What's "Growing" On @ Cannon?

Staff Information & Updates 02/15/16

From the Principal's Pen...

We have a GREAT day of learning planned for Cannon staff on Monday!! We have a full agenda, packed with a variety of professional learning experiences, so come prepared to be actively engaged throughout the day!

As a reminder, please bring your laptops (fully charged). You will also need your iPads for a portion of the day. Don't forget to dress comfortably, as we will spending some time in the garden as well.

We will begin promptly at 8:00, but please join us in the library at 7:45 to grab a small breakfast treat and socialize with your colleagues!

Proud to be your principal,

Tona :)

Lisa's Coaching Corner

Student Led conferences begin this week. One common concern that many of you have shared is that you want students to be realistic and accurate with their self reflections.

The only way to promote growth is for students and parents to understand an accurate picture of the student’s performance in the classroom. Growth does not happen for all students at the same rate because everyone does not learn the same way!

When we apply the engineering design process in the classroom, we purposefully teach students that the process is so important and to not give up or get discouraged. I really think student led conferences are the Share phase of the engineering design process and it continues to repeat itself.

Imagine: student curiosity, design challenges & daily “I can” statements

Plan: learning content & student goal setting

Design: student work & formative assessments/data

Improve: remediation/extensions

Share: work samples, report cards, parent and student led conferences

This is engineering at it finest-becoming self regulated learners, who do not give up!!


ETA: Hands to Minds Webinar - Number Sense Essentials Series

To build a deep understanding of numbers, primary grade teachers spend a great deal of time teaching in a constrained range of numbers. It can be challenging to continue instruction with rich tasks throughout the year.

Join this webinar on Tuesday, February 16th, at 4 p.m. EST for Part 2 of the series: Using Rekenreks, Ten Frames, and Base Ten Blocks to Connect Counting with Operations. Dr. Sara Delano Moore will share activities which use Rekenreks, Ten Frames, and Base Ten Blocks to help young children connect counting with operations. Join Sara to talk about understanding addition and subtraction by connecting them with counting.

Click here to register!

Dates to Remember

2/15 Professional Learning Day - Student Holiday

2/16 PLC Week B - 1st 2:00-3:30

2/16 Special Programs EXPO - CTMS 5:30

2/17 Early Release 11:45 - Student-led conferences

2/17 PLC Week B - Kinder -during conference time

2/18 Early Release 11:45 - Student-led conferences

2/18 PLC Week B - 2nd - during conference time

2/19 5th graders middle school tour

2/19 Talent Show 6:00 pm

2/20 FAB Now Conference in Ft. Worth

2/20 Mini-CAST Conference in Frisco

2/21-2/27 - National Engineering Week!

2/22 Play It Safe during Specials times

2/22 STEM Leadership 3:00 library

2/23 Fire Drill - 1:45 pm

2/23 STAAR Security Training - all staff 3:15 - 3:45

2/23 PLC Week A - 5th grade 2:00-3:15

2/23 5th grade Parent Night @ GMS 6:30

2/24 World Read Aloud Day 2016

2/24 2nd grade field trip to FWMSH

2/24 PLC Week A - 4th grade 2:00-3:30

2/25 PLC Week A - 3rd grade 2:00-3:30

2/26 PTA SOUPer Lunch for staff!

2/27 Science Safari Saturday - High Tech/High Touch

2/29 Spring Picture Day & Class Pictures

2/29 GMS counselor presentation to 5th grade 2:00


Mandy and Benjamin Jackson are excited to share their news - they are adding Baby #2 to the Jackson family!! Their newest bundle of joy is scheduled to arrive at the end of August!

Be sure to congratulate Mandy on this wonderful news!!



Carolina Biological Supply has recently developed some new STEM resources, called Building Blocks of Science. They partnered with Megan Pettit, so that she could "pilot" and try out some of these resources in her classroom. Not only are partnerships like this a GREAT way to get new resources (sometimes for free or at reduced cost!), to try out in your classroom, it is a wonderful way to get the word out about how STEM is being taught to your students.

As a result of this experience, Megan has been asked to present at conferences, to share her experiences with these materials, and she was also recently highlighted in a Carolina Case Study, through an interview. Great work Megan!

