Monday, October 31, 2016


Dave Burgess: Teach Like A Pirate

I was very lucky to get invited to FallCUE this year as a panel member to talk about BreakoutEDU.  One of my favorite things to talk about with other educators!  We had a fun time doing a mini game of Spyder Heist and talking about how the games can enhance our lessons.

My friend and colleague +Knela Newton asked me if I was going to go to the special session by author Dave Burgess.  I had heard of his book and Knela was going so I signed up.  I am so happy I did.  Dave Burgess was the best part of CUE!!!  He gave us strategies that will interest the kids.  We are all creative, no matter what we think.  One of my favorite strategies was the hook, put something in a bag, box, your pocket and tell the kids you will tell them all about it then move onto something else.  Keep doing it until you build their excitement.  You need to create moments that your kids will remember.  Creating experiences and moments they will remember for the rest of their lives is part of being a teacher.

I tried this strategy today and they kids loved it.  They were begging me to tell them what was in the bag.  I got to tell them my story of becoming the first place winner in the Chrome Warrior CUE challenge.  It was a tale of perseverance and encouraging friends.

I look forward to reading Teach Like A Pirate and implementing the strategies.  Thank you Knela for suggesting we go to see Dave Burgess.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Last Day

It's the last day of school and I'm not with kids today.  It's a little weird.  Instead of saying goodbye to kids I'm saying goodbye to fellow coaches.  My life as an instructional coach is one day away from ending.  It's been an amazing year and I have learned so much.  I am so grateful for the experiences I have had this year.

It's time to go back to the classroom next year and make new experiences with my new grade level and new school.  I'm heading to Pine Grove, where it all started for me.  When I moved to Brookings I got a couple of long-term substitute jobs at Pine Grove.  The ladies there were very sweet and took me under their wings.  So I'm heading back there to teach 3rd grade.

I can't wait to use what I've learned my kids.  I went to two CUE events RockStar and Palm Springs.  I have learned Green Screen, BreakoutEDU, robots, augmented reality, HyperDocs, GLAD strategies for technology...just to name a few!  I'm also looking forward to sharing what I've learned with the other teachers at Pine Grove.

I don't regret being an instructional coach, I just think I was made to be in a classroom full of kids.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

BreakoutEDU...My New Passion

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted anything.  I have been so busy with helping my 2nd and 3rd grade teachers, which is a good thing!  Let me tell you about what I've been's called BreakoutEDU.  If you have seen me around your campus the kids might point to me and say, "Hey, it's the Breakout lady."  I've become a bit famous for breakouts.  So breakouts are a way to gamify your standards.  It goes a little like this, you pick a standard you are working on and think of ways kids can open locks using their knowledge about that standard.  For example, my 3rd grade teachers decided to do a GLAD unit on magnets.  I found different kinds of magnets, YouTube videos, games, and puzzles and created clues the kids could solve to open the locks.  I've also created a local Del Norte County Social Studies game for the 2nd graders.  They are learning about the people who supply us with our goods and services like our local farms, dairies and fisheries.  I love #BreakoutEDU it has changed my way of teaching.  I have to confess, I really enjoy playing breakout games with other educators.  I have had the pleasure of introducing BreakoutEDU to Smith River and Mary Peacock teachers.  They got to play a game with their staff to see the benefits of gamifying their student's learning.  I have had the opportunity to facilitate breakouts with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes.  Here are a few examples of the games...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Always Learning...

It's my motto, always learning, it's what we do as teachers.  One of the reasons why I took my Coaching job, is that I get to learn so much.  From different training's I get to attend, to watching teachers teach, to collaborating with teachers, there is so much to learn.

2016 is going to be here in a matter of days, and the new year is always a good time for new learning.  +Rae Fearing  is a Google Certified Educator/Trainer/Innovator, you name it she is amazing with Google.  I would like to be a fraction as good as she is.  So my goal for 2016 is to start my training as a Level 1 Google Educator.  My first step is to meet with Rae and see what I'm in for. I'm ready and can't wait to learn, but also share what I've learned.

                                                      #raesblogchallenge  #blogchallenge

Monday, December 14, 2015


I've blogged about this before, Things We Have to Stop Pretending, to make school different.  It's a powerful reminder that we need to think about and reflect upon our teaching practice.  The things we were taught are not the things we teach our kids.  As an Instructional Coach, I'm trying to #MakeSchoolDifferent by guiding teachers and helping them with technology.  For some teachers technology is very foreign and not a comfortable topic.  For others, it's old hat and they use it often.  My job is to help teachers get out of their comfort zone, push the ones that are comfortable and guide the ones that aren't.  Their students will benefit greatly.
#raesblogchallenge  #blogchallenge

Monday, December 7, 2015

Relax & Smile

I don't know this little girl, but she looks an awful lot like me when I was a little girl.  
It's that time of they year when we can all get a bit stressed and overworked. Take a minute to relax, smile and do something nice for yourself.  I know you deserve it.


Monday, November 30, 2015 want to become a teacher?

I have learned so much on my journey to becoming a teacher.

I feel like I've never had it easy when it comes to getting a job as a teacher.  At the time I got my credential, there wasn't a teacher shortage like there is now.  I had to sub for 5 years before I got my job.  In the meantime, my temporary credential was expiring because California expects you to get your job by then.  I learned a lot of patience in those years.

Fast forward 5 years, I have taught 4th grade for 4 years and currently I'm an Instructional Coach for 2nd and 3rd grades.  I love my job, and I never take it for granted because I had to work so hard to get it.

  • My advice for students wanting to become teachers is to make sure you realize you will never be 100% ready.  Each year you teach is a learning opportunity for you.  Reflect on what you think went well and what you think you could improve on.  There is always something that could go better or smoother.  Know that it's OK to say, "WOW, that lesson did not go as I thought it would."  You can plan and prepare forever, but you will never predict how a lesson will go.  The best thing you can do is reflect on why it didn't go as planned.  Don't be afraid to admit that you might have been the problem for the lesson tanking. Teaching is all about reflection, learning and improving.

  • Have an open mind when it comes to listening to what other teachers have to say.  
  • Soak up all the in class experience you can get.
  • Try all different grade levels.  I never thought I would love 4th grade as much as I do.
  • You have a big job to do.  Never take it for granted.
  • Always keep learning and improving your craft.
  • Have FUN!