Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jamberry Giveaway

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter you might have noticed that my feed has been taken over my new favorite thing right now!  Being a teacher I didn't have time or the funds to get my nails done, but I tried on Jamberry this summer in July, and my nails have not been naked since!
Kiss Me Ombre

Favorite things about Jamberry:
-I LOVE how many designs there are!  I could do a simple color, add accent nails, or even design my own. (I am also in love with the Nail Lacquer Line that is now available- the strengthening basecoat under my wraps are awesome)
-Since they are wraps, I don't have to worry about being uncoordinated in painting my nails
-They are so affordable!
-A manicure can last about 2 weeks and a pedicure about a month
-I can put them on while watching TV using the fantastic Mini Heater
-My nails look great even after I take them off.
Excuse the super short fingernail (weekend causality) but check out how good my real nail looks and I have been wearing Jamberry for over 5 months!

To celebrate the end of 2013 I am hosting a Jamberry Giveaway! Just do the super simple activities listed below.  A winner of the $15 eGiftcard will be drawn on Tuesday December 31st at noon.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you interested in hosting a catalog party, face 2 face party or Facebook party?  Let me know! I would love for you to earn the awesome Hostess gifts!  Interested in joining my team and becoming a consultant? I can help you there too!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Techformers Unite

You might have noticed that I am sort of on a Tech Challenge kick lately.  I LOVE using technology (shhh.. I know this is a shocker!) and I want to help teachers see how easy it is to use in the classroom.  One of the main reasons I wanted to become a Instructional Technology Specialist was so I could begin to affect even more people (students and staff)  I have loved how the challenges are going over in my school, so I decided to branch out!

I put a plea out to my Facebook friends, and I had 9 fabulous friends say they were interested in helping with Tech Challenges.  With LeaAnne, Dave, Robin, Helen, Mindi, Aimee, Jeremy, Sheila, Jan, Jennifer and myself the Techformers Unite group was formed.

"As educators (of any form or fashion) we are constantly saving the world through various challenges! Join the Techformers Unite team to boldly take on technology challenges that increases the use of these tools in your classroom. If you are ready to be a part of the Techformers Unite group, you just need to join our group and start attempting the various challenges! These challenges can be completely done by you, or you can do them with the students that you work with! Remember that any challenges you complete and post about need to comply with your schools/district rules for posting pictures/information. You are in charge of keeping up with what challenges you complete when you fill out the Google Form at the end of the month! On other social media? Share using #TechformersU"

Our idea:
Create various challenges for each month that could be accomplished by teachers and even be carried over to the classroom.
We started with the 12 days of Techmas

Thanks Cindy Wallace for the awesome logo!

For the month of December there will be 12 challenges.  You can find the challenges on the Weebly  and also on our Facebook Page  At the end of each month we will post a Google form where participants can post what challenges they completed that month (there might be prizes involved!)  The challenges do not have to be done in any certain order, but people can share their completed challenges by posting in the comments of the challenge on the Facebook page or sharing through social media using #techformersU.  You can also find our Twitter account at TekFormersUnite

Now, we are currently in an icemageddon going on in the DFW area, so I am sure that that might have some impact this weekend on how many challenges get done.  

The first challenge (posted this morning 12/9/13) ended up with over 70 wonderful word clouds that different people created over their favorite holiday song.  Not only that, but I hadn't even posted the full challenge and people were already posting their challenges. 
Are you up for the challenge? Find our group Techformers Unite and learn some new tools and tricks.  In the process you will also have a chance to meet some amazing people!  I am So excited to see where these challenges will take us!  I am even more excited that I am able to collaborate with even more people over things that I love.  Cindy Wallace wrote a great blog about our Techformers Unite Challenges here

Tomorrow is another bad weather day (this ice is crazy), but we are pairing up classes for the #kidwish project!  

I hope you will join in our Techformers Unite challenges.  December has 12, but the rest of the months will be only 4 or 5.  How do you increase technology use on your campuses?  How do you get teachers excited to use technology in the classroom?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Walking in a Techy Wonderland

The first part of this year I worked on finding my place in my new role.  So many ideas.. so little time.. but not wanting to crazily overwhelm people that I work with either!  So, I don't think my to-do list will ever get completely done (it never did when I was a teacher either) but there are some of the coolest projects that are coming up!

