GT Academy Newsletter
Pearland ISD / October 2022
OFF TO A GREAT START!
The start of a new school year can be both exciting and overwhelming. Starting a new school, adjusting to new schedules, and figuring out how to manage assignments and friends can be challenging. Fortunately, after a few weeks, most students are settled in and ready to go. Students have been eager to start clubs and mini courses, and will be introduced to this year's Texas Performance Standards Projects (TPSP) soon. They have also enjoyed learning from many special guests.
Mayor Kevin Cole visited with students in the Debate mini course recently. He told them about his journey to being elected mayor of Pearland, explained his primary responsibilities, and shared good advice on effective communication including:
- Connecting with people is important.
- Prepare for every question that may be asked.
- Always fact check. Don't react until you check.
- The message sent does not always equal the message received.
Debate students also heard from Pearland City Council members Alex Kamkar and Adrian Hernandez. Students studying financial literacy were treated to some money making tips from small business owner and recruiter Steven Coleman, while Dr. Miles shared her thoughts on teamwork. Our friend Amy from the Houston Holocaust Museum came to speak with fifth graders as they made connections with their novel study. Mrs. Sadler's crochet crew has been learning from mentors each week. They are looking forward to donating their creations to Trinity Oaks Assisted Living residents. George Washington stopped by to introduce document based questioning (DBQ) to sixth graders, and Mrs. Kathleen Shanahan Maca, author of The Ghostly Tales of Galveston is scheduled to visit soon.
Do you have a talent or special skill that you could share with students? Parents are invited to complete the GT Academy Parent & Community Partnership form.
In addition to learning from experts, students will be extending their learning through upcoming field experiences.
- Students in Ms. Singleton's marine biology course have already traveled to Galveston to experience crabbing with Texas A&M Galveston student guides and will dissect sharks next week.
- Another group of students will travel to Galveston for a 1900 Storm tour with Hurricane Hal.
- Students studying anatomy will be dissecting cow eyes at the Houston Health Museum.
- Ms. Hart's Zen Den students will hone their mindfulness and yoga skills at Sundance Yoga.
- Horticulture students have worked hard to make the Sab patio beautiful again and will travel to Maas Nursery to bring back a few new plants.
- Mrs. Maldonado is eager to return with students in the Medieval Times mini course to Houston Sword Sports to try their hand at fencing.
- Students studying mythology will visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
- Mrs. V's awesome students will travel to Dawson High School to challenge the high school kids to a friendly game of chess.
- The Art of Math students will spend the day analyzing symmetry in artwork at Painting with a Twist.
- Students studying genetics will visit NASA's Longhorn Project.
- Two new field experiences we are excited about are visiting Brazos Bend State Park and the UHCL courtroom for mock trials.
⭐ Tips for a Successful Year
One of Mrs. Mueller's favorite quotes comes from Pele, the famous Brazilian soccer player. He said "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." As you set goals for this school year, keep this in mind. There will be days when you face challenges and days that you experience success. There will be assignments and projects that you enjoy and others you don't. Whatever the situation, it is important to have an open mind and be willing to learn from mistakes. Here are a few more tips to keep you moving in the right direction:
- Use your planner. Take time to plan for each day, making sure you have all necessary supplies and assignments ready to go. Use your planner, team folder, and even sticky notes to help keep you organized and on track. (See the Seth Perler video links below for more helpful tips!)
- Read the Room: Pay attention to reminders, schedules, and due dates that teachers post in the classroom. Some project the daily schedule, some write it on the board, some post it on Canvas, and some do all three. It is the student's responsibility to record the information in their planner and ask questions if something is not clear.
- Check Skyward: Unless otherwise stated, assignments are due the day they are given. Assignments not submitted on time will receive a zero in the gradebook. Students have up to three days to turn in / correct work for a maximum grade of 70. Students are encouraged to check Skyward regularly and communicate with teachers when circumstances beyond their control interfere with the ability to complete assignments in a timely manner.
- ALEKS: After completing an initial assessment, students are expected to complete ten topics each week. After the first course is finished, students will only need to complete five topics weekly. Create a schedule that works best for you. Waiting until the last minute is not the best plan. (For an introduction to ALEKS, see the link below.)
- Soft Skills: When students are given the tools to succeed, self-confidence increases. Soft Skills instruction is integrated in projects, lessons and activities and are taught directly during the year with Soft Skills Rotations. Students will develop skills in time management, organization, study skills, conflict resolution, project management and active listening, among others.
- Use technology responsibly: Bring laptops to school fully charged each day and remember to follow the Pearland ISD Acceptable Use Policy.
- Ask for help: Whether you are struggling with an assignment in class, friends, or getting organized, there are people ready to help. Learning how, and who, to ask for help is an important skill to learn in middle school and junior high. Reach out to teachers about class assignments and grades and our counselors for help with schedules, personal concerns and mental health. Of course, Mrs. Mueller is willing to help as well.
Middle school is a great opportunity to get involved and join a club. Not only do you gain valuable skills, you may also find new friends through shared interests. Although some clubs require applications, others are open to all. If you have not found your group yet, think about coming to a TMSCA meeting, or stop in and play a game of chess. Check out the GTA webpage "Clubs & Activities" tab for all meeting dates and times. PJHW GTA students interested in chess are invited to join the student led club by completing this form: https://forms.office.com/r/mKyGvTebzK
💛 Go Gold!
Each September, we honor children who are going through treatment for cancer as we "Go Gold" at Sablatura. On September 16th we wore gold and yellow to show our support and started a Penny War to raise money for Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance. This annual event was started by Ms. Hart and we continue the tradition, now in honor or our special friend Tatiana.
✏️ Mark Your Calendar
October 13 - Mr. Berger's District Talk Parent Forum @ PJHW Library 6:30 p.m.
October 13 - Sablatura Choir Concert 6:30 p.m.
October 14 - End of first 9 weeks
October 17 - Field Experiences: NASA, Houston Museum of Natural Science, UHCL, Painting With a Twist
October 17 - GTAB Meeting @ 12:00
October 18 - Field Experiences: Galveston, Dawson High School, Brazos Bend State Park, Maas Nursery, Sundance Yoga, Houston Sword Sports
October 19 - Anatomy Field Experience to Houston Health Museum
October 20 - TPSP Parent Meeting for PJHW @ library 6:00 p.m.
October 28 - Sablatura Monster Bash 6:00-8:00 p.m.
November 1 - 6th Grade GTA to Poe performance @ University of Houston
November 3 - 5th Grade GTA to International Quilt Festival
November 5 - TMSCA competition @ Village
November 15 - TPSP Parent Meeting for Sablatura @ library 6:00 p.m.
November 17 - Sablatura International Festival 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.