GTCC Golden Apple News


“Golden” Apple  

            By Diana Knudson                                                  October, 2014


 • Welcome to Fall! And for the most part it has been beautiful. We had our Fall Leadership meeting September 24 in Great Falls. We had a great turn out of superintendents and principals. The topic was the EPAS or new teacher evaluation that has been developed by OPI. It would be worth your while to check with your administration to find out if your teacher evaluation procedure has changed or will change. It is always good to know how you will be evaluated. The main areas suggested to help teachers improve are: Planning and Preparation, The Learning Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities. Each of those main headings break into many sub-divisions. Each school district could accept the OPI evaluation model or use their own while adapting sections from the state that are not in the district’s present form. If you have not looked at the state’s form, go to and type EPAS into the search. I would run this document off, read carefully and have a discussion with your administration about your school’s implementation.

• If you are working with students to write persuasive arguments, use the book Earrings! In this engaging story, the main character presents a persuasive argument about why she should be allowed to get her ears pierced. Girls and boys will relate to the idea of presenting an argument to a parent.

• Doreen Petersen from Harlem Schools is the winner of the $100 gift card from Target. Look for it in the mail, Doreen, and Congratulations!

• Enjoy the training you choose to attend over the MEA Convention. As usual, many opportunities are available across the state during this time.


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).



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Upcoming Committee Meetings & Events... 


Printable GTCC 2014-15 Meeting Calendar


October 2014
World Language Committee 3D International Great Falls
Technology Committee 3D International Great Falls
Technology Coordinator Meeting 3D International Great Falls
November 2014
Music Committee 3D International Great Falls
Science Committee 3D International Great Falls
Visual Arts Committee
3D International Great Falls
Technology Committee 3D International Great Falls
Business Committee &
Vocational Ed Committee
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. ( 

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