What's "Growing" On @ Cannon?

Staff Information & Updates 05/30/16

From the Principal's Pen...

Did you know these Summer Learning Gap facts?

We have an opportunity to try to address the Summer Learning Gap that occurs with all kids, by allowing our Cannon scholars to keep their iPads this summer and to stay engaged in learning all summer long, with the Cannon Summer Reading Challenges & the Summer Learning Challenges!

I realize that this is the busiest time of the year for everyone, but please take the time this week to help us ensure that our scholars are aware of the expectations for summer learning, through the Reading/Learning Challenges that were sent home with all scholars. IF we keep our kids engaged in learning all summer, the pay-offs will be HUGE for them and us, as they return to school next year.

This will be our last staff newsletter for the 2015-2016 school year! I hope that each one of you have found this year to be as rewarding as I have! The work we do at Cannon Elementary is special. It is hard work. It can be exhausting, frustrating, and challenging at times. Despite this, it is so evident to me every single day how much each of you love our scholars. How passionate you are about the learning experiences we work hard to create at Cannon. How committed each of you are to your own personal/professional growth. I tell people ALL of the time that Cannon is a special place, where a culture of learning truly exists, both for the kids and the adults.

I take immense pride in each you, your outstanding work, our amazing scholars, and our great families at Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School. It is truly an honor to work alongside each of you! Next year, we will have more new exciting beginnings with new students, new staff, new learning experiences, AND a new school to begin planning for!

I. Can't. Wait!!

Have an amazing and relaxing summer making wonderful memories with your families and friends!! Thanks and love to you ALL!

Proud to be your principal,

Tona :)

Summer Learning Challenges For Our Cubs!

In addition to the Cannon Elementary Learning Commons newsletter that is attached below, which includes a variety of summer reading challenges, the following summer learning activities are being shared with all families, both with a digital & a print copy.

Please spend some time in your classroom this week, discussing, sharing, & alowing time for your scholars to explore these learning challenges and encouraging their participation.

Cannon 2016 Summer Learning Challenges - English

Cannon 2016 Summer Learning Challenges - Spanish

GCISD 2016 Boredom Busters *Please note that on one square of the Cannon Summer Learning Challenge grid, this link for GCISD's Summer Boredom Buster's summer activities is included. There are some GREAT summer learning ideas designed for each week of the summer on this document.

Help us communicate ways to keep our Cannon scholars involved in learning throughout the summer!! Please review & share all of this information with parents.


Did you know that students can use Istation throughout the summer months to combat Summer Slide? Istation believes a break from school needn’t be a break from learning. These printable brochures for teachers and parents explain how to access Istation at home. Need a brochure in Spanish? You can get one here. Think a video might work better to help inspire summer reading? Our Istation characters Justin Time and Paige Turner put together a short video about using Istation Home during the summer. Please share this video with students and their families:

Watch Paige and Justin discuss Istation Home.

Please help your students start the summer months at the place that is right for them! Have them take the ISIP assessment at school in May, so that when they begin home use during the summer months they are placed correctly into the adaptive curriculum in Istation Home.

Lisa's Coaching Corner

When you spend the school year giving of yourself to your students, it is important to relax and recharge! It gives you the chance to reflect and remember WHY you chose to teach.

Please reach out to me anytime this summer if I can help with you with any professional development. I look forward to hearing about the new things you learn and discover to use with your scholars next year!

I am proud to able to work with you this year and proud of the work done here at Cannon.


Mattie McKellar Joins Kindergarten Team!

My name is Mattie McKellar. I just graduated from Baylor in May. I have a passion for learning and cultivating a desire for knowledge within each of my students. In my free time, I like to read, follow sports, and run. I am so excited to join the Cannon team! This is a unique campus with a wonderful staff. I am so excited to ignite a passion for leaning in my Kindergarten students trough STEM!


In addition to welcoming a new staff member to Cannon for 2016-2017, we will also be saying goodbye to some of our existing staff.

Erica Step - Erica Step has made the decision to leave GCISD, to continue her teaching career in Denton ISD. She will be teaching 4th grade Language Arts at Ginnings Elementary. Erica has been at Cannon for 19 years, so this was a very difficult decision for her! However, this move will reduce her total daily commute from two hours to sixteen minutes....just think about all of the additional quality time this will allow Erica to spend with her family!! We wish Erica the best of luck in this new role!

