The Cannon Connection

Staff Information & Updates 10/28/13

From The Principal's Pen...

Pictured to the left is Joey Hudy, 16, from Arizona. At age 16, Joey Hudy has already met President Obama. In fact, the president helped Joey launch a marshmallow from his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon in the State Dining Room during the 2nd Annual White House Science Fair. Joey’s motto is: Don’t be bored . . make something! Joey has won a number of awards for his engineering creations. His most recent invention was a solar-powered computer in the Sun Valley Solar Ultimate Challenge. Joey’s proudest creations to date are his two LED Arduino Shields—printed circuit expansion boards—that he hopes will introduce other kids to the concept of engineering for fun. He has started selling the Shields on several websites. Joey’s goal is to become an electrical engineer and maybe someday work for Maker Media, Inc. The folks at Maker Media, Inc., say they are patiently waiting for him to join them.

When I read stories like this, I am SO inspired and SO excited about the work we are doing with our scholars at Cannon through STEM. Who knows which of our Cannon Cubs will be the next Joey?? When kids have a passion for learning, they can do anything! I'm so proud to be part of a staff that works hard every day to try to inspire this kind of learning with ALL of our scholars! Click here to read a great article that features Joey, as well as an amazing collection of kids who will change our world, as a result of their passion for learning!



Even Sesame Street is getting in on the benefits of learning through STEM-based instruction! The attached article is a super interesting read about how Sesame Street is creating STEM content for both TV and online, with their new digital destination called

Little Discoverers. Click here to read more about how Sesame Street is promoting STEM! Also check out the video below to see a sample video, starring Elmo & Abby, as they investigate tube ramps.

Sesame Street: Elmo and Abby Investigate: Tube Ramp

Dates to Remember

10/28-11/1 - Red Ribbon Week

10/28 - 11/8 District Benchmarks -3rd-5th

10/28 K-2 Math Collaboration meeting - PDEC 3:30

10/28 School Board Meeting 7:00 p.m.
10/29 U.CAN 3:00 -3:45

10/31 Trick or Tweet! - All day tweeting fun for staff!

10/31 Bilingual Botanas PLC -2:45-3:30 - Elia's room

11/1 Elizabeth Parry training- all day (there will be lots of subs in the building!)

11/1 PLC Week A - Kinder;5th;2nd

11/3 Daylight Savings Time Ends! Set clocks back 1 hour

11/4 GT Math Cluster Muster meeting - PDEC 3:15-4:45

11/4-12/13 - Holiday Food Drive begins!

11/4 Emergency Management Team meeting - 3:00

11/5 STEM Leadership Team meeting - 3:00

11/8 PLC Week B - 3rd;4th;1st

11/11 4th grade Field Trip

11/11 Evacuation Drill 2:00 pm

11/12 U.CAN 3:00-3:45

11/13 Spring Creek Family Night 5:00-9:00 pm

11/14 Family STEM Night 5:30 - 7:00

11/15 PLC Week A - Kinder;5th;2nd

11/21 Reverse Evacuation Drill

11/22 PLC Week B - 3rd;4th;1st

11/19 CEC 3:15 - 4:00

11/25-11/29 Thanksgiving Break!


Don't forget that daylight savings time ends on Sunday, November 3rd at 2:00 a.m. Set those clocks to "fall back" one hour!


  • TEAM MEETINGS - There are several items we need to discuss with individual teams. Please let Tona know which of your team meeting dates, within the next 3 weeks, would be the best date for us to join your meeting, in order to share this information. All teams should schedule a date to meet prior to 11/22. Please remember that Tona is off campus on Wednesdays, except for 11/20, so if Wednesday is your normal team meeting day, please make arrangements to meet on a different day during the week the meeting is scheduled. Also, please avoid the following dates: 11/1; 11/7, 11/8. Email the preferred date to Tona as soon as possible. Thanks!
  • IN THE NEWS - In case you are not aware, Cannon 1st graders, along with all first graders across the district, are participating in a pilot program for standards-based report cards this year. The team recently held a parent meeting to share more information about how this grading system will work and about the benefits of this type of grading system. Please take a moment to read more about how this grading system works. We are hopeful that we will be able to expand this type of grading system into additional grades during the 2014-2015 school year, so it's important to be informed! Click here to read more information about how standards-based grading works in GCISD!
  • Upcoming Conferences - Just a reminder that we will have a large number of staff off campus on Friday, 11/1, to attend the Elizabeth Parry workshop on elementary engineering. HUGE thanks to Julie Brenegan, who was awarded a $500 grant from the Ed. Foundation, to allow some of our staff to attend!! Also, on 11/2, the TCEA Area Technology Conference will be held at Hebron High School in Lewisville ISD. Both Megan & Patrick will be presenting at this conference! Megan will share her experiences with blogging and Patrick's session will be about using video and a variety of web tools to sharpen student skills.
  • RED RIBBON REMINDERS - Thanks for helping to promote this week's Red Ribbon Activities to your scholars and parents through blogs, newsletters & websites. As a reminder, for all staff that joins in on the fun and dresses up on theme days, you are welcome to wear jeans and comfortable clothing! The kids LOVE it when teachers get in on the fun by dressing up! Special thanks to Mandy J., Megan, Tina, Dee, Gail & Irene for modeling their Red Ribbon Week attire at the Friday Assembly!

