Dedicated to Teacher, Leader Effectiveness; Learner Excellence

Teaching the Whole Child

Understanding and nurturing the METACOGNITIVE CLASSROOM – it’s something gifted classrooms have always done and do so well!

What does metacognitive mean? Very basically, it’s thinking about your thinking. What does it mean for the gifted child?

Welcome New Cobb Teachers!

New Teacher Academy welcomes all new Cobb teachers for an engaging, fun-filled, week long professional learning experience. Join us on Twitter: #NTA17. I’m @jenniferagates-follow me!

Evaluations are a critical part of your professional portfolio and responsibilities. Using the TKES evaluation system and instrument, you will reflect on the 10 crucial standards to your professional development and that ensure student success.

FYI – You will need a QR code scanner on your device. 

Here is the PowerPoint for NTA – Jennifer Gates version: PPt Gates, J. Evaluations NTA final version July 2017

Here is the PDF of the PowerPoint – Jennifer Gates version: PDF Gates, J. Evaluations NTA final version July 2017

CCSD Evals TKES Timelines (PDF) TKES 2017-18 Timeline Updated PDF (Word) TKES 2017-18 Timeline Updated

GaDOE TKES Handbook – all you want to know about TKES! The law, the details, the information – it’s all there. This is the official version to guide your use of TKES, the rubric, and indicators to support teacher effectiveness and excellence.

Articles (2) to help your practice – Article, Rigsbee (2016) What Do Beginning Teachers Really Need-23rp9lu Article, ACER (2016) Great Teachers Underpin Shanghai Success-10opmm1

Article, ACER (2016) Great Teachers Underpin Shanghai Success-10opmm1

Computer login information for McEachern: NTA Computer Login Info 2017

Again, welcome and thank you for joining the best profession (education) and the best district (Cobb).

Professional Learning Communities:

Ensuring Cobb Schools’ Student Success

Cobb Schools’ Leadership Retreat

 June 6 & 7, 2017

Save the date & be ready 2 lead.

@solutiontree’s Dr. Anthony Muhammad will train, teach & lead on school culture.


Thanks to Wheeler HS for hosting!

InTechCon! qr

facebook-iconWest Georgia Resa

twitter-icon@WestGeorgiaRESA @WGARESASTEM


Today’s PPtgates-jennifer-tech-tkes

PDF version: gates-jennifer-tech-tkes

Our 2 articles: article-edutopia-why-integrate-technology-march-2008


Save the date! STEM Conference Info:

Eastvalley ES Teacher Effectiveness

Thanks for inviting Evaluations out to explore Eagles’ Teacher Effectiveness!

PDF Eastvalley Elementary July 28 2016

QR NTA Evaluations July 2016

NTA: New Teacher Academy & Effectiveness

Thanks for attending our Evaluation sessions at NTA, Hillgrove HS. What an exciting time to join Cobb’s One Outstanding Team!

Here are the resources used in the Evaluation training sessions:

PPt – NTA Evaluations Overview July 2016 (version 1, Day 1)

PPt – NTA Evaluations Overview July 2016 Day 2 (version 2, Day 2)

PPt – For Schools/PL Training/NTA Follow-up – NTA Evaluations Overview July 2016 web email (Sent by email/hyperlinked)

PDF – NTA Evaluations Overview July 2016

NTA Feedback Form Evaluations July 2016

NTA Evals Graphic Organizer July 2016 – PDF

NTA Evals KEY Graphic Organizer July 2016 – PDF

NTA Evals Graphic Organizer July 2016 – Word version, editable

NTA Evals KEY Graphic Organizer July 2016 – Word version, editable (replace hyperlinks with own for students, teachers, etc.)

NTA Feedback Form Evaluations July 2016

Final TAPS Bookmark 2016-17

Final SB364 Overview July 2016

Article, Rigsbee (2016) What Do Beginning Teachers Really Need

Article, ACER (2016) Great Teachers Underpin Shanghai Success

Contemporary Curriculum: An Internship

Thanks to Cohort 5! What a fun, challenging, and engaging time we’ve had over the last 3 years.

Here are some of the memories from my internship this year with Dr. Carr’s M.Ed. class.

