Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Lack of Posts


Yes, I'm still alive!  We're hitting that time of the year.  You know, THAT time of the year.  When the stress levels reach dangerous portions.  When the kids start bouncing around on your last nerve.  When the pressure is on, but you're too tired to go on.  Yes, it's the week before spring break.  Hopefully, I'll make it!

I have been very busy preparing to play the part of a tourist in Washington D.C. at the Cherry Blossom Festival.  I'm so excited, but a little annoyed to miss out on the White House.

I've been feeling pretty burned out lately, and as a result I haven't been taking pictures of things.  However, I found this wonderful app that I'm so excited to be using.

It's called Tiny Tap and it's this very simple app you can use to create your own ipad app.  I presented it to my students last week and they LOVED it.  It's a free app and it has a great tutorial that explains how to use it.  I'm waiting to get it put on all the devices at school, then my students will be creating their own apps.  This is also useful to me as a teacher if I want to create apps for my kids to use.  One of the things I like best is the ability to put audio questions on it, so the non-readers and ELL students in my class can easily use it.

So, that's my newest technology find.  I still have a lot to share from UCET, but I'll have to do that when I find a free moment between all the crazy busy pre-spring break chaos.

Enjoy Tiny Tap!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Inner Nerd is Doing Back Flips!

I wish I could say I came up with the catchy title of this post, but sadly, I only stole it from the person sitting next to me in the Evernote session at UCET.

It was SO hard to get up early on a Saturday morning and go.  But I can gladly say it was completely worth it!  I planned ahead and got a ticket to the 3 hour session on Evernote.  I didn't know at the time, that it was being presented by this afternoon's keynote speaker: Leslie Fisher.  Leslie is a total blast.  She is quick witted and fun and she knows all this cool tech stuff!!!  She joked about knowing her can be expensive, I can see why....there's all this stuff I want to buy now.  :)  One of my favorite little things she said was she kept referring to Internet Explorer as Internet Exploder.  :)  Oh, and I learned a lot about Evernote, too.  :)

After the long session, I got some lunch, and then headed to a short presentation on what to do with just one iPad in the classroom.  It was very good, but I think I was hitting information overload.  At some point, I intend to blog some of the best things I learned, but for right now, it's all muddled up in my brain.

If I hadn't enjoyed Leslie Fisher so much during the Evernote class, I  might have skipped out on the closing keynote.  It is Saturday after all, but she was so great I had to go.  I'm so glad I did.  We had fun with twitter and a bunch of other really cool stuff (most of which I can't remember--thankfully it's all on evernote.)  

Things slowly wound down and they had a whole bunch of prizes to give away.  It took what felt like forever.  Of course, I really wanted to win some great techy prize, so I hung around.  Finally, they got to the end--the grand prizes--two iPad minis.  They call the first name.  No one cheers or goes forward.  They call the second name.  Much cheering and screaming and the lucky winner went to get the prize.  They started to ask if anyone from the first person's school was there....there was much grumbling about being present to win.  So they drew one more last name.  ME!!!  Yes!  I won an iPad mini!!!!  I still can't quite believe it.  Of course, they mispronounced my name, but hey!  iPad mini here!!!  :) 

I'll try to get a post or two put together to share some of the wonderful things I learned soon.  


Friday, March 8, 2013

UCET Day 1


I had a day away from the classroom today and attended the UCET conference.  I was in technology heaven!!!  The keynote speaker was great, he is one fast speaker and his presentation was wonderful.  I spent most of the day with my friend and fellow first grade teacher, Christine.  I was so glad to have someone to pal around with.

The first session we went to was led by none other than Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants.  Natalie was there, too, but since I'm a first grade teacher, I went to the lower grade presentation and wasn't able to get to Natalie's.  I took a picture of the two of them as Rachelle was presenting (okay, really, I just wanted the words to the cool song but then I decided I needed at least one picture for this post.  I sure hope Rachelle and Natalie don't mind...) so here it is:
The pace was completely crazy between sessions, so I didn't stop to talk or get a picture with them.  I did catch them in line for lunch later and acted like a silly gushing fan.

I grabbed my boxed lunch and searched for my next session.  The first one was completely full.  The second one I wanted to attend was also completely full.  The big session in the tech atrium was completely full.  I finally ended up in a presentation tools one where I tried to eat and learn keynote at the same time.  I think once I learn keynote and get a better way to connect my ipad to my projector I'll be using it a whole lot.

After that, I met back up with Christine and we went to a presentation which was about nearpod and explain everything.  I loved both apps and hope to use them in my classroom.

After the crazy pace of the morning we had about an hour between sessions.  We wandered through the vendor area and chit chatted.  Then went to our last presentation which was the only disappointment of the day.  I'll spare you the details.

I'll be going back tomorrow to hopefully learn a lot about Evernote.

Other Miscellaneous Stuff

As I was finding the picture for this post, I ran across a few others I figured I'd share.  For our Read Across America day, our students and teachers were encouraged to dress up as their favorite book characters.  Here are a few pictures of the adults.  (No kid pics here, sorry.)

Our librarian:  Amelia Bedelia, complete with purse.

I was the Cat in the Hat, but the whole class made Lorax mustaches and wore them, so this is me as the Cat in the Hat Lorax.  

One of our 3rd Grade teachers is the Wimpy Kid, he even brought his diary. :)