Cannon News FLASH

Staff Information & Updates 12/15/14

From the Principal's Pen...

It's finally here!! The last week of school in 2014 - can you believe it?? This school year is flying by at lightning speed and it sure to resume with a vengeance when we return in 2015. We have had MANY notable accomplishments and successes with scholars, staff & our parent community so far this year and I can't wait to see what 2015 holds for Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School!

One of my favorite activities for this final week of 2014 will be celebrating the holiday with all of YOU!! Our staff holiday party is after school on Monday. Don't forget to bring your 2 dozen holiday cookies to contribute to our Staff Holiday Cookie Exchange. Also, as a reminder, you should share your cookie recipe to this Google folder, so that all staff can enjoy these recipes with family and friends during the holiday season!! Each staff member will receive a festive cookie container to use for collecting yummy holiday cookies on at the party! We also have some other treats planned for all staff and are looking forward to seeing everyone at the party for lots of fun, frivolity, and fellowship!

Proud to be your principal! :)



Don't forget to check the calendar each day to see what is planned for our "12 Days Before Holiday Break" countdown!


Small Group Strategy Instruction is a support system that brings learners together to practice a particular skill or strategy in texts that are easily accessible. The objective is to create a supportive context in which strategies are practiced while the teacher coaches and scaffolds for independence. The goal is for students to problem-solve, doing as much of the work themselves as possible, while the teacher coaches and extends understanding. (Lynda Hoyt)

Teachers who already use this strategy know that successful implementation doesn’t happen overnight.

To effectively have small group instruction we have to:

  1. The need to build student stamina to work independently while not working with in a small group.
  2. Routines and procedures are clear so students are engaged while not working in a group.
  3. Formative assessments to monitor to make sure students needs are being met (differentiation)

I will be emailing you to set up an appointment during your conference time to talk about small group instruction. (Or if you are anxious to set up a time and don’t want to wait, email me and I’ll get you on the schedule first!) We have TONS of experts right in our own building and I would love to set up times for you to observe each other or for me to co-teach with you. I look forward to working & learning with you!!​


Dates to Remember

12/15 Restorative Practices Team visit Circle Up times in classrooms

12/15 Staff Holiday Party 3:00 - library

12/17 Lunch for all staff provided by Grapevine Church of Christ

12/18 Gingerbread Houses with Dads - Kinder - 8:30 cafeteria

12/18 Choir Holiday Concert - 5:30-7:00

12/19 Class Holiday Parties

12/19 - Early Dismissal 11:45

12/22 - 1/04 Holiday Break!

1/5 Teacher Workday

1/6 PLC Week B - 1st grade 2:00-3:30

1/7 PLC Week B - Kinder 2:00-3:30

1/8 Fire Drill 1:30

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

1/9 Dr. Ryan visits Cannon during staff lunches

1/12 CEC -3:15

1/13 PLC Week A - 5th grade 2:00-3:30

1/14 PLC Week A - 3rd grade 2:00-3:30

1/15 PLC Week A - 4th grade 2:00-3:30

1/15 GCISD Special Programs Expo Event - STEM & Dual Language

1/16 Lockdown Drill 10:00 am

1/19 Student Holiday


We are so excited to announce that we have hired a bilingual 5th grade teacher! Deron Peterson will be joining the 5th grade team when we return from the winter break on January 5th.

Deron brings wonderful experience to this position, working as a 3rd and 4th grade dual language teacher in Dallas, as well as six years of teaching at a bilingual school in Argentina. Words that were used by Deron's professional references to describe him included, "dedicated to kids", "a learner who is committed to professional growth", "phenomenal teacher and person", "his leadership skills will be a strong asset to your school and district".

We look forward to formally introducing Deron to our staff, scholars and school community in January! Thank you in advance for helping to make Deron feel "at home" at Cannon as he transitions into his new position!


  • PLC'S RESUME IN JANUARY - As a reminder, there will be NO PLC's this week. All grade level PLC's will resume in January, beginning with the Week A schedule for the week of 1/5/15. Thanks to all grade levels for your great work in PLC's so far this year - having this job-embedded time, set aside for professional learning is so important!

  • RESTORATIVE PRACTICES TEAM VISITS THIS WEEK - Please make sure you are aware of the confirmed times from Mandy C. that the Restorative Practices team will visit your classroom on Monday. They are looking forward to visiting your classes and seeing how well this new district initiative is working in your class! Please see emails from Mandy to review the reminders she included about the "look-fors" during Circle Up time for these visits. Your flexibility is appreciated, so that we could stagger the schedules for Monday's visits!

  • HOLIDAY EVENTS THIS WEEK - In addition to our staff party after school on Monday, we will have our Holiday Concert on Thursday night, school-wide Holiday Singalong on Friday morning, followed by classroom holiday parties beginning at 10:00. Our Singalong will begin at 8:30, in the cafeteria and should last approximately 45 minutes. Please consider joining the staff performing group in practice after school on Tuesday - the kids LOVE seeing their teachers perform! Holiday parties should begin no earlier than 10:00 in classrooms. You will receive a schedule for Friday lunch pick-up times by email this week. Hope to see you at the Cannon Holiday Concert on Thursday night!

  • GCISD STUDENT SURVEYS - 3rd - 5th - As a reminder, all 3rd-5th grade students are required to participate in the GCISD Student Survey. This needs to be completed by the end of the school day on Thursday, 12/18. The link to the survey can be found on the Cannon Library webpage and the scholars can take the survey on their iPads. It is available in both English and Spanish. Thank you!

  • COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS - The grade level Heifer community service projects are looking great!! As a reminder, we will display all of these projects in the A-hallway for parents to see and consider "buying" with a donation to your grade level, in order to fund your grade level's gifts to Heifer International! While we expect a large turnout at the holiday concert, there will be some families who may not be in attendance. Please make a plan with your team on how you plan to give ALL parents an opportunity to "buy" their child's project, if they can't attend. One great suggestion is to have scholar's take a photo of their project on their iPad to show parents at home, so that parents can send in a donation. Another great idea would be to create a simple iMovie "commercial" to highlight your grade level's project idea and show sample projects and request for donations. This could be uploaded to YouTube and the link shared with parents and others in the community through student iPads, emails, Facebook, blogs, etc.

  • PLEASE CONSIDER PRESENTING AT MINI-CAST! Cannon teachers have SO much knowledge to share and this is your chance!! The Metroplex Mini-CAST 2015 conference is scheduled for February 7, 2015 and will be held at Richardson High School. Mini-CAST is a mini-conference which takes place during the course of one day in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It is a one-day version of the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching. Presentations are related to STEM education and is attended by science teachers, administrators, supervisors, and vendors. Proposals are due by December 22, 2014. Click here for proposal submission information!


  • Do attendance online between 9:45- 10:15 each day.
  • Prepare for Restorative Practices team to visit your Circle Up time on Monday.
  • Attend the Staff Holiday Party on Monday after school - don't forget your cookies & recipes!
  • Enjoy lunch on Wednesday, courtesy of our wonderful friends at Grapevine Church of Christ!
  • Finalize grade level's Heifer International community service project!
  • Make plans to attend Cannon's Holiday Concert on Thursday - 5:30
  • Consider writing a proposal to present at Mini-CAST 2015
  • Have an amazing time celebrating with your scholars on Friday!
  • Rest, relax and enjoy your holiday break with family and friends!!
  • Tweet & blog about all of the great things you are doing in your classroom/grade!