Mrs. Sparks' Class

Hello My Name Is Jennifer Sparks
Welcome to my page.

Jennifer Sparks
Conference time - M - F (12:23-1:13)
sparksj2@nechesisd.net

Tigers,
Wow! What a great team!

I hope you all have enjoyed your summer break as best you can. 
 I miss each one of you very much and looking forward to your smiling faces and our
"Bell to Bell" goal once again.
One of our goals is to have our students here each day from "Bell to Bell" staying healthy and safe.

This is my 24th year to teach.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stephen F. Austin State University. Inducted into Alpha Chi and Iota Gamma Honor Societies and served as our Area President for Delta Kappa Gamma (National Teaching Honor Society). 

I am passionate about teaching kids to think and reason.  My goal for my students is for them to become life-long learners, with the tools and resources they need to continually research new topics and develop new skills.

When I'm not teaching, I spend my free time exercising at the YMCA, reading, gardening, cooking, church activities, playing with 2 grandkids and 2 fur babies.  I love to spend time with my husband (of 36 years), family and friends. I have a daughter, Britney, that graduated from SFA and is an AG Teacher as well as an Art Teacher for her district.  
Other organizations that I am affiliated with are Crockett Rd. Church of Christ, Biltmore Who's Who Among American Educators and the Harvey Woman's Club.  

As you and your children will quickly realize, I strive to be a fair and consistent person.  I have high expectations and goals for both my students and myself.  Your children will grow and prosper in a learning community where they will have the opportunity to work closely with their peers in a nonthreatening environment.  I will always be available to meet with you when times are convenient for both of us.  I view the parent, child, and teacher as a partnership to enhance learning just as employer, employee and colleagues are a team in a successful business. 

*Parents/Guardians, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  I care about the education of each of my students and appreciate your support!

I wear many hats in our district working with Dyslexia, GT and CTE programs.  
Here are some great things we are doing!


**Dyslexia**

Dyslexia is...a brain-based learning disability that makes learning to read, write, and/or spell difficult despite adequate instruction and intelligence.  
Dysgraphia is...a related learning disorder, demonstrate academic challenges in handwriting, spelling, and written expression.
**For more details/nformation along with the Dyslexia Handbook go to this
link:
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/regional_services/esc/

We use the Scottish Rite Program 
A comprehensive intervention for students with Dyslexia.  The curriculum was designed for use by dyslexia therapists with children 7 years and older who have developmental dyslexia.  The purpose was to enable students with dyslexia to achieve and maintain better word recognition, reading fluency, reading comprehension and aid in the transition from a therapy setting to 'real world' learning.
This program is designed for small group instruction (2-6 students) for a minimum of 45 minutes per day, five days each week.  Alternatively, the lessons can be taught for 60 minutes each day for four days a week.  Our program includes 326 days of direct instruction.

*Parents may request a special education evaluation through their child's campus or district. Early intervention is critical.  Talk to your child's teacher if you have concerns. 
TEA.Texas.gov/TexasSpEd

We use Istation for monthly Progress Monitoring
IStation - www.istation.com  
*Speed Drill-Time yourself for 1 minute as you read the passage aloud. 
Graph your progress each day!
Practice coding as needed.
Practice Sight Words, Fluency, Comprehension, Phonics
Handwriting - Practice the cursive letters.

We also use starfall.com for Reading Intervention

Other great Dyslexia programs to use at home are as follows: 
Nessy (App/Website) - audio books (FREE trial for 30 days)
Learning Ally (website) - audio books
Epic Books - audio books (FREE for 30 days -online)
RAZ Kids - audio books
Lexia For Home
Book Share - audio books
KidsSpell.com
*Please Note:  You may want to practice skills on other sites as well and utilize a grade level down if too challenging. 


**Gifted and Talented **
This GT program for grades K-5 is designed to challenge and help students reach their fullest potential.  There is an array of learning opportunities that emphasizes content in the four core academic areas and is commensurate with the abilities of gifted and talented students.  The curriculum is differentiated through content, process and product.  Concepts, themes, units, and skills are explored in greater depth and complexity.  This program promotes engaging curriculum that allows students to perform, lead, create, research, share interest, and develop products.  Curriculum development for GT students centers upon the importance of recognizing the skills which students must acquire in order to become life-long learners.  The curriculum incorporates both cognitive as well as effective skills which recognize unique learning styles of GT students. 

Texas Performance Standard Project - www.texaspsp.org (Choice Boards)
Genius Hour - geniushour.com
Stem Scopes
Discovery Education

**Jr. High (CTE classes)**
ICEV - Jr. High (online program with the lessons, notes, career interviews, and tests)
Career Readiness  smore.com/9fz67 (click the tabs, explore careers/colleges)
NAVIGATE Book 
Virtual Field Trips

**FREE Online Educational Websites/Resources**
PBS/KERA Channel 13
Discovery Education
Virtual Field Trips
DoGo News - dogonews.com
Scholastic
Scholastic Learn at Home
National Geographic Kids
Khan Academy - http://bit.ly/2Qv1eEk (helps with student scheduling as well)
Cool Math 4 Kids - coolmath4kids.com
Funbrain
BrainPop - brainpop.com
Moby Max
Time4Learning - Time4Learning.com
Scholastic - https://bit.ly33ww7O5
Molly of Denali (PBS Learning channel)
 Bill Nye the Science Guy (youtube videos)
Magic School Bus (youtube videos)
School House Rock (youtube videos)

Please continue to utilize the online tools/resources you were currently using that you can log into if you have to be away, develop introductory, and review work covering the TEKs for your grade level. Continue to use educational videos and online games that cover your lessons, practice your strategies, read books, or other things you can think of to connect to school and academia.
Have a great year!