The Cannon Connection
Staff Information & Updates 4/7/14
From The Principal's Pen...
One of my all-time favorite professional reads is the book, The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction, by Sean Cain. This week, I spent some time reviewing chapter six in his book, titled "Recognize and Reinforce", which addresses the importance of providing recognition and reinforcement from two sides of the learning coin, academics and behavior. Sean states in this chapter:
"Among the most powerful tools that teachers possess are the words they choose to use. Those words can be used to motivate students and build self-confidence or destroy students' self-image. They can make it possible for students to exceed their own internal limits or eliminate forever the students' willingness to attempt something that they might view as difficult or impossible. This is why spectators at a race gather at the finish line and scream encouragement to the runners so that they do not falter short of the finish line."
Sean points out in this chapter that it is easy to confuse "Positive Talk" with actual "Recognition & Reinforcement." Though related, they are not the same. Positive Talk is the "Good job...Glad you're here...You're on fire..." type of comments. While this type of talk is important to use with our scholars, it doesn't reach the level of "talk" that truly recognizes & reinforces scholars in a meaningful way. Consider the following example from Sean's book about Academic Recognition, that is specific to the work require to achieve academic success or growth:
"Brandy, because you showed your work and didn't give up, you were able to find your mistake on problem #3. Getting that question correct raised your grade from a 70 to an 80. That's a 20-point improvement from the last test you took. You are really making some phenomenal strides!"
Sean states that "To not engage in the regular practice of providing positive and meaningful recognition and reinforcement to your scholars is to give away performance, increase your own stress level and rob your scholars of future opportunities."
This week I urge each of you to intentionally focus on providing positive and meaningful recognition and reinforcement to your scholars. Sometimes, we as adults, aren't always that good at this practice. It's easy to get stressed and frustrated, especially during this time of year, and we often express our frustrations when we are communicating with our scholars, especially those challenging ones! But, here's the deal, even if you don't think you are very good at this practice, it doesn't really matter....with practice you can improve! Quite honestly, some of our scholars may be so starved for anything remotely positive from adults in their lives that they will eat it up. Your scholars' response will reinforce you to keep it up!! It can become something like a recognition and reinforcement eco-system!! It just needs a catalyst to get it started and YOU can be that catalyst!
LAST WEEK- A PHOTO REVIEW
Cannon Family Movie Night = A Success!
Despite inclement weather conditions last Thursday night, PTA's first Family Movie Night was a HUGE success!! Almost 300 people attended this fun night! The In-N-Out Burger Truck was at Cannon and donated 75% of the 250 burger meal sales to Cannon PTA! The remaining 25% was donated to a local children's charity. After enjoying yummy burger meals, families set up their lawn chairs & blankets in the gym for a showing of Despicable Me 2 on the giant screen, donated by our great friends and supporters from Grapevine Church of Christ! It was a super fun night for all kids & adults! Thank you PTA!!
Art - Clay Pottery Projects
Mrs. Highfill is back at Cannon for the final nine weeks and already off to a busy start!! She is introducing art & design through the use of clay, in several different grade levels. Pictured are 2nd grade scholars working on their designs of wind chimes. They are enjoying every second of getting their hands messy as they create with clay!
5th Grade Science Safari - Dallas Aquarium
Over 30 Cannon 5th grade scholars enjoyed a morning at the Dallas Aquarium, as part of the Science Safari Saturdays! These Saturday events have provided wonderful opportunities for our 5th graders to experience learning first-hand, in order to make deeper connections to science content they have been learning throughout the year. Huge thanks for Heather Hagar & Julie Brenegan for coordinating each of these events for our 5th graders! Thanks to all other Cannon staff that has helped support by serving as chaperones at these Saturday events this year!
Cannon Family Movie Night = A Success!
Art - Clay Pottery Projects
5th Grade Science Safari - Dallas Aquarium
SUMMER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Below are some upcoming opportunities for professional development sessions that you will want to check out as you are completing your PLP's for your upcoming summative conferences with Anne & Tona. Check the staff newsletter each week for updated professional development offerings!!
Dates to Remember
4/8 4th Grade to GHS Ecology Center
4/8 U.CAN 3:00
4/9 5th Grade to GHS Ecology Center
4/10 Design Club "Big Reveal" Reception 3:30 pm
4/11 PLC Week B 3rd;4th;1st
4/15 Reverse Evacuation Drill - 11:30
4/15 CEC 3:15
4/15 FLL Parent Information Night 6:00 pm
4/16 Special Olympics
4/18 PLC Week A- Kinder;5th;2nd
4/22 Earth Day
4/22 STAAR Math - 3rd & 4th grades
4/23 STAAR Reading - 3rd & 4th; STAAR Science - 5th
4/25 PLC Week B - 3rd; 4th;1st
4/29 UNT and Thailand guests to tour Cannon
4/29 STEM Leadership Team - 3:00
4/30 Lake Worth tours Cannon's 1:1 program
4/30 Fire Drill - 1:30
5/1 Dual Language Parent Information Night -CTMS 6:30
5/1 GCISD Employee Retirement Celebration - PDEC
5/2 PLC Week A - Kinder; 5th; 2nd
5/3 GCISD Rachel's Challenge Rally
5/5 - 5/9 Kindergarten Registration
5/6 U.CAN 3:00
5/6 STEM Parent Information Night 6:30 - cafeteria
5/7 Dan Yaccarino- K-2 8:30-9:30; 3-5 1:15-2:15
5/8 Cannon Family STEM Night 6:00
5/9 Field Day
5/12 EMT meeting - 3:00
5/13 CEC - 3:15
5/14 National Dance Like a Chicken Day! :-)
5/15 Fire Drill - 9:30
5/16 PLC Week B - 3rd, 4th, 1st
5/19 Cannon scholars present at School Board meeting
5/20 U.CAN 3:00
5/21 Early Release day K-5
5/22 Early Release day K-5
5/23 PLC Week A - Kinder;5th;2nd
5/23 GCISD Special Programs Lottery Day
5/23 Choir to NRH2O
5/26 Student Holiday
5/27 STEM Leadership meeting 3:00
CONGRATULATIONS TO STAFF S.T.E.M. CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS!
