GT Academy Newsletter
October/ November / December 2018
- Mrs. Needler was named Conoco Phillips Math Teacher of the Year
- Team Purdue studied beautiful quilts at the International Quilt Show
- Students worked hard to plan and create excellent work for the International Festival
- Students and their families spread holiday cheer for Windsong residents with The Big Give
- Several awesome students spoke to potential students and parents at the GTA Parent Information Night
- Tanishta was named our Sablatura Spelling Bee champion
Take a look at the photos on the link below to see more of what kept us busy this fall.
Wishing you a happy new year and a successful spring semester!
- Mrs. Mueller
GTA Students Share Holiday Spirit
Empathy - The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
GTA students showed empathy in many ways in December. They started the month with The Big Give, where they decorated the doors of Windsong Retirement Home residents. The Bookworm Bunch organized a book drive, and will donate over 900 books to the "Books Between Kids" organization.
The last day of the semester was filled with holiday spirit, as the band lined the hall to play Christmas music, the choir serenaded us with carols, and Team Purdue made blankets for patients at Texas Children's Hospital.
Field Experience Day
Mrs. Stenvall, retired GTA and Art teacher, was a special guest during this course and led the students creating art reflective of Matisse's musicians, Van Gogh's Starry Night and others. We are always excited when Mrs. Stenvall comes back to visit!
Storytelling is a mini course that’s lives up to its name, you tell stories, make puppets, and create friendships. Joining storytelling helped me clear my insecurities about telling stories. In this mini course, you start out learning about sharing your story using hand gestures, and gradually move towards making puppets, which can make the story even more entertaining. For the field experience, we went to three elementary schools to the stories we learned with puppets. I would recommend this for kids who like expressing their thoughts and acting. All in all, Storytelling is a great course that you should try.
Our future NASA engineers have been researching previous Mars rovers and probes, and have paid close attention to the InSight Mars Lander, that recently touched down on the surface of Mars. They extended their research with a trip to Space Center Houston, where they enjoyed the Mars exhibit. Teams are preparing for the Mars Rover Celebration, which will be held at the University of Houston. Mr. John Gruener, a NASA planetary geologist, came to share the most current research, and will return to give feedback to the teams on their presentations before the competition. Teams are reminded to attend the after school work sessions listed in the "Mark Your Calendar" section below.
Students in the photography course visited the Museum of Fine Arts to see examples of the elements of photography composition they had learned about, including lighting, framing, leading lines, symmetry, perspective, and editing techniques. They had fun learning about the functions of their cameras through photo shoots around the campus. A guest photographer, who happens to be a math teacher at PJHW, came to speak and share her techniques as well as her pathway into photography. They were challenged to think creatively and express their ideas through photography. They shared "green screen" photos during the Sablatura International Festival, and will be sharing their best photos at the GT Academy Showcase in May!
Build A Business
We went to the recycling center for our field experience. The best part was when they turned on the paper shredder and let all of us shred paper. We helped make new paper! When we returned to class, we made paper ourselves. First you shred the paper and add water. Then you put the paper water on a sheet to let it drain. Lastly, you take the paper off the sheet and iron it. It was fun learning about ways to recycle and create art from recycled materials.
As we arrived at the Museum of Natural Science, we climbed a flight of stairs to get to the classroom where we would be doing our blood analysis lab! Our instructor explained the different types of blood splatter marks and told us we would be testing the difference between a low height and high height spatter. After that, we tested the blood on different surfaces. In "ghost shadowing", we put a toothbrush in blood and spattered it on our partner's hand. When we took our hand off the paper there was a beautiful ghost print. The Death of Natural Causes exhibit was interesting too. The one that was most surprising was the person who died because a limb fell on him. Once we exited all of the deathly craziness we got back on the bus and headed back to school. That is what we call a interesting day!
By: Anahi B.
We visited the Tom Reid Public Library. The librarian gave us a tour and talked to us about the different events that were coming up in the library. While we were at the library, we left special notes on books we recommend. A few of us also felt very grown up signing up for a library card of our own.
When we returned, we hosted a book tasting in the library. We had chosen a book that we love, wrote a review about the book, and chose a snack that would go along with it. Classes crowded the library to hear about the books. Greeters handed out plates, pencils and a "read next" list as visitors came in and started listening to our presentations.
We had lots of fun during our field experience and our friends from other mini courses enjoyed getting more book recommendations!
What's Next With TPSP?
During the fall semester, students were introduced to (5th grade) or reviewed (6th grade) the Independent Investigation Method (IIM), which is the method used to research their topic of choice. Next, students developed research questions and spent several weeks in class finding good sources, reading, and taking notefacts. Students organized their notefacts, and sixth grade students have completed the rough drafts of their research papers. Fifth graders will begin to write rough drafts in their Humanities class in January. All students will participate in lessons related to Group Dynamics in January before beginning the next mini course sessions.
