GT Academy Newsletter

Sablatura Middle School / Pearland ISD

February / March 2016

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Thanks to Mrs. Maricle and her horticulture students, the Sablatura patio looks beautiful this spring. Horticulture students worked tirelessly to improve our school patio and shared green space. They planted herbs, green leaf lettuce, and a variety of butterfly and hummingbird attractors. Along the way, they learned about plant needs & parts, plant classification, and propagation using a curriculum designed by Texas A & M. We had Mr. Engle, a GTA parent and professional horticulturist, speak on careers in the field and enjoyed a visit from a Brazoria County Agricultural Agent who showed the students how to root plant cuttings. We are now just blooming with new knowledge!

Upcoming Events:

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Bring your family and come join the fun at Sablatura's annual International Festival. Thursday, April 14th.

Students have been exploring and discovering interesting facts about the culture, history and geography of many countries around the world. Sixth grade GTA students have been busy taking a virtual journey though Asia and fifth grade is learning about Australia.They are very excited to share their knowledge, souvenirs, and memories with classmates and parents. Hallways will be decorated and fun activities and performances are planned. Don't miss it!

The festival and Book Fair begins at 6:30 p.m., but make plans to arrive as early as 6:00 p.m. to get your spot in line at one of the food trucks that will be serving dinner in the back parking lot. A variety of international foods will be available to purchase, including Vietnamese banh mi, Latin tacos, and American hamburgers. Robotics teams will be selling soft drinks and water, and you can eat with your friends in the cafeteria.

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Gifted Guru Coming to GTA

If you have watched an episode of Child Genius: Battle of the Brightest, on Lifetime TV, you may have seen the "Gifted Guru," Lisa Van Gemert. Lisa is American Mensa's Youth and Education Ambassador and Child Genius guest commentator. A teacher and school administrator prior to working with Mensa and consulting, Lisa uses a combination of neuropsychology, pedagogy and humor to share her vast knowledge of gifted issues with parents, students and educators.

We are pleased to announce that Lisa will be coming to the GT Academy in May! She will speak with GT Academy parents about the topic of perfectionism and motivation Tuesday, May 3rd in the Sablatura cafeteria 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. On Wednesday, May 4th she will speak with the fifth and sixth grade students in the morning, and work with our Academy teachers in the afternoon. For more about the Gifted Guru, visit or Mensa for Kids.

GT Academy Student Showcase

Stephen King once said "If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot, and write a lot." If that is true, then we have many potential professional writers in our midst! Ms. Sisk and Mrs. Maricle have been working diligently with students to strengthen writing skills and encourage a love of writing.

Sixth grade students have written excellent persuasive essays and have completed research papers for the Texas Performance Standard Projects. Fifth grade students have also completed research papers and are now designing quilt patterns reflecting their understanding of topics such as the fall of Rome, stress and kids, computer viruses, and stealth technology. Fifth graders will soon be bringing in fabric to begin sewing. Sixth graders are documenting their travels through a Weebly blog and will create a game to share.

Sablatura and West GTA students will present their projects at the GTA Student Showcase on May 26th at the Pearland ISD Education Service Center 6:00-7:30 p.m. The GTA Booster Club will provide pizza and drinks for the students after school on the day of the showcase and will sell baked goods as a GTA fundraiser at the showcase. Students will change into professional attire at school and be bussed to the ESC for the showcase. See you there!

Learning With Experts

Sixth grade Science students are learning with experts. In February NASA engineer Cheri Armstrong spoke to students about the International Space Station. Students learned how the ISS was built and how astronauts from participating countries live and work in space. Another NASA engineer, Mr. Everett Stokes, spoke to students about work in Mission Control. He also discussed how engineers work to keep astronauts safe and comfortable in space. Students enjoyed trying on a space glove, viewing a space helmet and discussing the space food packet samples. In April, sixth graders will visit with geologist Peter Anderson from the Terra Elm Geology Program. Mr. Anderson will present a lesson on rocks and lead students through a rock lab.

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Three Cheers for GTAB!

The purpose of the GT Academy Booster Club (GTAB) is to support the Pearland ISD GT Academy students and teachers with time and financial support. Just this year, GTAB has helped to make the following possible:

  • Students and teachers look great in the new GTA t-shirts and sweatshirts
  • 6th grade students attended a performance of "A Christmas Carol" at the Alley Theatre
  • We now have a class set of headphones with microphones to use for multimedia projects, flipped math lessons, and more
  • The Spaghetti Dinner was a success and lots of fun
  • A class set of new EV3 Lego robotics kits so that we can continue to build our robotics teams at PJHW
  • Chess boards for PJHW chess club
  • Registration and other expenses for teams competing at the state and national level of TMSCA, FPS, TCEA and Seaperch
  • Pizza and drinks for all students before they present their research projects at the GTA Student Showcase
  • A surprise appreciation lunch for GTA teachers
  • If you have not already, please consider becoming a member of GTAB. There are many opportunities to get involved. All members are invited to attend the monthly meetings.

Sablatura Singers

Many of our GTA students are part of the Sablatura Glee Club. This group has performed at the Windsong Nursing home, and several competed at the Pearland ISD Solo and Ensemble at Pearland High School. These students worked during class, before school, after school, and at home, and their hard work paid off. Every Sablatura student received a division one rating, the highest award! In addition, five Sablatura students have submitted auditions for the Texas Honor Choir sponsored by the Texas Choral Director’s Association. Stay tuned to find out how they do. And don't forget about the choir concert coming up on April 26th. It is great to see our students pursuing the arts.

Summer Opportunities

As we approach the next two busy months of the school year, many families are beginning to make summer plans. There are many opportunities for gifted kids to stay active and engaged this summer. Students entering 7th and 8th grade can register for the first Pearland ISD PEAR Camp. A brochure was sent home with students and can also be found on the Pearland ISD Advanced Academics page. You may also want to check out these other camps:

UHCL Kids U Summer Camp

UH Cougar STEM Camp

ID Tech Camp at Rice University

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

And a few articles I found interesting...