Sunday, September 11, 2016

Two-By-Ten Difficult Student Strategy 9/12/16

Two weeks ago I wrote that STUDENTS really want a CARING teacher.  The only way to be a caring teacher is to develop a relationships.  So exactly how do you connect with and build a relationship with difficult students?   By using a strategy to have a personal two minute conversation with a challenging student for 10 days.  Please take a minute to read this ONE MINUTE INSERVICE article about the Two-By-Ten Strategy. 

I challenge each of you to commit to trying out this strategy.  Imagine the impact we can have a teachers to change the life of 30 plus students over the next 10 days.  Enlist a teammate to hold you accountable and let’s change the lives of our students.  I truly believe in my heart that each students deserves a caring teacher and I know you do as well, or you wouldn’t be a teacher!  

Instructional Coaching Model 9/5/16

Please take a minute to watch this video of GCISD teachers sharing how they have utilized Instructional Coaches in our district to reach their goals. 
Please let me know your needs so I can match you up with a coach. 

What do students really want? 8/29/16

What do students really want?

As I pondered this question and watched our students this past week, I realized that students come to school with expectations. They expect to be engaged with exciting new things and want to be in an environment that is comfortable for them to learn with a teacher who cares about them.  How do we provide those things?  As teachers we collaborate with our colleagues to design engaging work, show and teach empathy, and individually each teacher develops relationships that set the “tone and culture” of their class with classroom management.

Classroom management is key to your success!!  If this past week did not seem to go as smooth as you wanted, all hope is NOT loss.  SLOW down and model what carpet time/large group time looks like…again and again. As well as every other procedure that makes your class the best learning environment possible. If you allow students to disengage and wonder around the room, you are setting yourself up for a long year!  Other students are distracted because of this disengagement and eventually you become frustrated when your students are not making the academic gains they should be. Classroom management is personal but we need to make sure we think beyond our comfort level to guarantee that all students are in a space in which they can learn.

What do students really want?  They want a caring teacher that has amazing classroom management so they can learn.  It truly is all about the students.

I would love to come observe your group of students so I can collaborate with you some management ideas so you can have the BEST school year ever!!  Please email so we can set up a time.

 Please take at look at this FABULOUS website for some great tips for the first few weeks of school. You will be impressed with the topics addressed.

Classroom Culture 8/22/16

What a great start to our school year! The graphic below, created by George Couros, shares 10 wonderful ideas on how to create an amazing classroom culture this year!

Read more about each of these ideas here on his blog! How will YOU make an impact on your classroom culture beginning on day #1?

May 30, 2016

When you spend the school year giving of yourself to your students, it is important to relax and recharge! It gives you the chance to reflect and remember WHY you chose to teach.

Please reach out to me anytime this summer if I can help with you with any professional development. I look forward to hearing about the new things you learn and discover to use with your scholars next year!

I am proud to able to work with you this year and proud of the work done here at Cannon.

May 23, 2016

I forget each year how May becomes a whirlwind that seems to spin faster and faster. Students will be able to use iStation and Education Galaxy this summer. Please plan to spend some class time explaining this to your students and finding a way to help them secure their login information so they will have access at home. This is an easy way to help students have a spiral review of skills over the summer.

Thank you for all of your hard work with Young Engineer's Night because it was a huge success! This is proof that collaboration truly is the best way to plan to meet the needs of our students.

May 16, 2016

Teacher College Reading/Writing Workshops

Trent Deberry and Alyssa Newman have conducted workshops at four schools in our district to which we were able to send 6 teachers. They have a high level of expertise in reading/writing workshop and have helped teachers to enhance their reading/writing instruction in GCISD. Trent and Alyssa contacted Dr. Newell recently about the possibility of hosting a workshop (or set of workshops) in our area that would be available for teachers to attend for a fee.

While we have some offerings provided in-house this summer, this is a great opportunity to learn from experienced “Teacher College” trainers. The time frame for their offerings will likely be the first week of August (one-day sessions) at a cost of $100-125/per day, per teacher). Tona is willing to send teachers to this training so please email both of us if you are interested so we can help facilitate registration.

They have provided a survey link to get a gauge of the level of interest so they can finalize their class topics and schedule. If you are interested in this, please complete it.

May 9, 2016

Has Teacher Appreciation Week always been the week before Mother's Day? I know that teachers are not the actual parent of our scholars, yet as their teacher, you still act as a parent in many ways. You nurture and accept students unconditionally, where they are emotionally and academically. Just as being a parent is selfless, so is being a teacher. There is nothing easy about being a teacher, but you are an amazing group of professionals who put the needs of our scholars first, every day! Thank you!!

Important May Reminders:

Mathematical Mindset Book Club Kickoff on May 18th:

25 Book Challenge is due May 12th:

New Humanities Curriculum preview dates that are remaining:
May 12th - 3:30-4:30 - Hosted at Cannon Elementary library - registration link
May 19th - 3:30-4:30 - Hosted at CMS library - registration link
May 24th - 3:30-4:40 - Hosted at Cannon Elementary library - registration link

May 2, 2016

I wanted to take a moment to remind you that your hard work in the lives of our scholars DOES MATTER. Parents do appreciate everything you do, even if they don't tell you! I know you have a heart for kids and I appreciate everything you do to make the @canSTEM experience the best. I found this "One Hundreds Years From Now" reminder that each of YOU make a difference!!

