Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Totally Awesome iPad Giveaway and Tech Tips!


I am so excited to be participating in this giveaway!  As a teacher who does not have iPads or iPad Minis for my own classroom, I am so excited to be a part of this great giveaway that can provide one for your classroom!  (I guess I'm not eligible to win, so I am pretty sad about that!)  We do have iPads at our school to borrow, but it's sometimes hard to plan to use them when you don't have them in your own room.  

Later this week, I'll be back to share a few of my favorite iPad apps, but for now, I'm going to share a tip that you can use if you are like me and don't have an iPad in your classroom!

About a year and a half ago, I received 6 Chromebooks from Donors Choose.  I love to use them during my Guided Reading time.  One of my centers during Guided Reading is the Computer center.  Some of my students use a program called Successmaker for their intervention during this time, but it doesn't work on the Chromebooks because the Chromebooks do not support JAVA.

So the rest of my students get on a program called Scoot Pad.  Scoot Pad has both math and reading activities available.  The one thing I like about Scoot Pad is that the sessions are short- about 5 minutes.  This means a student can quickly get on and work to solve some problems, or they can do multiple sessions if they have more time.  My favorite part of Scoot Pad is the daily emails I receive- they let me know which students are getting on, and which students are doing well!  I know if a student is struggling in a particular area as well.  

Oh, and did I mention it is FREE?!  Yep, it's totally free!  

If you want to get some technology for your classroom, Donors Choose is the place to get it!  I have received so many things from Donors Choose, and I love it!  I can get things for my classroom that my students need that I can't afford on my own.  

I actually love and use Donors Choose so much that I was asked to speak about my experiences with it for a video my district put together to celebrate a 3 year partnership with DC.  I'm going to link to the video here, and you can see me in it if you want. :-)  I am at 14:20 or so.  I am so thankful that they don't show much of me in the video- they show my cute kiddos instead!  WHEW!  If you can't tell, I was so nervous the entire time.  Nobody likes to be ambushed and told they have to be on a video that day!  LOL!  


There are several other teachers who are participating in this giveaway.  Many of them have great technology tips for you as well!  Go check them out!



So you want to win this iPad Mini for yourself?  You can enter here!

"This giveaway is only open to teachers (classroom and homeschool) who are living in the contiguous United States. The winning entry will be verified and proof of eligibility may be required. Please see the complete terms and conditions at the bottom of the giveaway for more information."

Goodbye July... Aloha August!

Can it be possible???  July is nearly over???
I have teamed up with 40 fabulous stores for...
This is a FABULOUS 4 day event that is full of sweet deals, savings and 4 amazing giveaways!
Here's a peek at what you are being treated to...
Each day a new 'deal' will be posted by the 40 participating stores! 
Be sure to visit their Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest accounts to find the daily deals and codes you will use in the TPT search engine to find the sweet deals!
(you can also find the codes on the pictures at the bottom of this post)

In addition, you can find the links to all the participating stores below...as well as 4 rafflecopters!
YES!
That is right...4 rafflecopters!
Each rafflecopter is for a $50 TPT gift certificate!
Think of all the wonderful resources you could score with that...and just in time for Back To School!

Please visit each rafflecopter and enter! 
Each one will generate a winner- and yes- you can win more than 1!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here is a clickable list of all the participating stores!

Be sure to come by and visit our social media sites each day for these reminder posts:



 Enjoy the deals, samples and good luck on the giveaway!
And most importantly, we all send our best wishes for a successful school year!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What Happens in Vegas...

What happens in Vegas... doesn't stay in Vegas!  At least, not in my case!  I learned so many amazing things in Vegas, and saw so many amazing people, that it would be totally unfair to keep it to myself!  I can't do it!

For those of you who aren't in the "know", there were actually a few conferences that were happening in Vegas this week.  Monday-Thursday were I Teach K, I Teach 1st, Differentiated Instruction, and Singapore Math.  On Friday was the very first Teachers Pay Teachers Conference.

