We are getting into full swing with softball and baseball this week. The 4th 6 weeks ends this week, and we have our first track meet of the season. The monthly board meeting also takes place this week. A reminder that this Friday, February 21, is a staff workday. There will be no classes for students.
Monday – Varsity Baseball v. Waxahachie Faith Family – 6:00; Boys and Girls Golf at Pinnacle Club
Remember Valentine’s Day when you were young: decorated boxes, little envelopes containing cartoon characters, and oodles of cupcakes and candy! These are an important part of my school memories, and, even though we now have food police and stricter guidelines on “sharing the love”, I think it is still important to create lasting, fun imprints of school in the hearts of our children. As a Kindergarten teacher, part of the fun was creating a special Valentine for my students to take home to their loved ones, so I was thrilled to be a part of the “design” team this year for my daughter’s Valentine craft!
Since Megan had looped with her Kinder students into 1st grade, she wanted something new and fresh, but due to several days of training, was running out of time to think! Last year, the student card included a picture, and she wanted to do something personal. Yea, for technology!! I suggested a tiny QR code linked to a student message. This not only adds a touch of technology to the craft, but it also brings parents into using technology as well.
I have always loved QR codes and have used them to send personal voice messages and videos to those I love. Everyone still looks forward to getting real mail, especially children and older folks (my parents are in their 80’s), so send that perfect card and add a QR code that personalizes the message. It is like an email card….that comes in the mail.
Create a video on WeVideo. Create a voice message on a simple site like Vocaroo. Link to something you want to share with the one you love. All you need is the URL and a great QR code generator like QRStuff. Go out and share the technology love!
By the way, here is the final product for Mrs. Felty’s class:
Caveats: Include directions for parents on a great app to read the QR code: i-nigma is my favorite, and is available in both iTunes and Google Play. These student voice messages were stored in a Google site, so, unless kept for perpetuity, they will “expire”. To keep the memory “alive”, the audio will be sent home to parents at their end of year in the student’s personalized digital yearbook.
Getting tired of the same old apps and “projects”? If you need a fresh approach, try using an app you love in a new way. Just give it a “twist”! Here is an easy way to get started in just three steps:
Take an app you already love and use personally
Ask: how can students “show what they know” by using this app in class?
Then actually try it! (This is sometimes the obvious step that teachers are missing.)
In this example, a teacher took Pic Collage ,and students created a collage of pictures that showed different ways to count money.
Now, let your creative mind sing and dance! What could your students do with Pic Collage? What’s your favorite app? Come on, and give it a “twist”. and share with your students! As the song goes…”Take me by my little hand and go like this”! Thanks to a great teacher, Megan Felty, for sharing her student work with the world. And yes, I am biased since she is my daughter! You can visit Mrs. Felty’s 1st grade class through her classroom blog.
As you pack up to go home at the end of the day, take one less thing home…your slide grader. Yes it is light weight and you barely know it is there, but it is still one more thing to organize and take with you. Then when you get home and realize you don’t have it, you’re frustrated. Groovy Grader is nice app designed to make things a little easier for you. Have your slide grader right on your device. It seems we always have our devices with us at all times, most of the time we know where it is, and we have begun to use it for more than just talking and texting. Groovy Grader is another productive app to help things become a little bit more organized.
Groovy Grader is a nice little app to have in your teacher toolkit. Definitely worth checking out.
Below is a link to closing arguments in the school finance trial presented by Rick Gray, lead counsel for the Fairness Coalition. The video is about 20 minutes long. It presents a great summary of the issues that have been brought forth by the Fairness Coalition. Eustace ISD has been a member of the Student and Taxpayer Fairness Coalition from the beginning. The judge in the trial expects a decision in a few weeks.
This information is from our High School band director, Todd Felty:
Congratulations are in order for 19 students competing in a solo and ensemble competition consisting of over 15 schools in class 2A through 5A. Eustace High School Band students made a strong showing among a prestigious field of musicians from Garland, Forney, Canton, Commerce, and other surrounding area schools. Two Class one ensembles received a first division rating and a certification to advance to the State Competition in Round Rock on Memorial Day Weekend. Those Ensembles were the Saxophone trio “ Adagio and Allegretto” by Hook performed by Tyler Barrett, Ruby Espiricueta, and Tara Young and the Brass sextet “Canzone #4” by Gabrielli performed by Connie Benefield, Karli Gallops, Christen Murphy, Kevin Richmaond, Temple Hendrickson and Cailyn Pickering.
Those receiving a second division rating were the Percussion Ensemble “Sinister Minster” by Fleck performed by Laura Espiricueta, Ericsen Gudjohnsen, Thomas Henderson, Justin Legel, Randal Price, Warren Benjamin, Savannah Hairl and JoGail Holcombe, and the Bass Clarinet solo “Ballade” performed by Chase Norris as well as the Trombone Solo “Friends” by Smith performed by Amber Cotton.
Congratulations to those students advancing to state and to all the students that put in the time and effort required to prepare for this type of event. A special thank you to the EISD band directors, Todd Felty and Crystal Heidel, for working to prepare these students for such a challenging event.
Last Friday was the final home basketball game for the boys this season. The senior players were recognized and honored for their contributions to Eustace athletics. This year’s seniors include: Lionel Garcia, Chris Farnsworth, Chance Scott, Forrest Lane, Ryan Brown, Steven Stine, and Noah Sisneros. At the bottom of this post is a picture of the senior basketball players. Also, a video of the introductions of senior players will be posted to the Eustace ISD YouTube page later today.
Monday – Boys Golf @ Cedar Creek Country Club
Tuesday – High School Boys Basketball at Palmer – 5:00; Softball at Ferris – 5:00; Girls Golf at Cedar Creek Country Club
Friday – Baseball at Grand Saline – 5:00; Softball v. Grand Saline – 5:00
The State Comptroller’s office recently released the 2013 Property Value Study Report. This report is important because is directly affects the amount of state aid that a district receives. In the 2013 Report, EISD had a total property value of $655,195,959. Deductions for 2013 totaled $118,450,561 for a total taxable value of $536,745,398. The total taxable value in 2012 was $530,950,917. So, between 2012 and 2013 EISD had a little under $6,000,000 in property value growth. This is about a 1% increase.
By far, the largest category in EISD is Single-Family Residences. In the 2013 Report, Single-Family Residences accounted for $485,467,820 of the overall value. This is 74% of the total value in the district.
The Report affects school funding because the Total Taxable Value (called the “T2” value), is used in a calculation to account for the “Local Share” of school funding. The state takes the total taxable value, multiples it by $0.86, and then divides that amount by 100. This figure is subtracted from the amount of Tier I funding that a district earns. So, as the taxable value in a district increases, the amount of state aid decreases.