Brain Breaks

Brain Breaks are 1 to 2 minute activities which help you get refocused and reenergized. It’s like a refresh button for you. The activity challenges your brain while getting your body moving.

Brain Breaks can be used at home, work or at school. Teachers can use brain breaks to transition from one activity to another or help students stay focus on their topic. Refresh the brains in your classroom every 30 to 40 minutes.

As SOC students taking Algebra I finish an assignment, Mrs. Wesley, will have them take a brain break. Sometimes the break will be for an  individual or for partners or the whole class together. The breaks have increased the productivity of the classes.

Here’s a brain break from Energizing Brain Breaks by David Sladkey for you to try with your student.

“Say 21 and Win”

You and your partner are trying to count by ones up to twenty-one. The first person to say “21” will win.


  1. Stand up and find a partner. Decide who is A and who is B.
  2. Goal is to be the first one to say “21”.
  3. You will alternately say consecutive numbers starting at “1” until someone says “21”. However, at your turn, you have your choice of saying only one number or two numbers at a time. For example, if person A finishes their turn and said “7”; then person B could either say just “8” or “8 then 9”.
  4. Person A starts counting at “1”.



College Week and Celebrate Freedom Week

This past week, September 11-September 15, 2017, we celebrated both College Week and Celebrate Freedom Week.

During College Week, students and staff were encouraged to show off their favorite college t-shirts, jerseys, and colors! Staff also spent time during Advisory Period speaking with students about the college experience, as well as sharing information on different college programs.  Advisory time was also used to discuss jobs and degrees, and staff gave students an opportunity to take a College Personality Survey.  This survey gave students an insight on what college opportunities were available to them, as well as different career and college major paths they may be interested in.

Monday, September 11, 2017, also was the start of Celebrate Freedom Week. September 11, is especially set aside to honor Patriots Day and all of those that died in the terrorist attacks on our nation in 2001.  During announcements Monday morning, the following statement was read to honor and remember those that were lost that day.

Today is Patriot Day in the United States and First Responders Day in Texas, a day to honor the lives and the memory of those who died in the September 11, 2001, attacks on our nation and those first responders who committed acts of great bravery during the events of that day.
 As we prepare to observe our moment of silence at this time, let us remember and honor the men and women who lost their lives 16 years ago– let’s also remember those heroes who courageously worked to save the lives of others, and let us not forget those who were left behind.
Today, we mark the 16th anniversary of 9/11.  On September 11, 2001, America was struck with its deadliest attack since Pearl Harbor.  A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, D.C., and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 
At the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, 2, 753 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were intentionally crashed into the north and south towers or as a result of those crashes.  Of those who were killed during the initial attacks and when the towers collapsed, 343 were New York City Firefighters, 23 were New York City Police Officers, and 37 were Officers at the Port Authority. 
At the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.
Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when the plane crashed into a field.  It is believed that the hijackers crashed the plane in that location, rather than their unknown target, after the passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the flight deck.
Please join me in a moment of silence to honor and remember the men and women who died.

On Wednesday, September 13, we recognized Constitution Day with a student led reading of the following excerpt from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

We appreciate all of the support and participation from events this week and look forward to more exciting celebrations in the future!

