GT Academy Newsletter

Sablatura Middle School / Pearland ISD

December 2016 / January 2017

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TPSP Research Papers are Finished!

Students have worked very hard on TPSP research papers, and now the fun begins!

Fifth grade students will begin working with their groups to plan and design a quilt to reflect what has been written in their papers. As quilt plans are finalized, students will be responsible for bringing in fabric, thread, pins, and batting to make the quilt. Teachers suggest that parents sign up for a JoAnn’s Fabric e-mail and get daily coupons, which usually cuts the fabric cost in half! If students cannot purchase the fabric, please let teachers know so that we can make other arrangements. We also accept scraps of fabric for those that have it.

If you are interested in helping once the students begin sewing, please contact your child's homeroom teacher. Volunteers are needed for each class beginning at 3:00 each day once sewing begins.

Sixth grade students are putting the final touches on their research papers. As final copies are submitted, they are working on their twenty-one day travel blog, which will be posted on the website they design. They will soon begin to plan a display for the GTA Student Showcase, and creativity is encouraged. Parents can help by encouraging students to plan ahead, stay on schedule, and be creative.

Ms. Sisk is Sablatura Middle School's Teacher of the Year

We are excited to announce that Ms. Sisk is our Teacher of the Year!

Ms. Sisk is a true facilitator in the classroom, and enjoys seeing students discover and learn from each other. She greets each student with a handshake and smile as they enter her class each day. Walk into her classroom, and you will find the overhead lights off, with the classroom being lit by the sunlight coming through the window to the patio and colorful lamps throughout. This change of lighting enables students to work in a calm and focused manner. Students enjoy exploring different genres as they read in comfortable chairs and with pillows stretched out on the floor. They also enjoy in-depth discussions using Socratic Seminar.

Ms. Sisk has high expectations for her students and empowers students to become avid readers and writers, opening them up to unlimited opportunities. She teaches students to have a growth mindset and GRIT.

Ms. Sisk sponsors the Future Problem Solving teams at Sablatura and PJHW. The Texas Future Problem Solving Program mission is to "prepare students to be successful leaders through problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and communication strategies. Participants learn authentically while researching and engaging collaboratively to solve problems focused on real world topics presented in futuristic scenario competitions and community projects." She has led many teams to state and international level competitions.

Not only is she a great teacher and FPS sponsor, but she has also taught workshops that help teachers to become more equipped in the classroom, including Future Problem Solvers Teacher Training, Science AIMS, GT Social & Emotional Needs, and Writing/Reading Workshops.

We are proud to call Ms. Sisk one of our outstanding GT Academy teachers!

Mighty Martians Take 3rd Place at UH Mars Rover Celebration!

Seven teams of students attended the University of Houston's Mars Rover Celebration on Saturday, January 28th. These students were part of the Mars Rover mini course taught by Mrs. Stenvall. The Mars Rover Celebration was the culminating event after weeks of research and preparation. Students worked in teams of four to research previous missions to Mars, design a unique rover to carry out a new mission, and incorporate the research into a skit and display that would be presented to judges. All teams learned the importance of working together to achieve a goal, and the fifth grade Mighty Martians were awarded third place!

Sablatura and PJHW Host Successful TMSCA Competition

Math and Science teams from Sablatura, Pearland Junior High West, Berry Miller Junior High, Fort Settlement Middle School and Nolan Ryan Junior High met on January 14th for friendly competition as students prepared to qualify for the state level TMSCA competition.

Sablatura / PJHW teams were successful, and were awarded: Second Place Sweepstakes, Second Place Team Calculator, Second Place Team General Math, and Third Place Team Science. Many individual trophies were awarded as well! We are proud of our students, and encourage them to keep working as we prepare for the state qualifying meets.

Thank you to all of the wonderful parent volunteers and teachers who helped make this event a success. We could not have done it without the help with registration, concessions, proctoring and grading. And a big thank you to Central Texas BBQ for the delicious lunch!

Guest Teachers

Guest teachers and speakers are an important part of the educational experience for GT Academy students. They expose students to real-world life experiences from a different perspective, and students enjoy learning about the guest's particular field. Recently, students have benefitted from the following guest speakers:

  • Mrs. Leggett, one of our Educational Technology Specialists, is teaching the photography mini course alongside Mrs. Medley. Students are practicing new skills as they take photos around the school to develop a program for Sablatura life skills students.
  • Mrs. Manning, also one of our Educational Technology Specialists, is working with students in the Newspaper mini course. She taught them how to edit and revise a peer's article using Office 365. She also introduced students in the Codes & Ciphers mini course to Glogster, a creative way to create an online poster. Students are creating a page to summarize the codes and ciphers they are learning. Mrs. Manning is also working with students to create video announcements using a green screen.
  • Mrs. Dawson, Pearland ISD's attorney, is teaching the Law mini course alongside Mrs. Vanderwoude. Students are working to prepare for a mock trial that will be presented at the Pearland Court House.
  • Jim Foreman and Karolyn Gephart, from the Pearland Reporter News visited with students in the Newspaper mini course.
  • One of our GT Academy parents, Mr. Gorman, brought in artifacts and memorabilia from WWI and WWII to share with 6th grade students.
  • Students in Mrs. Sisk's Inventions mini course learned about how a good idea becomes a product on a shelf as Mr. Graham taught about the invention process.

Summer Opportunities

Students who want to enrich their learning experience during the summer months are encouraged to attend a summer camp and are encouraged to apply for a TAGT scholarship. Students can earn up to $400 to apply toward an academic, fine arts, or performing arts camp. Deadline to submit application is February 24th. Go for it!

Mark Your Calendar:

  • February 9th - Robotics Exhibition @ Sablatura Cafeteria 5:30-7:00 pm
  • February 13th - GTAB Meeting @ Sablatura Library 6:30 pm
  • February 13-14th - PJHW Meet With 6th Grade Students during PE
  • February 14th - Photography & Art Field Experience to MFAH
  • February 16th - Individual & Club Picture Day (Bring club t-shirts!)
  • February 17th - Quiz Bowl @ Turner High School 4:00-8:00
  • February 17th - Law Mini Course Mock Trial @ Court House
  • February 18th - TMSCA Competition / Qualifying Meet
  • February 20th - Battle Bots @ Sablatura Cafeteria
  • February 24th - Sablatura Mardi Gras Social 4:00-6:00 pm
  • February 25th - Seaperch Practice Meet @ Manvel High School
  • March 2nd - 6th Grade Practice STAAR (Reading)
  • March 8th - 6th Grade Practice STAAR (Math)
  • March 13-17th - Spring Break
  • March 22nd - Sablatura Inventors' Showcase
  • March 25th - Seaperch Regional Competition @ Manvel High School
  • March 28th - 5th Grade Math STAAR
  • March 29th - 5th Grade Reading STAAR

Read More About Gifted:

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT)

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

Duke TIP Digest of Gifted Research

2e- Twice Exceptional Newsletter

The Gifted Guru

Byrdseed Gifted