What's "Growing" On @ Cannon?

Staff Information & Updates 9/7/15

From the Principal's Pen...

In our continued efforts to provide opportunities and support for all staff to make progress towards your own professional learning goals, we will continue with our structure of U.CAN (University of Cannon) courses, scheduled for approximately two Mondays per month.

We need to hear from you about topics for these U.CAN courses that you would like to learn more about! This time provides an opportunity for staff to engage in learning with teachers from across the campus, that have a similar learning need!

Are you interested in:

* An Ed-Camp-style Technology class, where the group determines a different technology learning exploration for each week's course?

* How to structure successful small group instruction?

* Dual Language classroom topics?

* Incorporating 3-D printing into your curriculum?

* Reading/Writing Workshop support?

* Student goal-setting/reflections and data tracking? ePortfolios?

* Integrating math into STEM?

* Using effective formative assessment strategies?

* Other ideas??

Click here to provide suggestions on topics that are of interest to you and that will support your professional learning goals! This survey will be active until the end of the school day on Thursday, 9/10. Please take a moment to provide your suggestions to help us form our first round of U.CAN classes - we want to support YOUR professional learning goals!

Proud to be your principal,

Tona :)

Lisa's Coaching Corner

Lisa’s Third Week of School Top 10 for Teachers

10-Demonstrate professionalism at all times to inspire respect from students, parents & colleagues. If we inspire each other…we will raise the level learning for our scholars :-)
9-Know your standards and TEKS.
8-Lesson plans should fulfill your purpose of delivering seamless instruction
7-Technology requires planning ahead and practice. Schedule Ben to help you and your students.
6-Myth: Teachers work an 8-hour days with weekends off!!
5-Follow-through is imperative on all levels.
4-Ask specific questions to gain clarity for yourself and instruction
3-Classroom management-get in control NOW! Set expectations high so our scholars can rise to meet them.
2-Plan ahead to eases frustration.
1-Student engagement- bell to bell!! Engaged scholars create less discipline problems and experience more learning.

We are off to a great start this year!! I personally think the first two weeks are the most challenging.

FYI- I appreciate your patience in the area of our “on-line” student accounts.

-Educational Galaxy will be working very soon-by Wednesday at the latest. They will be uploading the entire school any time.
-Raz-Kids is in the process of being renewed via Debbie.

-STEMscopes should be working minus a few glitches.

-waiting on updates for GoMath, Social Studies and IXL



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 for our district judges and they struggled to select the winning display - there were so many creative displays that connected to our GROWTH THEME...

The following prizes will be awarded:

1st place - 5th grade - The judges selected this display for the #1 place, because they loved how the flowers in the hallways were student-created and incorporated student goal-setting in the center of the flowers, to show how they will "grow" this year in 5th grade! ALL teachers on this winning team will receive a PAID (FREE) SUBSTITUTE for an entire day, so that the team can meet and plan away!! Jeans passes included for all! (Please get your planning day approved in advance)

2nd place - 3rd grade - This display was selected for 2nd place due to the creativity of the display and how eye-catching the overall display is! This winning team will receive $300 to spend on grade level needs. This $$ can be spent to buy cool engineering/construction kits for your classrooms, supplies, or whatever your team desires. (Purchases must be from a GCISD approved vendor) Jeans passes included for all!

3rd place -4th grade - This display was selected for 3rd place because of the ingenuity involved in creating "3-D window box planters" and the STEM career connections that are incorporated into the display! ALL teachers on this winning team will receive coverage of their students during lunch and recess so that all of the team members can leave campus on an approved day to go enjoy a relaxing one-hour lunch OFF CAMPUS together!! Jeans passes included for all! (Arrangements must be approved in advance for your lunch coverage day).

4th place - 2nd grade - This team was selected as the 4th place winner because it incorporated student-generated artwork from last year's 2nd graders. Way to plan ahead for a winning display 2nd grade! ALL teacher on this winning team will receive 4 jeans passes each and will be treated to your Sonic drink of choice for two Fridays during the first nine weeks of school!! (Don't forget to order your Sonic drinks on "us" for 9/17 and 10/9).

