Friday, April 26, 2013

Mystery Skype

My kids had a very special visitor by Skype on Thursday.  Landon, a classmate, that has been out of school since October, finally got to spend some time with us via Skype.  My students were beyond thrilled to see their friend.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Extreme Bathroom Makeover

Our school is in the second year of the implementation of the 7 Habits of Happy Kids and the Leader in Me.  The first year was spent teaching the Habits and understanding the habits ourselves.  Recently, we began improving the environment.  When you school was built in the early 1950s, it has some ver institutionalized areas.  Namely, the UGLY green tile bathrooms.  We divided up in teams and each team was given the task to beautify their bathroom.  My group was given the girl's restroom on the 2nd grade hall.  As a mom to two boys, I was excited to be able to work with "girly" colors.  I work with some very creative girls. What should have seemed like a daunting 2 day task, became fun and we were motivated to make it look beautiful for our students. Our inspiration came from the colors on the cover of Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go. We painted tile, added mirrors, quotes, painted doors, and added curtains. I wish we had taken some before pictures.  I love how it turned out and I think our students do, too.  It makes me laugh to catch them primping in front of the mirror.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This month our school focus is on Habit 4 from The Leader in Me and the 7 Habits of happy Kids.  Normally, I try to relate each habit to a historical figure.  This month after we read the story "Lily Plants a Garden" from the 7 Habits of Happy Kids, we brainstormed activities that we could turn in to a win-win situation.  I think they did a great job.  I had just introduced Skitch and Videolicious.  We combined the two apps to create a video.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Goals and Resolutions

As we begin the new year, I had my students revisit and revise their personal and academic goals. My door has a quote from the late Zig Ziglar.  It says, "What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."  Each student wrote their goal, wore a party hat and blew a party horn as I took their picture.  It made an adorable door with a visual reminder of their goals. I was very emotional as I added the pictures to my door because I knew one of my little lovelies was missing.  One of my sweet second graders was diagnosed with Leukemia in October and he has not been able to return to school yet.  I sent a note home and asked his mom to send me a picture for our updated door.  This is what I received.
I think his goal says it ALL.  Get Well Soon Landon!!!! We miss you everyday.

New Blog

I've mentioned before that I have written a weekly technology newsletter for all of the elementary teachers in my school system for the last four years.  I've struggled with where to house the newsletters.  I've tried dropbox and live binder.  Both of these are great services but they just didn't fit the need for what I needed this time.  I finally broke down and created a new blog that will host the information in the newsletter so that they can be referenced on an as need basis.  I hope you can benefit from this, too.
Elementary Friday Five

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Attitude!

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to be a more faithful blogger.  I want to share more of what goes on in my classroom, even it is just a random smile!

Today was the first day back and my sleepy heads needed something fun to add some pep in their step.  We will begin a space unit next week.  I want to have them write from the perspective of an alien next week, so why not become aliens in Photo Booth to get ready!  My kiddos make me smile!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spirit Sticks

At Watwood, tomorrow is the big day.  We will begin an incentive program using spirit sticks by Spirit Monkey.  We can't wait!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Friday Five

Here is this week's version of my Friday Five Tech Tips.

This week all of my tech finds have come from twitter chats.  It is amazing what you can find when you are lurking around stalking “listening” to other people’s tweets.
1.  Google Lit Trips:  According to the website, Google Lit Trips are free downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. At each location along the journey there are placemarks with pop-up windows containing a variety of resources including relevant media, thought provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references made in that particular portion of the story.
The focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students. Some familiarstories in the K-5 section include:  Make Way for Ducklings, Abuela, and Possum Magic. 
2.  Super Lame: With this web tool you add a caption, word balloon, or make a comic out of your photos. This is an easy free tool. You can have students or snag a creative commons picture from the web. They can add speech bubbles to the picture to practice, writing, grammar, or vocabulary.  They can use it to create dialogue for characters or historical figures.  The opportunities are endless.
 3.  9 Slides:  This site combines video and PowerPoint and runs them both simultaneously. You can upload a slideshow and sync it with your video. You can add personality to your presentations.   This is great for introducing a new unit or for a flipped classroom or PD opportunity. What a great way for students to explain their presentations with video of them talking as their presentation slides play.

4.  Kizoa:  According to the website, Kizoa is a comprehensive and easy-to-use slideshow creating platform online, enabling people to easily share photos in a dynamic and creative way.
Users can upload, store and edit photos, then turn their memories into custom designed slideshows with hundreds of creative options to choose from, including music, animations, text, transitions and other flash-based effects. This web tool is free and it reminds me of a pumped up version of Photo Story.  This is a unique way for students to create multimedia projects.

5.  Haiku Deck:  This is a presentation app.  It is simple and free.  One idea is to use this app for students to create visual flash cards.  Use pictures from your camera roll or from the creative commons photos available from the app.  The app comes with six themes but more are available from in app purchases. 

I didn’t plan on having a theme this week but pumped up presentations can be made with 4 of the five choices today.  I can't wait to see what you create.  Please share!!!
Have a great weekend!