Thursday, February 25, 2016

Week of February 29

Once again, you have impressed another round of visitors!  When Dr. Turner concluded his visit, he asked guests for feedback.  Here are some quotes of what they said:

  • "I heard teaching before I was even in the building. There was a math lesson going on on the outdoor second story."
  • "Great student engagement and very impressive teachers"
  • "There is evidence of great leadership.  It flows through the teachers and students and you can tell it is intentional. It will serve students well as they grow through K-12"
  • "Structured chaos.  It looks like chaos out there, but there is an underlying matrix of structure and order. " 
  • I was really impressed with the culture of the building.  You can tell there is a culture of community here.  There is an absence of hierarchy here, and everyone feels a sense of ownership."
  • "There isn't a teacher name over the door of each room and you can't tell what grade it is and who it belongs to. Spaces are flexible and every space seems to belong to everybody."
Please know that your hard work is noted, appreciated, and celebrated by not only our visitors, but your Admin Team.  We truly have the BEST DESIGNERS on the planet!

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.
What YOU are doing to do to LIVE out this VISION at Lee?  

  • our Destination Imagination kiddos will compete on Saturday?  If you would like to cheer them on, let me know and maybe we can go together.
  • on Tuesday night that the math department will host a Twitter chat?  Follow #cisdchat and join in on the digital learning.
  • that there is a National UnPlug Day?  If you are interested in participating, here is a website to assist you. Here is a site to post and pledge to unplug
  • that we only have 2 learners (Haditha-G2 and Payton-Y1) and 3 EC (Taher, Roland, and Aadhav) that do not have disclosure to have their picture taken.  Thank you for being cautious when you post to social media not to include these friends.
  • color printing is suspended for a little while.  Please send your projects to the copier.  If you need a color copy, email Shanna or Diana and they can print your project.

We hope you will join us in celebrating Dr. Seuss as we celebrate reading this week!   Have FUN!

Our trainer will be her on Monday, during your house conference time, to go over how to use this resource as a learning tool.  This is in place of after school sessions.

Due to the Fun Run Pep Rally at 2:00 on Tuesday, we will follow a grade level schedule.  Please review the tab on our master schedule labelled 2PM Pep Rally Schedule.  There will be no PLC time at the end of the day Tuesday and Wednesday will be Day 3 on our rotation schedule.  

Don't forget to read and post in our Schoology course.  You must also reply to at least one comment and create a T chart where you document one initiative that was implemented poorly and another that was implemented well.   Please share your Tcharts during PLC time on Tuesday. 

Our kick off Pep Rally will be on Tuesday at 2:00.  Fifth grade, please get there at 1:55.  Learners will go back to class afterwards to get their fundraising packs and backpacks, but it will help to be packed up before the rally. Remember, that classroom lessons will begin on Wednesday.  Please welcome our Apex Team members, when they are on campus, and involve them ANY way you can think of.  Teacher info page and dates, here!  Apex questions can be sent to: 

Please send your LEEder with two risk-taking friends to the cafe after morning broadcast.  They will be helping with a taste test for the district.  Once the taste-test is complete, your LEEders will stay and the others will return. THANK YOU for your understanding as they miss a bit of class time. 

We have completed our five weeks of reviewing ENVIRONMENT, so we will begin Chapter 2 in of the CISD Learning Framework.  Please reread chapter two.  While reading, frame your thinking with some of these questions:
  • How am I using the instructional coaches provided to me on campus?
  • How often am I going on learning walks in other Designers' spaces, and what feedback to I provide?
  • Am I designing or am I lesson planning?
  • What brain-based strategies do I use to help build self-regulated learners?

Please mark your calendars now, our Spring Carnival is on Friday, April 22, from 5:30-8:00.  It is an expectation that you attend the carnival. 

PTO has requested that houses or individuals share one auction date with details by Friday, March 11. You can email this information to or Tanisha Williams. 

Please announce an all call for box tops from your famiLEEs.  Box Tops are due March 1.  You can put your Box Tops in the PTO Box in the teachers lounge that is labelled "Box Tops."

This Thursday we have a 30 person tour with Apple folks from Canada.  This is part of our Apple Distinguished School visit.

Initiative- taking action; originating new ideas

"If an opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." Milton Berle

Strong leaders take responsibility for events and believe that they can have an effect on outcomes and conditions.