Open House at the SOC

On September 12th the teachers and staff of the SOC hosted an Open House. This was an opportunity for the parents to see our historic building and meet their child’s teachers.
Each academic department was grouped in the same room where the teachers shared with parents the curriculum as well as examples of some of the lessons students were learning.  During these sessions, the teachers also presented information about the classes, department norms, and expectations. Each session lasted about 15 minutes so that parents had the opportunity to visit with each department.
In addition, one session discussed all of the extra support, events, and activities that are available to our students.  Some of the items covered were:
  • Leadership Academy – This happens on the first day of school and is geared to goal setting, managing stress, building relationships, and what it takes to be successful not only on our campus but in life.
  • Advisory – The is a period that students attend each day.  The advisory teacher uses this twenty-minute period to meet with students about academic progress and make plans and/or set goals for each student to be successful.  As a result of these conversations, parents should be receiving a weekly email from their students’ advisory teacher notifying them of academic progress.
  • SMART Time – Student Movement and Relaxation Time – each day we give our students time to move and relax because it is important to take breaks throughout the day for our minds to be at their best. Open House Invite
  • Restorative Practices – A proactive process we are using to build strong relationships with our students.
  • SMU Counselors – SMU counseling interns are available to meet with students who choose to see them.  These interns are also available to see anyone who resides within the FISD borders. They are here on Tuesday and Thursday evening to see community clients.
  • Career Survey – We are partnered with Collin College to survey students on both their interest and aptitude to see which profession might be their best choice.  We will be testing students over the next month. Once we have the results we will target specific industries in order to give our students more exposure to the careers within these fields. 
    • Field Trips – We will also schedule several field trips based on the survey information to help our students see first-hand the field in which they are interested.
  • Career Speaker Series – Throughout the year we will bring in speakers to visit with small groups of students who are interested in very specific fields.  If you are interested in speaking with our students, please contact Dana Racanelli at the SOC.
  • Lunch and Learn – We bring in community resources to the students during lunches such as Job Corp, the armed forces, etc.  These representatives are only here to answer students questions.
  • TSI Testing – Each year we have any of our interested seniors take the TSI.  This is an entrance exam for the community and junior colleges.  Once taken, the scores are good for a year, so it is there whenever the student is ready to apply for college. In the past, this has either been funded by a Frisco Education Foundation grant or the generosity of our staff.
  • LaVision –  A resource for all schools in the district that have a Spanish speaking student or family who needs assistance or resources. This organization offers parenting classes and other informational nights in Spanish. They also support other district-wide events.
  • Student and Parent Empowerment Series – A monthly series that addresses the needs and challenges of both students and parents.  We would love for you to join us.  Below is our schedule for the year:
    • Saturday, October 14, 2017–“Parenting in the Age of Social Media–Part I
    • Saturday, November 11, 2017- “Parenting in the Age of Social Media”–Part II
    • Saturday, January 20, 2018 “Harmony AFTER the holidays”
    • Saturday, March 3, 2018 “Four Goals of Misbehavior”
    • Saturday, April 14, 2018 “Restoring Relationships–Introducing and Adopting Social Emotional Learning and Restorative Practices Into Families”
    • Saturday, May 12, 2018–“In Fitness and in Health–Let’s Move!”
We were excited about the turnout and hope to see parents at the next one scheduled for the second semester.

Back to School Bash

Program Summary

The Event—This year we hosted the 5th annual Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 12th, 2017 from 10:00-2:00 at Centennial High School. The purpose of the Bash is to build a bridge between resources and families together by offering the following key components:  a) Knowledge, b) Information, c) Service, and d) Support. The program was designed to greet returning FISD parents and welcome new families to our growing district. The vendors who participated in the event were selected and/or volunteered and were encouraged to bring interactive activities, promotional items, and resources pertaining to their businesses which are accessible for families. This year we had approximately 3600 families and a total of 87 vendors who participated.

The Vendors— The vendors were invited to participate and were not charged. Prior to the Bash, each organization/business owner was given a vendor information sheet which outlined the logistics and FAQs for the day along with a map to Centennial High School. Vendors were not allowed to sell merchandise at the event but were encouraged to bring promotional items and other prizes for the guest to win during our give away announcements.  Below are the items that were given to families during the event.

Next year—Next year, the Back to School Bash is scheduled for Saturday, August 11th, 2018 from 10:00-1:00 pm.  The goal is to create a Frisco ISD Health Fair along with the Back to School Bash which will offer immunizations, haircuts, and other fun programs that incorporate movement and wellness.




Circle Values

The beginning of a new school year is always an exciting time! It’s a fresh beginning, a time to meet new friends, learn new things, and have new experiences. One of the new experiences our students are encountering this year is Circles.

Throughout the day, students get a chance to build connections with their teachers and fellow students through check-in circles, which usually consist of 1-3 get to know you type questions. Two of my favorite questions so far have been, “What is the perfect job for you?” and “What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?”

During Advisory period, students have the chance to go deeper and build relationships with their advisory community. The community building circles always start out with stating the members values and agreeing to abide by them during the circle time. We, as educators, had the pleasure of facilitating a discussion about values with our advisory groups during the first week of school, and then we asked each student to write their value on a paper plate. They could decorate the plates or otherwise enhance them to make the plates as unique as each student, and now they are displayed in each room as a reminder of the values we each wish to abide by.


This was an excellent exercise in self exploration, as students had to reflect on their lives and decide on one value that they could bring to the table. As we continue through the year, we will use these values to guide discussions, interact with peers, and grow as humans. I am very much looking forward to what’s to come for these students and the SOC.