using OneSourceMe, Course # 119001.


  • Maximize your early release day by signing up for trainings: All Secondary core teachers are invited to early release professional learning on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Topics include “Writing Like a Scientist,” Literacy in the Middle for Social Studies, and “Powering Up Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus.” Click here for a list of all trainings and course numbers.
  • Unleash the instructional power of your ESL-adopted textbooks: Representatives from the Milestones (middle school) and Edge (high school) textbook adoptions will conduct training on the effective use of these two ESL textbook resources for middle school and high school ESL teachers. The training will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Hattie Mae White Administration Building. Come unleash the instructional power of your ESL adopted textbooks. Contact Terrie Armstrong at for more information.




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