My New Room!

You guys! Guess what?

Our middle school lower level was recently remodeled, teachers moved classrooms, and I NOW HAVE MY OWN LITTLE ROOM! Yeah! I used to have just a corner in the office conference room, so this is super exciting for me, and now I have my own place at BOTH buildings. Yeah!

So here are some pictures of my middle school room.  I share the room with two other coaches who go around to all four buildings and are only at the middle school once in a while.  Now they, too, have a space to call home when they are here.


Natalie Kaye

The 5th graders are writing something from their composition books on their blogs today, so I thought I’d add something from mine as well. Here’s what I STARTED earlier and now finished about my daughter.

Natalie Kaye


I am so incredibly proud of who you are. Do you remember when you were in 5th grade and you would ask me, “What am I good at?” I would try to reassure you that while you felt like you were not the best at this or that, you WERE so completely and obviously good at making friends. You would argue that that wasn’t something to be good at, I would argue it WAS. I knew because I noticed how other kids, girls especially, might fight or get in silly arguments at recess, but YOU would walk away and play something else. You were never one for drama, even at that young age.

Well, you are older now, but that is STILL one of your best attributes. You certainly have a variety of friends and you get along with just about anyone, even if some people DO drive you nuts.

But I hope you can see your other good attributes now as well, the most obvious is your drive and initiative. Nobody has to tell you to get busy and get to work. You get things done and look for more to do. You are driven and always looking for some new adventure or opportunity and you are not afraid to give something a try. That’s such a blessing, especially for someone your age.

Your dad and I love you, Natalie, and we are sure that God has plans for your future. We can’t wait to see what those plans will be. Keep that drive and fearlessness, work hard, and make good choices, but most of all, remember to thank the Lord for the work he is doing in you every day.  Heaven IS for real, and God IS good!




My Wish for You

This is a draft of a poem I’m writing for my 5th grade students as we begin a new school year in a couple of weeks. Would love feedback!

My Wish for You

The Sound of a Wish by ilmungo on Flickr

I wish…

That you wake up and feel okay about school,
          that some days you LOVE going to school,
                         that you never dread going to school.
          That every day we LAUGH out loud together.
          That every day we enjoy music and DANCE.
          That you feel safe.
          That every day you have something GOOD to say
               when your parent asks, “How was school today?”

That you can tell I care about you
       You might FEEL angry at me sometimes,
            like you feel angry with your parents sometimes,
              but I want you to KNOW that I sincerely care,
     all the time,
      no matter what.

That you set an example of kindness for those older and younger than you.
      That you are kinder than necessary because you understand
             that you can’t possibly know everything each person is going through.

That you enjoy learning.
           That you think of things in ways you never have before,
              That you realize you are part of  GLOBAL community,
                That you responsibly contribute.

That you see how your writing can make a difference.
        That you understand the practice we do,
        That you receive real responses.
        That you write something of which you can feel proud.

That you absolutely fall in love with reading
            that you continue to love it if you already do,
            that together we find “The Book” that gets you hooked this year if you don’t.
I can’t say this enough,
I wish for you all to discover the POWER of reading.

My wish for you this year is that you contribute to making this world a better place for everyone.

My wish for myself is I make all of this possible for you.

-Mrs. T.G. 🙂




No More Sink or Swim AND Making a Difference.

Join us in Sioux Center, Iowa, June 27-28, and 29-30

Join us in Sioux Center, Iowa, June 27-28 and 29-30

I’m offering two courses this summer for either license renewal or graduate credit. The first is called “Purposeful Teaching of Comprehension Strategies: No More Sink or Swim” and the second is called “Making a Difference: Examining What Great Teachers Know and Do“.  I always look forward to meeting new teachers through summer classes and I appreciate how others can offer points of views and ask questions that really sharpen my own understandings. If you are in Northwest Iowa in late June, join us! I’d love to have you sign up and be a part of our conversations. I am certainly blessed and humble to ba a part of them!


We were writing poems last week in class. For this introduction to poems this year I tried to stress three main aspects of poetry: poems look like poems, poems are usually about things for which you feel strongly, and there are very few rules with poetry.  What do you think? Are those three the most important aspects, or would you stress other aspects of poetry?

Also, here’s my personal contribution to the poems that were written in class last week.

by Mrs. T.G.


You are bored?

How can you say you are bored?



You mean you have NOTHING to do?


Are you so DULL that you can’t even thing of ONE thing to do?

Not ONE thing?

       Not one book to read?

            Not one sentence to write?

                 Not one science experiment to try?

                      Not one puzzle to make or solve?

                           Not one story to imagine?

Well, then,

You should not say you are bored,

You should say you are boring.