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.


View of My “Room”

So, I hate the word “office”. Most teachers don’t have offices, so when I made the switch to instructional coaching, I didn’t like the sound of the word “office.” So I call this my “room”.  Being very visual, I LOVE peeking into the “rooms” of other instructional coaches and looking for ideas. This was especially true last fall when I first started as a coach.  So, knowing that there are a ton of new instructional coaches and teacher leaders in our area, I thought you might want a peek into MY “room”.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Update: Zaption Sold Out–EdPuzzle My New Favorite

Update 8/3/16

I had posted about Zaption being my favorite new tech tool (see below). Unfortunately, they sold out and will be shutting down in September. After doing some searching, I think EdPuzzle is the closest to what Zaption had to offer, PLUS they have a SUPER easy transfer wizard that will take your Zaption lessons and turn them into EdPuzzle lessons literally within a minute or two.  Love that! Here is a link to the video that shows how the transfer wizard works.  Let me know if you have any questions. I’ve been in touch with the creator of EdPuzzle and he is genuinely interested in making it useful for teachers. 


Original Post from June 2016:

“Don’t just watch. Learn.”

That’s the tag line of my new favorite tech tool.  Zaption allows users to create interactive video lessons by adding automatic pause points, questions, and student responses.  It is amazing and one of the best ways to add instant engagement, curiosity, and dialogue to a classroom.  Also, for those interested in the “flipped learning”, Zaption provides an avenue to gauge student learning.  There are so many incredible aspects of Zaption, I cannot begin to explain other than to say, once again, that it is my FAV-OR-ITE tool. Watch this short demo video to get a glimpse of what Zaption can do.

On Reading, Writing, Crayons, and Joy

I love to read. As a reading teacher, that is IMPERATIVE. If you want your kids to love reading, you need to love reading. I am a STRONG believer in this. I’ve been told that preachers need to be able to preach, pray, or die at a moment’s notice. Well, elementary teachers need to be able to recommend a just right book for every reader, tell when a kid is fibbing about reading a book (and know what to do about it), or retire.

Well, I teach writing as well. I think writing is okay. This is a problem. I want my kids to love to write, so I need to love to write. I do love it sometimes. When the mood strikes. Which isn’t all that often as the inconsistent posts on this blog prove.

So, I’m writing this evening.

I had the pleasure of taking my fifth grade kiddos to a second grade classroom to work with our buddy class on a “creativity project” today. Anytime you mix 11 year olds with 8 year olds, you are going to have a few stories to tell. Here’s my favorite from today.

5th Grader: Hey, do you have a white crayon I can use?

2nd Grader #1: I might have a white crayon or a white marker. I’ll look.


2nd Grader #1: Nope. Don’t have one. I think [2nd grader #2] took it.

2nd Grader #2: Hmm… What did it look like?

2nd Grader #1: It was white

(Me: [THINKING]  No kidding? [TRYING to hold in giggle])

2nd Grader #2: Like this? [pulls out stereotypical white Crayola crayon]

2nd Grader #1: Yes! That’s it.

Me: GOL! (GIGGLE out loud)


If you are an elementary school teacher, YOU get this. If not, be jealous. We get these moments  EVERY day.  Pure joy.

So love my job!

God bless elementary kiddos!

-Mrs. T.G. 🙂



Olympic Unit

Below is a pdf copy of our TENTATIVE plan for our Winter Olympics Unit we hope to do over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to use and share as you please, keeping in mind this is in DRAFT form, so please forgive mistakes. We will use some of the resources found on (kind of cheesy, I know, but they cover some basic info without me having to create it myself), and we will use a LOT of online resources. Some of the sites I found from my PLN on Twitter are listed below.

Let me if you use the outline or if you find any other really good resources I should have on the list.

Here’s the unit outline: Olympic Unit Outline

And here are some links:

  1. The SCIENCE of the Olympics”
  2. NBC’s official Olympics page (I’m pretty sure they will be broadcasting live events on this link)

    Other pretty good sites:

  8. Tear jerker commercial:|dc_3851824569_b_olympics%20video