GT Academy Newsletter

Sablatura Middle School

October / November / December 2017

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Look Out World, Here We Come!

Throughout the school year, GT Academy students take part in lessons that enable them to become the best students they can be. Nestled between the ever popular mini courses, our soft skills lessons are designed to introduce students to skills that can help them to succeed in college and thrive in the workplace.

During the first two weeks of the school year, GTA students learn about effective communication, time management and organization. Students also learn about characteristics of gifted learners. This year, two sixth grade students created a video (see below) to share what it means to be gifted. This video was submitted to the Texas Association of Gifted and Talented (TAGT), and we are proud of their work.

As students return from the winter break, they will spend two weeks learning skills related to group dynamics such as respecting differences, conflict resolution, managing long term projects and empathy. Students will be introduced to concepts such as Howard Garner's Multiple Intelligences, SCAMPER, and De Bono's Thinking Hats.

I suggest taking a minute to read the American Psychological Association article below. The author, a college professor, compares a successful college student to an unsuccessful college student. It shows how soft skills can truly impact the academic performance of students.

Students - Be sure to take note of the importance of Interpersonal Skills and Preparation.

Parents - Be sure to watch the video!

- Mrs. Mueller

What a day!

December 7th was an exciting day for Sablatura GTA students. We spent the entire day focused on mini course content.

Students in the Medieval Madness course traveled to the Houston Museum of Natural Science for a guided tour of the Knights exhibit. In addition to gaining a new appreciation for the craftsmanship behind medieval armor and weapons, students had the opportunity to try on a gauntlet and feel the heft of chainmail. When they returned to campus, they put the finishing touches on their clay gargoyles.

Blankets for M.D. Anderson

Sablatura 5th grade GTA students made blankets to give to the children at the M.D. Anderson Children's Unit for the Christmas holidays. Because they are sick and might not get to see their families, we decided to give back and make these children blankets to give them a warm feeling inside.

By: Adam, Mercedes and Ella

Its Competition Season!

FPS - Last year's FPS team is a hard act to follow, but we have a strong Future Problem Solving team again this year! Under the outstanding leadership of Mrs. Sisk, FPS teams complete two practice problems each year and will be writing February 6th for the state qualifier. After being evaluated, the top scoring teams on the qualifying problem are invited to the State Bowl competition in San Marcos April 13-15. The topic this year is Cloud Storage.

TCEA - The 2017-2018 TCEA Mindstorms Robotics Challenge game is titled "Mastering Mars" and is designed around the theme of preparing an environment on Mars ready for human settlement and iron mining. Under the leadership of Mrs. Medley, our teams of Sablatura students will compete in the Area 4 competition on January 13th at Davis High School in Aldine ISD. They will also demonstrate the challenge at the Sablatura Robotics Exhibition in February.

VEX - Our first VEX teams will also compete on January 13th. This year's challenge is called "Ringmaster." The object of the game is for teams to get the highest score by getting the robot to place colored rings on the floor goal and posts, empty starting posts and release the bonus tray.

Quiz Bowl - Sablatura Super Quiz and General Trivia teams have been announced and students are busy learning about Africa. The Pearland ISD Quiz Bowl competition will be held at Berry Miller Junior High on February 16th. Make sure to mark your calendar to come cheer on our awesome students! Thank you to Mrs. Boyd, Mrs. Maldonado, and Mrs. VanderWoude for your commitment to our champions.

Seaperch - The regional Seaperch meet will be held at Manvel High School on April 7th. Currently, our Seaperch teams are applying the Engineering Design Process as they test Remotely Operated Vehicles at the Pearland Natatorium. Teams will practice their skills with Alvin ISD teams at a practice meet on February 17th.

TMSCA - Many students are working toward their goal of attending the TMSCA state competition this spring. Sablatura and PJHW are hosting a qualifying meet this year on February 24th at PJHW. Volunteers are needed to help with scoring, proctoring, hospitality, sign in and more. No experience necessary. Parents and high school NHS members can contact any of our outstanding math teachers: Mrs. Needler, Mrs. Cybak, Ms. Hart, or Mrs. Jamie Williams for more information and can sign up using the link below.

Mars Rover - Our Mars Rover teams have researched the history of Mars and it's previous rover missions, and are currently designing a rover prototype and writing a skit that they will present to judges at the University of Houston on January 27th. Parents are invited to view presentations on Wednesday, January 24th, 5:15 - 6:15 p.m. in the Sablatura Library. Students should have scripts memorized and Rover Guides complete. Contact Mrs. Stenvall for more information.