Coming up next in the TPSP process...
Fifth grade students
- Write Rough Draft (Due Feb. 1)
- Edit / Revise
- Research Paper (Due Feb. 15)
- Plan Quilt and Purchase Fabric
- *Sew Quilts (March / April)
- Practice Presentations
Sixth grade students
- Edit / Revise
- Research Paper (Due Jan.25)
- Create Map
- Begin Product (Ted Talk, Awareness Event, or Scrapbook)
- Determine Artifacts
- Prepare Elevator Speech
- Make Banner
*Parents or grandparents interested in assisting and monitoring groups during quilt sewing in March and April are encouraged to contact your child's homeroom teacher. We welcome your help!
It's Competition Season!
The spring semester brings competition season, and students will be working diligently to prepare. Success takes commitment, collaboration, problem solving and many extra hours of studying. Sablatura GTA is proud of their award winning teams, and we are looking forward to another successful season.
- FPS - Teams will write for the state qualifier after school, 4:00-6:00 p.m. on January 23rd. This will determine students who will attend the state competition in San Marcos April 12-14.
- TMSCA - The GTA is hosting a TMSCA qualifier competition on February 23 @ PJHW . Sixth grade students who earn qualifying scores are invited to the state competition in San Antonio in April.
- FLL Robotics - Our two teams will compete at San Jacinto College on January 19th and share their presentations at the Sablatura Robotics Exhibition on February 7th.
- TCEA Robotics - Four teams will compete at the TCEA Area 4 Arena Competition on January 19th @ Aldine ISD
- Seaperch - Our awesome Seaperch team will attend a January 19 practice meet @ Manvel High School. The Regional Competition is March 23rd.
- Quiz Bowl - The district competition will be held @ Berry Miller Junior High on March 1st. Parents and guests are invited to come cheer on our team at the Super Quiz competition in the gym. We are hoping to hold on to our championship trophy for the third year in a row!
- Mars Rover - Six teams of GTA students will present their research to judges at the Mars Rover Celebration @ the University of Houston on March 23rd.
- Young Inventors' Showcase - Students who take the Inventions mini course will go through the invention process and develop a unique invention to present to judges at the Sablatura Inventors' Showcase. The top five inventions will go on to the Houston Young Inventors' Showcase in May.
We are hosting the TMSCA qualifier competition @ PJHW! Parent volunteers have helped to make this event a success the past two years, and we are asking parents to help again this year. A Sign Up Genius link will be sent through Skyward email soon. We appreciate your support.
Spelling Bee Champ
We are proud to announce our 2018 Sablatura Spelling Bee champion. Miss Tanishta from Team Purdue, is the champion and will represent Sablatura at the district Spelling Bee on February 6th. Her winning word was ligatures. Congratulations also to Jason, from Team TCU, who is our runner up.
Clutter Busters is a group of sixth grade GTA students who are available each Thursday morning 8:00-8:30 in Mrs. V’s class to help other students get organized. All students are welcome to stop by to organize binders, recycle old papers, get tips on using planners effectively, share study techniques, or get freshly sharpened pencils and a new folder.
Click the link below to learn more!
Plan to attend a summer GT Camp? Apply for a TAGT Scholarship!
Mark Your Calendar:
January 9-18 - Group Dynamics Rotations
January 17 - GTA Parent Information Meeting (for prospective 2019-2020 GTA students)
January 19 - FLL Robotics Competition / TCEA Robotics Competition / Seaperch Practice Meet
January 21 - MLK Student Holiday
January 22- Mini Course #3 Begins
January 25 - TPSP Final Copies Due (TCU)
February 1 - GTA Applications (new students) & Intent to Return Forms (current students) Due
February 1 - TPSP Research Rough Drafts Due (Purdue)
February 7 - Sablatura Robotics Exhibition 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
February 8 - GTAB Winterfest @ Pearwood Skating Rink
February 13 - TCU Attends Play @ Ensemble Theatre
February 15 - TPSP Research Final Copies Due (Purdue)
February 23 - GTA Hosts TMSCA Competition @ PJHW
March 1- Pearland ISD Quiz Bowl Competition
March 11-15 - Spring Break!
March 21 - Mars Rover Parent Presentation 5:00-6:00 @ Sab Library
March 23 - Mars Rover Celebration @ UH
March 23- Seaperch Regional Competition @ Manvel High School
March 29 - Sablatura Inventors' Showcase (tentative)
** Mars Rover Teams - Your after school work session dates are :
Jan. 22, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb 19, Feb 26, March 19