Wrap-up April 30 2016 Presentation PDF for Saturday’s class

Gates, Jennifer Activity Teacher Evaluation X & Oh’s

GO QFT Teacher Evaluation Gates, J. Question Formation Technique Template

Growth Goal Draft Organizer Gates%2c Jennifer April 2016 Get ready for SB364 changes

OAR Summary Rubric

QFT Question Formation Technique Activity Question Formation Technique Directions

SB 364 Updates April 2016 A Guide by J. Gates

Video note taking organizer, Gates, J. Rating teacher activity

Interest Survey 3-28-16 Survey to collect student data

Interest Survey Results 3-28-16 Data on which lesson was based


Twitter icon

Follow me on Twitter @jenniferagates

Watch what happens when there’s student/teacher/leader engagement; MSP fun in science class; teaching & learning in Cobb Schools #engagecobb

Loads of photos, ideas, links, and resources for teachers. Borrow from the experts in our profession, save time, and honor the work w/sourcing & citation. Let's build better teaching every day by working together.

Puzzle piece fits icon

Differentiation: It all fits!

Find great differentiation resources and ideas here.

Don’t stress preparing for your TKES evaluations when it comes to the very important Standard #4: Differentiation. Make the most of what’s widely available then then (naturally) differentiate based on your students’ needs!

Additional great links are here, and here, and here, and of course on The Teaching Channel.

Make instruction work for every student, every day. Differentiate and all are engaged, excited, enriched.

GSTA: Special guest to my blog! Welcome: Meredith Argo: MSP!

Constructive and Destructive Forces Unit: Would love for you to enjoy with your students.

Constructive and Destructive Processes Unit Presentation


STEM & PBL Academies Kick-off

QR code for this presentation

QR code for this presentation

Thanks for joining me at Kennesaw State University for the official opening of the Cobb County School District STEM & PBL Academies. Congratulations to all educators invited to join this elite and talented group of teachers. What an honor and a privilege to speak with you about grant writing. I’m looking forward to talking about ways to spend other people’s money, AKA grants. Grant writing can be fun andTwitter bird rewarding; don’t wait – find a grant-loving, budget-minded buddy and get writing! Follow me:


PowerPoint: Gates, J., Get Your STEM & PBL Grant On Academy Kickoff ppt Nov 2015

HighTail link to same (above), PDF version: Gates, J., Get Your STEM & PBL Grant On Academy Kickoff ppt Nov 2015

Video links:

Teaching Channel: Profile: A STEM Learner

NBC News: Kids in Need (YouTube); Kids in Need (NBC)

Lockheed Martin STEMspiration: YouTube, Lockheed Martin

Printable Resources:

Grant Samples 1 & 2: Example 1 & 2

MEMTA App Graphic Organizer: MEMTASendMyTeacherApplicationPlanner2015

Impact Grant Sample: Sample Cobb Schools Foundation Grant MW2015 Impact Grant Application

Photo Permission Slip: Media Photography Permission Form_JG(1)-2

Exemplar Abstract: STEM_grant_abstractWolfTrap

Grant Advice: Get Your STEM & PBL Grant On 10 Errors Proposal Teams Should Avoid by STEM Grants

Feedback Form: Gates-J.-Feedback-Form-2015 GrantSTEM&PBL


STEM Forum logo

GA STEM Forum in Athens, GA!

It is an engaging conference for all STEM educators to share in the latest professional learning about teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

For tweets & photos from across the day, #engagecobb.

At the Classic Center, it is an ideal way to learn more about what is happening in STEM education as well as to connect with leaders, teachers and learners across the Southeast. Check out the amazing program, full of great info!

I’m happy to be presenting with two friends from the K-5 Science Endorsement (MSP Cobb County): Patty (Patricia) Dianto-Ucciferri from Pitner ES and Alison Dunford from Timber Ridge ES (an AFAEE grant winner 2015).


QR Code to this site

Get Your STEM Grant On! is one of my favorite presentations to facilitate.

Here are the resources:

Hightail link to PPt – expires Nov. 14, 2015

PDF of Presentation – expires Nov. 8, 2015

Grant examples: which one wins? Example 1 & 2

Get Your Grant On STEM 10 Errors Proposal Teams Should Avoid by STEM Grants


Sample Cobb Schools Foundation Grant MW2015 Impact Grant Application


Video 1: Kristin (Teaching Channel)

Video 2: Robert Ruszkowski – Engineering Design Takes Flight (Lockheed Martin)

TechTalk coverTechTalk! West GA RESA Conference

What a fantastic conference in Columbus, thanks to Dr. Katie Thompson and the West GA RESA crew!

