GT Academy Newsletter

Sablatura Middle School / Pearland ISD

October / November 2015

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Super Students

Students are having a super time in class! Walk down the GTA hallway and you will see evidence of their super work. Sixth grade students have created some interesting super heroes in Math and World Cultures classes. In Math, students used proportions and scale to determine the height of a "humongous hero" by measuring his hand print and comparing it to their own. Then they used their height at the scale of their hand to determine the hero's height. Each group chose a group member to be their model and took measurements of that person to use in their scale drawing. In World Cultures, students invented superheroes to help clean up environmental issues (deforestation, air pollution, and oil spills) in Latin America.

In addition, our super scientists applied the scientific method as they determined the best habitat for pill bugs and crickets and investigated the properties of force and motion through fun, hands-on labs. Mrs. Stenvall's scientists researched and prepared for their exciting energy debates. The purpose of the debate was to convince a team of judges that one form of energy is better for use than another.

When GT Academy students are between mini courses, they spend time learning soft skills such as time management, organization, group dynamics, and GRIT. Sixth grade students worked in groups and donned capes, wigs, and other props as they performed entertaining songs and chants about tenacity.

GT Academy students are learning to lead and contribute to deep, thought provoking discussions as they participate in Socratic Seminars in Ms. Sisk and Mrs. Maricle's Reading classes. Below you will find examples of conversation prompts students can use as they build their discussion skills. Now put down that device and have a meaningful conversation!
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Above and Beyond

Our awesome students are not afraid to go above and beyond what is expected. They come in early to prepare for a competition, collaborate with classmates, or meet with a teacher about an assignment. They stay late and come in on the weekend for clubs and other activities. GTA teachers are proud of the effort and dedication these students show to their work.

We are proud of Isabela and Marcus. Their artwork will be featured on the cover of the Sablatura yearbook.

Emily, Mihir, Ahmar, and Cordelia performed for HEB's Multicultural Month.

Future Problem Solvers just finished the second practice problem in preparation for the district qualifier which is scheduled for February 2, 2016 (4:00-6:00). Top scores went to Cordelia (individual), Sophie, Zinaira, Akanksha, and Anna (2nd place team); Andy, Tegan, Allen, and Ankitha (1st place team); and Kevin, Jonathan, Marcus and Antonio (1st place team). Your hard work is paying off!

Seaperch students worked diligently on a Saturday morning to solder circuit boards for their ROV's. They are now ready to get them in the water to begin the obstacle course trials.

The Sablatura Math Club did an outstanding job at the first competition of the school year and the scores just keep getting better with each competition! Students are improving calculator, general math, and number sense skills. We are especially proud of our science group for their team effort! The team came in 4th place overall in science and 5th place in general math at the Elkins High School competition.

We are proud of the Quiz Bowl students who are putting in extra hours at home to prepare for the district competition. Teams were just announced, and the students are excited! Students participating in Quiz Bowl will be ready to join the ranks of Pearland's prestigious Academic Decathalon team when they enter high school.

Keep up the good work!

International Connection

Twenty educators of the Tongzhou delegation from Beijing, China visited the GT Academy in October. They came to see the American version of establishing creative thinking and problem solving in the classroom. They were able to see awesome teachers working with eager students on engaging lessons. They saw students working together to plan projects, asking great questions during Socratic Seminar, debating NAFTA, and working on independent science projects. The Beijing visitors were thrilled to receive quilts that fifth graders had designed as part of their Texas Performance Standards Project.

Homework Struggles?

If these cartoons sound a little too familiar, then you might be experiencing some homework struggles of your own. By this time of the year, students should have an established routine in place for completing homework. If students are struggling to get homework turned in, it could be for several reasons. The article linked below could offer some insight as to what is going on.

Mini Course Update

Here is a quick look at what is happening in our mini courses...

Race Across America: Teams are earning “miles” through challenging tasks as they race across America. Students are enjoying their virtual road trip, exploring National Parks as they travel. Each team’s historian, geologist, naturalist, and recreational coordinator are working collaboratively to design and share postcards, scrapbooks, and brochures from the parks they visit. Don’t be surprised if your child wants to plan your next Road Trip!

Forensics & Anatomy: Students visited the Houston Museum of Natural History. Forensics students participated in a blood analysis lab and the Anatomy group dissected sheep eyes.

Brain Bootcamp: Students are working out their brains by solving a variety of mind puzzles. Favorites so far include: Jotto (a word game where you try to identify your partner’s word), student created reasoning puzzles, and coin challenges.

Law: Students get to peek into the lives of members of the judicial system by examining roles of criminal courts. They have been learning about the legal process from Mrs. Dawson, and are preparing for their mock trial.

Mars Rover: Teams are writing scripts, planning display boards and building rovers. Don't forget about the extra after school practices when we return in January. The competition will be held at UH on January 30th.

Grizzly Gazette: In an effort to understand the real-life role of reporters, we had the pleasure of hosting two local journalists who spoke to our Newspaper Mini Course. Ms. Stacey Glaesmann of Houston Community Newspapers and Mr. Jim Foreman of The Friendswood Journal. We are now working on producing a newspaper for the enjoyment of Sablatura readers!

Lights, Camera, Action: Memorizing and performing Shakespeare monologues and Marcel Marceau mimes have kept students in this drama mini course entertained. They have learned the importance of volume, speed, voice inflection, posture/presence in dramatic performance.

GTA students will participate in "Hour of Code" on December 11th. Try out some of these free coding websites!

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Mark your calendars!

December 5th - Door Decorating @ Windsong Retirement Home 10:00 - 12:00

December 7th - Forensics/ Anatomy Field Experience

December 8th - Reading Benchmark

December 11th - Sablatura Spelling Bee 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

December 15th - 6th Grade GTA to Alley Theatre "A Christmas Carol"

December 15th - GTAB Ham Sale Pick Up 4:00-6:00 p.m.

December 16th - Math Benchmark

December 18th - Early Release 1:45 Happy Holidays!

January 14th - GTA Parent Info Night (for prospective students) 6:30-7:30 Sab Cafe

January 15th - GTAB Fundraiser Dinner

January 22nd - Quiz Bowl @ PJHW (4:15-8:00 p.m.)

January 23rd - Alvin ISD Seaperch Practice Meet @ Manvel High School

January 30th - TCEA Area 4 Robotics Competition

January 30th - UH Mars Rover Celebration

February 5th - GTA New Student Applications for 2016-2017 Due

February 20th - Seaperch Competition - Austin, TX

April 15 - 16 - FPS State Competition - Austin, TX

April 15 - TMSCA State Competition - San Antonio, TX

May 26th - GTA Student Showcase @ESC 6:00-7:30


National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT)

The Association for the Gifted

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

Duke TIP Digest of Gifted Research

2e- Twice Exceptional Newsletter