GTA Newsletter

Sablatura Middle School / December 2020

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Yes, the Fall 2020 semester was one like no other, but GTA students and teachers did not let challenges stand in the way of learning, community service and fun. In December, hallways were filled with holiday cheer and decorations that represented Christmas around the world.

As we begin a new semester and a new year, take a moment to read about a few of the awesome things we have been up to. Make sure to scroll down to the end for information about the GTAB Hootenanny and GTA applications for next year!

The Season of Giving

On the seventeenth of December 2020, we decided it wouldn’t be the season of giving that Christmas is known as without donating like St. Nick. The noble deed decided for us to do, was to make tie blankets that will be donated to Windsong Retirement Home, Forgotten Angels, and Hope Village. Forgotten Angels is a rehabilitation foundation for people who have intellectual and physical disabilities. While 2020 has been a challenging year for us all, many of our Forgotten Angels face these types of difficulties constantly throughout their lives. We hope our act of kindness will persuade you to continue to help others throughout the New Year, and many years to come.

How to Make a Tie Blanket

First, you get two pieces of fleece, each 1 ½ square yards, and any color of your choosing. Next, you center them together and make 5” by 5” cuts in every corner of the two sheets. Then, you make cuts that are 1-inch by 5-inch strips along all sides. Finally, you make a granny knot with all the strips you cut along the side, making the two blankets tie together.

Written by: Elliott

Ugly Science Sweaters

Students in Ms. Hart’s science class got into the holiday spirit by using their creativity and knowledge to do a fun project! Each student was given a template of a sweater and asked to choose a science topic from this school year to decorate their own Ugly Science Sweater. Some were cute, and some were tacky… but they were all amazing!

Talented Students

Our students never cease to amaze us with their talents! We have been blown away by their musical talents, with students excelling at the violin, piano, and guitar. We have several athletic superstars shining on the soccer field, at gymnastic meets, on the volleyball court, and on the golf course. Perhaps most evident are our talented artists, whose abilities are seen in the projects they submit through classwork and projects. Who knew that restrictions due to Covid would allow us to see the gift that some of our students have for digital art? Several of our students continue to challenge themselves outside of school with Robotics or Chess. Our resident chess guru, Will, recently moved from 100th place to 42nd place in a U.S. K-12 chess tournament of over 2,000 people!

Of course, we are always exited to be invited to see our students shine. In December, Mrs. Mueller and Mrs. Needler were thrilled to see Kayla, Rylee and Gwendolyn perform in the Elf Junior musical. Mrs. Needler also travelled to the Houston Galleria to see Madeline and Vanessa perform Nutcracker On Ice. We are so proud of all of you!

Spelling Bee Champs

On December 11th Sablatura Middle School had its first virtual Spelling Bee. Students used the Scripps online platform to spell 25 words in a designated amount of time. Thirty students participated, and two emerged victorious. Justin and Haobo both achieved perfect scores. After a very close tie-breaker, it was determined that Haobo will represent Sablatura at the Pearland ISD district spelling bee on January 27, 202. Congratulations to all who studied hard and represented their grade level team. Good luck Haobo!

GTA Teachers Attend TAGT Virtual Conference

"Learn continually, there is always 'one more thing' to learn." - Steve Jobs

GT Academy teachers spent three days learning from leaders in gifted education at the 2020 TAGT GiftED Conference. Sessions such as "Reimagining Gifted Education for a Digital World", "Understanding Gifted Underachievement", and "The Middle Years Matter: The Top Ten Skills Kids Need to Thrive - and How Adults Can Help" offered valuable insight to topics often discussed as teachers collaborate and plan throughout the year. A highlight for Mrs. Mueller were conversations about critical thinking, diversity and equity with Colin Seale, founder of ThinkLaw.

World Cultures Fashion Show

The GTA Economy Fashion Show in Social Studies was a project to remember! The goal was to give each student a chance to design a creative hat or mask based on a country’s economy. Students got creative and came up with these wonderful masks and hats. They researched and created a hat or a mask according to what the country’s economy was like. On-campus and Online students showcased their constructed project. Online students did it on Teams and Flipgrid, and On-Campus students did a real fashion show!

We had a wonderful time doing this project. I (Thandie) chose the country of Italy. I would say the one difference between online and in-person was that online students had no partner. Even though I had to do this project all by myself, I still had a great time designing my hat. Online students showcased their hats/masks via Teams and Flipgrid. Each student was individually spotlighted and shared why they put each item on their hat. In the end of the showcase, Mrs. Vanderwoude took a picture of us with our hats on.

For me (Emma), I did the fashion show at school! Mrs. Vanderwoude attached silver strings to the top of her door to add a fun effect. On the day of the showcase, she put down a paper Red Carpet! She also made a cool microphone. Before the day of, we had a whole day to work on our hats/masks. That was my favorite part because I am crafty. I chose Norway with a few of my friends, Cam and Parker. We made a white hat with red lace and gold coin. On the day of the show, I was the announcer, Cam was the model, and Parker was the photographer. Everyone else’s was fun too. Only one group made a mask, and the rest were hats.

