Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Personal Side - Link Up: Favorite Cup or Mug

Oh, little blog . . . how I have missed you!

I'm on the home stretch for grad school. Only 8 more classes until I am finish with my last semester!
Due to grad school, I had to put blogging on the back burner.

When I saw Molly's fun summer linky, I knew it was a perfect linky to join . . . because . . .  I have survived grad school on my favorite cup and mug . . . and it's contents!

I begin with my adorable mug. The mug has my daughter's drawing on it. Each year, her elementary school would participate in the Art to Remember program. This was her 5th grade drawing.
I get to enjoy my morning java while admiring my daughter's beautiful artwork!
My all time favorite K-Cup is from Green Mountain Coffee  -  Wild Mountain Blueberry! Yummy!

Next, I share with you . . . my new Yeti mug!!!! It is the best!!! My husband got it for me. It's my boat cup! (Super sad . . . haven't been on the boat so far this summer . . . tons of rain, facilitating PD, writing papers and completing projects! Soon, though!)

Lately, I've been keeping my Yeti filled with  . . . Crystal Light with Caffeine!  My friend, Casey, introduced it to me! It comes in 4 different flavors.  Tuesday, during class, Casey surprised me with 2 boxes . . .  grape and citrus! (It's been that kind of semester! Good . . . but intense!)

Check back with me when I finish up my last 8 classes . . . I'm sure my Yeti will be filled with something very different!

Head over to Molly's blog, Classroom Confections, to see some other fun mugs and cups!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


In San Antonio we celebrate Fiesta for about a week, ok . . . maybe 2 weeks!
It is one of those things that you have to experience to believe! We have royalty, parties, parades, contests, medals, parties, and parties, and more parties! We are even off for a day celebrating the "Battle of Flowers" parade.

Fiesta is all about supporting the community! Through different organizations, they raise money for various organizations around the city. #givingback!

Due to craziness with grad school, I have missed many of the festivities . . .

But, I did . . .
put out my wreath . . .

Helped my daughter register for the Pooch Parade (I was home with a sprained ankle! My first one ever! Not fun! Not even a good story!) The daughter and friends were so excited to walk, they didn't even get a picture of our Yorkie and MaltiePoo dressed in tux and prom dress.

And, made Cara's, Chicken Enchilada Pasta dinner over at Handcuffs, Pearls and Happy Hour!
This is a favorite! Such a favorite . . . I made it while standing on one leg!

Love, boiling my the chicken . . . then shredding! Kinda theraputic! Extra bowl of chicken is for the daughter . . .  she's not a fan of blended ingredients . . .

Add some black olives, avocado, sour cream . . . Yumminess!

Happy Fiesta!
Major fiesta . . . I am done with this semester!!!!!!!!!! One more to go!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Geoboard App and a Chirp!

I had a great time working with one of our kinder teachers and her students. They are studying geometry. Who doesn't love teaching geometry?!!! While visiting Eanes ISD, I observed a teacher using the the Geoboard app and knew I had to share it with my friend, Chooch and her class. (Her name is Elizabeth, but she goes by Chooch. How fun is her name!)

"Geoboard is a tool for exploring a variety of mathematical topics introduced in the elementary and middle grades. Learners stretch bands around the pegs to form line segments and polygons and make discoveries about perimeter, area, angles, congruence, fractions, and more."

For Chooch's class, I created a version of the sheet the Eanes teacher used with her students. 
Click {here} or on the image for the sheet.

Students could create a scene with all the polygons or no scene at all.
Once they finished the task students took a screen shot and . . .
added it to the camera roll.

I don't know about y'all, but getting images from one iPad to another or even off the iPad (especially for our younger students) can be a challenge. I learned about Chirp from Lisa, over at TechChef as a great way to share images or get them on one device.  (Plus, sooo many other ideas!)

"Chirp is a magical new way to share your stuff – using sound. Chirp 'sings' information from one iPhone or iPad to another. Share photos, links, notes and more: all from your built-in device speaker."
Students "Chirped" their image to Chooch's iPad for her to pull together in a video showcasing their work. 

A few things to remember with Chirp . . . 
     volume must be turned up and  . . .
     anyone that has Chirp open will get that chirp.

Happy Chirping!

Friday, March 6, 2015

the Amazing 8-Voting for March Book Mania!

Over the past few weeks, my friend Stephanie and her 2nd grade class have been hosting a March Book Mania. Click {here} to read more about it. (It's not too late to join!)

