Cannon News FLASH

Staff Information & Updates 12/08/14

From the Principal's Pen...

Thanks to ALL staff for your participation in our Staff Holiday Countdown activities! It has been a TON of fun for both staff and scholars! On Friday, several scholars asked me, "Mrs. Blizzard, what are the teachers going to be doing next week? If they have another design challenge, can we help them?"

Starbucks gift cards were awarded to Diane, Stefani, & Hailee for designing the top Snowball Launchers that sent "snowballs" soaring across the library on Friday, for an impressive 49-52 feet! I have featured the winning designs below, so that you can see how they approached this challenge! This week, in addition to enjoying some yummy treats, teachers can earn additional gift cards and prizes for participating in the Christmas Card Ornament and CuSTEMize Accessory design challenges.

We will have our staff holiday party on Monday, December 15th after school in the library. We are having a Cookie Exchange theme for the staff party this year and would like each staff member to bring 1-2 dozen cookies, along with their cookie recipes, to contribute to the party. Each staff member will receive a festive cookie container to use for collecting yummy holiday cookies on at the party! We also have some other treats planned for all staff and are looking forward to seeing everyone at the party for lots of fun, frivolity, and fellowship!

Proud to be your principal! :)


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Don't forget to check the calendar each day to see what is planned for our "12 Days Before Holiday Break" countdown!



I appreciate your work (K, 1, 2) this past week in PLCs as we reviewed and discussed our ELPs (English Language Proficiency Standards) to work with our English language learners (ELLs). These standards are a part of our TEKS and should be implemented throughout all subject areas. This next week, 3rd, 4th and 5th will visit this as well.

As I was preparing for our PLCs, I ran across this "student friendly ELPS" document. First of all, you know I LOVE ANYTHING that is in kid-language and then it struck me that these fit perfectly with our current use of "I can..." statements for ALL classrooms. Also, I look forward to discussing these with you to determine if DUAL classes can also use any of these along with their "I can..." statements or if these can be used with student goal setting for dual language students!



Dates to Remember

12/8-12/12 Computer Science Education Week - Hour of Code

12/8-12/10 PTA's Santa Shop-conference room

12/8 U.CAN 3:00

12/9 PLC Week A-5th grade 2:00-3:30

12/10 PLC Week A - 3rd grade 2:00-3:30

12/11 PLC Week A - 4th grade 2:00-3:30

12/12 GMS Holiday program @ Cannon 9:30-10:15

12/12 Staff Holiday Potluck - enjoy in the lounge during your lunch time!

12/15 Restorative Practices Team visit Circle Up times in classrooms

12/15 Staff Holiday Party 3:00 - library

12/16 PLC Week B - 1st grade 2:00-3:30

12/17 PLC Week B - Kinder 2:00-3:30

12/18 Gingerbread Houses with Dads - Kinder - 8:30 cafeteria

12/18 PLC Week B - 2nd grade 2:00-3:30

12/18 Choir Holiday Concert - 5:30-7:00

12/19 Class Holiday Parties

12/19 - Early Dismissal 11:45

12/22 - 1/04 Holiday Break!

1/05 Teacher Workday

It's Time for Hour of Code!

Thanks to all of the Cannon teachers that are participating in Hour of Code this week!! It's not too late to notify GCISD that you are planning coding activities for your scholars this week! Click here to sign up your class! By signing up, you are not committing to using a specific resource at a designated time. You are simply adding your name to the list of GCISD teachers that have made a commitment to do Hour of Code this week!

As a STEM campus, our scholars should ALL have the opportunity to participate at some point during the week, in order to expose them to foundational concepts of computer science. Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and shows them how to create, not simply use, new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation. Click here for Hour of Code resources to use this week.

Be sure to blog, tweet, and post information on your websites & Facebook pages to communicate how you are recognizing Hour of Code in your classrooms this week! Don't forget to ask Trisha if you need any help or have any questions! Have fun!!