For tweets & photos from across the day, #engagecobb.

The Columbus State University Cunningham Center is a perfect location for this important gathering, which gives all GA educators an opportunity to collaborate and network, improving technology integration skills and expertise.

Here is the 2015 IT Conference Program-FINAL.

I am presenting 3 sessions, and helpful participants always provide much-needed constructive feedback. Template in Word form: Gates, J. Feedback Form 2015.

Session 1:

Technology Integration for Beginners

Click here for the presentation (PPt).

Related resources:

AZK1031_Matrix_Printedutopia-dl-camarata-editable-rubric, TechTips4Teachers eBook

Session 2:

My Friend TED: Teaching With TED Talks

Click here for the presentation (PPt).

Session 3:

StoryCorps Me!

Click here for the presentation (PPt).

Related resources:

StoryCorpsMe Getting-StartedStoryCorpsMe Interview-TipsStoryCorpsMe Create-a-Quiet-Space

Related Research:

Guskey 2002 Professional Development and Teacher Change

Template evaluation_of_prof_learning

First Year Survival! Parent Engagement

Parent engagement is crucial to surviving your first year of teaching!Puzzle piecesParent Engagement Logo

Thanks for joining us to learn more about parents and how they are one of the most important pieces of the student success puzzle.

QR PadletPlease use the QR code to participate in giving feedback about the session.

Or, visit the link online @

Your input is important to the continued improvement of teacher professional learning.

We value your suggestions and appreciate your support!

Presentation: Parent Engagement Presentation (Gates, Westbrook) Nov 2014



pdf version Handout

Teaching Channel First Year Survival video @

I’m for: Formative Assessment

Icon hands raisedWho loves formative assessment?! We do!

All teachers engaging in the use of formative assessment are taking some of the best strategies and putting them into play for their students’ learning and growth. Formative assessment is assessment for learning, not of learning, which is more summative in nature. You can also describe Formative Assessment as being as learning – meaning students are directly engaged in their thinking and learning, and making changes and adjustments as they progress.

Recently, I had the pleasure of training at Hayes ES, where teachers learned more about how to use Formative Assessment to improve their instruction as well as to determine next steps for students. We had a superb time engaging in professional discussions about how Hayes uses Formative and new ways to introduce Formative Assessment to students. In Cobb, we’re FOR Formative! Let’s see those hands raised in support!

pdf of the presentation: Formative Assessment Hayes ES 9-14

Here’s our Padlet slate: use Padlet or programs like it to engage students and use technology that prompts them to engage in flipped learning environments and work independently.

Padlet QR and website




Let’s define assessments: Assessment definitions – key sheet

Our training session Graphic Organizer (GO): T-Chart Formative Assessment

Engage younger students in using their senses to determine understanding: Sense-o-Gram

One of my favorites: Quick Write Quick Draw

A great FA strategy: FA GO 2-stars-and-wish

Amazing, free, ready-made strategies: 60FormativeAssessment

More fantastic strategies to plug-in and use right away: Assessment Strategies – Formative t11_providingh3

Looking for research? Here’s a list of elementary-level FA support, click on the hyperlinks within: List of Articles – Elementary Formative Assessment

Coaching for Excellence in Your School: Cobb Keys for Teacher Effectiveness

CobbKeys_iconCoaching for Excellence in Your School: The Cobb Keys for Teacher Effectiveness is a customized training for district instructional and academic coaches. The Cobb Keys for Teacher and Leader Effectiveness is Cobb’s new teacher evaluation system, due to be implemented in the 2014-15 academic year. Please download the presentation and resources to share with colleagues and staff. For more information about Cobb Keys, visit or

Presentation pdf: Gates Keys Training Deck May 9 2014

Graphic Organizer pdf: Gates, J., Agenda Cobb Keys Coaching Excellence 5-9-14

Research: Darling-Hammond Evaluation Spring 2014 one-piece-whole

TAPS Wordle, courtesy of Jamie Pearson, CCSD TISS

Cobb Keys Standards - TAPS - WordlePoll Everywhere @

STEM Conference @ West GA RESA

Stem for the Future West GA STEM Conference iconThe 2014 West Georgia RESA STEM Conference gives educators and STEM supporters in the Southeast an amazing opportunity to share expertise, ideas and resources. STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math!

