The Cannon Connection

Staff Information & Updates 9/9/13

The Week in Review

Fire drill for September? Check it off the list! While our actual fire drill for the month was actually scheduled later in September, our impromptu evacuation when fire alarms went off on Thursday, complete with a visit from 2 fire trucks and the city Fire Inspector, will serve as our required monthly drill. While "practicing" such drills during Kinder, 1st, & 2nd grade student lunches, as we did last week, can certainly lend to chaos, it is very important that we practice at times when our scholars are in places, other than just in their classrooms, in order to teach them safety procedures for a variety of settings & circumstances. Everyone is to be commended for a wonderful job during this situation!! Not only did the building get evacuated very quickly, all staff immediately went into action to help out as needed and keep the scholars quiet and orderly, as we waited for permission to re-enter the building. Great job!! We will be practicing a variety of drills this year, including those with blocked exits & reverse evacuations, in addition to our standard fire, weather, and lock-down drills. Additionally, our E.M.T. (Emergency Management Team) will meet quarterly, to review safety procedures and keep our campus staff up-to-date with the latest information about emergency procedures. Anne will be providing a Safety Drills schedule soon for all staff, along with a roster of those staff members who are serving as E.M.T. reps & the require meeting dates. THANKS to all for your help to ensure that safety is an important priority at Cannon!

Dates to Remember

9/9 BoY Reading & Writing Inventories continue
9/9 MAPS Testing Window Opens - 2nd - 5th
9/10 U.CAN Meeting Start-Up - 3:00 - 3:45 - all staff meet in library
PDAS Section 1 - Teacher Self-Report due
WatchD.O.G.S. Dads Recruiting Event - Pizza Party 6:00 p.m.
9/13 PLC Week B - 3rd; 4th; 1st
9/17 STEM Leadership Team meeting - 3:00 - 3:45
9/20 PLC Week A - Kinder; 5th; 2nd
Online Trainings Checklist/Form Due to Tona
9/21 PTA Back to School Family Cookout - 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
9/24 CEC Meeting - 3:15 - 4:00
9/25 Early Release - K-5th 11:45
9/26 Early Release - K-5th 11:45
9/27 Staff Flu Shot Clinic - 7:00-10:00 - Conference Room
9/27 PLC Week B - 3rd; 4th; 1st
Last day for BoY Reading & Writing Inventories
10/1 U.CAN meetings 3:00 -3:45


  • ATTENDANCE REMINDER - If you remembered to submit your attendance every day last week, between 9:45 & 10:15, click here to give yourself a HIGH FIVE! However, we still had 6-8 staff members who were not getting attendance turned in within this time frame on one or more days last week. It is imperative that attendance be completed per this new guideline. If it is not done correctly, we stand to lost state funding for each student in a class with unreported attendance. This window for reporting is NOT a campus deadline - it is a required district deadline. A report is generated automatically for all classes not reported on time. Please set a timer or other reminder notification, to ensure attendance is done on time each day. Thanks!
  • STAFF MEETING THIS WEEK - We will meet as a staff on Tuesday, 9/10, at 3:00 in the library to jump start our U.CAN meeting plans for the school year! Additionally at this meeting, we will receive brief updates on 1:1 efforts/plans; Digital Curriculum Nights and Family STEM Night plans. We will start promptly at 3:05 in the library and will plan to be finished by 3:45. Paraprofessional staff is welcome to attend, but is not required.
  • NURSE KENDRA has placed a Staff Health Information card in everyone's mailbox. Please complete this and return to her at your earliest convenience. Also, she will be providing staff with information about this year's dental screenings soon!
  • CAFETERIA REMINDERS - Please review cafeteria procedures several times with your scholars to ensure they are all aware of the expectations in the cafeteria, including seating arrangements, lining up, noise levels, etc... Please make sure that they are aware that the water & cups, located on the condiment table, are available for all scholars, whether they purchase or bring a lunch. If a scholar buys a milk at lunch, or finishes their drink from home and is still thirsty, they may have a cup of water. However, if they request a refill, all students should be directed to take their container (cup, water bottle, or other) to the water fountain for refills. This "refill rule" is necessary, in an effort to keep the water container on the condiment table from being depleted so quickly. We have had several parents clarifying this process this year, so please strive for consistency when enforcing this procedure. Finally, PLEASE stress the importance of cleaning up their areas (table, bench & floor) before leaving the cafeteria. This is such a huge help and shows respect to Mr. Jose, as he must work quickly to prepare the cafeteria for transitions among grade levels.


