What's "Growing" On @ Cannon?

Staff Information & Updates 12/07/15

From the Principal's Pen...

I LOVE the Steve Jobs quote in this graphic...all the time, when I speak with others about our goals through using a STEM-based instructional approach, I use this exact statement: it teaches kids HOW TO THINK!

This week, in recognition of Hour of Code 2015, ALL of our staff and scholars will spend some time involved in coding and hopefully, it will exceed only a single hour. One of my favorite blogs to follow is Krissy Venosdale's, Venspired. Over the weekend, in her post titled, You Totally Have Time for #HourOfCode, I loved what she said about making time for coding opportunities in the classroom:

"You might be thinking, ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that?’ Or, maybe you’re like me, thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is my superbowl!” Either way, whether you have an entire coding curriculum in your classroom, or have never even understood what the heck the coding revolution is all about, there is something out there for you to encourage your kiddos to try… no planning, no purchasing. Just an activity that will get it started. There is likely a kid or ten in your classroom that thinks in the visually goodness way that coding speaks to. Trust me, often kids that are struggling in some areas, find success in coding. Doesn’t that make it worth trying in the classroom?"

In addition to coding activities that teachers have planned for their own individual classrooms, Ben Waits has arranged for all classrooms to have Computer Science students from CHHS & GHS in their classrooms on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, to lead coding activities with our scholars. If you need other ideas on ways to bring coding into your classroom this week, you can choose from a variety of resources and tutorials found on this GCISD Hour of Code website . Krissy Venosdale also shared some amazing ideas and resources for coding in the classroom here. Some of these don't even involve technology and are paper-based activities!

Please make sure that you have signed up at BOTH of these links, so that our campus voices & choices can be added to the Hour of Code district & global events! 1) GCISD Registration Link 2) Code.org Registration Link

Even Cannon parents will be involved in learning all about coding this week! All parents who attend PTA's Tea & Talk Tuesday's parent session on 12/8, will get to have some first- hand experience with coding, as they learn about the importance of Hour of Code!

Slow down this week and MAKE the time for Hour(s) of Code and "watch" your scholars THINK!

Proud to be your principal,

Tona :)


Let's get into the holiday spirit by celebrating YOU every day until the Winter Break! Be sure to check the calendar and links embedded for some holiday fun!

Lisa's Coaching Corner

I wanted to highlight some updates that have been added to our district curriculum Google site for easy access.

  • ONLINE TEXTBOOK ACCESS - it gives specific directions on how you and your students can access resources along with QR codes to use with students. This is inclusive of Texas Treasures-reading, Pearson Easy Bridge-social studies, ThinkCentral-math, and STEMscopes-science
  • RTI - actually links to the Personalized Learning Google Site which also includes
    • all of the MATH progress monitoring,
    • RTI,
    • Five Phase information
    • PLP (student goal setting)
  • COMMON INSTRUCTIONAL EXPECTATIONS: these documents are also embedded within the curriculum

If you are interested in having an instructional coach come meet with you or your team about the new Pearson Easy Bridge resources or ThinkCentral please let me know so I can get that scheduled.

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Dates to Remember

12/7-11 Hour of Code week!

12/7 U.CAN 3:00-3:45

12/8 Tea & Talk Tuesday - cafeteria 7:45-8:45

12/8 STEM Advisory Council meets in library 8:00-9:30

12/8 PLC Week B - 1st grade 2:00-3:30

12/9-12/11 Santa Shop open - Room A-1

12/9-12/10 CHHS & GHS Computer Science Students @ Cannon for Hour of Code

12/9 Progress reports due

12/9 PLC Week B - Kindergarten 2:00-3:30

12/10 PLC Week B - 2nd grade 2:00-3:30

12/11 GMS Band and Holiday concert tour - 9:30-10:15

12/11 Staff Potluck in lounge!

12/14 Cubs Night Out - Raising Cane's

12/14 Staff Holiday party - 3:00-4:00 - library

12/15 Staff Holiday Lunch in lounge - courtesy of GV Church of Christ

12/15 Fire Drill 1:30

12/15 PLC Week A - 5th grade 2:00-3:30

12/16 Choir Holiday Program - 8:45-9:30 - cafeteria

12/16 PLC Week A - 4th grade 2:00-3:30

12/17 Kindergarten Gingerbread houses with dads 8:30-10:00

12/17 PLC Week A - 3rd grade 2:00-3:30

12/17 Holiday Choir Concerts - 5:30-7:00

12/18 Campus Holiday Singalong 8:30; Holiday Parties 10:30ish; Early Dismissal 11:45

12/18 End of 2nd nine weeks grading period

12/19 Cannon Robotics team competes in FLL competition in Ft. Worth!

