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Weekly Teacher Download for the week of Aug. 22, 2016

2016 August 19
by HISD Communications



  • All teachers have access to Goalbook, a web-based resource to help them design rigorous instruction for ALL learners using the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Goalbook will also assist with crafting standards-based goals that include levels of support for scaffolding instruction. Goalbook is available to all HISD instructional personnel in the HUB under Teacher Productivity or Goalbook Access Request, which is found on the Special Education website under Employee Resources. Click on the Goalbook logo.


  • Enhance your skills in classroom management, instruction, and technology at the first New Teacher Saturday Learning Series session on September 16. Want to be stronger at implementing classroom management, differentiating instruction or utilizing technology? Enhance your skills in these areas and more at the New Teacher Saturday Learning Series. Workshop topics include: classroom management, check for understanding, transitions, organizing your classroom, blended instruction, TADS TALK, and more. Participants will select three workshops based on specified needs and interests. Attend the first session September 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Ryan Professional Development Center (4001 Hardy St. 77009).


  • To support a successful launch of the new school year, First 25 Days documents and Best Practice documents have been developed by Elementary Curriculum and Development to support reading, writing, and math. These documents facilitate the development of classroom routines and expectations as well as foster principled independent work habits in students. All documents are to be used in tandem with the HISD Unit Planning Guides to ensure standards-based instruction starting with the first day of school. Elementary teachers are encouraged to personalize the activities to suit their classroom and individual student needs.
    • Reading documents, available for grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5, provide mini-lessons for establishing routines for the Read Aloud, Guided and Independent Reading, as well as other components of the defined reading block. The document for grades 4-5 provides support for the implementation of literature circles. Teachers who are practiced at establishing the routines for literacy instruction may modify the number of days to begin guided reading groups.
    • Writing documents, available for K-3 and 4-5, and revised for this school year, provide support for developing effective routines to facilitate writers’ workshops. These resources focus on the writing process and provide mini lessons that introduce routines and procedures to support independent writing and sharing protocols. An additional handwriting document is available for K-1.
    • A Getting Starting with CAFÉ document is also available. This document can be used at any time during the year to support the development of CAFÉ strategies (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expand Vocabulary) to further support the Daily 5. Teachers who are comfortably implementing the reading workshop block can use this document to enhance the implementation of Daily 5 in their classroom. This document does not replace the First 25 Days of Reading.
    • The K-5 math document, new this year, provides support to ensure implementation of effective math strategies and routines including Number of the Day, Number Talks, the use of anchor charts, word walls, Number Strings, Interactive Notebooks, collaboration strategies, math stations/small group instruction, and more. All of these practices support student academic thinking, speaking, and problem solving skills. This document focuses on the implementation of the math process standards as a way to increase instructional rigor, and explore, express, and demonstrate mastery of content standards.
  • Newly revised and updated Elementary Mathematics Problem Solving Journals (PSJs) for the fall and spring semesters are now available as PDFs on the HUB in both English & Spanish. Go to the new Math Guide 2016-2017 courses on the HUB for Grades 1-5, enter the grade-level course of your choosing, click on the Resources folder, and then click on the Problem Solving Journals folder.
    • It is recommended that elementary teachers utilize one question from the HISD PSJ for each day of instruction during the Daily Math Routines section of the math block. A total of 140 questions are available in the Fall and Spring semester PSJs, which provides one question per day of instruction (not including Extend, Review, Assess, Re-Teach days). The PSJs have been developed to strategically spiral content according to the pacing recommended by the HISD Scope & Sequence documents. In addition, a guide to scoring open-ended questions using a rubric has been included in each problem solving journal, and teachers are encouraged to review the information at the front of the problem solving journals to learn more about implementing PSJs in their classrooms and using rubrics to provide feedback on students’ work.



  • Resources are readily available to support middle school teachers as they begin implementing Literacy in the Middle strategies in their classrooms.  As Literacy in the Middle kicks off, please remember that you have access to resources to help guide your work.  The Elements and Evidence of Literacy in the Middle for Math, Science, Social Studies, and ELA was developed to support Read Alouds/Modeled Thinking, Independent Reading, Small Group Instruction, and Writing. These documents are also aligned with the Master Courses for all four core disciplines. Classroom libraries have been delivered to all middle school campuses!  Make sure you set yours up, if you have not already done so, and post a picture on twitter using #shelfie.  Online training modules will be available on Sept. 5 for those of you who would like to revisit the summer training.  Remember, read alouds, small group instruction, independent reading and writing are strategies that can be applied to all classrooms to help grow all of our Global Graduates.
  • Online, student-facing Master Courses are now available for core content areas, grades 6-11. Log in to the HISD "HUB", open one of your core courses, and you will see a folder entitled HISD Master Course {Course Name}. These digital, student-facing, student-ready lesson models are completely customizable, and demonstrate best practices in content, literacy and tech integration.
  • Learn more about blended learning, deeper learning, digital portfolios and tech tools for specific instructional purposes by joining Secondary’s curriculum’s HUB course “PowerUp Teacher Toolkit.” Enroll through the HUB’s Site Course Catalogue and remember to stay safe. Check out Ed Tech’s safety and security resources here.
  • From August 29-September 2, ESL Secondary Specialists will be contacting ESL and ELA/content teaches at various middle and high schools to initiate supplementary instructional support. What do you mean I am teaching ESL students? What is an ESL student? Help is on the way. Beginning the week of Aug. 29, the Multilingual Dept. Secondary ESL specialists are going to begin visiting selected high schools and middle schools to set up classroom based instructional coaching sessions through each school’s ELL Coordinator. The support sessions will use an observational coaching tool based on the district’s identified high yield ESL strategies to progress monitor participating teachers’ growth. The specialists will also be able to provide model ESL lessons and training sessions during the teachers’ department/PLC meetings.



2 Responses leave one →
  1. Joseph E. Williams permalink
    August 22, 2016

    Great idea for our teachers! Thanks!

  2. David Tesch permalink
    August 25, 2016

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for making it know that this amazing resource is available to all teachers in HISD!!!!!! I have been looking for something like this for the past twelve years of my teaching career! This is an outstanding resource, and all teachers need to be made aware of it immediately. Please put it on the main page of HISD’s website. Everyone has to know that we actually have access to such a wealth of information. I have never been so excited to stumble across a potentially game-changing piece of information. I am brimming with joy and anticipation about using Goalbook to help me and my students improve! Thank you once again!

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