Held at the Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree Hotel and Resort, it is a fantastic way for everyone involved in STEM education to come together and build a Georgia STEM network that helps students improve their understanding of STEM and its place in tomorrow’s world.

From my session:

Presentation (pdf): Gates, J., Get Your STEM Grant On West GA RESA ppt March 2014

Grant example template: Example 1 & 2

Thank you so much for coming to learn about grant-writing!

GSTA STEMulate Learning!

GSTA Conference 2014 Flyer Macon, GA What an amazing conference in Macon, GA!Dr. Sally Creel - GSTA President & Jennifer Gates - GSTA Elementary Rep.

 Thank you to everyone who attended, all who participated, and the many educators who made  the trip from great distances to extend, enrich and expand their learning and instruction.

  For any sessions I taught, please visit the various tabs for lessons, ideas, activities and resources.  The GSTA All Things Science 4 Teachers offers my conference presentations, Get Your STEM Grant On! and STEAM: Arts in STEM, among others.

For a look at all of the lesson plans, activities, resources and ideas available, stay on this HOME tab and hit Achive or back button below to go back through the pages in time… to see the hundreds of offerings available for free here.

GSTA main @

GSTA Conference program @

J Gates Blog Links:

All Things Science 4 Teachers @

Thanks Coach! @

Scrumptious Soil – For Teachers @ 

Bats @

4 Teachers @

Cobb County School Instructional Specialist Marikaye Travis is all smiles as she plans her day at GSTA  QR codes make registration, feedback and participation super easy  STEAM - supplies to consider  Cobb Teacher, Stacey Duffy, approves of the GSTA Conference & all it offers teachers  GSTA Elementary Rep. Jennifer Gates & GSTA College Rep. Dr. Charlease Kelly-Jackson  GSTA Board Executive make sure all conference attendees have all they need to have a great time in Macon  Registration Desk Day 1  Convention Center  GSTA Registration Desk - a busy place as teacher arrive from across the Southeast

STEMulate Learning All Year!

Flyer West GA RESA STEM flyerUpcoming in March – the West Georgia RESA STEM Conference. Don’t miss an amazing opportunity to learn all there is to know about STEM!

More details are available through the RESA webpage @

Not sure about STEM? Check here – all things GA STEM:

More great resources and information @ &

Teachers – look here for STEM support: &

Plus – love STEM & your iPad but love STEAM more (add in the Arts) – then head here: (60 amazing apps for STEAM!)

Pinterest loves STEM / STEAM, too! See for [email protected]

STEM games for kids @

Don’t forget older students – not just for the young ones, of course! – STEM UP! @

How about a little hands-on science to shake up that learning? @

Technology Summit in West GA

Executive Director Rachel Spates is all smiles at the front doors to welcome everyone to the West GA RESA 1st Annual TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT. What a gorgeous morning in Grantville, GA! The focus is on succeeding in 21st century technology teaching and learning skills for students across Georgia. Spates says “We are beginning to realize the potential of extending the classroom to the virtual world, where the capacity exists to reach all students. At the end of the rainbow is the promise of a better education, but only if teachers and students have the resources and support to do it.” Spates says it’s time as educators to make sure our thinking about technology & instruction & student achievement has made the shift to work at the students’ pace and proficiency level not that of the teachers. “The students in our classrooms are technology natives; they expect to be engaged in relevant performance tasks and real-world problem solving.” 

More than a half-dozen West GA school districts are on site, and educators have come from miles, electronically and literally, to be at the Technology Summit designed to help educators think in the ways of young digital natives – by keeping tech at the front of learning and in every lesson.

In keeping with the tech-based theme, Keynote Speaker Travis Allen was available by video drop speaking about his non-profit organization, iSchool Initiative. Allen began his non-profit when still in high school, by using a YouTube video that basically went viral, inspiring and motivating educators and students to embrace mobile learning. He’s now a student at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia.

He’s been visiting schools and communities across the United States (by video and in person) to share in the excitement about what was at first his passion and now is a personal mission. His Digital Learning Revolution Tour Bus can roll anywhere in the country to bring the best and latest in educational technology. It’s a true model of what a “connected classroom can be,” according to iSchool Initiative. Allen’s non-profit offers professional learning to educators, too, and trains on how to use the latest instructional technology tools and platforms. How cool is that?