End of the year assessment window opens up on May 2nd. We will be adding our writing assessments to the blue literacy folders stored in Brenda Milum's room. If you have any questions, please email me.

Also, the Humanities will be having their new curriculum overviews on every Tuesday in May. Have you signed up to attend one yet?

April 25, 2016

Currently at Cannon we have 10 teachers that have attended the 21st Century Learning Academy at the Fort Worth Museum. There are several more planning to attend this summer. This is a training that ALL teachers at Cannon should plan to attend, in order to deepen your knowledge about STEM-based instruction.

  • The 21st Century Learning Academy will provide educators with in-depth experiences on integrating STEM education into their classrooms. The pedagogy, practices and implementation strategies taught will enhance professional practice and help build educators' understanding of how STEM based instruction can benefit student learning.
  • 3-8 Educator's Academy: July 25-29, 8:30am-4:30pm
  • K-2 Educator's Academy: August 1-5, 8:30am-4:30pm

Please consider attending this foundational training to learn how to implement STEM strategies into classrooms. This class is a great addition to add to your STEM toolbox!!

Here is what two of your colleagues said about FWMSH:

Kami: "My experience at the FWMSH for the STEM professional development was the best and it was challenging. I needed the background to help me find my 'place', so learning pedagogy was fantastic! Also, because it wasn't tied to Cannon, (if I messed up, it wouldn't reflect badly) l was comfortable trying to merge pedagogy and 'Kami'. I had a blast and finally felt I was understanding STEM and actually did a pretty good job!"

Heather: "Going to the Fort Worth Museum STEM week greatly impacted my teaching because I understood how to incorporate engineering into any content I was teaching and how I could incorporate other content areas into the design challenge or project. This training also allowed me to design work to have students apply their learning to authentic global problems rather than just creating scenarios for them. It also made me understand the significance of the engineering design process and how this should be a guide not only for students to use but is a guide for us when designing lessons."

April 18, 2016

fi·del·i·ty - /fəˈdelədē/

1.faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support

synonyms: loyalty, allegiance, obedience

As I observed in many classrooms and have had to opportunity to listen to visitors this past year, everyone consistently comments on two student behaviors that are evident at our school. The first is the ability of our scholars to work in groups and the second one is how our scholars can explain their thinking. The success of these two student behaviors are not accidental-thanks to YOU!

The fidelity in which the Engineering Design Process has been implemented in our program, K-5, is the key. Our current students have 4 years of executing the EDP and is evident by your continued belief in designing work that solve real world problems. That is apparent by the risk taking and creative problem taking place at Cannon.

Just like the attached photo states so simply...The work of our amazing Cannon staff spreads to amazing learning experiences for our scholars every day!"

April 11, 2016

#1-The unveiling of the newly redesigned K-5 Humanities curriciulum (3 are hosted here at Cannon).
#2-A book study hosted by the math department! I can’t wait to learn more about growth mindset applied in the classroom.

After months of work by over 70 of GCISD's K-5 teachers, we are hosting 4 identical sneak peeks into the new documents, resources, and expectations. Join us on one of the following dates:

May 3, 3:30-4:30, hosted at Cannon Elementary library - Registration link
May 12, 3:30-4:30, hosted at Cannon Elementary library - Registration link
May 19, 3:30-4:30, hosted at the CMS library - Registration link
May 24, 3:30-4:30, hosted at the Cannon Elementary library - Registration link

Mathematical Mindsets Book Study
The GCISD math department is excited to enter into a book study with teachers of mathematics from across the district! Dr. Jo Boaler of Stanford University has published a new book this year that explores the application of growth mindset to mathematics classrooms. We look forward to learning together how we can better serve our students!

Join us May 18 @ PDEC for our kickoff! Register in Eduphoria:

Check out additional Humanties PD opportunities scheduled for this summer!

April 4, 2016

Carol Dweck, author of Growth Mindset, discusses how an integrated curriculum affects the way students view learning in this 4 minute video from Connect Ed. Dweck states that "expertise in the real world is about knowing something from every angle." This affirms our goal and work to integrate in our PLCs. She also talks connecting math and science to real world things and the impact that has on learning. Listen to when she talks about growth mindset and how it aligns to our Engineering Design Process. WOW!

March 28, 2016

I know you have followed your passion and purpose in life by teaching. However, if you had to do it all over again and decided to become an engineer, what type of engineer would you be? I have pondered this question as I have listened to engineer presentations over the past two year.

This quiz will help you determine your "engineer" type. On Young Engineer's Night, this could be a great activity for parents to complete with their child. I can't wait to hear what type of engineer YOU should be!!!

March 21, 2016

Please make a note of the following PLC dates to accommodate STAAR testing and 4th and 5th grade robotics schedule.

5th, 4th and 3rd grade: weeks of 3/21, 4/4, 4/18, 5/2, 5/16
1st, K, and 2nd grade: weeks of 3/28, 4/11, 4/25, 5/9

If there are specific resources you need for your PLC time, please send me an email.