Red Ribbon Week 10-28/11-1

Red Ribbon Week: October 28 – Nov. 1st

Theme: iHaveBetterThingsToDo than Drugs: Cannon has an APP for that….

Monday: Fishing APP
Wear: shirt with fish on it, fishing hat, vest, T-shirt, jeans, & hat
Pledge to say no to drugs – students write their name on a fish

Tuesday: Sports APP
Jersey, sports team shirt
Students will receive bookmarks

Wednesday: Beach APP
Wear: Lei, Hawaiian shirt, grass skirt, flip flops
Students will receive leis (hopefully – still working on this)

Thursday: Camping APP
Wear: Camo, hiking boots, flannel, sweats

Friday: Gardening APP
Wear: red & gardening hat, gloves, sunglasses
Students will plant tulip bulbs


Be sure to get in on some Tweet action this week and participate in Cannon's staff Trick or Tweet!

Include @cancubs & @tonataylor in all of your tweets about learning at Cannon this year. All staff Tweeters from this week will be entered into a drawing for some "spooktacular" prizes!!

Check out some of the staff tweets from last week!

Irene Boynton ‏@BoyntonsBuzz26 Oct

We love engineering! We built caterpillars with movable mouths. #cancubs #gcisd

Mandy Jackson ‏@MrsMandyJackson26 Oct

5th grade came by to help us learn letter, sounds and sight words!! @MrsCrawfordSSS #kindergarten #cancubs

Megan Pettit ‏@MeganPettit2225 Oct

What do you get when you have straws, connectors, teamwork, and engineering? A huge first grade house! @cancubs

Kamala Anderson ‏@Kaminash24 Oct

Marvelous Mathematicians working together to solve a problem!

Sarah ganus ‏@SarahGanus23 Oct

Using a light source to see what is inside an object.

Judy Hockenbrough ‏@JHockenbrough25 Oct

It was hard to choose, but Manya is my first nominee to the Cannon Hall of Fame! #cancubs Congratulations, Manya!

Gail Marin ‏@gail_marin25 Oct

Look at us build a geodesic dome! #cancubs.

Michelle Hall ‏@Michelleh34023 Oct

AngLegs help us learn 4 sided shapes are called quadrilaterals & pentagons don't always look like a house. @cancubs

Cannon Fifth ‏@CannonFifth26 Oct

Cannon Library ‏@Cannonreads24 Oct

2nd #cancubs in @gail_marin @Michelleh340 Dual classrooms on the hunt @Cannonreads for their next Spanish/BIL book!

Erica Step ‏@EricaStep124 Oct

Today we learned a new program, Type to Learn, and we are working on how to properly type on the keyboard! @cancubs

STEM 4th ‏@STEM4th25 Oct

We can't wait to connect with @JenMyersFox4 this afternoon!

Jennifer Myers ‏@JenMyersFox425 Oct

@STEM4th See you at 1:15!!!

Patrick R. Lollis ‏@canmaestro24 Oct

Pumped about #tcea1011 - 9am Me/10am @miss_chayes @MeganPettit22 /1pm Aurasma/2pm Self-grading Google docs/3pm Prizes! @cancubs @aszahn66

Trisha Goins ‏@heartinlife25 Oct

So proud of the 3rd grade team embracing google docs! @EricaStep1 @melanie_place @MAmbalavanar #cancubs

juliebrenegan ‏@molliemae5724 Oct

Limnology! Looking for macro invertebrates with Cannon 5th graders @cancubs #skyranch


  • Set a timer and turn in attendance by 9:45-10:15 daily.
  • Participate in daily Red Ribbon Week theme days! Have fun with your kids!
  • U.CAN will meet after school on Tuesday 10/29 @ 3:00 p.m.
  • Tweet this week to share the great work @ Cannon and be entered into the staff Trick or Tweet Contest!!
  • Don't forget to set your clock back 1 hour on Sunday, 11/3