CONGRATULATIONS to our winning teams and a HUGE thank you to ALL of our Cannon teams for your hard work to "grow" an inviting environment for our scholars!

Dates to Remember

9/7 Student Holiday

9/8 PDAS Section 1 - Teacher Self-Report due

9/8 PLC Week B - 1st grade - 2:00-3:30

9/9 PLC Week B - Kinder - 2:00-3:30

9/10 PLC Week B - 2nd grade - 2:00-3:30

9/11 Valerie Tenuta's Wedding Shower - 3:00 in library

9/14 Fire Drill - 8:30

9/14 Required: LPAC Training & Mirroring 360 3:00-3:45

9/15 International Dot Day - Wear Polka Dots to School!

9/15 PLC Week A - 5th grade - 2:00-3:30

9/15 REAL School Garden Team meeting - 3:30 in library

9/16 PLC Week A - 4th grade - 2:00-3:30

9/17 PLC Week A - 3rd grade - 2:00-3:30

9/21 STEM Leadership 3:00-3:45

9/22 PLC Week B - 1st grade - 2:00-3:30

9/23 Flu Shot Clinic @ Cannon

9/23 PLC Week B - Kinder - 2:00-3:30

9/24 PLC Week B - 2nd grade - 2:00-3:30

9/25 Big Dig Day!

9/28 CEC 3:15-4:00 Library
9/29 PLC Week A - 5th grade - 2:00-3:30

9/30 PLC Week A - 4th grade - 2:00-3:30

9/30 Dyslexia Simulation - 3:15 - 4:45 @ Cannon Required for ALL teachers

10/1 PLC Week A - 3rd grade - 2:00 - 3:30

10/2 PTA Back to School Family Picnic - 6:00 pm


  • NOTE FROM ANNE ABOUT iSTATION- Classroom teachers have received login cards for students for iStation. Please make sure that you have cards for all of your students and that the logins work. If you are missing a card or a student is not showing up in your class let Anne know. Make plans to have your students take the ISIP(placement test) this week. You can either take your class to one of the labs or have your students take the test on their iPads. If you use iPads your students MUST HAVE headphones.

  • INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY PLANS - 9/15 -This year, we are planning to make Dot Day a school-wide event! Several teachers have already signed up for a Dot Day event with Tina. Also, Deborah has planned awesome Dot Day art activities for ALL grades! The book which inspired this celebratory day, The Dot, will be shared on KCAN, for all classes to enjoy. Please plan to wear polka dot clothing on this date and encourage all of your scholars to participate too! Read Tina's information about Dot Day here!!

  • HELP SUPPORT SKY RANCH & GET JEANS PASSES! Fifth grade is hosting TWO jeans days! Please help them raise money for Cannon 5th graders to go to Sky Ranch. The first jeans day will be Wednesday September 9th, 2015. The second date will be Monday September 14th, 2015. To be able to wear jeans that day please bring $5 to Ms. Schultz's Classroom or put in her mailbox with your name on it. She will turn in a list to the office of who has paid for that day at 7:30 the morning of the event. Please consider helping them with any other donations that you would like to contribute, so that ALL of our 5th graders can go to camp!!

  • COMPOSTING - DOING the "ROT" THING! In preparation for our Composting Station that will be part of our new learning garden, REAL School Gardens has asked that we provide several bags of compost to get started. Irene Boynton has agreed to head up this effort and she will be providing some information for all scholars to teach them some "basics" about composting. Beginning the week of 9/14, we are going to ask students (and staff) to contribute several specific items at lunch to several composting buckets that will be provided in the cafeteria. Please help this effort by having discussions in class with your scholars about the composting information that will be provided and help encourage them to participate! Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

  • GRAPEVINE LAKE CLEAN-UP DAY - September 12th - As you saw in Dr. Ryan's B.E.S.T. Report last week, the City of Grapevine has organized a community event to help clean up from the damage/devastation left by severe flooding last spring at Lake Grapevine. The City of Grapevine's Park and Recreation Department is a strong partner for Cannon Elementary and has already organized volunteers to help us out with the BIG DIG. Let's see how many of our staff, students, and families we can get together to help volunteer at their Clean-Up Day on 9/12. Please use this link to sign up for you and/or your class/grade level to volunteer! This is a wonderful opportunity to model how to be a great local citizen and how to serve your community!