Ecobots - Although our Ecobot teams will not compete until April 21st, they have a practice day coming up on February 17th at Woodcreek Middle School in Humble ISD. On this day, Ecobot teams will get a closer look at this year's challenge and meet students from other schools who are excited about robotics.

Good Luck Wende!

Wende will represent Sablatura Middle School at the Pearland ISD district spelling bee on January30th. We are very proud of his hard work and dedication. We are also proud of Ben, Sophia and our other super spellers who participated in the school bee on December 8th.

Social Studies Rocks!

We did a project on Plymouth Rock. When we were finished, we evaluated our work and were asked if the play was a more efficient way to learn about the pilgrims, Plymouth Rock and the New World. Our answer was yes, because we were able to act out how the pilgrims lived during that period of time. The assignment was a successful experience, and it was a lot more engaging than writing an essay after reading a textbook. We learned that working in a group is fun and can help get the job done faster and easier. Thank you, Mrs. Boyd for letting us do this project!

By: Sierra, Brooke, Maddie, Brayden and Bowen

Clutter Busters

Do you have trouble keeping up with your papers? Is your binder a mess? Are your parents always asking you about missing assignments? Do the Knowsys and ALEKS due dates sneak up on you? Are you still wondering why you need a planner? Then you need Clutter Busters!

Tracking due dates and developing a system of organization is key to success in school. Smart kids begin to fail because they forget about a test or arrive to school unprepared. Everyone's memory fails sometimes, so students must develop the habit of recording their assignments and important dates.

Clutter Busters is a group of helpful sixth grade students ready and willing to help friends who are struggling with organization. Come to get help any (or every) Monday morning in Mrs. Cybak's classroom 8:00-8:30. Thanks to a grant from the Pearland ISD Education Foundation, we have extra folders, sharpened pencils, notebook paper, highlighters, and even binders available for any student who needs them. Come get the supplies and helpful advice you need to start the week off on the right foot!

GTA 5th Graders Attend International Quilt Show

In preparation for the Texas Performance Standards Projects, fifth grade students attended the International Quilt Show at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Students saw a variety of beautiful quilts and were inspired by the attention to detail and creativity. One of the favorites at the show was the Van Gogh exhibit. Artists around the world submitted their interpretation of "Starry Night." Another favorite was the "70273 Project." This was a worldwide collaborative art project commemorating the lives of physically and mentally disabled people. Students enjoyed analyzing the colors, textures, history and meaning behind each quilt, and have a better understanding of the artwork, intricate process, and underlying themes in quilts.

TPSP Research

5th and 6th graders have completed their TPSP research and will begin the new year organizing notefacts. They will be writing research papers in their Language Arts class. It is important for students to focus and stay on schedule with their writing in class so that in February, fifth graders will be ready to begin designing quilts and sixth graders will be ready to begin planning their vlog, blog, interview or scrapbook. Remember...

Those who make the worst of their time most complain about its shortness.” – La Bruyere

For a review of the steps in the Independent Investigation Method (IIM), see the powerpoint link below.

Mark Your Calendar

January 4 - Students Return to School

January 12 - GTAB Winterfest @ Pearwood Skate 5:30-7:30 p.m.

January 13 - TCEA Robotics Competition

January 13 - VEX Robotics Competition

January 15 - MLK Holiday

January 18-- GTA Info Meeting for Prospective Students @ Sab Cafeteria 6:30-7:30 p.m.

January 24 - Mars Rover parent presentations @ Sab Library 5:15 - 6:15 p.m.

January 27 - Mars Rover competition @ UH

February 2 - Deadline for GT students to submit GTA application through Skyward**

February 6 - FPS state qualifying competition @ Sablatura 3:50-6:15 p.m.

February 8 - GTA 6th grade students attend "Holes" @ Main Street Theatre

February 16- Quiz Bowl Competition @ Berry Miller Jr. High

February 17- Alvin ISD Seaperch Practice Meet @ Manvel High School

February 17 - Ecobot Practice Day

February 19 - No school for students

February 22 - Sablatura Robotics Exhibition 5:30-7:00 p.m. @ Sablatura cafeteria

February 24 - TMSCA Competititon @ PJHW (hosted by GTA)

**The deadline for NEW GTA STUDENTS is February 2, 2018. Applications can be completed through student Skyward accounts. Current GTA students do not need to reapply. Intent to return notes will come home through Tuesday Folders in January.

See you at GTAB Winterfest!

Come skate with friends and GTA families at the GTAB Winterfest January 12th! There are some wonderful teacher experiences and baskets to bid on. The link below will be ready for bids starting Monday, January 8th.

Volunteers Needed for Math Competition

Check This Out!