I blogged about our tree that comes to life here by using the Aurasma app.
It only takes a second!

We are pairing Special Needs Classrooms with Regular Education classrooms to share holiday cards and also New Years wishes!  We are pairing up classrooms on Thursday December 5, 2013 for this first round! Sign up at  (special ed friends.. this is a GREAT chance to collaborate!)  We are going to have more projects throughout the year, but this is a great start.

12 Days of Technology
I have LOVED creating the Tech Challenges for my staff... and the conversation it is sparking.  So, I put it on Facebook looking for people to collaborate to create holiday tech challenges.  Be watching for information on how you too can participate!

Do you have any projects in the works?  I hope you take a moment to vote for our tree.. and sign up to participate in #kidwish!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Make it Monday- Irving Arts Center Christmas Tree

Every year the Irving Arts Center has a tree decorating contest.  This year the theme is Navidad Latinoamerica! As soon as the theme was announced last year, I knew how I wanted to decorate it!  Then during the summer I learned about Aurasma from Two Guys and some iPads and Todd Nesloney, and I knew what else I wanted to do with the tree!  Thanks to my partner in crime Alex Alkire (aka AMAZING Art Teacher) we were on a mission!

So, our tree is themed as a giant Spanish skirt. 

Although our tree looks awesome (if I do say so myself!) what is even better is it is INTERACTIVE!  Each picture that is on the tree is tagged with an Aura.

I watched this video about a hundred times.  Aurasma is an amazing app, but there are definitely some tricks (and it is also awesome... but when you are working with 50+ pictures it is also a little more time consuming than I planned)

What I did:
-Take a picture of a student (I tried really hard to get 2 from each class in the school, but I ran out of time)
-I asked the student to say this sentence I am from ____ and during the holidays we ____
-Downloaded these pictures on my computer (you can use Aurasma through the iPad/device, but then only that iPad/device is able to see the Aura)
-VERY IMPORTANT-I had to edit each picture so the pixels were 480x640
-I then followed the directions that were listed in the above videos and the rest that were on Drew Minock's Youtube channel (oh and I bugged Todd about a hundred times!)
-I created a channel called Elliott Christmas Tree and put all of the pictures and videos that channel.
-During our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration I also took video of students doing traditional dances.  After they danced I took a group photo.  

At the foot of our Christmas tree I also included this picture how to
Now. I realize that not everyone is going to download the app and interact with our tree. 

Our note about the ornaments at the base of the Christmas tree is this:
The traditions of Latin America are so rich!  Between the colors, stories, traditions and food Latin America boasts wonderful ways to celebrate the season. 

Elliott Elementary chose to showcase 4 different Latin American locations.  Our tree has the embodiment of a Folklorico dancer’s skirt.   Her skirt carries hand crafted ornaments that the Mini Davinci’s created to represent the different areas. All the picture ornaments will come to life after you follow the directions for downloading the Aurasma app.
Ecuador is represented by the fans (Aventador) which are found all over Ecuador and are made by the local Indian groups.
Puerto Rico is represented by the Three Kings.  Three Kings Day/Epiphany celebrates the Three Wise Men’s visit to see the newborn Christ by exchanging gifts.
Mexico is represented on our tree by the poinsettias are native to Latin America especially in the Southern Mexico region.
El Salvador is represented by the Roman Candles.   Families in El Salvador celebrate by playing with sparklers and fireworks during the holiday season.
There are so many regions and areas to celebrate during the holiday season.  A large part of celebrating is joining family members for food and fellowship.  The pictures on our tree represent different areas across the world!  Students shared where they were from and what they eat during the holiday season.
Our school celebrates the rich traditions of Latin America by having a Hispanic Heritage Celebration every year.  The group pictures around our tree will also come to life by using the Aurasma app.
We hope you enjoy your journey through various Latin American traditions and will dance your way through the holidays!