Tina Berumen - Tina has announced that she will be resigning her position at Cannon. She has accepted the librarian position at Town Center Elementary in Coppell ISD. This move will allow Tina to cut her commute time in half and be in the same school/district as both of her young daughters. We are so grateful that she will be joining a campus that we work with on some STEM projects! This will allow us to better stay in touch with TIna. Congratulations to Tina on her new position!

Dates to Remember

5/30 School Holiday - Memorial Day

5/31 3rd grade Awards Ceremony - 8:15 - 9:15

5/31 4th grade Awards Ceremony - 1:30-2:30

6/01 5th grade Awards Ceremony - 8:00-9:00

6/01 5th grade EoY Picnic

6/2 Last Day of School - Early Release 11:45

6/3 Teacher Work Day - last day for teachers!

6/3 EoY Staff Celebration Breakfast - 7:30 - 8:30 library

8/15-8/19 Staff returns for 2016-2017 school year!! (8/18 will be Meet the Teacher Night)

8/22 First Day of School for students!


Rockets 5th grade


  • iPAD COLLECTION All 5th grade student devices and and K-4 students who have not received parent permission to keep their iPad for the summer, as well as those students who are not returning to Cannon next year, will begin to be collected on Tuesday. David & Ben will begin this process with 5th grade and proceed to other grade levels as time allows. All devices will be collected by Wednesday afternoon. All staff will receive the most updated list of parents who have NOT given permission via email from Tona. Very important: Please make sure that the student's password card is securely attached to their device, prior to turning it in.

  • STUDENT VOICE PROJECT Dr. Ryan recently shared information about the Student Voice project that began this year and that will continue into next year. This project is very important to the work of our campus and district, as we continue to work on encourage students to have a "voice" in their own learning! The learning from district teachers who participated in this project this year has been invaluable. I would love to see as many of our staff members as possible to get involved in this project next year as our district continues to work on this important goal. Complete this form before you leave for the summer. to express your interest in participating next year. To hear what others are saying about the impact of this project in their classrooms this year, watch this video.

  • PLANT THIS WEEK FOR OUR SUMMER GARDENING! Please spend some time in the garden this week doing some final plantings for the year! The Family Adopt-the-Garden project has been very successful and we have families who have signed up to adopt the garden for each week of the summer, thanks to the efforts of Jessica W. & Heather! Let's make sure the gardens are fully planted (get seeds from Heather!) before we leave for the year, so that we can provide these families with a healthy harvest to maintain. Thank you!!

  • MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR END OF YEAR STAFF BREAKFAST We will gather as a staff on the last staff work day, June 3rd, from 7:30-8:30 am, in the library, to celebrate our school year and say farewell for the summer! Breakfast will be provided for all staff. We will also use this time to share important summer reminders, say farewell to staff that is not returning next year, present service awards, and enjoy some final fellowship time for 2015-2016 Mark your calendars now for this staff event!

  • EoY STAFF CHECKLIST & PLP REMINDERS All staff will receive an EoY Staff Checklist in your mailbox on Tuesday. The GCISD Energy Shutdown reminders will be part of the checklist this year. Also, just a reminder that your PLP for 2016-2017 needs to be completed before you leave for the summer. See details about this below:

*** Use the link below to access the folder that has all of the resources you need. In the PLP Document Folder, you will find both PLP templates (the narrative form & the one with the boxes), as well as other related documents (LEAD 2021, Portrait of a Graduate, & Learning Platform Rubric, Portrait of a STEM Teacher). As a reminder, staff can choose either of the PLP templates to use, based on your personal preference. Remember that you will need to make a copy of whichever template you use and move it to your own PLP folder to complete. After you make a copy of your desired form, please add it to your own PLP folder, within your grade level folder. You will need to create your own folder for 2016-2017. If you are not planning to return to Cannon next year, you do not need to create a PLP. If you are changing grade levels, please create (move) your PLP in the grade level you are moving to. Click here for the Cannon Staff PLP folder & PLP Document folder.

GCISD Professional Learning Opportunities


  • Set a timer and complete daily attendance ON TIME!
  • Finish collecting parent permission for summer iPad use.
  • Communicate EoY Celebration Ceremony dates to parents.
  • Review all of the summer offerings in the GCISD Summer PD Smore.
  • Share summer learning opportunities for students with parents!
  • Complete EoY Staff Checklist by 3:30 pm on Friday, 6/4.
  • Plan to attend the EoY Staff Breakfast on Friday in the library. 7:30-8:30 am
  • Have an amazing and relaxing summer!! Rest, Relax, Reflect, & Recharge!
  • Tweet & blog about all of the great things you are doing in your classroom/grade!