Final 2018 Accountability Ratings

Academic Accountability Final 2018 academic accountability ratings were released this week. The Texas Education Code requires the commissioner of education provide a process for districts and charters to challenge their accountability ratings. The agency received 172 total academic accountability rating … Continue reading

Online course tips and tricks

Did you know that you have the ability to take a 6 hour update or initial 30 hour GT course online?  Region 13 offers both of these options to our districts, and my plan is to vary the offerings by need throughout the school year.  Stay tuned to the end of this blog for our Spring offerings…

Tips and Tricks for Course completion

As someone who has facilitated and taken an online course, here are my tips and tricks for completing an online course:

  1.  Put it on your schedule.  Don’t depend on having free-time to just sit and work on the course.  Actually look at your schedule and set aside the time to work on it.  It is also a good idea to make a note of the due date for the course on your schedule.  This due date will be on the Ecampus site when you register, and sent to you in the welcome email from your facilitator.
  2. Schedule time to respond to your facilitator too.  It is your facilitator’s job to help you understand the coursework, and make sure your responses meet the requirements of the assignment.  We may ask you to make corrections to your responses.   Schedule a short period of time a few days after you have done the coursework to make corrections and to ensure that you have met all of the requirements for the course.
  3. Turn on Notifications.  Courses in Canvas have the ability to send emails and for the facilitator to make announcements.  Make sure your notifications are set so that these come to your email on file.  This way you stay informed of important information and any reminders that your facilitator may give you without having to log back into Canvas.
  4. Know who to ask for help.  If you are having difficulty with your course, make sure you reach out to the right people for help.  This way you get a faster response!  Technology questions should be directed to the service center (  Content questions should be directed to your facilitator through Canvas.  All other questions can be directed to the contact person on Ecampus (me!!!)  If in doubt, always reach out to the contact person…
  5. Read assignment prompts thoroughly.  Make sure you address all the questions in an assignment prompt.  Your facilitator will mark an assignment incomplete if something is missing!  Sometimes the assignment asks you to “select one of the following.”  Make sure to tell your facilitator what you selected so that they can respond appropriately to you and give you credit for your response.
  6. Submit professional quality responses.  Make sure you use complete sentences and appropriate grammar in your responses.  And please make sure that you write more than a one or two sentence response.  All of our facilitators have been educators at some point (and may even currently be an educator), so we understand the time crunch that teachers feel.  However, we want to make sure you are learning from the course work, and the only way we can tell is through your responses.  The better your response, the better able we are to give you good feedback that will inform your learning and support you in your implementation of lessons for GT students in your classroom.
  7. Remember, technology always fails.  That should be every teacher’s motto.  We know that when we need technology to work, it usually doesn’t.  After you register, make sure you have a launch button for the course, and that the course actually works.  You don’t want to have time set aside to work only to find that technology has failed you once again, and you have to spend your time on fixing issues rather than completing the work.
  8. Be ready to learn!  The main goal of every course is to learn something new that will benefit your classroom.  If you are a note-taker, be prepared to take notes.  If you are a hands-on learner, set aside extra time to play with the websites and tools provided to you during the course.  If you are a reader, make note of the articles and authors referenced in the course for follow-up learning.  And remember that you can always contact your facilitator for questions or for support in your learning.


Spring offerings at Region 13

Texas Performance Standards Project:  Feb. 8

Come learn about the TPSP tasks that are available to all educators.  This course will show you how to access these tasks as well as the GT Teacher Toolkit online.  We will also talk about best practices for implementing tasks as a whole unit, or as pieces that will integrate into your own teacher-created lessons.


Spring Coordinators Meeting:  Feb. 28

Are you a district coordinator, GT specialist, or administrator?  Come join us for our spring coordinators meeting!  I will provide an update on GT topics as well as opportunities for you to connect with other people in the district.


Social Emotional Learners:  Mar. 7

This is a brand new training from TEA and focuses on the social emotional needs of GT students.  We know that giftedness has it’s benefits…  but have you ever thought of the drawbacks to giftedness?  Come prepared to have conversations about the many needs of our gifted students and how we can better serve them in our classrooms.


30 Hour Online training:  Feb. 1 – May 24


6 Hour update for Administrators and Counselors online:  Feb. 1 – May 24

2019-20 and 2020-21 Testing Calendars

From TEA 12/13/18: The purpose of this email is to notify districts of updates to the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 Student Assessment Testing Calendars. In response to feedback we received from districts and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Superintendent … Continue reading

Effective EL Engagement & Formative Assessment Strategies

Join us in discovering ways to transform your classroom by enhancing participation and quickly assessing the learning of your EL students!  This training picks up where Strategies that Advance ELs’ Academic & Linguistic Success (FA1838895)* left off with even more tools, techniques, and instructional strategies you can use as you design interactive lessons that facilitate learning …

TELPAS Alternate

Highlights from the 12/12/18 TELPAS Alternate TETN: No PowerPoint was presented, instead the TETN consisted of a tour of the new TELPAS Alt webpage and some Q&A To access the page, start at the TEA homepage, hover over … Continue reading

Using dual language story books to foster biliteracy

The EAL Journal blog publishes plain language summaries of EAL-related Master’s and Doctoral research. In this post Dominika Gordon, EAL teacher at Eaton Square School in Kensington, London presents a summary of her Master’s research on using bilingual books as a way to foster biliteracy among bilingual pupils. Using a bilingual version of a story called …

January 22: Luis Urrieta at Region 13 ESC

At CIMA 2018, conference goers inquired about more opportunities to learn with  Day 1 keynote speaker Luis Urrieta. To receive updates on his upcoming full-day training here at the Region 13 ESC on January 22, click here. Luis Urrieta is the Suzanne and John Adams Professor of Cultural Studies of Education at the University of …

Winter Workshops for Educators of Students with Significant Disabilities!

You won’t want to miss these winter learning opportunities in 2019! 1/8/19:  Evidence-Based Practices: Research Based Teaching Strategies for Teachers of Students with Disabilities (SP1939799) $45 In this workshop, participants will learn the definition of evidence-based practices (EBPs), why these high yield strategies are important, and where to find resources on EBPs that can enhance instructional …

Coming in February: 7 STEPS to a Language-Rich Interactive Foreign Language Classroom

Now available for the LOTE teacher! Click HERE TO REGISTER. 7 Steps to a Language-Rich, Interactive Foreign Language Classroom are research-based strategies designed to increase comprehensible input and provide low-stress opportunities for language output and interaction. The practical techniques found in the 7 Steps provide an essential foundation for building an energizing classroom environment in which …

Free Webinar | Make your classroom library a welcoming space!

Encourage a Love of Reading Language, Literacy, Lounging, and Laughing: Rethink the Library Monday, December 17, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. CT  – Recording will be available later Register Here – In an early childhood setting, an effective Library area conveys the message that exciting things can happen when children engage with literature. As the hub …

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