Click here to read Carolina Biological's interview with Megan!


  • MAKE-UP INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEE SURVEY There will be a link on the GCISD Human Resources page on Monday (15th) and Tuesday (16th) for any staff members that were unable to take the Employee Survey last week. Please note that you must be signed in to your School Wires account, in order to complete the survey. If you were unable to get signed in for any reason, please see Tona or Lisa. We can help! This is the final opportunity to provide input. BIG thanks to all that completed this last week - we are almost at 100% participation!

  • DISTRICT GUIDELINES FOR EATING FROM THE GARDEN Information and guidelines from the district have now been provided about students participating in tasting items from the garden. Since our learning garden is so important to our campus, all staff is certainly encouraged to include this opportunity for our scholars. However, we are now required to get parent permission, prior to allowing students to eat anything from the garden. Click here to access the folder to see the parent permission form, as well as additional information from the USDA on best practices for working or preparing produce for tasting from the garden. Please let Tona know if you have any questions about this process.

  • USE OF PERISCOPE IN THE CLASSROOM While the district encourages and supports teachers and campuses using social media, the live streaming app, Periscope, is one social media tool the district is not yet able to support. Any staff members on campuses that are using Periscope as a method to inform parents of what is happening in the classroom are being asked to refrain from using it and instead post the videos to a private YouTube Channel where the only way to view a video is by sharing a link.

  • HANDWRITING FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITY Handwriting resources for grades K-3 were purchased in August of 2014. The publisher, Zaner-Bloser, has asked if any of our campuses would be willing to convene a focus group of teachers to gain insights about the product and its use. Since we may soon be having another ELA-related adoption in TX, and this could help guide the decisions that are made. Please contact Suzanne Newell if you would like to participate.

  • JOIN VALOR 5.4- DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 22nd All staff received information last week from Dr. Doughney about VALOR 5.4. VALOR is a GCISD program for innovative, growth-minded teachers who seek to advance student achievement through academic study, self-reflection, and collaboration with other change leaders in the district. Click here to access the application. Please note that principal approval is required on the application prior to submission. To learn more about VALOR, please refer to the application or watch this video.

  • GCISD EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY OF TUITION-BASED PRE-K The district is investigating the feasibility of a tuition-based Pre-K program, beginning in the Fall of 2016. Those families who have a child who will be four-years old, on or before September 1, 2016, may participate in the program, depending on community interest. Families must enter into a lottery to be selected. If there is enough interest in the tuition-based program. The proposed site locations are Bear Creek Elementary, Bransford Elementary, Colleyville Elementary and OC Taylor Elementary. These campuses were selected based on current and projected student enrollment and building capacity. Families who are interested in learning more about the tuition-based Pre-K program are invited to attend the GCISD Special Programs Expo on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at Cross Timbers Middle School at 6 p.m. At the Expo, district representatives will be available to answer questions about the proposed program. If parents would like more information about the proposed tuition-based Pre-K program, click here for a list of frequently asked questions. Please share this information in your parent communications!


Erik Wahl has a program online called “I Am Artist”. Through this program, he helps teachers redefine their own unique artist, and equips them with the tools they need for their students to become more productive, and unleash their artistic creativity. He offers guidance on how to include ten artistic examples into your classroom setting.

He is currently offering his program to ANY educator who wants it for FREE!! When you go to checkout just use the code “kidsdeserveit” in the checkout and you can have this for free. It's only free for one month, so hurry and get yours before it’s too late! The code expires soon!


  • Set a timer and complete daily attendance ON TIME!
  • Meet in the library at 7:45 for our Professional Learning Day on Monday. Bring your charged laptop and dress comfortably!
  • Take Employee Survey on Monday or Tuesday if you missed it last week.
  • Remember to send Tona an email to let her know what your grade level is planning for Engineers Week.
  • Promote the GCISD Special Programs EXPO in all of your parent communications.
  • Review the information on Eating From the Garden.
  • Plan for student-led conferences on 2/17 & 2/18.
  • Tweet & blog about all of the great things you are doing in your classroom/grade!