GT Academy Newsletter

Sablatura Middle School / Pearland ISD

August / September 2017

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Although we've had an interesting start to the school year due to Hurricane Harvey, we are now back on track and ready for a successful year. We have an awesome group of new fifth graders and are excited to see the continued growth of our sixth graders. Welcome to Sablatura GTA, where we are "Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow!"

Ten Tips for Middle School Success:

10. Try something new! Middle school is a great time to try new things. Sit by someone new at lunch. Read a new genre of book. Try a new hairstyle. Join a club.

9. Get organized. GTA students are encouraged to use a zipper binder to keep assignments organized. Students should have a different colored folder for each class and file papers in the appropriate folder. Recording assignments and due dates in your planner is critical to middle school success. Teachers write homework, due dates, objectives and daily tasks on the board, and students should record this information each day. Keeping up with the planner will help with managing long term projects.

8. Check Skyward. Get in the habit of checking Skyward to make sure all assignments have been turned in and grades are good. A zero from a missing assignment can really affect your average.

7. Don't forget ALEKS: ALEKS is an excellent resource for all students - those who want to work above grade level to get ahead in math, and those who are struggling with certain concepts and need extra practice. All fifth and sixth grade GTA students should have completed the initial assessment in ALEKS, and are now expected to complete lessons at home and school each week. Fifth grade students are expected to complete 15 lessons each week and sixth grade students are expected to complete 10 lessons per week. Grades are based on the number of lessons completed. *For an overview of ALEKS, watch the video below.

6. Get to know Edmodo: Edmodo is used for communication between student and teacher and student to student. Teachers will utilize this with students regularly to send out assignments, for group discussions, collaboration on research, and math videos. A student can also ask classmates about what he/she missed when they were absent. Parents are encouraged to sign up as well but will only be able to “view” and not make comments. Edmodo is monitored closely by teachers and is only for educational purposes.

5. Reinforce your science skills with STEMSCOPES: STEMSCOPES reinforces topics of study in the Science classroom. Sixth graders are assigned a set of STEMSCOPES after Mrs. Stenvall teaches the topic. Students usually have one week to complete all activities in any order, but they must be completed as homework by the due date. Mrs. Stenvall records the STEMSCOPES grade after the due date.

4. Get ready to rock the SAT with Knowsys: In sixth grade, Knowsys is looking a little different this year! Students study a group of vocabulary words every two weeks. At the start of each two week period, new vocabulary is introduced and discussed in class, and students receive a menu with a variety of tasks to complete. These tasks will help them practice the vocabulary at home. At the end of the two week period, on Friday, students submit their menu with four tasks completed and take the Knowsys quiz. Parents are encouraged to learn the vocabulary along with students, and look for their application in the real world!

3. Collaborate with Office 365: Throughout the year, GTA students have many opportunities to work with others. Collaboration is an important skill to master as students prepare for the 21st Century workforce. Office 365 is a tool that allows students to access their documents at home, at school, or even on the go! Students can turn in work and collaborate with their classmate and teachers.

2. Tuesday Folders: Students are expected to share notes and assignments in the Tuesday Folder with parents each Tuesday evening. Parents should sign the conduct card, discuss any conduct and work habit concerns with their child, and return the card with the folder. Corrections should be made, and papers that received a grade below a 70 need to be returned no later than Friday.

1. Expect to make Mistakes. Middle school can be challenging at times, and students will make mistakes. Mastering challenging curriculum, managing assignments, maintaining friendships and keeping up with extracurricular activities and responsibilities can be overwhelming at times, especially for preteens. What is important is that we have a growth mindset, and learn from each mistake. Communication is key, and students who learn to communicate honestly with teachers and parents are one step closer to success.

What's for Lunch?

Lunch is not just for eating anymore! Sixth grade GTA students take advantage of the thirty minute break from classes to relax their brains and socialize with friends. Students can be found playing a friendly game of chess, creating a new cartoon character, getting lost in a favorite book, enjoying some coloring therapy, or battling it out with a game of cards.