The Round 1 votes have been counted and here are the results!

Welcome to the . . . 

Click {here} to vote for the Final 4!
This round will stay open for 2 weeks due to Spring Break. (Closing on the 20th)

Don't forget to connect with us on TwitterGoogle Maps by sharing your location and post your comments on Padlet.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Round 1 voting is open for the March Book Mania!
It will be open until  March 6th. Click {here} to access the voting form.

The winning books will be announced on March 9th.
Round 2 will be open for two weeks due to Spring Break.

It's not too late to join the March Book Mania. Click {here} to read more about it and access the documents.

Don't forget to connect with us on Twitter . . .
and . . .
drop a pin on the Google Map sharing your location and  . . . 

post your comments on Padlet.   

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shadow Puppet - Great Digital Storytelling App

Shadow Puppet EDU is a fantastic free digital storytelling app.

During the Eanes, iLeap Academy,  Lisa over at TechChef shared this fabulous app with us.

Shadow Puppet EDU allows the user to quickly create a photo story with narration, text, music, zoom ability and a few sparkly animations.
You can reorder the photos.
When the video is finished, there are various ways to share it. My favorite . . . a web link. Students can "turn it in" by posting the link in a teacher created Google Form. Once you have the link, you can download the movie to any device.

Here is an example of a final product. I used the pictures from our visit to Eanes ISD to create a quick Shadow Puppet movie!


I love the resources Shadow Puppet EDU has available. The storyboard is great for helping students plan out their video.

       Quick Start Guide         Activity Ideas            Storyboard

Check out the Pinterest board on how others are using Shadow Puppet EDU in their classroom.

How about a little app smashing?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

iLeap Academy

There are moments when you sit back and you say . . . Wow! My fellow Instructional Coaches and I attended the Eanes ISD iLeap Academy. 

Here we are on our way home . . .  all smiles, but what you can't see . . . our brains are ready to explode! Usually, we are very chatty, but I will tell you, we were pretty quiet on the way home . . . processing all that we had done and seen.

So what is iLeap Academy? 
iLeap Academy is a one-of-a-kind training event.   It's based on the idea that we learn a concept best when we experience it. This academy has been more than 3 years in the making since our initial 1:1 pilot program in 2011.  This course combines both training from world-class instrutors and actual in-classroom observation of a 1:1 iPad environment. 

Even though, our district is not a 1:1 environment, we have a good number of iPads on our elementary campuses. We were there to learn how to move up the SAMR model!

Our Hosts . . .
Carl Hooker @mrhooker (Hooked on Innovation)
Lisa Johnson @techchef4U (TechChef4U - TechChef4U on Pinterest)
Tim Yenca @mryenca (married to Mathy Cathy! - Fabulous middle school math teacher! I didn't get to see her in action, but the other Instructional Coaches said she was amazing!)

Recently, the app Paper by 53 was free! With "sketch notes" a big thing now, I thought I would try my hand at drawing my reflections about the 3 days at the iLeap academy.
When I finished my drawing, I took it into Thinglink! I attached links of my thoughts, Youtube videos, apps and websites.
Here is my finished product!

Part of the 3 days included school visits. I had the opportunity to visit Eanes and Bridge Point. Check out their school blogs.
Bridge Point

What stood out were the learning environments.  Furniture as a way to help enhance the learning . . . collaboration. Disclaimer: Not all classes had this type of furniture. The district has a vested interest in creating learning environments that promote collaboration.                                                                                                            
Our visits consisted of seeing kinder, 3rd, and 4th graders in action. Students were working with QR codes, Puppet Pals, TodaysMeet, Pages, iMovie, Evernote, Popplet, Motion Math, Pic Collage, Scribble Press, and I'm sure others I'm forgetting. 

We met amazing teachers that created engaging experience for their students. 

After each site visit, we returned to the district learning center. There, we were immersed in numerous hands on activities . . . creating and curating!  We investigated new features on the iOS 8, used Explain Everything, participated in an Appmazing Race Challenge and finally created a book using the app, Book Creator, documenting our learning over the 3 days.

The day was broken up with various brain breaks. This was my favorite!  Perfect for a faculty meeting or during a presentation.

Texas teachers, if you get a chance, sign up for the iLeap Academy this spring or the iPadpalooza in June!

A HUGE thank you to Carl, Lisa and Tim for the fabulous job putting together an authentic learning experience where every aspect can be used either in a classroom or in professional development setting.

(Tomorrow . . . I share a few of the apps we used.)