Feb 17:  Destination Imagination
Feb 29:  Discovery Ed Training 
Mar 1:  Red and Black Attack Shirt w/ Jeans
             5th Grade Parent Meetings @ CMSW (8, 10, 2, 5:30)
             Grade Level Schedule
             Fun Run Pep Rally (Gym 2:00)
             #cisdchat (7:00 pm)
Mar 2:  College T-shirt w/ Jeans
             Walk at School Wednesday
             PLC Chapter 8 Due
             CMSW visits 5th Grade (8:15 Cafe)
             Flipped Staff Mtg. (watch your email)
Mar 3:  Spurs Savings (7:30-7:50 a.m.)
             LEEdership Council (8:00 Cafe)
             Campus Tours (9:00 and 1:00)
Mar 4:  National Unplug Day

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Week of February 22

Thank you for a busy week of learning!  Thank you for posting your team SMART goals in the conference room, your house goals in your studios, and your personal goals on Today's Meet or Twitter.  Thank you for being prepared for our visitors today and next week.

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.
What YOU are doing to do to LIVE out this VISION at Lee?  

  • that we ordered $16,500 in robotics and coding materials this week with extra Title I Funds we were given?
  • that digital probes to measure temperature and pH in the Ecopond and garden are ordered too?
  • five triple beam balances are on their way to Lee?  

Monday is the last day for Red House Shoe and Sock Drive.  Please send a note home in your weekly email about this event.

Enjoy your one hour on Wednesday where you learn about a topic of YOUR choice related to YOUR goals, and earn flex credit for it.  This is a time for learning.  Please post to this Today's Meet after 4:30, but before 5:00, on Wednesday.  Please share what you learned during your time to get credit for your hour.  Those who post will automatically be enrolled through Eduphoria.

Gizmo will be hosting a session where participants will leave with knowing how to manage an account, add students, locate resources, and identify Gizmos related to your TEKS.  The simulations are for 3rd through 5th grades.

Make sure you saw both attachments regarding the Fun Run that was in Monday's email from me.  We are one week out from starting our Fun Run, so we will have a "Teacher Huddle" in the media flex space on Wednesday (right before Fed Ex).  This is a GREAT time to ask questions!

Please join us Thursday morning for our Blue House performance of The Day the Crayons Quit.   

I will be walking the building with Linda Cook on Friday.  We will be looking at Science experiences our learners are getting at Lee.  

This week we will spend our final week reviewing environment.  Let's review community learning environment.  According to our CISD Educator Evaluation System: the educator establishes positive relationships with ALL stakeholders through a variety of ways of communication within and beyond the school day while respecting and embracing the cultural differences.
  • initiates actions that embrace diversity (think about our multicultural goal in our CIP)
  • maintains virtual communication tools to establish positive reciprocal relationships with parents (think about your weekly email communication, timely response to parents, and engagement with parents every time they are in our building)
  • the educator provides a variety of ways for families and/or community members to participate in the learning environment (think about the opportunities that you have for parents to be involved in your classroom and our school)
How could you increase parent involvement in your spaces?  This is an area for school-wide improvement.  Could parents help during math/reading stations?  Could they conference with learners on their writing?  Could you send work home (laminating to cut, etc.)  for parents to help with? 

Please share this link with your parents.  A family can qualify ANY TIME they have fallen on hard times during the school year.  This is how we are identified for Title I Funds and is private and confidential.

Please complete this survey for the district by next Friday.

Risk taking- exposure to possible loss or injury

"If you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you'll be one of the stars." Les Brown

Live so that you will never have regrets.  If there is something you want to do, DO IT!


Feb 23:  Red House Field Trip
              Green House Field Trip
Feb 24:  House T-shirt w/ Jeans
              Walk at School Wednesday
              K-2 Literacy Academy
              New Learner Luncheon w/ Angela
              IBM Visits 5th Grade
              Fun Run Teacher Huddle (3:15-3:30 Media Center)
              Fed Ex (3:30-4:30)
Feb 25:  3-5 Literacy Academy
              Blue Music Performance (8:15 and 6:30)
              Learning Walks @ Lee (8:15)
              Dr. Turner Tour (9:00-12:00)
              Garland Tours (9:15 and 2:15)
Feb 26:  Sammy the Shark w/ Kinder
              Science Walkthroughs w/ Linda Cook (10:30-1:00)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Week of February 15

Happy Valentine's Day at Lee.  It is going to be a wonderful day of love, candy, and parties.  Please enjoy your lunch from ChickFila.  Filling your tummies is one way for us to show you how much you mean to us and the children!

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.
What YOU are doing to do to LIVE out this VISION at Lee?  

