Monday, January 28, 2013

Make It Monday-Pinterest Party

I know that I have talked about the AWESOMENESS of Pinterest before, so I knew that I wanted to have a Pinterest Birthday Party!

This Make It Monday blog is mostly going to be about how I prepared and hosted this super fun party.
I am a Pinterest user... I am even one of those people that actually do the things that I pin (amazing huh!)  I picked a date, created a google doc, and created a Pinterest board for the party.

There a ton of ideas on how to host a Pinterest party, but I decided I wanted to make it fairly simple.  I asked each guest to bring a dish that they had made from Pinterest and a t-shirt (so we could do one of the crafts on the Pinterest board)  I provided the tiles for the coaster craft (these were about .12 each.. in hind sight I wish I had picked up more!)  We had several mobile devices that were used to check out the instructions how to create t-shirt crafts and the tiles.

There was SO much yummy food!  Everyone brought one dish to share.

This is where you really find out if the Pinterest instructions really work! We found that not all of the t-shirts curled how they were supposed to in the instructions.  I found my shirt at Wal-Mart for $4.00 and several people ended up using part of my shirt.

This was a shirt that did not curl the correct way.  But the laughs had were even better!

Making shirts and coasters.  

This headband from a t-shirt worked out great!

2 completed scarves!  Super fun but we learned that it needs more than just 2 circles

Overall it was a wonderful evening!  Everyone walked away with a new coaster and some sort of scarf or headband.  My new scarf looked very fun with my keynote outfit.

Next week I am headed to TCEA13!  On Monday is Mail Call Monday and I am REALLY excited that my guest bloggers are going to be The 3 Tech Ninjas!  I still need to blog over meeting Peter Reynolds this weekend.  I also want to share more information about Angela Maiers.  Lots of blogs coming!

Do you use Pinterest?  Do you actually complete the projects you pin?  Are you headed to TCEA13?

Monday, January 21, 2013


It is Monday and it is my SECOND blog!  But in reality, I wrote my Movie Monday blog this weekend (I do love being able to schedule blogs)  There are a TON of links in this blog (but lots of great information.. I promise!)

Today I had the opportunity to give my first ever keynote and then have 3 breakout sessions in Community ISD at their #CISDtechday.  I have had the opportunity to see Stuart Burt present several times, so I jumped at the chance to present in his district.  Nevada, Texas is only about an hour away from me, and I LOVED the drive! It reminded me so much of driving to my hometown of Canyon, Texas.  To organize and share all of my material I used Livebinders.

My keynote was called Making Your Mark- Using technology to level the playing field.  I had a chance to share about International Dot Day and Choose 2 Matter.  Making Your Mark Livebinder  Each one of these promotes reminding yourself and others that what they do matters, can make a difference, and you never know where a single idea might take you.  Peter Reynolds, T.J. Shay and Angela Maiers are AMAZING! As people came in I passed out Dots that #choose2matter on the back

I then had a chance to share information over Digital Storytelling (Digital Storytelling Livebinder), Technology in the Multi-ability Classroom (Technology Livebinder) and Blogging in the Classroom (Blogging Livebinder)

I loved that the teachers were SO willing to learn, ask questions (even though it was early in the morning) and participate in new ideas.  I look forward to connecting with these teachers even more through blogs and twitter.

During my sessions I even had a chance to share about my favorite conference Podstock and some of my favorite tweeters (although I am sure that I left off a ton!)  There were also some great other sessions going on! Loved sharing the UDL Toolkit that KarenJan has put together.  So much great information!

Thanks guys for a Fantastic day!  I look forward to connecting more!

Movie Monday- Friday Journals

Every Friday we have journals and word work.  News 2 You is one of my FAVORITE materials in my classroom.  The news articles are great and the worksheets that go along with them are fantastic.  Each day we read our news and then do 1 or 2 worksheets that go along with it (we will do them together first as a group on the Smoothboard Interactive Whiteboard)

On Fridays my students do the word sort, labeling and vocabulary words.  I know that I have mentioned before.. but I have to say it again.. I have 2 AMAZING paraprofessionals who work with me! They make sure all of these little behind the scenes things happen.

Independent students- get the worksheets
Students that need a little bit of support- outline the areas that need to be cut
Students that need even more support- materials already cut out and in buckets

Have questions.. just email me!  Do you have weekly/daily journals?  Next blog is going to be Make it Monday (and Saturday I had a Pinterest birthday party! I can't wait to share what we did!)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Magnificent Monday- Lose It!

I must preface this blog with... I am very happy where I am and with the body that I have.  Now, would I like to lose some weight.. of course.  Would I like to eat healthier.. you bet.

