Monday, February 1, 2016


The week has finally arrived!
The TCEA Annual Convention and Exposition brings together campus and district-level educators to explore best practices for engaging students, increasing productivity, and innovating teaching and learning through the use of technology. 

5 days
900+ sessions
10 Academies
450 Exhibits

This year, the theme is . . . Connected . . . love it! The power of being connected has opened up so many doors. I've been able to reach beyond the walls of my school and connect with many wonderful educators that are willing to share ideas.

I'm attend the conference in a different capacity. As the Area 20 Director, I get to "work" . . . so not work . . . whole lotta fun! I get to hang out with Chance at the TCEA membership booth! Connecting! Chatting! and handing out T-shirts for those that complete the TCEA challenge!

Follow me on Twitter @cdolat or Instagram - fabulousfifthgradefun (long story about that handle...) to check out all the cool things happening at TCEA!

Or . . . listen to the TCEA Radio!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Currently - January 2016

Happy New Year! It has been a wonderful break. Family, friends, relaxing and rejuvinating . . .

Listening: I'm getting caught up on the Periscopes from iteachtvnetwork!

Loving: Girls Day! While shopping with the mother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece and daughter in Fredericksburg, Texas, I found this fabulous Alex and Ani bangle bracelet! It is my saying for 2016 Ok, one of my sayings! I have a few for 2016 . . .

Thinking: Oh, my gosh! It is going to be brutal on Monday. Late nights . . . late mornings!

Wanting: It has been a great holiday. We have had some really fun family times. 

Needing: I need to work on organizing our regional Student Robotics Competition! As the TCEA director for my region, one of my tasks is to host a robotics competition. It is very fun! STEM at it's finest! I'm still looking for judges! Live in the surrounding San Antonio area? Want to be a judge? No experience necessary! Breakfast and lunch provided! Let me know! 


  1. Urban dictionary definition
    Exclamation used on revealing a surprise or on completion of a hard task. Often accompanied with jazz hands pose.

My job, as an instructional coach, is to support teachers and their students. I encourage teachers to take risks and think outside the box in order to create engaging experiences for their students.  I love when students and teachers get that big grin on their face as they try something new . . . and it works!

Soooo . . . my goal is to figure out how to create even more "ta-da" moments. Who doesn't love shouting . . .  Ta-Da?!

It's like magic . . . Ta-Da! . . . Celebrate!. . . Jazz Hands!

Farley, thanks for another fabulous Ta-Da Currently!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Augmented Reality - Quiver & Holiday Writing

During these last few weeks of school . . . consider a few fun writing activities. 
The Quivar app, formally know as ColAR Mix, has a some holiday pages for students to color. Yes, a coloring sheet . . . not just any coloring sheet, but an augmented reality sheet! Download the Quiver app and hold it over the sheet that has been colored. Watch the picture come to life! These 3D coloring pages will amaze your students!
Once, students see their picture come to life, they will be ready to write!

Writing with a bit of Relaxed Ambience 
Project the crackling fire on your screen or a few computers around the room to create a "warm" and cozy environment for writing. This might even be a wear your slippers to school day!

Have some great writing prompt ideas for these augmented reality pages? Please feel free to add them to the Padlet!

Or . . . try some QR Codes and Holiday Judging
Click {here} to access the post and download this free activity.

Happy writing!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Join #Skypeathon! - Global Movement - Sign up!

How fun is this global movement?!
What a great way to collaborate with classrooms across the world!
Be part of this global movement to travel 1 million virtual miles in 2 days!

Looking for a class to Skype with . . .  I created a Google Sheets sign up to help classrooms find others interested in Skyping.

A word from Ellen . . .

Step 1: Schedule a Skype Session, a Virtual Tour or Talk with a Guest Speaker
Sometimes the hard part is finding classes to Skype with . . . so if you are interested . . .
click ----> Google Sheets sign up to register for a Skype session.

