Update from Admin, Special Areas, Counselor, Librarian, & Reading Specialist

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Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Maplewood Art Teacher, PE Teacher, Counselor, Librarian, Reading Specialist, and Music Teacher

Special Areas+ Update April 13-17.mp4drive.google.com

Specials Team on Zoom this Week, Join Us!

This week the Special Areas Plus team would like to invite you to some Grade Level Group Check-Ins on Zoom.

These are not required meetings but we miss seeing your smiling faces and so would like to offer a time for you to jump on. Here is a link to the AISD Virtual group consent form EnglishSpanish. It would be helpful if you could digitally sign this before participating. Here is a quick guide on Zoom and how to get set-up.

The links to log-in to these zooms can be found on the Grade level Blend pages. Please do not share them on social media as we are trying to protect these meetings from outside intervention.

For this week we plan on hosting a 20ish minute Zoom with each grade level

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Message from Ms. Jacobson, Maplewood Principal

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Ms. Jacobson, Principal

We hope all of our Maplewood families are having fun with at-home learning adventures. Your teachers are working hard to create some really fun learning experiences. I am so happy that many of you are sharing your great learning and progress through Seesaw and Google classroom. It is exciting to hear how reading is progressing, and to see you outside doing real like science learning. I miss you sweet faces each day and your hugs. I hope all of you are taking care of each other. Keep reading, writing, and practicing your math. Thank you to all of you who have been sharing your learning with us. Have a great time, and keep on growing! We love you!

Ms. Jacobson

Ms. L-A, Maplewood P. E. Teacher

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Coach L-A-K

Physical Education Update –

This week we’re starting a new unit in our Physical Education at home: Striking with Implements. Make sure you get permission for the implements (tools) and objects (things you hit) as well as the space that you’re in to keep you and those around you safe. There are some striking with implements challenges for you in our lessons on Monday and Wednesday this week so check them out and/or make your own.

Let’s stay connected as a Maplewood community by sharing what your family is doing to be active at home and your striking with implements challenges. To add what your family is doing to be active to our PE padlet use this link to access it with the password Mustangs!. #AISDmovesAtHome You can add pictures or videos of your activities! Check out the PE Page on BLEND to see what everyone is up to!

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Ms. Cervantes, Maplewood Art Teacher

Share your talent, Maplewood artists!

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Ms. Cervantes, Art Teacher

I’ve created our own virtual wall to share our artworks on an app called PADLET. If you’d like to share your drawing, sculpture, or digital artworks with me create a post on “Share your Talent.” Maplewood artists will be able to like, comment and enjoy each other’s artworks! Please remember I will be monitoring everything that is posted so please keep friendly comments and posts and ALWAYS school appropriate images and language. I will be posting comments and offering feedback too.

PADLET post Challenge: Plate Portrait

Find a plate (any size) and create a FACE using any found objects for the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, eyebrows and hair. You can give your artwork any expression you’d like! I can’t wait to see your plate portraits on our “Share your Talent” padlet!

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Cassie Stephens – Step-by-step art videos

If you’re missing working step-by-step instruction, Cassie Stephens is an amazing art teacher that teaches daily on YouTube! She has themes each week, this week was superhero week and one of the lessons was to make a superhero self-portrait. Check it out here!

Mr. Hutson, Maplewood Music Teacher

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Mr. Hutson, Music Teacher

Hey There Students!

In the month of February we took a look at African American music throughout the 21st century.. I posted our Music playlist on the Blend Music Home Page listed on each Blend Homeroom class page. Module Number 14 on the Blend Music Choice board takes a look at a book about one of those Musicians: Ella Fitzgerald, I won’t spoil too much but the book is read aloud by Billy Dee Williams who starred Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars series. It’s a great video and worth the watch. Miss you all and I hope to see you soon.

-If you’d like to share ways you and your new learning community are sharing music at home I encourage you to go to the Music Padlet using the password “Mustangs!” to upload and share a video or write about ideas you might have tried in your new learning space.

Ms. Braziel, Maplewood Librarian


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Ms. Braziel, Librarian

One of my jobs as a school librarian is to help teach students about staying safe and KIND online, or being a good “Digital Citizen.” In honor of School Library Month, I have shared some Digital Citizenship “choice boards” in the grade level BLEND courses. I know many students have been using computers and the Internet more than usual, so this is a perfect time to learn and practice excellent digital citizenship skills.

You’ll also find my lessons and read alouds related to Poetry Month and Autism Awareness/Acceptance/Appreciation Month in the Grade Level BLEND Courses. Have you ever heard of Temple Grandin? She’s remarkable! I recorded a read aloud of How To Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and her Amazing Squeeze Machine, and I added some links to interviews, activities, and videos about this phenomenally gifted thinker and advocate for people on the autism spectrum. Check it all out in the Library section of your grade level BLEND course. (Also, if you have the opportunity to watch it, I recommend the PG movie Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes.)

