Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

team·work noun \ˈtēm-wərk\- the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.

During extended planning, the fourth grade team was wanting to find something that truly highlighted the integration of science, math and social studies for their Family STEM Night focus. That conversation lead to "soil elements, capacity and clay making" that served a purpose for Native Americans. At a spur of the moment request, we asked Deborah to come into their planning meeting during her conference time. She DELAYED her team meeting to help out fourth grade and is now planning to co-teach pottery to accommodate their idea. She has art TEKS she is able to incorporate, as well as supporting 4th grade TEKS. 

Kudos to Deborah Highfill for being a flexible, excited team player who was thinking outside of her "plans" to meet the needs of our scholars! Our Specials teachers are eager to support STEM learning in all grades, don't forget to consider how they can support your content(s) as you are designing learning!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014


Instead of meeting the needs of the students that come to ME in MY classroom this year, I am going to your classrooms, the PLC room, and the PDEC to carryout my new expectations as a liaison. My role is to foster and support growth among the staff.

In my classroom, I created hundreds of anchor charts with my students to foster growth. Bottom line… I miss having anchor charts!! The transition to using my computer or personal calendar/interactive notebook has not been flawless and I STILL MISS MY ANCHOR CHARTS! Thankfully, Tona asked each grade level to make an interactive bulletin board. Now I have an excuse to put one my office without looking foolish! :-) I am in the process of making TWO- one for me personally and one for the PLC room. Both of my interactive bulletin boards will “give meaning and focus” in my new role and help me achieve my goals-with an anchor chart & moving pieces. I can’t wait to share them with you.

This is from Jon Gordon:
My friends Dan Britton and Jimmy Page believe that one word can change our life. Dan and Jimmy are the co-authors of Wisdom Walks, and they share a powerful concept in their chapter “Just One Word.” Every year for 15 years before New Year ’s Day, they come up with their word for the year that will give meaning and focus to their life. They said they don’t randomly pick a word, but rather through reflection, prayer and listening to their heart the word comes to them.

My word for this school year is INTENTIONAL! Why did I choose this word? I chose this word because I must be intentional so I change and grow. I am curious to know what your word is AND what are you being intentional about?

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

Professional Growth

Please take a few minutes to view the video below on professional is powerful. I realize that some days we are exhausted and just not motivated. But we became teachers because we have a passion for learning-not just for our students but for ourselves.
Invite me to be a part of your growth :)


Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 6, 2014


According to an article from Educational Leadership the purpose of a PLC is:

·               Big Idea #1: Ensuring That Students Learn
·               Big Idea #2: A Culture of Collaboration
·               Big Idea #3: A Focus on Results
This past week, this exact process happened naturally in the fourth grade PLC.  I would like to point out that 2 of the members of that team are new to GCISD.  The short version of this planning process happened as they planned their first TEAM PBL. 

The thought process was to link...

Social Studies
1.     Native Americans in Texas developed different ways of life based upon the geographic regions in which they lived
2.      The size, history, and geography of Texas shaped its growth and diversity.
1.     Properties of soil,
2.     Changes to the earth’s surface
3.     Renewable and nonrenewable resources

Basically, if I could have taped this PLC-I would have!!!  The cornerstone task from the first unit of social studies will be used to reflect upon and even “add to or change if needed” to begin the look at the lives of different Native Americans tribes. 

Some of you may already be saying, “Yes, Lisa, we always uses prior knowledge to drive our learning.”  But in this instance, they are using the STUDENTS’ assessment piece (the cornerstone task) to a new and deeper level.  The students will have the opportunity to change/add to their initial learning.  The fact that the cornerstone task is a usable piece of a PBL joined with science is incredible.  I am a nerd at heart and the fact that a cornerstone task is truly not “just one more thing to do” and is a viable piece to drive instruction just makes me smileJ Kudos to Erin and Alejandra!!

If you would like to read this article on PLCs please access it at