  • we will be participating in the APEX Fun Run in March?  Be looking for info to be coming your way on Monday.
  • we will be moving to the state evaluation system next year?  Don't panic, it is very similar to what we have used the last two years in CISD.  Training will occur during Back to School.
  • that PTO read every thank you card you submitted to them last month?  THANK YOU for taking the time to show your appreciation for all they do!
  • some folks are entering the school from the kitchen over the weekend and in the mornings?  Please do not do this.  If it is dark, or the back doors are locked, please park up front.  THANK YOU!
  • we need someone to design next year's staff shirt ALREADY?!  If you have a passion for taking this on, please email Chantel. 

We will start Monday at CHS with Michael Wesch.  Todd and I had the privilege of hearing him speak at the Visioning Conference last summer, where he shared about the authentic learning experiences he and his learners experienced.  You are expected to be at the CHS auditorium by 8:00 and his lecture begins at 8:15.  Please wear jeans and your RJL shirt that we gave you at the beginning of this year.  Wesch will conclude at 9:15 and we will continue the rest of our learning day at 10:00 in our cafeteria.  We will have lunch on your own and wrap-up by 4:00.

Red House learners will be starting their shoe drive on Tuesday.  Please communicate to parents that learners will be asking for new or gently used shoes.  Red House will collect them, graph them, and bring them on their CBL field trip to the Mission Arlington the following Tuesday.  Please help them with this SERVICE to the community.   

Don't forget to complete your ESL Schoology Course by Tuesday.  The course access code is: MCCFC-ZSGCC. You will receive 1 hour of flex credit if you post a question or feedback on the course.

Wednesday is Digital Learning Day.  Check out this website for information and ideas.  If you participate, please tweet out with the hashtag #DLDay and #rjlyear2.

If you choose to attend one of the sessions at Town Center, after school on Thursday, please feel free to wear jeans.  

Join us at Buffalo Wild Wings Night.  Maybe Todd will buy someone's meal again?! Remember to show your card for your discount and to send money back to our school.

Apple will be on campus on Thursday.  On Friday, we will have two sets of visitors.  First, we will have a LARGE group of Superintendents on campus all day.  They will be in the Book Fair room and large conference room.  In addition, I will have two of my accountability partners from my Principal's Institute here.  I have no doubt you are putting into practice this month's ENVIRONMENT exemplars so that our campus is represented well.  


This week we will review the social/emotional learning environment.  According to our CISD Educator Evaluation System: the educator collaborates with learners to create a safe, non-threatening environment building positive relationships through respect and high expectations. 
  • the educator fosters academic and social growth
  • collaboration is the norm in various learning environments
  • the educator interacts in a positive way with learners and all members of the school community across all environments
  • learners reflect on misbehavior and plan for what to do differently in the future
  • the educator models how to build appropriate positive relationships

Each module will focus on a different chapter of the Learning Framework; Environment, Design, and Assessment.  You can earn up to 3 Schoology badges, each resulting in one hour of flex credit. This is a virtual challenge starting on Feb. 1, 2016 and ending on Mar. 25, 2016.  You are free to join the challenge at any time.  If you have already joined the DLC PL course, simply complete the modules in the DIY Designer’s Challenge folder.  If you have not yet joined the DLC PL course (72Q87-RDGM5), use the course code to join the course and complete the DIY Designer’s Challenge!  If you have any questions, reach out to Alli!

If you are seeking learning opportunities for accommodations.  Check out this website.

Generosity- freely giving of time or resources

"We make a living by what we get and a live by what we give!" Winston Churchill

Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness. Go out of your way to do something surprisingly kind and generous for someone at least once a month.


Feb 15:  NO SCHOOL (for learners)
              Bethany's Birthday
Feb 16:  Red House Shoe Drive Begins 
              ESL Schoology Course Deadline
Feb 17:  Progress Report Grades Due
              FOSS Kits Due on Stage
              Chpt. 7 in Learning By Doing Due  
              Digital Learning Day
              House T-shirt w/ Jeans
              Walk at School Wednesday
              Staff Mtg. (3:30-5:00)  
Feb 18:  Spurs Savings (7:30-7:50 a.m.)
              LEEdership Council (8:00 Media Center)
              Campus Tours (9:00 and 1:00)
              Science is Messy (4:00-5:00 TCE)
              Buffalo Wild Wings Night
Feb 19:  Progress Reports sent home
              NTRC Superintendents at Lee all day
              Kamille's Birthday
              Social Spurs Luncheon
              MOY Assessment Data due in AWARE
              Six Flags Read to Succeed Due

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Week of February 8

Thank you for incredibly productive design days this week, so far!  You are doing fantastic work and designing amazing experiences for our learners.  We could not be prouder of you!!