  • PALABRAS a SU PASO TRAINING REMINDERS - All Dual - Spanish teachers are required to attend a training on Thursday, 12/11 at 3:15 in the Board Room at the administrative building. As a reminder, please make sure you have administered the spelling inventory sent out by Enri Butler last week, according to her directions, and that you take these with you to the training to score together. You will also need to bring either paper or digital copies of the feature guide to record student responses. Thank you for your attention to this! The new resources you receive at the training are going to be great!

  • MATH-SCIENCE FAMILY CONNECTION MATERIALS - Last week, all scholars received a new home-family resource we have purchased to support the home-school connection for these content areas and to encourage parents to engage in learning activities at home with their children. This Math& Science Family Connection newsletter will be sent home monthly and is available in a primary version (K-2) and an intermediate version (3-5), in both English & Spanish. Several staff members mentioned to me that they really liked some of the activity ideas in the newsletter and are planning to select one or two to actually discuss/do during class, in order to encourage increased participation with these ideas at home - great idea!! A single copy of the issues from September - November will be placed in your mailboxes to use as a resource in class. A PDF copy of each monthly issue will be added to our campus website soon! Thanks for you help in promoting this great new resource!

  • PLEASE CONSIDER PRESENTING AT MINI-CAST! Cannon teachers have SO much knowledge to share and this is your chance!! The Metroplex Mini-CAST 2015 conference is scheduled for February 7, 2015 and will be held at Richardson High School. Mini-CAST is a mini-conference which takes place during the course of one day in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It is a one-day version of the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching. Presentations are related to STEM education and is attended by science teachers, administrators, supervisors, and vendors. Proposals are due by December 22, 2014. Click here for proposal submission information!

  • SOCIAL STUDIES INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS UPDATE - HUGE thanks to Hailee Wilson for serving as Cannon's campus representative on the GCISD Social Studies Instructional Materials Committee. Thank you Hailee!! She was asked to share the presentation that was used at the last committee meeting with all staff. You can review the Powerpoint here! Also, feedback from all teachers who teach Social Studies is being requested on the following resource survey. Please respond by 4:00 pm on Monday 12/8. SURVEY LINK

  • SECRET SANTA SHOP THIS WEEK- PTA will have the Secret Santa Shop open in the conference room this week on Monday - Wednesday for scholars to do some early holiday shopping. Don't forget to show your scholars the Santa Shop preview video Mandy Coburn sent out to all staff last week via email, to give them an idea of what types of items are available for sale this year!

  • GMS HOLIDAY CONCERT - Please plan to have your scholars in the cafeteria on time on Friday, 12/12, so that the GMS Music Department Holiday Concert can begin promptly at 9:30. Please remind your scholars to use their best audience behavior!

  • HOLIDAY PARTIES, FIELD TRIPS & SCHOOL LUNCHES - Most grade levels have already heard from your grade level parent coordinators to discuss plans for holiday parties on Friday, 12/19. As a reminder, if your scholars will not be needing a school lunch on this date or any other upcoming dates, due to field trips or other activities, be sure to let Lisa Stansbury, our new cafeteria manager, know right away! Thank you!!

  • STUDENT TEACHER REQUESTS Human Resources is beginning to send out requests to principals for elementary student teacher placements & observation hours for the Spring Semester. Please let me know if you would be willing to have a student teacher assigned to you for the spring semester or if you would be willing to have student teachers complete required observation hours in your classroom this spring. Thank you!


  • Do attendance online between 9:45- 10:15 each day.
  • Participate in Hour of Code this week!!
  • Check the staff holiday calendar each day and participate in the fun!
  • Social Studies teachers complete SS Instructional Materials Survey by 4:00 on 12/8
  • Continue to work on your grade level's Heifer International community service project!
  • Plan to take your class to visit the Santa Shop Monday-Wednesday of this week!
  • Consider writing a proposal to present at Mini-CAST 2015
  • Communicate with parents about the new Math & Science Connection resource
  • Attend the GMS Holiday Choir concert on Friday @ 9:30 in the cafeteria.
  • Tweet & blog about all of the great things you are doing in your classroom/grade!