Friday, January 9, 2015

Five for Friday 2015

Life in 2014 was quite an adventure, especially with adjusting to the major change in my job.  Back in June, I said goodbye to the classroom to start my new role as an Innovation Coach (iCoach) aka Technology Integration Specialist.  Since August, I've learned so much and I am loving every minute of it.  Yes, I do miss the classroom, but I know that this is the perfect place for me to be right now.  As we begin 2015, I'd like to make it my goal to get back into blogging now that things have "calmed" down.  (LOL).  With that being said, I've decided to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

1. Sick Days

I hate taking them, but sometimes in life you need to.  Apparently, I was meant to have another week off for Winter Break because my body decide to come down with a cold on Tuesday.  Thank heaven for sick days!

2. Cold Days
This week, the cold weather has decided to show it's ugly face.  Therefore, we ended up with two "cold days" off of school.  As much as I loved having those two days this week, I'll pay the price in June!

3. Project 365
Inspired by Project 365, I've decided to start my own Project 365 on Instagram with #alf212015.  So far, I'm on Day 9 and I've only missed one day due to being sick.  My favorite photo so far is from my Goddaughter's birthday party last weekend.  I made her Minnie Mouse cake. 

In order to keep me on track this year, I've started using Google Keep.  This handy tool allows me to store all of my to-do lists in one place and it saves my lists to my Google Drive.  Now, I can access my to-do list no matter where I go.  I love it!  

Have you heard of this?  A colleague of mine told me about it before Winter Break, but I have yet to explore it.   However, I just recently watched a short video on it and I can't wait to get started exploring!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tune Into Technology- Reading

I'm back at it joining Learning to the Core and iTeach1:1 for their Tune into Technoloy Linky Party.

For this week, the focus is all about Integrating Technology into Reading.  To do this, I'd like to introduce you to the app, Tellagami.

Tellagami is an app that allows you to create and share a quick animated video called a Gami.  Tellagami has two versions that are available.  A free version and Tellagami EDU ($4.99) which is the classroom paid version that allows no in-app purchases.

I came across Tellagami while taking one of my PD classes.  Surprisingly, I had heard about Tellagmai before, but had not explored it.  I'm glad that I did take the time to explore it because this is an app that I believe would be suitable for all grade levels and students would have a blast creating their own animated videos.  

Having explored the free version, I'm definitely considering making the purchase of the EDU version, because the free version has very limited choices in terms of creating your avatar without making a purchase.

Now, how does this connect to reading???  Here are some of the quick ideas that I've come up with:
  • Students create a book review regarding their favorite book and they can create the avatar as the main character.
  • Select a character from a book to tell a story or recent an important event.
  • Pick a person in history and have the students create an informational video.
  • Students can recite their favorite poem. 
Be sure to check out the video below that I created as a means for introducing my new position this year.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Technology Thursday/Throwback Thursday

This morning, I'm linking up with Teaching Trio and Teacher's Desk 6 for Technology Thursday and Throwback Thursday.


I thought that these would be the perfect parties to link together because what I would like to share for Technology Thursday is actually and Throwback post from the past.  Which I've discovered over the past year has been a true GEM!

This past year, my students complete paper facts test on various mathematical functions.  Each student started the year out on addition and when they score three 95% or higher (not in a row), they  progressed to the next function.  Midway through the year, I made a change to include something different.


What is XtraMath?  XtraMath is a FREE website that allows students to master fact fluency in just a few short minutes.  Students can access the website at school or at home to practice their facts.  In addition, teachers can get emailed updates that show the progress of their class.  Trust me, I hate overloading my email with junk, but this is one email that I don't mind getting.  

So now what does my math class look like now?  Well, twice a week, I have half of my class using a technological device (computer, iPad, iPod touch) to practice their math facts in as little as five minutes or less.  This has been way better and more exciting than a paper version for both the teacher and the student!  

 I was also able to discover that once a student completes all four functions on Xtra Math, you can increase the difficulty level allowing them to continue on. SWEET!  Also, I had a student who was having difficulty responding in the allotted amount of time.  Don't worry, Xtra Math has a fix for that one too!  I was able to increase the response time, providing that student the perfect amount of time!

Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stitch Fix #1 Results- Tried It Tuesday

It's time for...

