Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Instagram Family Picture Contest

Slides & Ladders

Quality-time board game brings

families together!

Click this image to learn more
about Slides & Ladders
'Slides & Ladders' is a new and fun take on the classic board game 'Snakes & Ladders', but with a few twists. It is design to deliver a wonderful 'family time' experience, at home or on-the-go. Use your IOS or Android device to take turns on the spinner. Choose up to 4 players and any of the difficulty levels that help you control how long the game may take to complete. Pinch zoom and drag to explore the board!
The game is so easy and fun. The first one to the top, wins!
With 'Slides & Ladders', it's never over till it's over. It can be anybody's game. Make it yours!

Are you on Instagram? I am!  Follow me @Dana8609.
Leave your Instagram name or link in the comments and we'll all follow each other!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Five for Friday

It's a Five for Friday post, so you know what that means...

It's FINALLY Friday!!!
So on Monday I had the pleasure of dining with some new and old blogger friends.  
The new friends were LaToya from Flying into First Grade
and the one and only Debbie Clement from Rainbows Within Reach.
Debbie was in town doing school visits with my friends
We had a great time sharing tips and tricks for blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, & so much more!  We laughed the whole time!  Debbie is an amazingly talented author, singer, and songwriter.  I can't wait to have her visit my library next year!

I reviewed reading strategies with my K-2 friends using a fun tool from Creative Teaching Press.  It's their Reading Reminders Mini LA Bulletin Board set and it's only $6.99!  Click the image below to see the set at CTP.
  I had the kids find the picture that illustrated the strategy and we matched them up.  Then, we read Library Mouse A Friend's Tale and I demonstrated all of the strategies while reading.
{We read the first Library Mouse last week. Read about that HERE.}

My youngest daughter turned 12!

My oldest daughter went to prom!

I was hired by the state to serve as a Core Coach again this summer!  This time I will be a School Team Training Coach.  That means I will be training teams that will go back to their building and train the rest of their faculty.  My area is 1st-2nd grade ELA and Math.  We will focus on instructional strategies that will promote student growth.  I'm excited about this new opportunity and go to my first training next weekend!

Hope your week was as great as mine!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's National Library Week!

Are you celebrating National Library Week??
We are! 
I got the speech bubble idea form the American Library Association's website. Click {HERE} to visit it.  I have a thing about recreating things I find online with my own fonts, so you can get the speech bubble from above by clicking the picture below.

With my little ones, we are reading Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk and discovering we can all be authors.  If you've never read the Library Mouse books, you really should.  They are great!  Daniel Kirk's website is also great!  He has activities and ideas to accompany his books as well as free songs to download.
After we read and discuss the book, we are each writing and illustrating our own stories in tiny books, just like Sam the mouse!
Leave me a comment and let me know how you celebrate National Library Week!
Share your pictures on your favorite social media site with #NLW14 and #LivesChange.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Using Donor's Choose to Fund Classroom Projects!

Have you ever used Donor's Choose? It is an amazing resource for teachers
and it is so easy to use!  Maybe you've seen post about it, but never taken the time to check into it.  That was me last summer.  I saw several blog posts about it and finally looked into creating a project of my own.  
I can tell you in 4 easy steps how to do it-
Last summer, I posted my first project.  I wanted full access to the website Speakaboos for my entire school.  It was fully funded by the beginning of the year.  Just yesterday, I posted my second project to purchase 2 iPad Minis for my library. The great thing about Donor's Choose is that the first 7 days, donors can enter the code INSPIRE and their donation will be matched! How awesome is that?!
It really doesn't take long to create a project.  Depending on what your needs are, you can sometimes have certain types of projects funded, in part, by specific companies.  For example, AJ Books funded 50% of my first project!
Check it out, you won't regret it!
If you already have a DC project posted, leave the link in the comments below, I'd love to see your ideas!
*Graphics in this post are by Graphics From the Pond *

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Farfaria iPad App Giveaway

Do you have Farfaria on your iPad?  This app gives students, teachers, and families access to over 600 illustrated books.  There is a free version of the app, but you are limited to what you can do.  Farfaria has offered to give 2 of my readers FREE 3 month subscriptions!  Keep reading to find out how to enter!
Here are some of the features that I like about Farfaria:
When you choose a story, your options are auto play, read to me, or read myself.  I like that the student has these choices.  Throughout the story, buttons to exit, read again, and add to favorites are visible.  While reading, the words are highlighted. At the end of each story, similar stories are recommended.
I also like how an entire world is the homepage and students can choose different genres by tapping different "islands".
I think this app makes a great addition to my folder of readers on my iPad.  I encourage you to check it out and to enter the giveaway below!  The giveaway will run through Saturday!  Feel free to share it with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Booksy School Edition App by Tipitap