- Deena Crawford
- Brenda Milum
- Isa Greuling
- Wendy Flem
- Anne Pyron
Keep up the great work and good luck to all S.T.E.M. participants! Click here to get a healthy weight loss tip from Wendy Flem! :-)
REMINDERS FROM NUTRITIONAL SERVICES
- Nutritional Services is conducting a review of the Breakfast in the Classroom program and they are finding that teachers are not marking the students off on the rosters and they are allowing the students to do this in some classrooms. Please remember federal guidelines for this program require that the teacher check off the students name and ensure that all items are taken each day. Students may help the teachers pass out the food, but not be responsible for the accuracy of the count. Please review and follow these attached BIC procedures.
- Please communicate the following information in all parent communications about GCISD's No Charging Policy:
No charging will be allowed starting May 1. Students must have a positive balance in order to purchase items in the school cafeteria. Any student without a positive balance will receive an alternative meal at lunch. Please visit myschoolbucks.com to monitor account balances and set up low-balance email alerts. We appreciate your prompt attention in maintaining a positive meal balance. Additional information may also be found on the district's website www.gcisd-k12.org and Child Nutrition Facebook page. For questions, please contact the Wendy Flem, our cafeteria manager or call the Nutrition Services office 817-251-5618.
REMINDERS & UPDATES
- FERPA REVIEW - At the beginning of the school year, all staff participated in required FERPA training. As a reminder, it is critical that all staff understands the restrictions and requirements of the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act. Please take a moment to review this brief refresher about working with confidential student information.
- STUDENT PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR FORMS- Thanks to all staff for helping make sure all of these student forms are returned quickly! They are very important to help us determine staffing needs and returning student enrollment numbers for the 2014-2015 school year. Kudos to Michelle Hall, Gail Marin, and Heather Nelson for being the first to get ALL class forms returned already! Due to STAAR testing last week, several scholars did not bring their backpacks on testing days, so the due date has been extended to April 9th, in order for teachers to receive Jeans passes for having all forms returned.
- THE BIG REVEAL - APRIL 10th - Huge thanks to Karen Davidenko and her student designers for all of their hard work in Design Club this year! They will be hosting a reception on Thursday, April 10th @ 3:30 for their "Big Reveal" of the masterpiece they have created for our school! This art will be permanently displayed in the Cannon hallway for years to come! Click here for an invitation to this event. Hope to see you there!!
- CELEBRATE TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS - April is a big month for Texas Public Schools! There are several events scheduled for the month of April to celebrate Texas Public Schools, including Autism Awareness Month, Global Child Nutrition Month, National Library Week, Earth Day & Arbor Day. Click here for information about each of these events and for some suggested activities that you can use in your classrooms to celebrate. Be sure to let us know about any special activities your class/grade level is doing in conjunction with these events, so that we can communicate them to the district communication department to be highlighted on the district website!
- RACHEL'S CHALLENGE INFO - Please help us promote the upcoming Rachel's Challenge Rally in all of your parent communications. Click here to access a flyer to use on your blogs & websites!
THE BIG PICTURE: Rethinking Dyslexia
Tuesday, April 8th 2014 at 6:30pm
5401 Heritage Ave
TWEETS FROM THE WEEK
No time to follow tweets from staff this week? Check them out here! Great job tweeting about the great things going on at Cannon! Keep up the good work!
What a great night despite the storms! A big thanks to Grapevine Church of Christ for loaning us the screen and... http://fb.me/24VNDkD5F
Three Little Pigs Engineering Challenge pic.twitter.com/QwrzVQKyzi
Poignant reminder of the importance of creating a loving and accepting environment and the power of connections. http://lessonplans.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/student-in-a-strange-land/ …
@pyron_anne Thank you for sharing this @pyrone_anne! This was an AMAZING read and an important reminder!
A4: I might be partial but STEM activities definitely promote creativity and innovation through Engineering Design Process #gcdcchat
Could NASCAR really be a science experiment on wheels? YES! Talk to your child about the engineering design... http://fb.me/2AAYg1vuC
I posted 29 photos on Facebook in the album "Greuling/Vorachard - Engineering Scholars!" http://fb.me/16mjrBnmR
I posted 5 photos on Facebook in the album "Lambert/Colebrook photos" http://fb.me/36khrTT23
Kalil, 5th grade red cub, moments after becoming this year's first Cannon Cub to reach 100 laps on PACER!!! pic.twitter.com/9fmHEKn8in
What Music Means To Me @cancubs @Tonataylor http://cannonelemmusic.blogspot.com/2014/04/what-music-means-to-me.html?m=1 …
TO DO LIST
- Set a timer and turn in attendance by 9:45-10:15 daily.
- Remind scholars to bring back Student Plans for Next Year forms. Collect all by 4/9 for Jeans Passes!
- Review FERPA overview & guidelines.
- Make plans to attend the district's screening of The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia on 4/8. Encourage parents to attend this informative event!
- Communicate Nutrition's Charging Policy to parents.
- Plan to attend the Design Club's "Big Reveal" @ 3:30 on 4/10.
- Help promote Rachel's Challenge information & t-shirt sales in your communications!
- Weigh-in for the staff S.T.E.M. Challenge with Nurse Kendra!
- Tweet throughout the week to share the great work going on @ Cannon!