Also, the Windsor Park Branch Library Youth Librarian, Mr. Gabriel Ransenberg is making a virtual cameo appearance this week. He has recorded a video to show you how to access electronic resources from Austin Public Library.

The grade level BLEND courses are available through the BLEND link in your child’s AISD portal. I am here to support you, so please feel free to email Amanda.Braziel@austinisd.org if you need help. 💖

Keep reading! I miss you all!

Ms. Kirk, Maplewood School Counselor

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Ms. Kirk, Counselor

For Kids: Hello, friends. Gosh, I miss you a bunch. Living in isolation from others is hard, but also offers us a chance to practice peaceful communication with those we cherish most-our family members. Remember to take time each morning to check in with your family, just like we usually do in morning assembly and in classroom meetings. It’s important for the people who are living and working and playing with each other all day (you and your family) to connect, make a plan or intention, talk about what each person needs, and listen to each other. All family members should make sure they check on their M.E.D.S. each day for healthy brains and bodies while quarantined (see below), and making adjustments as needed. Though your teachers are asking that some of your time be spent doing school work online, you and family members would feel much better if most time was spent reading books, playing, exercising, listening to music, making art, and being outside. Don’t forget to click below and add pictures of all the Peacemakers out there! PEACEMAKER PADLET☮️

Don’t forget to post pictures of all the ways you are Increasing the Peace!


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For Parents of Younger Students: Conscious Discipline has amazing guides and supports for establishing rituals and comforting routines for families attempting school at home. These practices will help foster a mindset that is primed for learning during parts of the day, while also being open for rest, play, and helping other during different parts of the day. Please take time to watch this tutorial and utilize the free CD resources. You may have to create a free account to access all of the goodies, but I can guarantee it’s worth it.

For Parents of Older Students: Below are some suggestions from Dan Siegel, author of The Whole Brained Child, No Drama Discipline, and many more very helpful parenting books.

Dr. Dan Siegel’s 4 – Ss of Secure Attachment

A Framework for Support:

Safe – Provide routine and structure. Consistency calms the brain and the body. Create a daily schedule with children that they can check off or make it a picture schedule that they can move around to provide voice and choice.

Seen – Listen and acknowledge feelings. Schedule time to read stories, go for walks and listen.

Soothed – Reassure and provide comforts like snacks, story time, movement.

Secure – The first three result in creating a safe harbor for children to thrive in.

Build Your Daily Schedule Around the Healthy Mind Pattern Elements

Building family routines and schedules including all seven activities can help us feel a sense of wellbeing even during a time of uncertainty. You can actually create a menu of activities with children using a paper plate, crayons, pictures, and magazine cut outs.

Identify a menu of options that can satisfy each element and plan your day around them. Vary the activities everyday to keep it fresh. And, don’t forget to click above and add pictures of all the Peacemakers out there! You can reach me @ kelli.kirk@austinisd.org Mon-Fri.

Stay safe! I REALLY miss you all.❤️

Ms. Baker, Maplewood Reading Specialist

Hi Mustangs-

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Ms. Baker, Reading Specialist

I miss you and am sending big hugs!

I wanted to share with you some ideas that you can do at home. These activities help build phonological awareness, which is the ability to listen and play with sounds (called phonemes). Here are a few ideas that address rhyming and syllables:

1. Tell me a word that rhymes with…car (star). You can pick a word and ask a family member to generate a word that rhymes with your word. Don’t forget to switch roles!

2. Odd one out! Pick the word out of three that doesn’t rhyme with the other two. For example, cake, bake, and chair. Chair is the “odd one out.”

3. Counting syllables! Pick a word and listen for how many syllables it has. You can clap the word and listen for the syllables. Remember, a syllable is a word or part of a word with one vowel sound. Here’s a few examples: truck (one syllable), boat (one), airplane (two), and basketball (three). I found these activities and other ideas at:



For Take Flight families- please check your email over the next few days. I am sending a consent form to review so your child can participate in virtual lessons.

Take good care-

Ms. Baker ❤️


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Important Resources

AISD Learning at Home: https://sites.google.com/austinisd.org/aisd-learning-at-home

Meals Support: https://www.austinisd.org/covid19/meals

Food Bank Delivery: 512-972-5133

City of Austin Neighborhood Centers (some are providing meal delivery): 512-972-5133

*email Ms. Kirk (kelli.kirk@austinisd.org) if you need additional information re: food, rent, or utility support

Austin Diaper Bank: https://www.austindiapers.org/

Spectrum Internet Free for K-12 students: https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-spectrum-broadband-and-wifi-for-60-days-for-new-K12-and-college-student-households-and-more

Unemployment: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services


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