Happy New Year!

Students resume classes, Tuesday, Jan. 4, but teachers and staff have already reported to work.

Teachers spent Monday in "in-service training" as they brushed up on their teaching skills and did exercises on such topics as "Managing and Operating Small Group Instruction." Part of the task was to come up with new ideas about restructuring the classroom to improve learning.

Conducting the training for the pre-kindergarten through second-grade staff were Terri Washington, senior education specialist, and Beverly McWashington-Newsome, educational specialist. Both work at the Education Service Center, Region 4 office.

A key question for teachers was: "How do I manage what the other students are doing while I'm working with a small group?"

According to a Region 4 manual, the floor plan of a classroom should support different grouping arrangements, with space for whole-group, small-group, paired and individual activities.

Third-through-fifth-grade teachers and staff held their own special sessions led by Twilet Alexander, director of special education and English as a Second Language, and Greta Peacock, curriculum coordinator. Both sessions were held at the Southwest campus. Major topic of discussion was the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills standardized testing.

Varnett hopes everybody had a nice holiday season and staff is looking forward to resuming classes Tuesday.

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