Ideas for Skype sessions . . .
Mystery Skype
Share a classroom pet
Play a game of guess my word (using Google Docs)
20 questions
Share book recommendations
Guess our number
Share town celebrations

Or . . . try a . . .
Virtual Field Trip

Step 2: Show How Far You Traveled!
Use #SkypeaThon to share creative photos through Twitter or Instagram!

Don't miss out! Sign up now!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Write, Direct & Star in Your Own TV Show!

Have your student write, direct & star in their own TV show with the TeleStory app!
TeleStory is an augmented reality video camera that has face-detecting costumes and special effects.

It includes themes such as The Band, Star Adventure, Eye Spy, and The News.
It was perfect for the weather unit our 2nd grade students were starting.
TeleStory is a ton of fun! It is the perfect app that inspires students to be creative.
TeleStory has numerous templates for students to use to write their scripts. Students type the script and then it appears as they record.

For the weather unit, our students selected a city to investigate the weather.  Using they looked up the temperature and wind speed. Then, they had to determine the type of clothing to wear and fun activities to do in that type of weather. After completing the script, they worked on fluency.
Click {here} for the template.

TeleStory has "spot on" steps for creating a broadcast!

Creating a TeleStory TV show is as easy as . . . 

1. Pick a theme, then mix and match over 30 animated scenes to film your own story

2. Craft a script using our playful TV tropes (or write your own)

3. Dress up in 50 different digital costumes with face tracking

4. Perform and record your own show with animated settings and special effects

5. Broadcast your by exporting it to the camera roll.

There are so many themes that encourage students to really write a unique tv show.

Happy broadcasting!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Padlet for Showcasing Student Work

Padlet is a great tool to use to post student work!
Using the iPad students create using any number of apps (depending on the task) and save it to the camera roll.
Then, they use a QR code reader to access the Padlet so they can post to the wall.

Thankful for . . .
I had a wonderful time in Stephanie's (@LearninginTX) second grade class.
Students wrote about what they were thankful for in their life. Then, using the Doodle Buddy app, students created a picture and saved it to the camera roll.

Stephanie then posted the Padlet QR code so the students could quickly access the wall.
On Padlet they uploaded their picture and wrote a complete sentence explaining the picture.
It was fun to watch their eager little faces as their work popped up on the screen. They were so proud of their work! Copy the URL and share with parents!

Click {here} to see the finished product.


To help students stay on track with multiple step directions, we create checklists.
Below, you will find several of the different checklists we use.
Click {here} to access the folder with all the checklists.

and an answer document.

Have fun!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Currently!

Hello, November!
It's Currently time! I am thankful for Farley's monthly currently. It is such a great way to connect with other bloggers and see the wonderful things they are doing in their classrooms.

Welcome to my November Currently . . .

Listening: I love Blue Bloods!

Loving: My daughter just finished her first year on the Cross Country team. I am super impressed that she got up super early to run at 6:30am every morning. Love her coach! He created  scavenger hunts! Had the kids bussed over to the high school to run and joked about running the Starbucks triangle!

Thinking: I can't wait to see Eric Sheninger! I get to attend Eric Sheninger's Digital Leadership sessions this week! The other Instructional Coaches and I head out tomorrow for 2 days of inspiration and learning!
My well loved book, a bit water logged (it fell in the pool) is marked up . . . tagged, dog eared and sticky noted! There are so many amazing parts that I really had to stop myself . . .
I reference the book when I'm meeting with some of our administrators.
We are going to use the book for a book study! A call to action!

Wanting: We keep looking at the lake for that perfect property!

Needing: Ugg! When life drops an opportunity in you lap . . . change is hard!

Yummy! My mom's cheese bread! I really need to laminate the recipe. Preserve her handwriting...

Have a wonderful November!
Head over to Farley's Currently cuz she is so good about bringing bloggers together!
Stop, read and write to bloggers!