GTCC Golden Apple News


“Golden” Apple  

            By Diana Knudson                                                  September, 2014


 Welcome Back!  That phrase seems to come up faster each year.

Dr. Daggett was the international guest speaker this year for Golden Triangle at the Heritage Inn August 18.  Close to 450 teachers and administrators attended.  Although I heard Dr. Daggett a year ago, I felt he had more urgent things to tell us at this meeting.  It all comes down to this--We hear when we are ready to listen.


A few ideas keep blinking in my head.  He said our students reading levels across the state flat-line by middle school. In other words most students do not become better readers in high school.  Thus, that reading gap becomes so apparent when students graduate from high school and head off to college, or tech school, or almost any higher level training or job opportunity. He suggests that all students’ reading levels should be tested and recorded throughout high school.  Plans should be made accordingly to help students continue to improve their reading ability in high school.  This is crucial, urgent advice.  Are we listening?


We will never make up this reading gap the way we teach high schools today.  Until reading and writing become a part of every content area classroom and we begin to look as carefully at our high school students’ reading levels as we do at our 1st grade students, nothing will change.  Can our public education system afford to stay the same?


Let’s start out the school year with a CONTEST.  Send your name to Brianna. (  It goes in the hat and we will draw the end of September for a $100 gift card to Target.  I loved seeing all of you this summer.  Nearly 500 was our participation number for the Summer Institute.

Dear Teachers of the ARTS and Administrators: 

We have had very NEW news from the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI).  They are beginning the process to update and write new Montana standards for the arts:  music, theatre, dance, and visual arts.  Therefore, Emily Kohring of the Montana Arts Council with the Montana Office of Public Instruction, will begin the process in early 2015 and will be completed by 2016.  It makes sense for us to wait until the new state standards are written before we begin our revision process.  We will not have the three meetings originally scheduled but will have a meeting December 9 for our arts’ people where Emily Kohnring will be the guest speaker and fill us in on the whole process. She will explain the opportunity for you to work on the New State Standards if you desire.

This letter will go to your administrators, too, so they will know to put our visual arts’ group on hold but let you come to the December 9 informational meeting at the 3D. Please let your theatre and dance teachers know about this meeting.  Music teachers will finish the three meetings this year as they are in YEAR 2 of revisions and have done enough that it is worth finishing, but they, too, are invited to the December 9 meeting to get the information straight from OPI and the Montana Arts Council.

November 10 and February 9 meetings are canceled.  I am sorry for the inconvenience but glad we did not start a process that would have to be done again soon. 

Thank you,

Diana Knudson  Director Golden Triangle


The December 9th Meeting will be 9am-1:00pm. Lunch provided. Meeting will be held at the 3D International Restaurant, 1925 Smelter Ave NE Black Eagle, MT 59414 (Great Falls).



Are you tired of being left out of the loop? Need reminding about those Committee meetings? Want to know more about Summer Institutes and other Professional Development? Then subscribe to the GTCC Headline enews. Every month you'll receive headlines from the GTCC enews in your mailbox. Just send an email to  Be sure to tell your co-teachers too!

Upcoming Committee Meetings & Events... 


Printable GTCC 2014-15 Meeting Calendar


September 2014
Fall Advisory Council Meeting Hampton Inn Great Falls
October 2014
World Language Committee 3D International Great Falls
Technology Committee 3D International Great Falls
Technology Coordinator Meeting 3D International Great Falls


Web Resources, Grants and Other News...


For Montana Schools

T.E.A. Grant

Teacher Exploration of the Arts 


This grant program is for elementary classroom teachers or K-8 teachers with an elementary endorsement, who are asked to teach visual art or music and do not have a background in that subject, who wish to work one-on-one with a professional working artist in order to develop skills in a particular artistic discipline. (Dance, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts)


Cool Websites...

Have you struggled with a student who openly defied your authority, became aggressive if confronted or was a threat to other students? Do you feel that you have been seeing more of these students recently? Much of what you may have previously thought about oppositional students may not be completely accurate. For example, rewards and punishments typically don't work. Nancy Hall's Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children combines research with teacher-tested tips for working with these students. (ASCD Books)

Check lists of standards that you can print off and sign and date for when each student mastered the standards...

Wonderful website for teachers.... Choose the 'iPads in the classroom' on the left

Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools. They have a rapidly growing community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each other.

Do all your students look forward to each grammar lesson? We didn't think so. With NoRedInk, your students will get differentiated instruction based both on their skills and their interests. (So Miguel Cabrera and One Direction may show up in questions.) If students get stuck, they'll see tutorials to help. You can get charts showing your students' strengths and weaknesses. You can also view their quizzes and homework. The site offers free content for everyone. (

Learning about simple machines is a way to introduce students to basic physics. Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has created Simple Machines, a game to help students learn about of levels, pulleys, planes, axles and wheels. A robot named Twitch roams the museum collecting the parts needed to create a simple machine. But that involves climbing over things (inclined planes), lifting (pulleys and levers) and moving heavy objects (wheels and axels). (

Text messages to parents can be efficient--and more reliable than crumpled messages at the bottom of a backpack! But you may not want parents to have your cell phone number. ClassPager provides you with a free way to contact up to 25 parents. When you register on the site, you will receive an enrollment code. Share it with parents, who then send a text message to opt in. Every text message will go to those who have joined your group. (

The Library of Congress should be your go-to site for primary sources. From photographs and films to maps and books, you are sure to find material for your students. The Library has also developed a series of resource guides to help students understand how to use each of these documents. The guides suggest questions to ask students about documents, sound recordings, political cartoons, images and more. All are available online or as PDFs. (

There is no question that today's kids aren't active enough. Rates of childhood obesity are skyrocketing. That's why the National Football League launched NFL Play 60. It encourages young fans to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. The Play 60 website has a collection of ideas for how teachers and schools can be part of the effort to get kids moving. The site also includes fun activities targeted especially at children. ( 

back to the GTCC  Home page