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Weekly Teacher Download for the week of Oct. 3, 2016

2016 September 30
by HISD Communications




  • TADS deadlines are extended: The following deadlines have been extended:
  • Measures assignment for teachers extended to Tuesday, Oct. 4
  • Deadline for teachers to acknowledge measures extended to Monday, Oct. 17
  • Goal Setting Conferences extended to Friday, Nov. 11
    Student Measures assignment for the 2016-2017 school year will take place from Sept. 29-Oct. 4. Principals will receive a message from their PCIM when campus measures have been completed. Once a teacher is assigned their measures, they will receive an email from the system to acknowledge their measures so they can begin completing their Goals Worksheets. If a teacher wishes, s/he may request a meeting with his/her assigned appraiser to discuss the measures assigned. Additionally, Student Performance Goals Worksheets must be completed by the teacher and approved by the appraiser no later than the Goals Setting Conference, which is due Nov. 11. It is a district requirement that all teachers be on a developmental plan. Those teachers not on a PPA, must complete their IPDP and send it to their appraiser prior to the Goals Setting Conference. The 2015-2016 annual summative appraisal ratings are to be completed and shared with teachers at the Goals Setting Conference.
  • Register today for the free ‘unconference’ at Heights High School: Come enjoy a day of discussion and networking with educators from across the district during EdCamp on Saturday, Oct. 8. Bring an idea for a session that you would like to lead, or come with the anticipation of a day of learning. A session might feature exploration of a technology tool, discussion about best practices, or a collaborative presentation with multiple facilitators. Click here to watch an informative video about EdCamp or to register.
  • How to use data to effectively drive instruction: We’ve all heard about using data to determine how we approach our instruction, but how exactly do we do that? The Professional Support and Development team has a simple way to help you approach data and its incorporation in your practice: just think of getting G.A.S. to reach your destination. G.A.S. stands for “gather, assess, strategize,” and is a method teachers can remember as they determine how to best utilize the data gathered. A quick summary tells us to “gather” all scope and sequence information, lesson plans, best practices, and school approved resources to determine where students need to be and what they have yet to master. Then “assess” your students to see where they are by creating a standards-based assessment and grading rubric where questions are strategically grouped to quickly determine strengths and weaknesses by TEKS/ELPS, etc. Finally, “strategize” carefully both individually and then with your content team to determine how you can best further growth and student understanding by creating an instructional plan that will help students master the concept. For a full explanation of the G.A.S. method, click here.
  • Bilingual Teach Like a Champion Sessions: This year, bilingual Teach Like a Champion sessions with be offered at Coop Elementary School. The sessions will be presented by Lourdes Houston, a teacher at Coop, as well as a Teach Like A Champion Specialist within the Career Pathways Program. Houston has received training from the author of “Teach Like a Champion 2.0” Doug Lemov. The next session is set for Oct. 18 and will cover “Show Call: Let’s Check for Understanding.” This training is designed to help teachers develop the technique of “Show Call,” a type of cold call that involves taking students’ written work and displaying it to class. The session is scheduled for 4:30-6 p.m. in the Coop Library. Register in OneSource using course number 140010.
  • Get computer science certified, earn $1,000: As the district embraces digital learning and STEM education, teachers have the opportunity to earn a $1,000 stipend for becoming computer science certified. Teachers who take and pass the TExES CS 8-12 Certification Test in October/December 2016 or February 2017 will receive a $1,000 stipend just for passing the CS test. Additionally, the University of Texas-Austin is also sponsoring a face-to-face a certification prep course and reimbursing the cost of travel. Additional funding for the Certificate Incentive Program (CIP) has been secured through the February 2017 testing window. So, if you plan to take the certification exam or did not pass this summer, you can still take advantage of this opportunity. Click here for more information.


  • Science supporting documents in Spanish for kindergarten: Elementary Curriculum & Development is pleased to announce that resources are available in Spanish to support science teaching and learning in kindergarten classrooms. The resources, located in the resources folder in the Grade K Science 2016-17 curriculum guide course on the HUB, are available by unit and include translations of academic vocabulary, essential understandings, guiding questions, and question prompts from instructional strategies and activities.
  • Free science academic publications for elementary classroom lessons: The National Academy of Science offers free science publications teachers can use in their classrooms or to further their own understanding of science topics. More than 5,000 titles are available in PDF format through the National Academy of Science’s website, which includes documents on teaching STEM and math. Teachers who wish to dive deeper into the subjects they teach also can choose from professional development resources by clicking here or here. Topics includes biology, chemistry, mathematic concepts, space research, and more.


  • Unleash the instructional power of your ESLadopted 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 Educational Support Center. Come unleash the instructional power of your ESL adopted textbooks. Contact Terrie Armstrong at for more information.
  • New app helps teach video game design: GameSalad and HISD have partnered for a pilot subscription program that helps students grasp the fundamentals of programming and design in a context they already love: games. GameSalad aims to provide every student with a solid foundation in STEM concepts and problem solving abilities to prepare them for 21st century degrees and careers. The easy-to-use tools require no programming or computer science background to teach, and the app has proven successful in increasing interested in computer programming among female and minority students. The curriculum aligns with the following TEKS: Fundamentals of Computer Science, 5th-8th grade Technology Applications, Game Programming and Design, and Web Game Development. It is appropriate for students in grades 5-10 and can be used to support project-based learning and 21st century skill-building across all subject areas. For the GameSalad/HISD pilot program, campuses can purchase a full-year’s curriculum, project resources, teacher training, ongoing support, and campus licenses for $858. Schools that participate in the pilot are also eligible to submit student games to the Game Jam contest in March, and the students with the top game in their age bracket will win a Samsung Gear VR system. Contact Adam Stephens in Advanced Academics for more information.





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