  • STUDENT PARTICIPATION FORMS & VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR BIG DIG - We need to have a signed REAL School Garden release form from parents, in order for their child to participate in the Big Dig events. These release forms were placed in your mailboxes last week and must be returned by 9/18/15. Click here for an electronic copy of this form. We are also in the process of recruiting volunteers for this day, so your help in communicating this need to parents is essential. Click here for a volunteer invitation and link to sign-up to volunteer. Please remember to include this volunteer information/link in all of your parent communications!

  • BIG DIG LUNCH SCHEDULE CHANGES - Due to the large number of Mercedes Benz & other volunteers that will be on campus on Friday, 9/25, we are needing to make some adjustments to our lunch schedules on this date. We are responsible for providing an indoor space for all volunteers to eat together. At 12:30 pm, the cafeteria will be used to seat and serve all volunteers. In order to accommodate this, K-2 will follow their normal lunch schedule and 3-5 students will receive a sack lunch on this date and will be required to eat in their classrooms. Please communicate this to 3rd-5th grade parents, so that they can send/bring lunch to school as desired on this date. Teachers of 3rd-5th grade will all be treated to lunch, courtesy of REAL School Gardens on this day, due to the fact that 3rd-5th grade teachers will need to eat in their classrooms with students. Additionally, all 3rd-5th grade teachers will receive a Leave School Early coupon, that can be used to leave work 30 minutes early, on another day during the school year! Thanks in advance for your flexibility!


**NEW** All returning staff that will be evaluated through PDAS is required to view THIS PDAS REFRESHER presentation and sign the verification sheet on Tona's office door by 4:00 pm 9/11/15.

Please find attached PDAS documents for your convenience. Teachers who meet the following criteria may choose to be appraised using a Locally Developed Alternative Appraisal. There are two options for Locally Developed Alternative Appraisal Projects, Action Research and Microteaching. Please indicate your choice of appraisal process by completing the Declaration of Teacher Appraisal form below and return to Tona. These were due LAST Friday, 9/4 - several still need to be turned in!

Eligibility Requirements for Participation in a Locally Developed Alternative Appraisal:

  • Completed five (5) years of teaching with GCISD.
  • Completed at least one (1) year teaching at current school.
  • Received a rating of “exceeds expectations” in domains one (1) through six (6) and domain eight (8) for the most recent three (3) summative appraisals.
  • Received approval from principal(s) and the Department of Educational Services.

Also, Please don't forget to complete your PDAS Section I Self-Report in Eduphoria by September 8th. When you log into PDAS to complete this section and upload your goals, you will be able to see which campus administrator has been assigned to appraise you this year.


Declaration of Teacher Appraisal - Please download, sign and place in Tona's mailbox by Friday, September 4th.

PDAS Goal Setting Form

PDAS Scoring Guide

PDAS Appraisal Calendar

Don't hesitate to let Tona and Anne know if you have additional questions!


  • Set a timer and complete daily attendance ON TIME!
  • Complete the U.CAN session topics survey by Thursday, 9/10!
  • Complete PDAS Teacher Self-Report and upload in Eduphoria by 9/8. Questions about this? Ask Tona or Anne
  • Plan for all students to complete iSip this week on iStation.
  • Make sure your turned in your Declaration of Appraisal form to Tona. It was due on Friday, 9/4 - several are not yet turned in!
  • Returning staff that is evaluated by PDAS must view the PDAS Refresher presentation and sign the verification sheet on Tona's door by 4:00 pm on 9/11/15.
  • Consider forming a classroom/grade level team to volunteer at the Lake Grapevine Clean-up Day on 9/12!
  • Promote Dot Day to your scholars. Make plans for ALL to wear polka dots on 9/15!
  • Have brief classroom discussions about composting & prepare scholars to participate, beginning the week of 9/14.
  • Continue to collect REAL School Garden Student Release forms. Keep track of who has returned. Due by 9/18. Promote Big Dig date and volunteer link in your parent communications!
  • 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!