Back in April, I had posted about the journey that I was going to be starting with Stitch Fix.  Well, I finally received my first box last Wednesday and I'm anxiously awaiting my second box.  Here's what I received and my verdicts!

Item #1 
Tivola Wide Leg Chambray Pant
Kut From The Kloth

Verdict: Returned- Pants were way too long for me!

Item #2
Lexis Abstract Print Henley Tank Top

Verdict: Kept!  Loved everything about this tank from the cut, to the colors, to the print!  Perfection!

Item #3
Rhea Burnout Detailed V-Neck Knit Shirt
Under Skies

Verdict: Returned. :( I really wanted to keep this one, but I did not like how uncomfortably short  it was in the front.  Such a shame because I liked the rest of it.

Item #4
Aleah V-Neck Solid Dolan Sleeve Shirt

Verdict: Returned.  Peach?  Seriously?  Um..NO!  Loved how soft it was, but the cut was not for me. :(

Item #5
Rylin Rhinestone Teardrop Pendent Necklace
Marlyn Schiff

Verdict: Returned.  Such a pretty necklace, but I couldn't justify buying another necklace to hang in the jewelry box. 

And so I await the arrival of my second fix!  It's scheduled to arrive the first week in July so check back soon!

Monday, June 16, 2014

First Official Monday Made It- Summer 2014

I'm starting my week off right with my first official Monday Made It for the 2014 Summer.  This Monday Made It is a big accomplishment for me because I just hosted a bachelorette party for my BFF who is getting married in two weeks!  EEKKK!  Can't believe that it's happening so soon!

For her bachelorette party, she wanted to go country line dancing!  So, I went with a classy girl country theme.  
The Flower Vases
I created these country flower vases with a classic canning jar from Michaels.  In the middle, I hot glued laced ribbon and then followed up with a pink ribbon bow.  Topped off with some babies breath and it was the perfect floral arrangement for a bride who hates flowers. 

Country Wine Glasses

I skipped the normal party cup and created these lovely party favors that people were able to take home.  Using the classic canning jar from Michaels, I ordered the bronze flower lids from Jane and then topped them off with colored string and name tags.  Keep in mind that this was a bachelorette party (hence the reason for the naughty straws).

Mantle Creation

Last, but not least, I use some string and clothes pins to create a "recipe line."  Each guest was asked to bring their favorite recipe to share with the bride and I used the recipe cards as part of the decor.  In the center, I used an extra veil that we had to hide the clips that held the string to the mantle.  

All in all, the party was a huge SUCCESS!  We had such a blast and I'm so sad that it's over.  Now, I'll have to plan another party just so that I can start "crafting" again.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Technology Thursday- Google Educator Group

WAHOO!  I am officially on summer break and I'm so excited to get started working on my summer to-do list.  Before, I start that list, I'm linking up with Teaching Trio today for Technology Thursday.  

I recently came across an article regarding the launch of Google Educator Groups.  This is a new project that was just recently launched by Google as a way for educators to share their ideas regarding the use of Goolge products within their classroom or school. After reading the article, I decided to give it a try and join a GEG group within my area. I was lucky enough to find one in the Chicagoland area and I'm excited to start sharing and learning about new ideas with the use of Google.  Best of all, if you can't find a group in your area, you can become a leader and get one started.  Anyone else interested in joining the GEG-Chicagoland?  


Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Well, it seems fitting to share my exciting news now that the school year is quickly coming to an end.  I am beyond excited to share that I'm going to be stepping away from the classroom next year to become a Technology Integration Specialist for my school district! A tech-a-what?  The purpose of a Technology Integration Specialist is to work with staff members to assist with the implementation technology into their daily instruction.  This will be a completely different role for me, but I am so happy that this door has opened and can't wait for the adventure to begin.  I was recently asked by a parent, "Won't you miss teaching in the classroom and all of the kids?"  Of course, I will, but I'm hoping that with this new position that I'll be able to integrate into the classrooms as much as possible to assist staff/teachers (at least that is my goal).

Blogging Buddies, do any of you currently have a TIS or something similar within your district?  How have you found this person to be helpful and what is one thing that you found valuable when working with them?  I am looking forward to hearing from you as I embark on this new adventure.

Ps...Now, I just have to figure out how to change the name of my blog from Turtley Loving Teaching to Turtley Loving Technology.