So, the first of the year came around and everyone is making New Year Resolutions.  I am all about goals.  I teach special ed, I like data collection and tracking progress... so goals are my style.  My husband and I sat down and wrote goals for the year and near future.  They were ones over career and of course one of my own was over weight loss.  You can find our progress on my other blog Dreams and Adventures

There are things that I want to accomplish, and losing weight is a big factor in a couple of them.  January 1st I created a profile on Lose it! and downloaded the app.  January 2nd, I started logging my food intake and exercise.

Lose it! Is a Fantastic app!
-Easily track food
-Easily track exercise
-Set weight loss goals and it will tell you how many calories you can eat a day
-Love that if a food is not in the system you can take a picture of the barcode and it will find it for you
-it gives you a breakdown of daily nutrients
-you can find friends and help motivate them
-You can win badges as you log what you have done

On the website
-There are forums that you can join
-There are challenges that you can join
-There is also a premium (that I would like to eventually purchase because I LOVE it!)

So, here to new goals! This picture was taken this summer.  I am already down 7 pounds since the beginning of the year (January 2, 2013 is when I officially started!).  I have not given up the things that I enjoy eating, but I have worked on portions.  If I bite it, I write it!  I also do not eat after 8pm (and if you know me.. this is  hard thing to do!) Do you have an app that is helping you reach a goal?  

Thanks Lose It! for helping me reach some of my weight loss goals!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mail Call Monday!- Elaine J. Roberts, Ph.D.

I love that I have a schedule for when I want to publish blogs!  I have to admit.. I am LOVING my mail call Mondays.  I have some of the coolest friends who do some amazing things!    Today my guest blogger is Elaine J. Roberts  I met Elaine at Podstock several years ago and have enjoyed her being in my PLN ever since.  I appreciate your kindness towards my classroom, her never ending support, and she is just all around amazing!  Read more about Elaine at the end of this blog.

The first weekend of the New Year has come and gone. There are those who have already given up on their resolutions while there are those who are continuing to find resolve. Then there are some of us who are late starters. Oh sure, you might want to call us “procrastinators,” and you could be right. I’ll think about that. Later.

But I do want to talk about resolve and resolutions. I applaud those who are encouraged by small steps of success. In fact, I’m encouraged by them. They evince resolve.

There are literally thousands of quotes about of “success.” Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. Abraham Lincoln
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. Vince Lombardi
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as
by the obstacles which he has overcome. Booker T. Washington

We make resolutions every day. We resolve to continue to do something or not do something every day. We deride ourselves when we fail; we are unfailingly guilty of failing to forgive ourselves for a lack of resolve.

But those are successful knows that success is not one radiant event. True success is achieved by small steps. Two steps forward and three steps back. If you look at the selected quotes, you can see that success requires resolve and, according to Lincoln, the resolve to succeed.

How do we measure success? Perhaps based on our resolutions if we have made resolutions that are measurable. People who resolve 10 pounds by a specific time frame, provided the time frame is reasonable, are more likely to succeed and then their success feeds their resolution so that a minor setback is truly a minor setback.
Why? Because they know they can succeed because they have been successful.

So if you have not yet made any resolutions, there is no need to give up on 2013. Start now. Right now. If you have started and failed already, there is no need to give up on 2013. Revisit your resolution to make sure it is achievable and perhaps take smaller aim.

Robert Browning once wrote, “Ah! but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

It reminds us to keep reaching. To keep trying. To be resolved. To accept that success comes with hard work. That success requires resolve. And that we just need to keep trying.
Keep reaching.

A little bit more about Elaine:
Accomplished and recognized lead in P-12 educator Professional Development programming and curriculum design with exceptional complementary skills in business and strategic partnership development. Well-established network of professional relationships among educational and development organizations nationwide. Clear and consistent record of leading successes in curriculum design, publication, marketing, and sales. Skilled manager with the proven ability to attract and retain top talent among course and workshop facilitators. Very strong analytical, problem solving, interpersonal communication and presentation skills. Visionary leader with an earned reputation for producing high quality programming spanning the needs of educators from Pre-K through the university level.

Passionate about learning with a focused yet nuanced understanding of the changing dynamics of today's increasingly global and digital classroom. Intuitive and collaborative problem solver able to master new systems, challenges, and responsibilities. Approaches situations and problems with focus yet an open-minded approach, managing diverse ideas and agendas to tease out a solution that meets if not exceeds the expectations and needs of the customer. Works decisively, striving to achieve effective, clearly communicated, and transformative solutions.

Specialties: Professional development, system change, online and blended learning, partner relationship development, P-12, K-12, higher education, teaching
You can follow her on twitter or one of her blogs here or another of her blogs here