March 1, 2019
A Note from the Principal....
HBIDA Conference

This past weekend Ms. Azmae, Ms. Katie, and I had the opportunity to attend the HBIDA (Houston Branch of the International Dyslexia Association) conference where we were able to learn about new strategies for our classrooms. In the morning, we were introduced to a wonderful speaker, Dr. Guinevere Eden, who has done research on children and adults with dyslexia. Her presentation included slides of brain scans to show the differences between those with and without dyslexia. It was great seeing all the research and continued focus on helping and understanding those with dyslexia. During the afternoon each of us attended a different breakout session.

I attended a lecture by Chris Woodin, who presented “Best Graphic Organizers to teach math facts and procedures.” The topic covered a new way of learning math, which included using a 10 base system, that resembled a domino, instead of a line of ones. It was very interesting and made a lot of sense for beginning math instruction. One great example he gave was using a high five with students to count to 10. For more information you can go to the website Woodin Math which has lots of free resources and materials.

Ms. Katie’s session was about “Implementing Inquiry Based Learning in a LD Classroom”, by Jessica Brock and Heather Hillery. This seminar's objective was to shift the idea of teaching from "what" you will learn to "how" you will learn.  A way of starting this is when you decide on a topic it can be broken up into 4 phases; Orientations, Conceptualization, Investigating, and Conclusion. After modeling tasks and using a "I wonder" approach in everyday lessons, the students should start to rely on themselves and peers (with the guidance of a teacher) and lead them to wonder...why, where, or how? An interesting idea was to look up the New York Times photograph of the day and have the students observe and generate questions.  They do this on Wednesday, and then on Thursday, they reveal what is really going on in the picture to the students and go over it with them. 

Ms. Azmae went to learn about “Executive Functioning” by Evan Weinberger. His presentation stated that there is not a formal diagnosis for executive functioning, but issues often occur with other learning differences. The signs of poor executive functioning can be seen in many ways, such as, difficulty prioritizing tasks, trouble with multi-step instructions, and or problems with transitions. In the classroom, we can assist our students by creating good habits and routines. Other interesting tips he gave were to make sure that us as teachers are the most interesting thing in the room and to always be using positive reinforcement disproportionately to negative. Evan runs a program called “Staying Ahead of the Game”, which is all about teaching students how to organize themselves. For more information you can go to Staying Ahead of the Game.

Each of us left the conference with new strategies and ideas to implement within our classrooms to facilitate a dynamic, positive learning environment.
Justin Adams
Crossroads Principal
(713) 977-1221 x120
Dyslexie Font Added to Student's Computers
This week, Mr. Jaime installed Dyslexie Font to all of our student's computers. Dyslexie font is a specialized font that increases the ease of reading for people with dyslexia, while offering non-dyslexic students some reading benefits as well. Some of the benefits of this font are:
  1. The openings of the Dyslexie font letters are enlarged. This way letters look less alike and will be easily recognized by their shape.
  2. Punctuation marks and capital letters are bold, emphasizing the breaks, endings and beginnings of phrases.
  3. Letters that look alike are differentiated by several heights. This way each Dyslexie font letter is an unique character, avoiding letter swaps.
  4. The distance between individual letters and words is enlarged, which makes reading more convenient and avoids the crowding effect.
  5. The shapes of the letters that look alike are adjusted subtly, which decreases the chance of switching and mirroring them.
As Seen On-Campus...

Houston restaurants could face some fierce competition in the near future! Recently in Mr. Todd's ELA (English Language Arts) class, students worked on a creative project which required them to take the perspective of an up and coming restaurateur. Biographies were written which described their culinary training, specialties, location, restaurant's ambiance, and mission statement. Next, menus were created which highlighted their dishes while providing an informative and enticing description for each item. After each presentation, we felt some hunger pains!
One of our student's menus
Environmental Science Experiment

Mr. Josh's Science class recently conducted an experiment to compare density with different levels of salinity. The purpose of this experiment was to show that saltwater and fresh water biomes have different levels of salinity. We also wanted to note that these biomes differ in density. Students observed how salinity and density are related and how density affects flotation. For the experiment, we had two cups of water; one with salt and one without. Once the salt was completely dissolved, we dropped an egg in each cup to see what would happen. We discovered that the density and the salinity of the salted water caused the egg to float. We also noticed that the unsalted water allowed the egg to sink to the bottom of the cup.

Cooking Club Enrichment

This week, students said hello to Italy, with a rustic “Ciao Chicken Parmigiana” dinner! Students breaded chicken cutlets with flour, egg, seasoned breadcrumbs, and Parmesan, topped them with marinara sauce and mozzarella, then popped them in the oven. They also broke handfuls of dried spaghetti into a pot of boiling water to serve as an accompaniment. The students entertained themselves by telling funny stories while they waited for the food to cook. The finished chicken parmigiana and spaghetti looked amazing! Everyone was super exited to “ciao down” on their hand-crafted creations.
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Crossroads School Events & Reminders

Spring Break: March 11-15 No School
5822 Dolores St.
Houston, TX 77057
(713) 977-1221