GTCC Golden Apple News


 “Golden” Apple  

            By Diana Knudson                      April, 2014


       I am on a committee that is statewide through OPI. It is called Montana Providers of Professional Learning Network (MPPLN). You will be hearing more about it because we are working to organize professional development on a statewide calendar and catalog. This has never been done in Montana and is long overdue. This catalog and calendar will soon be listed on the OPI website and will give you a peek into what is going on across the state for training for teachers and administrators. As soon as they are ready to be posted, we will also put the link on our website.
     Testing is going on. I would love feedback about your perception of student performance, the difficulty of the questions, the time element, or how your technology worked.
     We have been holding math workshops around the area for teachers to learn a process for looking at textbooks and resources. It is obvious that many textbook companies are not aligned to the common core, even though they explicitly say that they are. My best advice is still to be cautious and wait if you can. There are many resources on-line that are free and good if you take the time to do some searches relating to your grade level.
     If your teachers have not had an introduction to close reading and text dependent questioning, I would love to come and show you how we have to vamp up our reading and writing instruction in every classroom. We are all reading and writing teachers.

     Have a great month. The end of the school year is almost here. What did you do this year that made you proud to be a teacher? 

      Congratulations to Cindy Artist of Fairfield Public Schools. Cindy was the winner of our $100 Wal-Mart gift card drawing.


     GTCC 2014 Summer Institute is now open for registration! Visit for full workshop details, information, and how to register.  
     Workshops fill quickly so it is best to register online if possible.  Hard copies of workshop details and registration information has been mailed to member-school districts.



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... 


April 2014
Health Enhancement 3D International Great Falls
Library Information Literacy 3D International Great Falls
Spring Leadership Conference*NEW DATE Hampton Inn Great Falls
August 2014
GTCC In-Service 
Dr. Daggett
Best Western Plus 
Heritage Inn
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)

Teaching Women’s History Matters! Montana Historical Society’s Summer Educator Workshop

Looking for Summer professional development that will help you integrate into your classroom: 
  • primary sources
  • new teaching techniques to meet Common Core standards
  • women's history, and 
  • Montana Indian history?
Look no further than our upcoming workshop: "Teaching Women's History Matters!"
Where: Montana Historical Society, 225 N. Roberts St., Helena, Montana
When: Monday, June 16, 1:00-6:30, Tuesday, June 17, 8:30-5:00, and Wednesday, June 18, 8:30-12:30 (Participants must attend all three days)
Who: Grades 4-12 Social Studies teachers, English Language Arts teachers, and Librarians
What: FREE, hands-on workshop. Taking women’s history as the theme, the workshop will focus on
  • building content knowledge,
  • practicing techniques, and
  • uncovering free, easily accessible primary and secondary source material that can be used with students to meet Common Core ELA standards and IEFA.
Participants will engage in hands-on learning activities and leave the workshop with ready-to-use lessons and primary sources to integrate into their current curriculum.
Sixteen OPI Renewal Units will be provided. 
Why: 2014 is the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage in the state of Montana, yet women are still largely overlooked as historical actors. To rectify this situation, and in honor of the centennial, the Montana Historical Society created
Women’s History Matters—a web-based project designed to make Montana women’s history visible. Workshop attendees will learn
  • how to use these newly created resources in their classrooms
  • how looking at history from a female perspective changes the stories we choose to tell
  • how they can find primary and secondary sources to meet common core standards
  • how women’s history can be integrated into classes that are already being taught
Cost: FREE, including Monday evening reception, Tuesday and Wednesday continental breakfast and lunch. A limited number of travel scholarships are also available.
Limit: 25
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, June 1, 2014 (Deadline for scholarship applicants May 1, 2014)
How: Register for the workshop.
          Apply for a travel scholarship.
Want to know more? See the Workshop Agenda or contact Martha Kohl at


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