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Weekly Teacher Download for the week of Nov. 28, 2016

2016 November 22
by HISD Communications



  • And on the 12th day of code, my teacher gave to me: Teachers across the district are invited to celebrate Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 7-13) by having their classroom complete an Hour of Code during the 12 Days of Code. HISD is encouraging every student across the district to join the fun. Go to to find a calendar of coding activities curated by grade level. The calendar features a new coding experience each day. In addition, students and classrooms can print a special certificate once they have completed an hour of code and then share a picture on social media using the hashtag #12DaysofCode. Click here for more information and a flyer to distribute to your students.
  • Weigh in on next year’s school calendar: Would you prefer an entire week off for Thanksgiving or keep the current three-day holiday break? The district is soliciting input from students, staff, and the community on those two options for the 2017-2018 school year. The option where the district is off for the entire week of Thanksgiving would extend the school year from June 1 to June 4. Click here for more information and to take the survey.
  • Crack the Code: A Coding Challenge Day for Students: The Advanced Academics Department will host a computer coding challenge day called Crack the Code for students in grades 3-8 from 9 a.m.-noon on Dec. 3. The challenge includes students and teachers moving through a variety of stations involving plugged and unplugged coding activities designed to increase computational thinking and challenge students to solve problems both individually and in teams. This year, the event will be held on two campuses simultaneously so that schools may select the location closest to them: McGowen Elementary School (6820 Homestead Road, 77028) and Southmayd Elementary School (1800 Coral Street, 77012). Each location will be open to 15 schools, registered on a “first-come, first-served” basis, with a maximum of eight students per campus. To register for the event, click here.


  • Literacy, social studies, math/science summits approaching: The Elementary Curriculum and Development team encourages teachers to register for upcoming Saturday professional development summits before they are full. On Dec. 3, social studies teachers can attend a conference that will support Literacy By 3, the implementation of social studies instruction, and the use of the social studies adoption, Studies Weekly, to reinforce literacy skills using social studies content. The opening welcome and keynote speaker is Joan Trumpauer Mulhollan, a civil rights activist and Freedom Rider. Register in OneSource using Course Number 63014. Also planned is a literacy summit on Jan. 7 and a math/science summit on Jan. 21. Click here for more information.
  • Nurture your future engineering students with the Mars Rover Program: The Mars Rover program is for primary (grades 3-5) and middle school (grades 6-8) students interested in science and engineering. Students form teams to design and construct a model rover to carry out a science mission on Mars. To participate, students construct a model composed of found objects and simple art supplies, and then showcase their work at the Mars Rover Celebration. The students build their models as part of a six-week classroom, afterschool program or homework project on Mars. The module can be used as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar-system astronomy, robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. Students will then present their work at the mars Rover Celebration at the University of Houston on Jan. 28, 2017. Interested schools should request materials now to have it completed in time to participate in the January celebration. Click here for more information and registration.


  • Get computer science certified and you could 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. A limited number of teachers who take and pass the TExES CS 8-12 Certification Test in 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 on Jan. 23-24, 2017. Click here to register now because space is limited. Click here for more information. Contact Jawad Tahiri at 713-556-7351 or for additional information.
  • Newbery Award Winner appearing at  Literacy Leader Speaker Series: Literacy in the Middle is excited to host the 2016 Newbery Award winner Matt de la Peña at their Dec. 9 Literacy Leader Speaker Series conference. De la Peña is the New York Times bestselling author who won the 2016 Newbery Medal for his novel, Last Stop on Market Street. His other titles include Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican White Boy, We Were Here, I Will Save You, The Living, and The Hunted. De la Peña is also the author of the critically acclaimed picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis (illustrated by Kadir Nelson). De la Peña currently lives in New York, where he teaches creative writing, and he visits high schools and colleges around the country. The Dec. 9 Literacy Speaker Series will be presented in two sessions, 9-11 a.m. or 1-3 p.m. in the Hattie Mae White Education Support Center Board Auditorium. Register in OneSource using Course Number 184001.


  • Share your best practices with your peers: Need assistance or support providing special education services? The Office of Special Education’s Thursday Think Tank meeting provides an opportunity for special education teachers to gather together and discuss implementing special education services. The Dec. 1 meeting is scheduled from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Hattie Mae White Education Support Center, where teachers can meet to problem-solve, share effective instructional and behavior strategies, and connect with colleagues who are seeking support and/or provide support to them. Register in OneSource using Course Number 170003. For more information, contact Joan Anderson at or 713-556-7025.


  • Required training for new English Language Learners teachers: All new HISD teachers who instruct English Language Learners are required to complete an online training to learn about ELPS, PLDs, and TELPAS. It will also explain the linguistic accommodations that teachers use to build English language proficiency and make content comprehensible for ELLs. The training must be completed by May 26, 2017. Register for the Sheltered Instruction Part 1 course in OneSource using Course Number 140013.  Training documentation (course certificates) must be kept on file for each teacher in case of a TEA audit. For additional information, contact Nereyda Salas at or 713-556-6961. 



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