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.
What YOU are doing to do to LIVE out this VISION at Lee?  

  • you can give feedback on custodial services.  Just click here.
  • you got high praise from Penny Tramel: I just wanted to send a brief email to say thank you to you and your educators for the excellent job you all did in gathering and sending in artifacts.  The lead auditor was highly impressed with the quality of work.  She does audits all over the country, so I believe this is high praise for you all. 

Thank you for getting proofs back to Mrs. Giddings.  On Friday, please allow her to take a class photo and to photograph your new learners (since October) so that they may be included in our yearbook.  I recognize this is a class disruption, but we are doing our best to make sure that all learners are included in the yearbook!  She will be here in the morning.

Want to wear jeans all week?  Turn in $20 for the American Heart Association and you can wear jeans with a shirt of your choice.  If you jump with your kiddos in PE you can wear warm ups on that day.  ENJOY!!  Parents are invited to attend during your regularly scheduled PE times on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

This event is the result of three of our 5th grade Blue House learners answering the question: How does AFFECT change the world?  We will begin our themed week with a PTO sponsored Anti-Bullying program by James Wand for grades PK-5 on Monday.  Please join us in the cafe.  Themes for the week are:
  • Monday (wear yellow) Your attitude is positive and your goal is to spread joy and warmth just like the
  • Tuesday (wear super hero shirts) Save the day and so do learners who stand up to bullying to help others
  • Wednesday (wear sunglasses) Use your special vision to spot kind behavior and stop bullying
  • Thursday (bring a stuffed animal or bear) Give someone a bear hug or high five
  • Friday (wear red or pink) Show some LOVE at Lee

In order to show you how much we LOVE YOU, please join us, in the lounge on Friday, for a lunch sponsored by ChickFila!

We will NOT have a modified schedule for Friday.  Please follow our regular house schedule and plan for parties to take place (as a house) from 2:00-3:00 in your open spaces.  If you are not in specials at 1:30, and you house in an open space, please plan to work elsewhere from 1:30 to 2:00 so that Room Moms can set up.  (Ideas: media center, ecopond, pavillion, atrium, side spaces in open spaces, central collabs)  1:30 -2:00 might be the PERFECT time to exchange Valentines.  Please let me know if any learners need help getting valentines, and I will buy them some this weekend.  

Since we tend to get an overabundance of chocolate on this day, I will have a bag outside my office if you want to donate to one of the assisted living center in Coppell.  Mike and I will be happy to drop donations off.  If you remember correctly, last year, the ladies LOVED Mike being there and could care less that I was with him- ha!

Thank you for your work during staff meeting to reflect on what an exemplar learning environment looks like at Lee.  I think hanging these in your design studios is a great reminder of what we should aim for.  This week we will review the physical/virtual learning environment.  According to our CISD Educator Evaluation System: the educator will design a flexible, consistent learning environment where learners are able to collaborate in and beyond the classroom
  • the educator utilizes digital tools to extend learning beyond the classroom
  • learners and educators clearly take pride in maintaining an attractive and inviting learning space
  • work displayed reflect the learning standards and is purposefully displayed
  • learning environment design responds to instructional and learner needs

I want to remind you that on February 15th, we have a guest speaker that morning.  The speaker is Michael Wesch, and his topic is:  "Teaching Upside Down:  What Handstands Have Taught Me About Learning."  Once we conclude at the high school, we will head back to Lee for our Expository training from WFTBB.  More details next week.

Love- unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for others; warm attachment

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." Mother Teresa

Love your neighbor as yourself.


Week of Feb 8-12:  Kindness Matters Week @Lee & Book Fair Week
Feb 8:  David's Birthday
            PreK-2 Bullying Program (8:30-9:15 Cafe)
            3-5 Bullying Program (9:30-10:15 Cafe)
            TELPAS Training (Grades 2-5 3:30)
Feb 9:  Kylie's Birthday
            PTO Mtg. (6:30 Cafe)
Feb 10: Rachel's Birthday
             Convocation T-shirt w/ Jeans
             Walk at School Wednesday
             Parents in PE for JRFH
             Leadership Mtg. (3:30)  
Feb 11:  Campus Tours (9:00 and 1:00)
              Parents in PE for JRFH
Feb 12:  Chick Fil A Lunch for Staff
              Parents in PE for JRFH
              JRFH Envelopes Due
              Valentine Parties (2:00-3:00)