Laila S. says "A Sablatura lunch period is a very diverse place, full of artists, readers, talkers, and even chess enthusiasts! It is enthralling to see the hundreds of students each doing something they love. So, next time you find yourself surrounded by your fellow middle schoolers in the middle of a lunch period, take a moment to appreciate how beautifully different we all are."

Purdue Picnic

"Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold."

Team Purdue took a break from the regular lunch routine and headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and time with new and old friends. Because GTA students come from each of the eleven elementary schools in the district, and a few private schools as well, there is a great opportunity to meet new friends at the beginning of the year. Students are finding friends that share interests in hobbies such as reading, drama, coding and drawing. They are also meeting new friends in school clubs such as Math Club, FPS, Quiz Bowl, Robotics, or one of our new student led clubs including drama, sculpting, chess and drones. We are proud of this group of students and are excited about their diverse interests.

Mini Courses in Full Swing

Higher level thinking, concentration, competition … a gifted student’s dream come true! In the chess mini course, students are learning advanced moves, developing skills and of course participating in some healthy competition! Students are beginning to design a life-size chess board and hats as they prepare for a lunchtime debut. We will choose students during lunch to play our life-size chess game. The winners of our tournament will get to be the White and Black Kings. Check Mate!

We have several future doctors and neuroscientists in our hallway! Students in the anatomy mini course have learned the parts of the eye as they prepare for their field experience to the Houston Health Museum, where they will dissect cow eyes. Students studying neuroscience will join them at the museum to dissect sheep brains to reinforce their understanding of the parts of the brain.

Also roaming our hallway are robots that have been built and programmed by students in the robotics mini course.

Students in the storytelling course have studied fables, myths and the history of storytelling. They are creating puppets that will be used to retell classic or original stories to first and second graders at Silvercrest and Lawhon Elementary. A professional storyteller will visit the group to give a few tips before their trip.

Go Gold!

By: Ava M. and Caroline W.

The goal of the Community Outreach mini course is to give back to our community and help those who need support. One of the biggest things we have done in Community Outreach is the Go Gold Week, which is an entire week of supporting awareness of childhood cancer. For more motivation and ideas, we had a guest speaker from Candle Lighters come to speak with us about what it means to support childhood cancer and how there are so many ways to help! We also made gold ribbons (which are probably on your shirt) to represent that we are all fighting for and with the kids who need our support. One of the big ideas that we had this year was our Penny War! This event helped give us a little more than just our words by raising money to donate to Candle Lighters for families of children with cancer. We enjoyed supporting those who need our love through Community Outreach.

Fall GRIT Rally

Sablatura spirit was strong at the first GRIT Rally of the year. Grizzlies entered the stadium to the beat of the PHS drum line, then each team showed their Sablatura pride as they shouted team cheers. Team TCU won the Golden Paw award! New school board member Mikael Floyd shared a few words about his background and his commitment to Pearland ISD. He is a 2017 graduate of Dawson High School and currently attends the University of Houston. He encouraged students to work hard, learn to be resilient and act with integrity. We hope he comes back to Sab soon to see all the great things happening in the GTA hallway!

Mark Your Calendar

Oct. 9th - Student Holiday

Oct. 11th - Anatomy & Neuroscience Field Experience to Health Museum

Oct. 12th - Storytelling students visit Silvercrest & Lawhon

Oct. 18th - Math Benchmark

Oct. 20th - End of 1st Nine Weeks

Oct. 21st - Houston Energy Day & Houston Maker Fair (see links below - Some of our GTA students are being recognized!)

Oct. 23-27 - Red Ribbon Week

Oct. 26th - Sablatura's 20th Birthday Celebration 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Oct. 27th - Monster Bash 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Nov. 2nd - Purdue to International Quilt Show @ George R. Brown

Nov. 16th - GTA Info Night for Parents of Prospective Students

Nov. 17th - 5th Grade Field Trip to Moody Gardens

Check this out!

Check out the links below for fun online puzzles, homework checklists, and book suggestions for gifted guys!

More Great Gifted Resources:

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