Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Monday, July 24, 2017

Opportunity Culture and Summer Planning-Spanish Writing Roadmap

Noemi and I finishing our day of planning on a Friday afternoon at Panera
Noemi and I have been planning every Friday this summer. We have been working the 2017-2018 Spanish and English Writing Plan/Roadmap. We finished the Spanish version for the first semester. Now we are going back and will produce an English version as well. In addition to that, we will add supporting documents. I expect that all of this will be ready by August 10th. Why August 10th? It seems like a doable timeline for us. If you are interested in having a gander, please go to the link below.

It feels wonderful to get this done as this was a project that we wanted to complete this summer. This year, we want to hit the ground running. Why are we working on Fridays? We want to plan ahead for the year before the year starts. The summer has been kind and our minds are free to focus on the task at hand. We have our data with us and have observed some trends from the STAAR Writing tests throughout the years. In a nutshell, we want to be prepared. Ultimately, we expect that this planning will help our students and others. Noemi and I have been working together for years, so we decided to bring it together to create a plan. We will be sharing our observations throughout the year together and with our teams. To me, this is action research.

This summer has been a time of rejuvenation. I have had time to meet and plan with Noemi, work with summer school students in 4th and 5th grade, and have had time to get to know the new administrative team at Edgewood. I am excited to continue the journey with Noemi and my colleagues in 3rd and 4th grade as well. Just because Noemi works at a different campus doesn't mean that we cannot continue to work together. As teachers, we are a community of learners who need to connect, learn, and help each other grow.

I am glad to be a part of the Innovative Culture in SBISD as well. I will be taking on the roll as a Multiclassroom Teacher Leader. In a nutshell, I will be teaching students and coaching teachers throughout the school year. I will be collaborating with my team and teams of teachers. I want to continue the networking that I already have with my colleagues and friends from different campuses as well. I feel empowered to try out new things with my students and teams. The wonderful thing about collaboration with my friends and colleagues is that we don't only have to be at the same campus to support each other and effect change. We are creating our own networks to build capacity among each one of us. We have the power to create and use the vast years of experience and resources to our advantage.  Ultimately, this will be efficacious for our students. Being risk takers and learners in the process is invigorating and freeing. We are trusted to make the best decisions for students in our personalized journey to impact student achievement. We do this one student at a time and one colleague as a time. Through Opportunity Culture, teachers are empowered to support one another and grow. If we grow as individuals and as teams, our students will benefit exponentially. Thanks to SBISD and Opportunity Culture, we have a voice and more choice to affect change.

Spanish Writing Plan 2017-2018


  1. This is wonderful and amazing! One idea that keeps popping up in my mind, which helped us greatly at one point were (genuine) Case Studies. Yet, for the best growth and results, it must be structured with the freedom of choice for faculty. Example: Trs decide if they want to work independently, with a partner or in a group. This honors the teacher. Second, meaningful feedback can be done with art, song, poems, rhyme etc from faculty. Third, reference tool and documentation of cases- a binder can provide the separation and classification of "cases" based on the writing challenge- fluency, mechanics, organization, voice, etc as a reference tool. I believe that creatively delivering this project to administrators and trs is as important as the information. A theme can also be added for fun- publishers, editors, news room, magazine house, etc. Always include snacks and prizes!

  2. Thanks for the feedback. PD will be given the whole way. This is a roadmap that is structured and can be adjusted, based on data and student needs. It wouldn't work if it was just a document. The life of staff development, reflection, student progress, and feedback are vital. Noemi and I made this for us and our journey. We like to share our work with others.

  3. Congratulations, Maureen! It's impressive what you said. I can envision it.