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Archive | 2019-2020

Why Your Kid Should Do Shadowing

When you apply to middle schools, there’s a lot of things you have to do. There’s applications, the cognitive test, and the at-school testing. Though this is a lot, when you apply, you should consider shadowing to see the school. 

If you don’t know what shadowing is, it’s quite simple. Shadowing is when a student wants to see the school, so they sign up and get to follow another student around the school and go to their classes.They get to see the classes they are interested in and get to see what the teachers and students are like.  Kids who shadow can make an informed decision about which schools are their #1 choice. Shadowing gives your kid experience for middle school such as bell schedules, lunch times, and classes. If the school has a block schedule, kids can experience that for the first time. 

My shadowing  experience was very eye-opening and helped me understand the whole middle school experience. I’m really glad I did it.


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Travis Heights Choir

The school has many after school clubs one of them is choir Our school has a choir made of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Our choir director is Ms. King. She has been teaching for 14 years. Ms. King directs a winter and spring choir.

In the winter choir we learn five or six songs. We perform at the Cultural Fest. In the spring choir we learn the National Anthem and some other cheery songs. We learn the National Anthem so that we can sing the National Anthem for the Austin Spurs. The Austin Spurs game is probably our most exciting event of the year for Choir. We think it’s exciting to just stand on that court with all the really tall basketball players. Some kids take their parents, friends, cousins and family to enjoy there debut. Others prefer to be independent and have a blast with their friends. Either way, it’s really exciting.

Choir is such a fun after-school activity that I guarantee you would want to join! If you want to join the choir, we pick up more and sadly drop more at this time. We meet every Monday from 3:00-4:15. Please check Travis Heights Choir out!

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The Smallest Members of THES

Many kids attend Travis Heights Elementary School, from our Pre-K to fifth grade. Pre-K and Kinder are some of our smallest kids, but still not our smallest members. Our smallest members are the THES pets! Some people would agree that animals movements and actions are inspirational for projects or PBLs that focus on science, specifically animal science. Not only this, but students or teachers who are irritated tend to stop and think while watching another animals movements, calming them down. Here is some information about the pets at our school. 

Ms. Isoline’s Rats

Ms. Isoline currently has three rats. One is a small black one, whose name is Trixie. Trixie is a wild rat and is a bit nervous about the idea of tons of humans. She and the other rats are sometimes seen snuggling together. There’s  a slightly bigger black one that’s named Luna. Luna was a bit nervous at first, too, with all the people gazing into the glass, but is slowly warming up to humans. The last one is a white rat with black splotches. Her name is name is Badger. Badger was adopted along with her sister, Moca.  Unfortunately, Mocha died over the summer. Trixie and Luna are new to the school. A student gave them to Ms.Isoline so Badger wouldn’t be lonely. Badger tends to be the one that will come up to you if you open the cage. She is most comfortable with people. Sometimes Ms. Isoline opens the top of the cage and lets the rats run free. Badger runs on the floor, while Luna and Trixie explore the desk. 
Mr. Paparone’s Snake

Every month certain teachers can get temporary pets from the Science Resource Center. (They get sent back after a little while.)  Mr. Paparone is one of those teachers. Not too long ago, Mr. Paparone received a corn snake. The children voted on a name and the winner was Zoom-Zoom Charlie. Zoom-Zoom Charlie mostly spent his time under his log. The children, however, did get to see Zoom-Zoom Charlie shed his skin! Depending on the age and species of the snake, they may shed twice every month or twice a year. Adult corn snakes typically shed twice a month. 
The Chicken Coop

The chicken coop is a remarkable little addition to our school! There are four chickens currently. Three are ready to strut their stuff! One casually plays it cool, putting in a cluck or two. They are cautious of humans. They help teach responsibility to the Pre-K classes that take care of them. They teach kids about cleaning an animals living space, feeding animals, and making sure they have fresh water. Kids even collect the eggs!
Ms. Isolines Guinea Pigs

Ms. Isoline has two guinea pigs. One is a little baby guinea pig named Delilah, and the other is an older one is named Marshmallow. Delilah is small and white. Marshmallow is a light brown and white. Delilah gets nervous when people watch her and typically darts out to get lettuce. Marshmallow is nervous, but doesn’t dart out like Delilah. 5th grade occasionally gets to hold the Guinea Pigs.