12/21 - 1/1 Holiday Break!

1/4 Teacher work day /Students return on 1/5

Santa Shop This Week!

Santa Shop is this week! For those of you that are new to Cannon, the Santa Shop is a fundraiser for our PTA where students can purchase Christmas gifts for their family members. However,PTA does not want any students to feel that they can not participate if they only come with a small amount of money. Some items are sold to students on a sliding scale.

This year the schedule DOES NOT require you to take your entire class to the shop. It has been created to help save you time and also provide a somewhat fair shopping experience for all. You will see below that each grade level has a time slot the students can shop during on Wednesday AND Thursday.

Only students with money in hand will go to the Santa Shop each day! They need to show their teacher that they have money before going....NO WINDOW SHOPPING! Teachers MUST send students with money on Wednesday and not wait until Thursday. You will have additional students bring money on Thursday after seeing their peers go the previous day. PTA does not have an endless supply of items therefore the students with money on Wed. will have a better selection of items.

There will be a PTA volunteer in your grade level hallway during your hour both days to supervise students coming and going. Teachers you will need to coordinate with your team a time during your hour each day that you will send your shopping students so that they all aren't there at the same time. Be sure to send them with plenty of time to shop. The last 5 minutes of your shopping hour will not work.

The Santa Shop will be open on Friday as long as they have items to sell. You may send students with money at a time that works for you. It would be best to send them as early as you can!

Please feel free to share the jpeg below electronically. This week, there will be a video preview of the Santa Shop for your students to see after KCAN to remind them to bring money.

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  • STEM ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETS @ CANNON THIS WEEK! GCISD's STEM Advisory Council meeting will be hosted @ Cannon on Tuesday 12/8, in the library from 8:00-9:30. The council members will be touring our REAL School Garden as part of this session, in order to learn how our campus is incorporating the use of the garden into instruction.

  • TEA & TALK TUESDAY IS 12/8 PTA will be hosting their first parent informational meeting this week on Tuesday 12/8, from 7:45-8:45 in the cafeteria. Since this is Hour of Code week, the topic for this meeting will be Technology and Coding. Ben Waits will lead this session and talk to the parents about some practical technology tips, as well as lead them through a coding lesson, similar to what their children will experience at school during this week! Please help promote this event through your communications with parents!

  • STAY UP TO DATE WITH GARDEN NEWSLETTER! Heather Hagar, our garden coordinator, has created a monthly newsletter that will be sent out to all staff to keep us abreast of all garden-related news! Be sure to check out her first edition of The Seedling here! Big thanks to Heather for her work to provide us with update, lesson ideas, and important reminders!!

  • HOLIDAY PROGRAMS & PLANS! Tis the season for holiday programs galore! On Friday 12/11, from 9:30-10:15, the Grapevine Middle School band & choir will be on campus to perform, as part of their Holiday Tour. Next week, on Wednesday, 12/16, from 8:45-9:30, all of our staff and scholars will have the chance to hear our own Cannon Choir Holiday Concert in the cafeteria! In addition, the choirs will have an evening performance on Thursday, 12/17 from 5:30-7:00. Friday, 12/18, will be a fun-filled day of holiday festivities, beginning with our whole school Holiday Sing-Along in the cafeteria, beginning at 8:30, followed by classroom holiday parties beginning 10:30-11:00. Please include information about holiday happenings in all of your parent communications!


  • Set a timer and complete daily attendance ON TIME!
  • Participate in the daily events on the staff holiday!!
  • Remind parents to participate in PTA's first Tea & Talk Tuesday on 12/8!
  • Have fun participating in Hour of Code activities this week!
  • Mark your calendars with all holiday events.
  • Check the schedule & work with your teams to determine Santa Shop times for your class/grade level.
  • Post a note of thanks on the PTA or Dad's Club Facebook pages!
  • Read The Seedling garden newsletter!
  • Work on your websites, blogs, and social media accounts to get them updated. Ask Ben for help!
  • Tweet & blog about all of the great things you are doing in your classroom/grade!