In the end, the GTA Economy Fashion Show was a huge success. Whether the student was virtual or in-person, both types of students had a wonderful time. It was a fun project where we could let loose and allow our creative minds to run wild. It was also a fun way to get us to learn and to work on presenting. Another thing we profited from was working in a group (in-person). Thank you, Mrs. Vanderwoude, for arranging this very fun GTA Economy Fashion Show!

Written by: Emma & Thandie

What's Coming Up @SabGTA?

GTAB Hootenanny - January 22nd

The GTAB Hootenanny Drive Thru BBQ and Online Auction is coming up! The dinner will be held drive-thru style and patrons will be served with pre-paid delicious Central Texas BBQ meals on Friday, January 22nd in front of Pearland Junior High West.

To view and pre-order dinner options, go to by noon on January 20th. All orders must be pre-ordered online.

The online auction will be held January 13th through the 20th

( ) with basket pickup on the night of the Central Texas BBQ pickup dinner, January 22nd. Families will also be able to bid on fun Teacher Experiences, including Marble Slab with Mrs. Mueller, Bowling with Ms. Hill, and more!

There is still time for students to contribute items to baskets! On campus students can turn in items directly to teachers and remote students can deliver items via Amazon or drop off at the front office. Deadline to turn in basket items to teachers is January 7th. We appreciate your support. See you there!

Ms. Maldonado's Family Road Trip Basket

Ms. Hart's Coffee Lovers Basket

Mrs. Arnold's Handyman Basket

Ms. Hill's Mental Health and Relaxation Basket

Suggested items: Lotion, Essential Oils, Candles, Books, etc.

Mrs. Needler's Errands Around Town Basket

Suggested items: Gift Cards for Walgreens, HEB, Car Wash, Cleaners, Kroger, etc.

Mrs. Briggs' Stuck at Home Basket

Suggested items: Games, Pizza Gift Cards, Puzzles, etc.

Mrs. Trinh's Valentine Basket

Suggested items: Valentine candy, gift cards, stuffed animals, etc.

*If you have an auction item you would like to donate, please email Beth Reed at or

Wrapping Up TPSP Research

The goal of the Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) is for students to create professional quality work in alignment with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students.

During the fall semester, students chose topics of interest and used the Independent Investigation Method (IIM) to research. From Robotic Surgery to Music Therapy, Libraries of the Future, Trends of French Cuisine, and Significant Events That Have Shaped Japan's History, our students have uncovered fascinating information!

All notefacts were due for fifth graders on December 16th. Because it is important to teach students to break down big projects into smaller chunks, in January, fifth grade students and parents will receive a timeline of the research paper due dates. Sixth graders are ready to revise and edit their papers upon their return to school in January, and final copies for sixth grade are due January 22nd.

Once research papers are turned in, we will begin planning and designing products to present student research for our virtual GTA Student Showcase in May. Teachers are looking forward seeing how the students combine their new knowledge and creativity to develop presentations. Stay tuned - more information will be coming soon!


Sablatura Robotics teams have been meeting virtually through Microsoft Teams for many weeks, and recently began meeting once a week on campus before the holidays. Although it is certainly a challenge this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, these incredible students have overcome many obstacles and are persistent in their efforts to work together to master their robotics goals.

This year, students chose one of three challenges. We have a group working on the First Lego League RePlay Innovation Project; designing a new piece of technology to motivate people to be more active. Other FLL team members are programming the robot to successfully perform the many missions of this season's game. The goal is to get as many points as they can while "becoming experts at solving technical problems as a team, while having fun!" The FLL team will present to judges at a virtual competition this spring.

Four teams are working on the TCEA "Whirlibots" challenge. "This competition lets students become creators, videographers, and promoters, even in a remote learning environment. Students are encouraged to use the Engineering Design Process as they work through this years’ experience." Each team will submit a video for public voting March 1st -5th. Be sure to stay tuned to the Sab GTA website and @SabGTA Twitter account so you can vote for our awesome kids!

Another four teams are busy building, programming and developing strategy to conquer the tasks in the TCEA "Rubble Trouble" challenge. In this challenge, robots have two minutes to complete as many tasks on the board as they can. Tasks involve moving checkers and PVC to designated locations on the boards. Teams will have a friendly competition in March to determine who earns the Sab Robotics bragging rights.

2021-2022 GT Academy Applications

We are excited to begin the second semester and are already looking ahead as we begin to plan for next year! Please take note of the information below so you do not miss any of the upcoming deadlines.

  • GT Academy applications for the 2021-2022 school year will be available in GT students' parent Skyward accounts starting January 5, 2021. The deadline to apply or communicate intent to return for all students is February 1, 2021.
  • Any 4th - 7th grade student currently identified gifted in Pearland ISD and interested in attending the GT Academy must submit an application by February 1st.
  • All current GT Academy students must submit an application to indicate if they will or will not continue at the GT Academy for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • This year, all students planning to attend the GT Academy will be required to also submit a transfer request through the Pearland ISD Support Services/ Student Transfers department. Transfer requests for GT Academy students will be available February 2nd - 12th.
  • Emails will be sent to parents through Skyward with more information, so please pay careful attention so you do not miss anything. Contact Mrs. Mueller if you have any questions.

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