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Native American Study

In class we are studying the Native Americans. The Native Americans are very cool to study about. We are making slides about the Native Americans. The tribe that I’m studying is the Tawakoni tribe. Everyday we read an article about a different tribe. The Native Americans are not just the people who live out in the wild. They are very-day people. This study is really good because we could learn about the Native Americans and the different tribes and the cultures of all the Native Americans. The cool thing is you basically get to study two tribes because you can work with your partner and learn about their tribe. If you have any interest you can look at many different tribes. Two different tribes you can study are Tawakoni and Apaches. Many people have different tribes. You can start a campaign and make sure that people are not making false statements about the Native Americans.

NInja Strike and Minikarn worked on this article together.

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A Dual Language School

Hola, soy estudiante en la escuela primaria Travis Heights y estoy escribiendo sobre cómo esta escuela es de doble idioma. En la mayoría de los grados de nuestra escuela, hay dos maestros de español (que enseñan el programa de lenguaje dual) y dos maestros que enseñan solo en inglés. En las clases de lenguaje dual, el maestro generalmente enseña la mitad en español y la otra mitad en inglés.

En mi opinión, el lenguaje dual es mejor, porque enseña diferentes culturas y empatía. En las clases de idiomas duales puedes aprender sobre diferentes culturas y puedes leer y escribir en un idioma diferente mientras aprendes. Por ejemplo, este año aprendimos sobre los nativos americanos y sus religiones. Es por eso que siento que cada escuela debería tener un programa de lenguaje dual.


Hi, I’m a student at Travis Heights Elementary, and I’m writing about how this school is dual language. In most grades of our school, there are two teachers of Spanish (who teach the dual language program) and two teachers who teach only in  English. In the dual language classes, the teacher usually teaches half in Spanish and the other half in English.

In my opinion dual language is better, because it teaches different cultures and empathy. In the dual language classes you get to learn about different cultures and you get to read and write in a different language while learning. For example this year we learned about Native Americans and their religions. That’s why I feel like every school should have a dual language program.

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Breakfast in the Classroom

Breakfast in the classroom is a really quick and easy way to have breakfast, plus the food is pretty good. You get up to three foods, a drink, fruit, and a choice of either a warm meal or cereal. The drinks can be  milk, orange juice, or apple juice. The fruit is usually an apple, orange, or banana.There is a wide variety of cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Honey Crunch, Chocolate Flakes, and Rice Chex. The hot dish is sometimes chicken and sausage, pancakes, waffles, or tacos.At our school, breakfast in the classroom is free for all of the students. Breakfast in the classroom is good because it allows kids to not rush and be late.

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Amazing Square One Art

Art is one of the most beautiful things in the world. In 4th grade art class we are doing Square One Art. Square One Art is the first art project of the year for all grades. For Square One Art in 4th grade, we are doing sun faces. Different grades do different projects. For example, 1st grade is doing llamas for their square one art. Ms.Isoline is our amazing art teacher. Every grade does Square One Art each year. Some pieces are very detailed and some are not so detailed. Every piece is unique. I have a question for you: What are you doing for Square One Art?

Ms. Isoline is the art teacher and she is a great one. Ms.Isoline helps you with Square One Art if you ask. We talked to her about the directions for the sun faces.  Here’s what she said.  

Step 1: To start off your project, you want a sketch. The sketch is one of the most important steps of the project. This is the step where you decide what you want your sun (or any other projects) to look like. You can decide if you want your sun to look realistic or if you want it to look like a fantasy character from your favorite cartoon. There are can be hard moments and easy moments, but in the end you always come out with a beautiful piece of art.

Step 2: Step two is use the thin Sharpie to outline your drawing onto the paper. Once you know what you want your sun face to look like, you go over it with a thin Sharpie. Adding the Sharpie is important because after you color your project, everything will pop out more, and it will be hard to see the pencil lines. You will not be able to see some of the important details that you worked so hard on if you don’t outline them with the Sharpie. 

