Byte-Sized Bits
November 2019
Visit The Writing Center
at CSRA RESA to see what's new. Narrative Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12  have new power and writing lessons, and Grades K-5 Narrative contains new foundational and mastery lessons. 

Happy Holidays are approaching....... 


The Thanksgiving and winter breaks are often celebrated with the joys of family, food, gifts and travel. But for many students and families this time of year can mean even greater challenges that come in the form of food insecurity, loneliness, and other physical and mental challenges. 


Depression and suicidal thoughts are two of the most frightening things a person can face in their lifetime. Unfortunately, acting on those suicidal thoughts is a far too common scenario for many across the world, including students. In fact, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 24. This is a perfect time to review the many resources available from the Georgia Department of Education’s Division of Student Safety and Wellbeing found on the GA Department of Education's website.


Poverty in Georgia arises out of the socioeconomic structure of counties, and several factors influence the degree of child poverty. The lower the average income of employed persons within a county, the greater the likelihood that families in that area are living in poverty. 1 in 7 children in America faces hunger, all across the United States, in every community. It's real. With your help, we can change it. Learn more at No Kid Hungry, a movement of teachers, chefs, community leaders, parents, lawmakers, and CEOs with a shared belief: no kid in America should go hungry. 


It is difficult to recognize the physical and emotional needs that students are facing. These can even be masked by withdrawal or classroom/school disruptions. There are a number of possible reasons for acting out behaviors, and few are as simple as "he's a bad kid." When a child acts out, the pattern of inappropriate behavior is often used to cover up deeper feelings of pain, fear, or loneliness. 


SIGNALS provides online resources designed to equip with: 

  • Information about what can be missed when focusing on behavior without considering indicators 
  • The impact of missed indicators on mental health development and social engagement 

Visit https://namiga.org/signalswebinars/

As daunting as these realties can be, let’s do what we can to be aware of the needs of students and do something when we are able. But be reminded that your own mental health and physical stamina is important to your wellbeing and success. 


Dr. Debbie Alexander
Executive Director, CSRA RESA

Professional Learning Courses
  • November 7 - K-2 ELA Strategies for Paras/Parent Volunteers to Support Readers and Writers
  • November 8 - CSRA RESA Dyslexia Seminar
  • November 14 - Deep Dive into CCRPI: Elementary and Middle Focus
  • November 14 - Deep Dive into CCRPI: High School Focus                         
  • November 19 - Questioning the Text: Is it Literal or Inferential?
  • November 20 - PBIS Tier Booster
  • November 21 - GPB/Discovery Education and Virtual Field Trips in Social Studies and Science

For the full calendar and to register for courses, please  click here.

Welcome the Newest Member of our Team
Susan Walls, Administrative Assistant
Hello! I come to RESA by way of Lakeside High School where I served the students, parents and faculty as the Guidance Secretary for six years. Prior to Lakeside, I worked at Sugar Hill Elementary in Gwinnett County for eight years (as a Kindergarten Parapro for five years and then as the front office receptionist for three), so I’m not a stranger to the school environment.

My husband, Jim, is the Associate Pastor at First Baptist Augusta – that’s what brought us to the CSRA in 2013. We have two sons, Allen (22, at Augusta University), Bryan (19, at GA Southern) and as of last Saturday, a daughter-in-law-to-be, Morghan!

Our family has a special fall tradition. Each year we attend an SEC or ACC football game at a stadium we have not visited previously (as a family) and enjoy the game as “home team fans.” We began our adventures in 2004 following UGA to a game at Kentucky. We have visited 15 different stadiums, and in a few weeks we head to Auburn for this year’s adventure. I look forward to hearing about the teams you claim as your own, as well as traditions special to your family.

Thank you for the warm welcome to those whom I’ve met already. I’m excited to be here and look forward to meeting each of you and supporting your amazing work!

Growing Readers
GOSA Growing Readers Regional Meeting Number #1 was held October 28th at CSRA RESA. The Regional Meeting was a collaborative work session with state and federal Growing Readers Candidates and Specialists. Debbi Callan, Margo Huskey, Mary Jo Kemp, Dr. Marcia Lim-Tom, and Tia Samuel (Oconee RESA) presented. 

Math PLC with Pam Harris, author of Building Powerful Numeracy

Reading PL with Debbie Callan
Burke County Teachers and Curriculum Director putting their heads together using the FIVES reading strategy.

Social Studies Leaders PLC

Tech Toolbox PLC #2
Our Tech Toolbox PLC #2 for Social Studies and Science leaders was so much fun! Participants were introduced to a variety of ways to use Google My Maps and Google Earth in lessons either as teacher tools or as collaborative student tools by Crystal Parten and Heather Yarbrough of CSRA RESA.

Jennifer Newton, Media Specialist at Thomson High School, introduced everyone to Google Tour Builder, Google Tour Creator, and Google Expeditions (both virtual reality and augmented reality). Brittany Price, technology specialist at River Ridge Elementary School in Sandersville, Georgia, introduced participants to Google Treks, Google Carmen San Diego resources, and Google Science Journal.

Finally, all participants had time to begin practicing with each of the tools and planning a lesson using at least one of them. Newsela provided a fantastic lunch of pizza, salad, hoagies, and dessert!

We hope to see you at our next meeting!!

Tech Toolbox PLC #3: November 21, 2019 - 9:00AM-3:30 PM


  • Join CSRA RESA Social Studies at our monthly PLC! Teachers, coaches, and district leaders are all welcome to attend.
  • Discovery Education and Georgia Public Broadcasting will be introducing us to all of the new features on their platforms, providing us with a look at model lessons for social studies and science, and taking us on some virtual field trips!
  • Georgia is the only state in the nation that provides Discovery Education to ALL state educators free of charge! So, take the opportunity to learn about these amazing resources that you have access to with a click of a button.
  • Lunch will be provided and you will walk away with resources you can use in your class the very next day. We cannot wait to see you!
Connect with us!
  • To receive daily updates, resources, and news important to K-12 Social Studies in our area, please follow me on: 
    • Facebook: csrasocialstudies
    • Twitter:  @teachSScsra

Google Classroom celebrates FIVE years!

There have been many changes and improvements along the way based on teacher feedback.

How has it helped your work as a teacher? How is it supporting learning for your students? Does your school use it for Professional Learning? If you are rocking Google Classroom and would like to share a tip with other teachers, please share here!
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