As a part of the conference, there a huge vendor area where people were giving away freebies, selling fun items like t-shirts, and providing educational merchandise and information as well.  I walked around the vendor area a few times, and I found a few great items that I really thought would work in my classroom next year, and thought might work in yours.  I am in no way getting paid for showing you these items.  I just thought they were cool and wanted to share!


At one of the booths, they had some great activities that you could use for small group activities, word work activities, etc...  The first thing I saw were these Trace 'N Erase boards.  They were small, thin boards that were clear on one side and had a pocket at the top.  You could use them by printing off things for the students to copy or fill out and slipping it in the pocket.  Then they write on top with a dry erase marker.  I actually bought 6 of those, since they are small and fit in my suitcase. :-)

Another cool idea I found was range covers.  They had these in a display where they had magnetic letters arranged in words inside them, and they had also written in them with a dry erase marker.  So cool!  I love the idea of being able to put the magnetic letters inside these little trays so they don't go spilling everywhere.  I really wanted to get some of these, but I didn't have room!



 At the same booth, I also saw this awesome board holder.  It has 2 slits in it to hold up your dry erase board.  So you could write something on the board and display it. Or, if you have magnetic boards, arrange some letters and show them to the students to copy.  It is so small too, so it would be super simple to store in your classroom!
 

I don't know about you, but I LOVE the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!  When I taught K, back 3 years ago, I had a tree and some letter cutouts to retell the story.  But man, this is so much cuter!  I am already trying to figure out how to make this myself!


I also just loved these different cubes for word work. There were so many different cubes available it wasn't even funny!  These would be so easy to make.  They actually sold plain foam cubes as well, but you could make them out of paper, or you could get some small wooden blocks from Hobby Lobby and make them as well.  I have used very small foam cubes from the dollar store before as well!



Of course, no trip to Vegas would be complete without meeting some amazing TPT Teacher-Authors!  I was so incredibly lucky to meet some of the wonderful ladies (and gentlemen!) who helped inspire my teaching!  I am sure many of them inspired you as well!  Around the same time I moved to teach first grade, I discovered some very wonderful things: teaching blogs and TPT.  I started following so many first grade bloggers to get inspiration and ideas!  I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet many of them!

From top left:  Erica Bohrer (Erica's Edventures) and I, Latoya Reed (Flying Into First Grade) and I, CaseyJane Cooper (Wiggling Scholars)and I.
The Welcome to Las Vegas sign in the airport
Mary Amoson (Sharing Kindergarten) and I, Deanna Jump (Mrs. Jump's Class) and I, Kimberly Geswein (KG Fonts) and I.

I also got to spend some serious hangout time with these wonderful, talented ladies!  I absolutely love these girls.  It was the first time we met in person, and it was great!
The picture on the left is:  Suzanne Scotten (Scotten's Stuff), Deborah Hayes (The Happy Edugator), Jason Jolfs (A Sketchy Guy), Chrystine Tinney (Tweet Music), Lindsay Jervis (Lindsay's Kodally Inspired Classroom), Suzan Elzora-Jolfs (School Bells 'N Whistles), Teresa Kwant (Mom Quotes and Teacher Notes), Alisa Cosenza (First Grade Fun Times), me, and JoAn Delafosse (Tiny Toes)

The picture on the left is me, Tweet Music, Scotten's Stuff, and School Bells 'N Whistles!


The top is Katie Knight (Teacher to the Core), me, and Lisa Mattes (Growing Firsties).
The bottom is Deanna Jump (Mrs. Jump's Class), Paul Edelman (Founder of TPT), and I; Sarah Paul (Sarah's First Grade Snippets), me, and Molly Lynch (Lucky to be in First).


This trip was an absolutely fabulous experience, and I am so glad that I spent the money and took the time to go!  I strengthened friendships I already had, made several new friends, learned a ton about blogging and TPT that will make my little business stronger, and most importantly, got inspired to be the very best teacher/author/blogger I can be!  You certainly can't put a price on that!  

I definitely have more awesome ideas to share with you, so sometime later this week, I hope, I will be back to share it with you!  Thanks for reading!

Your turn: 
If you went to Vegas, tell me what your favorite part of the trip was!  If you didn't, tell me what you would like to learn if you get to go next year!