I was recently contacted by Tipitap Inc and asked to provided them with some feedback on their apps. I chose to review Booksy School Edition
There are 27 books at 3 different reading levels available in this app.  I can go into the teacher desktop and see my class reading log, progress reports, and can set things up to receive a daily email of progress.  I like the range of topics for the stories and if you flick one finger up to reveal the menu bar you can:
1) listen to the whole page
2) go back to the bookshelf
And two finger swipe left to right to return to the bookshelf!
Students have a wide range of topics to read about.  Mars, dinosaurs, the four seasons, and The Ojibwe are just some of the nonfiction texts to choose from.
When the app detects a child reading the story, it will autorecord the child's voice and email you the recording (if you have enabled this feature).  
After reading the stories, students can take a quiz over the information presented in the book.  At anytime, students can tap a word and it will be read aloud.  While this app is advertised for K-2, older children can use it.  I found the reading level of most of these books to be fairly high.  For example, the book on Thomas Jefferson (reading level 2) would probably be a good fit for a 3rd grader-as far as comprehension.
If you are in need of some readers for your iPad, I would recommend Booksy!
Click {HERE} to check out the selection of apps by Tipitap Inc.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Anniversary Educents!

Have you heard of Educents.com? It's the first group deal website for Educators where you can save up to 90% on curriculum, educational toys, and other learning products. They are turning 1 year old on April 2, 2014 and to celebrate, they are giving an additional 20% off, site wide until April 7, 2014! Just use code "Anniversary20." In addition, they are SO EXCITED to kick off an AMAZING month of fun activities to celebrate. They will have 30 giveaways (one per day) in the month of April! And, their grand prize winner will receive a family vacation in Florida (thanks to Wyndham Vacation Rentals) & with a runner-up prize of a $1,000 Educents Gift Card!
Just a few of the companies that will be giving products away in April:
Math Mammoth, SayPlease, Systematic Mathematics, DNA Educational Games, Red Apple Reading, Critical Thinking Co., Times Tales, Seat Sack, The Latin Road, Intelli-Tunes, Simply Fun, Institute for Excellence in Writing, Luv Chicken, Center for Hands-On Learning, Classical Academic Press, Your Story Hour, Wordsmiths, American High School, Middlebury Interactive Languages, My Year Look, The Latin Road, Intelli-Tunes, The learning Journey International & MORE!
The mission of Educents is to provide affordable education to all. In just 1 year, Educents has saved educators over $5 million dollars and over 150,000 products have made it into homes and classrooms all around the world.
So, what are you waiting for? Go save an additional 20% and enter to win tons of giveaways.  For every giveaway you enter, you get an entry for the two grand prizes!
www.Educents.com -- The Best Place for Educational Products at a discount!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up Blog Hop & Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I attended the Indiana Blogger Meet Up in French Lick, Indiana.  I met so many bloggers and blog followers, won some terrific prizes, and learned a lot about blogging too!  Click {HERE} to read my previous post on all the fun we had!  
After lunch on Saturday, we had sort of a round table discussion on blogging shortcuts, classroom tips, and Pinterest tricks.  It was so informative that we thought we'd share what we learned with our audiences through a blog hop!
Frame by The 3am Teacher
Blog Touch is the best app I've found for blogging from my iPhone.  I like it because you can create links in your text and change the font.  If you like to blog from your phone, I'd recommend this app.  One thing to note- when you connect the app to your blog, the only posts that show up are the ones created on your phone, so don't freak out and think they are gone!
PicMonkey is a great FREE site to edit photos for your blog.  While you can upgrade and use every feature on the site, there are plenty that are free!  It's $33 a year or $4.95 a month if you're interested in signing up, but I just use the free features and I can do pretty much everything I want to with my pictures.  You can do all the basics like crop, add text, sharpen, brighten, straighten, and add your own image (blog button).  You can also whiten teeth, add lip & cheek color, give yourself a tan, and make yourself THINNER!  Yes, I said it.  You can make everyone thinner!  That's not even a paid feature!  
If you've never been on PicMonkey, go on and try it out.  Just click the image above!

My last blogging tip is how to leave your blog name as a link in the 
comment section of someone else's blog- like I did below.
Just follow the directions in the picture below:
Why don't you practice leaving your blog link in my comment section below!

Holly, our fearless leader of the weekend, had a great idea for a teacher tool swap.  We wrapped up one of our favorite teachery tools and after a cute story Amanda Pauley wrote, we all had a different gift.  Mine was Expo Neon Markers for dry erase boards and windows from Brenda Frady.

Holly lined up tons of great door prizes and mine was a Boogie Board!  I'd never seen these before, but now I want more so I can use them in small groups at school!
Click the picture above to see the company's website.

Now it's your turn to get in on the action...
 Someone will win all of the prizes pictured here {and more}! It could totally be you!  
Enter through the Rafflecopter on the very last post in the hop!
Thanks for stoppin' by!  Now it's on to Whitney's blog.
Click Whitney's blog button below for the next stop on this blog hop! Then, keep going until you find the pot of gold {a.k.a. Rafflecopter} at the end of the rainbow blog hop! :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Currently

It's finally April! Maybe spring is here for good.  Lately it's been nice, then snow, nice, then tornadoes.  I. AM. OVER. IT.
I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade to share what's currently going on with me.  
You can to by clicking the image!
Thanks for stopping by!

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