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Weekly Teacher Download for the week of Oct. 17, 2016

2016 October 14
by HISD Communications


  • The Superintendent wants to hear from you: During his first few weeks on the job, Supt. Richard Carranza has spent much of his time traveling around the district on his Listen & Learn Tour, hosted by our Board of Trustees. The goal is meet engaged parents, community members and staff to gather input on what’s working, what could be improved, and how we can work together to improve student outcomes. For those who were not able to attend any meetings, there’s still the opportunity to make your voice heard. Click here to complete a confidential survey to provide your input on the district’s strengths, weaknesses, and challenges that need to be addressed.

  • The Inspiring Curiosity Contest is back: KHOU 11 and Space Center Houston teaming up to once again offer the Inspiring Curiosity Contest. The educational contest highlights the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in our classrooms, and teachers are invited to their big ideas, experiments and projects that will inspire our next generation of innovators. Winners of this contest will receive Space Center Houston Teacher Scholarships, plus a total of $8,000 to help further STEM education in local classrooms. The contest officially begins Monday, Oct. 17, and is open to teachers of grades kindergarten through 12 in the greater Houston area. A panel of judges will select one finalist from each grade level category  (K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th) based on the following criteria: (25%) Incorporation of STEM Theme; (25%) Classroom Participation; (25%) Originality and Creativity; and (25%) Style and Visual Appeal.  Here’s how to enter: STEP 1: Create a video no longer than 2 minutes detailing a STEM-related project or curricula in need of funding that would help you “Inspire Curiosity” in the classroom.  Show how your classroom incorporates STEM and include a description or demonstration of specific STEM-related activities or programs. STEP 2: Upload the video to Be sure to include the words “Inspiring Curiosity” in the name of your video, along with your classroom and/or school name. STEP 3: Complete the online application that will be available beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17 located at Paste the YouTube URL of your video in the form.  Entry deadline is 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13.
  • Gathering for Languages Other Than English department chairs: Attend a LOTE department chairs meeting on Thursday, Oct. 20, to receive updates on the TEKS for LOTE and learn to integrate the literacy components in LOTE instruction. LOTE department chairs can register on OneSource me for the Course ID# 132001. The meeting is scheduled for 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at Sharpstown International School. The meeting will be delivered face to face and as a webinar. Those who wish to attend via the webinar will receive further instructions on how to connect prior to the meeting.
  • Tips for helping manage problem behaviors: While October brings excitement surrounding the change in weather, it also sometimes includes noticeable changes in our classrooms. Many scholars have embraced the established campus or classroom culture, systems and routines that have been established. However, like any community, not everyone is onboard with the foundational expectations and rules of engagement. Some students need more direct relational and behavioral supports with focused plans for success. Instead of sliding into survival mode, develop your I-9 tools with resources from the Office of Student Support Services’ Social Emotional Learning Department. There is now a “Managing Problem Behaviors” toolkit. Be proactive by using these resources that have been curated to support effective discipline planning and effective interventions that keep scholars growing on your campus and in your classroom. Check it out in the TADS Toolbox or click here for more information.
  • Verizon Innovative Learning APP Challenge: Students are challenged to develop concepts for mobile apps that solve a problem in their community. It’s a unique, hands-on activity that teaches collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurship, as well as STEM skills and coding. Registration for the contest is currently open, and the deadline for submissions is Nov. 18. To enter, create a student team and identify a problem in your community that you want to solve. Complete the registration, authorization, and release forms by clicking here. Then develop your app concept and create your submission. You can read the contest rules here. Adult team advisors/faculty members may register multiple teams on behalf of the same school. You must create a unique account for each team you register. Let HISD know that you are participating, so the district can provide logistical support and resources, by completing this short form here.


  • Conscious Discipline for Pre-K Teachers: The Elementary Curriculum and Development Department is pleased to announce a two-day prekindergarten Conscious Discipline training taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and Wednesday, Oct. 26. Conscious Discipline is a social/emotional strategies program that is reinforced through the District curriculum and FrogStreet adoption. Strategies help students focus on learning activities, develop self-regulating strategies, and make positive choices when interacting with others. This training will take place at the Ryan PD Center from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. both days. PK teachers must commit to attending both days of training and the campus can be reimbursed for associate teachers who cover classrooms for participating prekindergarten teachers. Following the approval of the principal, Pre-K teachers may register for Conscious Discipline Day 1, OneSource course number 191001, and Day 2 OneSource course number 191002.


  • Fall Literacy Summit for all content areas: Middle school teachers have the opportunity to attend the district’s Fall Literacy Summit on Saturday, Nov. 5. The summit, at Kingdom Builders Center (6011 W. Orem Drive), will have sessions for all four content areas from 8 a.m.-noon. The doors open at 7:30 a.m. where you will have access to a vendor room to explore different services available to you. A soon-to-be-announced keynote speaker will then kick off the festivities at 8 a.m. Door prizes will be given away, and each teacher who attends will receive a $50 stipend. Register using these codes on OneSource: ELA 105001, Mathematics, 106001, Science 106003, and Social Studies 106002.
  • Scratch 2.0: Computer Coding in the Content Areas: Skills in computer coding and computational thinking are essential to strengthening students’ problem solving abilities and have a direct effect on math and science success for the global graduate. This course is designed for educators who are interested in integrating computational and logical thinking and computer coding into all content areas. Participants will explore the Scratch platform and leave with an understanding of strategies to integrate coding into reading, writing, math, and science. The session will address ways to use coding for both lesson delivery and student products. Scratch 2.0 is open for registration on OneSource using course number 80004.
  • ESLadopted textbook training rescheduled: Because of the district’s Fall Holiday, the Multilingual Department rescheduled the training for both the middle and high school ESL-adopted textbooks. Trainers from the publishing companies will train ESL teachers on these materials from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. High school teachers will meet in room 2C16 and middle school teachers will met in room 2C05. The publishers are sending training representatives to go over the materials in depth with the participants. New middle and high school teachers are highly encouraged to attend.



  • National Geographic: Teachers are eligible for a discount ($140, including shipping & handling) on Geographic Project kits. Apply online


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