Step 3: The third step of the project is to color your art. For this step you might want to look at the color wheel to see what colors look good together and which ones don’t.

Step 4: The fourth step is to sketch your background. For the background you must fill up the whole page with creative patterns and small objects. Once you have sketched  your patterns and objects, you have to outline your background with the thin Sharpie.

Step 5:  The final step is to color your background.  Look at the color wheel to get some good ideas. You need to fill up the page with color. When you have filled in all of the white spots, Write your name with a black Sharpie at the bottom corner of the page.

After you are done with your masterpiece, you can order many items with YOUR artwork on it! You can buy mugs, aprons, water bottles, dog tags, and more! You will get a catalog so you know what there is and what colors it comes in. You get a package with your child’s art work on the front! You get  the catalog with everything you can buy. You also get a sheet of free stickers that come with the catalog. You have to order in a certain amount of time so you don’t miss out on all the cool stuff you can buy.

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At Travis Heights Elementary we do something called W.O.W. (Working Out for Wellness). W.O.W. is time for students to get their energy out before sitting down and learning. All students in AISD get 30 minutes of recess and P.E. every two days. 

For most students, recess is still not enough. W.O.W. is instructed exercise where the students do something of the teacher’s choice. Most teachers use Just Dance, GoNoodle, or run at the track. Our teachers are responsible for giving us W.O.W. We aren’t required to do it if we have P.E. that day. 

Students really like W.O.W. It gives them a break from education and lets them enjoy each other. As I said, W.O.W. is INSTRUCTED exercise. You can’t just walk around outside or talk the whole time. It’s not only exercise physically, you also exercise your mind. Sometimes we  do meditation. It helps us calm down and get ready to learn. W.O.W. is fun for students and teachers. I think it’s a great addition to our school day! 

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Character Dress Up Day

THES hosted a school-wide Storybook Character Parade on Friday, October 31st. Students dressed up as a book character such as Mrs Frizzle, Red Riding Hood, Thing 1 or Thing 2 from Cat and The Hat and stuff like that. Our Dress-Up Day was on October 31st (on Halloween). If you didn’t want to dress up, that’s okay. If you wanted to, you could as long as it was not too scary. Doing this Dress-Up day is new to Travis Heights Elementary. It’s the first year they decided to have this fun opportunity!

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Tech Crew

Lights, camera, action! The new tech crew has arrived! Every year at our school we welcome a new bunch of fifth graders to the esteemed Tech Crew. On the Tech Crew we have lots of job options to choose from. Here’s an example of a few of them: stage manager, floor manager, lights, dmx, best boy, main audio, camera, directors assistant, and voice. Our director, Mr. Hawes, is also the computer lab teacher. He teaches the new students the ways of the stage.

This year, the Tech Crew is made of 12 amazing fifth graders; Sabine, Isabelle, Lilah, Vi, Brandon, William, Nicholas, Tamarien, Mily, Lily, Robert, and Ashley. These students work hard to make sure our assembly’s run smoothly and beautiful. On Wednesdays, the tech crew meets to discuss their game plan and practices the show. (The T.H.E.S band practices at the end of the day.) On Fridays, the assemblies happen!.

To any fourth graders or future fourth graders out there, join the tech crew. It’s a blast and you will get lots of new experiences to use in the future!

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The Big Fourth Grade Dual Language Class

Do you know why the 4th grade dual language class is so big? It’s because this year,  there are only enough fourth grade students for three classes. Since there are fewer DL students than the non-DL, the two DL classes were combined in to one this year.

Ms.Alvarez-Simms is the teacher of the fourth grade dual language class. I interviewed her and she said that one advantage of having a bigger class is that there is more diversity for groups. She also said that some disadvantages are that there is not much classroom space, the voice level is hard to control and that it is hard for everyone to get a turn. She said that everything is going great and that she is lucky to have such strong students

I also interviewed four of the students in the fourth grade dual language class. Most of them said that a disadvantage is that it is really loud . One of them said that people take things more seriously, which creates more drama. They all agreed that an advantage is that they have almost all of their friends in their class. One of them said it is good that there are more people for games. I hope that explained it.


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