More about iSchool Initiative @

Travis Allen’s YouTube appeal for Tech Support for Students @

Travis “Rethinking Learning” @

West GA Tech Summit online @

More about West GA RESA @

Presentations: 50+ Best Blogs & Websites by Jennifer Gates (Session 2) Top 50 Instructional Technology Websites by Jennifer A. Gates FINAL

Flyer with QR code for High Tail download: 50Websites&BlogsQRCodeTechSummit

Director Spates Summit Program: 2013 Technology Summit Program(RTP) FINAL



The Sisters: Gail Boushey & Joan Moser (Daily 5, CAFE)

 As if living their CAFE program, real-life sisters Gail Boushey and Joan Moser came prepared with hot drink cups and wide, energetic smiles to the 

Westin Atlanta for their two-day education conference featuring their Daily 5 and CAFE program of instructional support. The sisters are working teachers from Washington state. They’re well-schooled in the best research on literacy instruction and how to help students become their best readers and writers in the classroom. Their website guides people through the wonder of helping foster elementary student independence in literacy.  

Daily 5 is a research-based set of literacy tasks and strategies the two teachers, Moser & Boushey, have tried and tested in their rooms and the classrooms of thousands over the last 10 years.

The 5 tasks are literacy-based:

  1. reading to self,
  2. reading with someone,
  3. writing,
  4. word work,
  5. listening to reading.

While the engaging lesson plans teachers write use the tasks to help students understand the content and stay on task, teachers meet – or in edupeak ‘confer’ (as in conference) – with students in short meetings (no more than 7-10 minutes per student, Boushey & Moser recommend. The sisters love to share their ‘work smarter, not harder’ tips and tricks for running a smoothly engaging classroom and getting students to see the best of themselves in the literacy realm.

The structure is a hit with thousands of teachers who use it in numerous subject areas, including math and literacy. Because it’s not a program, per se, but a series of tasks that can be applied across content and subject areas with great success, it helps create independent, literate and excited students of life-time learning and independence.

The CAFE Book:

CAFE is an acronym for



 Fluency and

 Expand vocabulary.

There’s goal-setting for students, assessment and ways to help students with focused small-size student groups (no more than 2 or 3 students at a time for best effect of CAFE). (More on goal-setting here from Robert Marzano, famed educator and researcher @

CAFE is a way to meet and talk with students and for students to self-assess and work to full literacy independence. More online @ Teachers can use CAFE to track student growth and achievement as well differentiate – or tailor their individual learning – their learning so they are always working on what’s best for them.

An example of what the sisters say is a Strategy for Cross Checking at the Beginning Reader level: look at the word that may not make sense or that isn’t understood, then look at the picture or illustration that goes with it, then look back at the word and the beginning letter/sound. Then, make sure to say a word that not only begins with that letter but makes sense in context with what is being read.

Students can use a kinesthetic or physical representation of cross checking by crossing their right arm over their torso so their right hand touches their left shoulder, then crossing their left arm over their torso so their left hand touches their right shoulder, then as part of their comprehension of the cross check, they drop both hands to their sides and point to the floor. Research, you may recall if you’re stopping by my blog often, shows the more you do a physical representation of a word or phrase or idea, the better you will remember it.

More brain research here:

1. )

and here 2.)

and here 3.)

and here 4.) And that’s just to name a very few!

The Sisters are published by Stenhouse Publishers (Portland, Maine) @ and Pembroke Publishers in Markham, Ontario (online @


Brilliant Bookmarks

We love finding great tools — and iKeepBookmarks is no exception. If you haven’t been using this tool – there’s no time like NOW to start! I keep a great and active list of websites that I use all of the time on iKeepBookmarks.

My page is online @ Please come by and visit! It’s filled with all kinds of subject and content areas, unit names, and folders labeled for specific groups and categories (parents, teachers, science, reading, etc.).

The feature grades are 1-5, but there are many great sites and suggested support links for all grades K-12 and especially for parents and educators whose specialties are differentiation of specific learning groups (ELL/ESOL, Special Education, Coaching, Gifted and Talent, etc.).

If you want to surf other schools you may come across, it’s easy to do:

  1. Go to
  2. Click in the search bar in the upper left-hand corner.
  3. Type in the name of the school for whom you’re looking.
  4. Try it! Type in Powers Ferry and you should see the school folder come up first.
  5. Click on the folder, then go to 3rd, then to Gates to see my main page.

Suggested places to start for great fun:

Brain-based learning @

Graphic organizers & thinking map templates @

Teacher resources @

STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) @

Reading @