Mustang Message

November 14, 2016

A Principal's Perspective

In the book, The Innovator's Mindset, George Couros provides some critical questions for the innovative educator. 1) Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom? 2) What is best for this student? 3) What is the student's passion? 4) What are some ways we can create a true learning community? 5) How did this work for our students? Christian shared with me an example of a lesson that his students were working on in his classroom. Check out his reflections about his lesson. Innovative? In thinking about the questions, I would say definitely!

As an art teacher, I always try to keep the projects interesting to the students, but I have always struggled to teach second grade students how to create a sphere along with drawing the shadow to go with it. A simple sphere drawing does not keep the full attention of a 2nd grade student even when you give them the option to make it into a basketball or other sporting equipment. However this year all attention was given when the students were shown how to create their very own Pokeball. They were allowed to customize the Pokeball to their liking. I had students creating a NASAball, Catball, Rainbowball, and the list goes on and on. Since the students were so entertained by the fact they now knew how to create a Pokeball, they were much more interested in understanding why and how the shadows and lines worked to create the sphere shape. Working a current event topic into something as simple as a sphere project made a world of difference in the student’s excitement to learn.

Be Innovative - Design the possibilities!


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Morning Duties of the Week

Morning Assembly (7:20): Rhine

Gym (7:20): Miller

Cafeteria (7:20): Magnuson

Bus (7:15 - Buses/ Cafeteria after all buses arrive): Helfeldt

Parent Drop Off Direct Traffic (7:20-7:50): Neidig

Parent Drop Off Car Doors (7:20-7:50): Cooper & Lindner

Counselor Schedule: 1st & 2nd

Librarian: at PC

Week at a Glance


Tuesday: 2nd Grade Field Trip to Waco; Faculty Meeting @ 3:30 (Classroom Teachers, CAMP, SPED Teachers, Specialists), Hawkins, Ballard & Bairrington off campus (Social/Emotional District Workshop)

Wednesday: Tech & Specialists' Open Office Hours 3:15-4:15

Thursday: Picture Retakes; Turkey lunch served in cafeteria, SIT Group #2 (Neidig/McMurray, Miller/Seagraves, Weber/Littlefield, Williams/Hastings/J. Rhine, Parr/Anderson) REACH 3:15-4:15

Friday: ELA teacher meeting during conference time

News & Notes

  • Super Moon: A moon becomes a “supermoon" when it appears up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when it's at its farthest point in orbit, according to NASA. But not all supermoons are created equal: On Monday, Nov. 14, the moon will make its closest pass to Earth since 1948. This one's exceptional, as it's the closest pass in nearly 70 years. The next time it gets this close will be November 2034. Link for more info:
  • Lunch Menu for Thursday, November 17th: Steak Fingers, Roasted Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Tuscan Vegetables, Cornbread Dressings, Rolls, Mandarin Oranges/Bananas, Cranberry Sauce, & Gravy - Apple Crisp for Staff
  • PTO Grants: Have a great idea to try in your classroom but need money? Apply for a grant with our PTO. It is an easy application. A great way for our PTO to support your innovative, creative ideas! Applications open now and due Friday, November 18th. For application see Teacher Scratch/Folder PTO Grant. Grants will be awarded Dec. 5th.
  • PTO Funds: The PTO gave GP $1,000 to explore alternative seating in your classroom. If you have an idea about alternative seating and need funding for your classroom, please come talk with me. Providing students opportunities to move, choose their seating can improve student engagement, time on task, and foster student success. This supports our discussions way back in August about our ADHD and ADD students in the classroom.

All About the Social Committee

Mustang Yee Haws!

From a GP Grandparent:

Good Morning,

I want to congratulate your school on the recent activities beginning last Friday.

... I follow your school on Facebook, district web site, and through my family. I was able to attend the second grade 50's Day activities on Wednesday. I am so glad you encourage the staff and students to participate in activities that are fun but still educational.

I have been able to attend various functions over the last several years. It is evident you have a talented staff that loves their children and their job.

As a retired teacher, parent, and grandparent I feel blessed to have my family in your school.

Have a great weekend.

GP Grandparent

From a GP Parent to a GP Teacher:

Thanks for sharing your note on facebook that stated wonderful things about your class at computer. Happy to hear the news. Happy to hear you have a good sub that the children are responding too.

Also happy to see how she wants you to feel better too! Really this is overwhelmingly evident at GP. The teachers care about each other and want to be together. The teachers care about the students and the best way to learn, like cutting edge best way to learn.

We are thankful we moved to be a part of the GP family! Rest and recover and cheer on the Aggies tomorrow!

GP Mom

Congratulations Education Foundation Grant Recipients!

  • Learning Through OSMOsis - First Grade $2,025.00
  • Breaking Out of the Box - Vicki Murphy $3,848.68
  • Pen Pals 3.0 (Peers ENgaging to Promote Authentic Literacy Skills) - 2nd Grade ELA $2,090.00
  • Dash into STEM! - Ruth Matthews, Tracy Brice, Sally Hughes $4,608.75
  • Early Childhood District Science Grant - Jordan Killingsworth $10,000
  • Makerspace on the Move - Heather Jankowski $4,407.12