    HUGE THANKS to all Cannon teams for their hard work to create such a welcoming environment for Cannon scholars, families, and staff this year! Our Back-To-School team decoration contest was VERY challenging to judge - there were so many creative displays that connected to our Puzzle Theme, STEM, 1:1 iPad Initiative, etc.. Please take a moment to watch the video below to get a glimpse of Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School is connecting to learning this year!
    Congratulations to:
    1st place - 5th grade - School Specialty gift cards
    2nd place - 3rd grade - Free Sonic drinks for team on 9/13
    3rd place - Special Education - Jeans passes for team


    • STUDENT iPAD ORIENTATIONS continue in several classrooms. As a reminder, resources are stored in a Google Docs folder and can be accessed by using this link: Click here for Student iPad Orientation Docs
    • BENEFIT REPLACEMENT PROGRAM - See photo below for details of this program. Information about this was shared with all families during parent orientations and will be going home with all scholars this week. We were not able to collect payment for this during our Parent Orientations, as it and the GCISD User Agreement were still under legal review at the time. The school board will be putting their stamp of approval on these during the next board meeting and we will begin to deploy iPads home with scholars immediately afterwards. Please help us promote this information to your parents. The more quickly we are able to collect payment, the sooner the iPads can begin going home! Thank you!
    • TEACHER WEBSITES & BLOGS were to be updated no later than Friday, September 6th, with current teaching assignmentsm current schedules, classroom information, etc.. As a reminder, all teachers are expected to showcase learning on a regular basis through some format, which could include blogs, classroom/grade level Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Wikispaces, Remind101 or other text reminder options, etc... Our 4th grade team is working collaboratively to provide a variety of ways for their grade level scholars and parents to connect with them, stay current with grade level news, and see what 4th grade scholars are doing at school. Check out how they are doing this!
    Big image


    As Engineering Units begin across all grade levels, it is important to remember that all of our STEM learning serves as a springboard for authentic, real-world connections for our scholars. Last year, our 2nd graders used the EiE unit, Improving a Play Dough Process. Check out how a 2nd grader from another school took his learning from this same EiE unit to another level! Why not share this with the budding engineers in your classroom?

    Play Dough Entrepreneur

    Second grader Aaron Thompson is a student at Northfield Community School. Aaron took an EiE engineering design challenge to the next level--and started a successful business.

    "Aaron's Homemade Scented Fun Dough" is play dough that smells great: strawberry shortcake, cotton candy, and mint chocolate chip, to name a few aromatic choices. Aaron got the idea to improve on basic homemade play dough (water, flour, salt) after doing the EiE unit "Improving a Play Dough Process."

    Aaron added the good smells using some ingredients that we'll keep secret for him--but at first, adding these new ingredients caused some problems. "I did a lot of research on the Internet and then a lot of testing to solve the gooeyness and stickiness problems," Aaron says.

    Now he's enjoying the sweet smell of success. Aaron has sold about 50 tubs of dough so far, at $3 a tub. His advice for other young engineers with a great product in mind? "Just keep trying."


    • Turn in staff puzzle piece to Mandy ASAP!
    • Set a timer and turn in attendance by 9:45-10:15 daily
    • Update teacher websites & get blogs and other social media started!
    • Join PTA by 9/10, vote for Cannon on PTA website & buy a PTA shirt, if interested!
    • Complete Student iPad Orientations & promote Benefit Replacement Program to parents (see email from Tona regarding all necessary forms & collection materials)
    • Finish all online trainings and turn in checklist by 9/20
    • Attend staff meeting on 9/10 @ 3:05 for Jump Start Info on U.CAN 2013-2014!