Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I'm Moving!!!

I have decided to, after many years, make the move from a Blogger blog to a website. While I love Blogger, it just seems to make more sense for all of my work to be in one combined space. Please visit me over at!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

All that Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise...

If you were to walk by my classroom you would most definitely hear NOISE! But noise isn't always a bad long as it's the right kind. I am not the teacher that has to have silence in her room all the time. I actually enjoy the buzzing of a working classroom. I love the group work, the collaboration and the sound of students sharing their ideas with one another and the excitement that learning can bring about. However, we all know that there are those times when your room needs a little sound management, as I like to call it. For that reason I have found some awesome and fun websites to help with controlling the noise level in your classroom. Check them out below!

This website has colorful balls that bounce according to the noise level in your room. The louder your students, the more bouncy the balls. (Fun part: You can also change the balls to eyeballs, emojis and bubbles!)

Not as exciting as the Bouncy Balls, but a cool monitor that goes from green to red when the noise level gets too loud in your room. This would be good for a small amount of noise to instruct the students to keep their level in the yellow area for group work.

This one isn't a noise monitor as much as a noise controller. You click on the light that you want the kids to work at. For example, no talking would be red. It's a visual reminder on the board for the students to keep their noise level under control.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Here we are in January! Can you believe it! Though I'm sad to see all of the holiday celebrations end, I am super excited about the cold weather that is to come in the next couple of months! Since I live in good 'ole North Carolina...we don't see much of the white stuff around here. However, that's not going to keep me down! We make our own using an awesome website called Make a Flake!

It is a wonderful tool that can be used with students of all ages. I use it with my younger students to practice mouse control and with my older ones to work on geometric shapes. This week one of my classes is creating their own snowflakes and then writing descriptive sentences about them. We are going to upload pictures of our snowflakes to a Voicethread and record ourselves reading our descriptive sentences. Grab this quick and simple freebie for a place for you kiddos to write about their own snowflake!

Need a little inspiration? Check out their AMAZING gallery of snowflakes made by others!

Who says it can't snow in the south? You just have to get a little creative!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's a Mario Party!

Do you remember those old Nintendo know the ones you had to blow on before they would work? Well in the lab this week we discussed old school 8-bit graphics (complete with Mario Bros music as we walked in.) We talked about the old Nintendo games and how the graphics in video games had progressed since then. We then used Google Sheets ('cause y'all know I'm a Google Girl!) to create our own inspired 8-bit Christmas graphics. They were AWESOME! The kids were amazed when they realized they were also practicing math skills. (It's all in my master plan...queue evil laugh!) Well from there we took it even farther...

The kids shared their graphics and coordinates, which they typed into a Google Doc, with one another in a huge spreadsheet so they could try out one another's designs. Check out their graphics below and see if you can make your own!

How could you use Google Sheets in your classroom other than just for calculating numbers? A map? A building? Share you ideas!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teach Your Kids to Code!

Ok, so I am a little embarrassed to admit that I know very little about computer programming and coding. Therefore, when it came to teaching my students how to do it, I wasn't very useful. That all changed when I was introduced to the Hour of Code! The Hour of Code is a movement sweeping across the nation that provides step by step tutorials on how to code and program for anyone between the ages of 4 and 104! Students across the world are learning how to write programs by simply clicking and dragging! Best of all, Hour of Code incorporates all of their favorite characters like Angry Birds, Frozen, and this year they introduced Star Wars and MINECRAFT tutorials! My students were ecstatic! The tutorials start with the basics and move up to the more difficult which includes typing the actual javascript to create the program. We discuss what computer programming is and why it is important to learn how to write codes. My students love being able to teach each other and help one another (including their teacher) work their way through the code. This week is when we celebrate the Hour of Code! Check out the awesome video below to learn more and then visit to learn more about starting to code in your classroom!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Connecting Your Students Globally

Students learning from Steve from South Africa
I believe that one of the biggest impacts we can have on our students today is to expose them to the world around them. Especially if you are from a small, rural community like I teach in. I love to connect my students with teachers and students from other countries. They jump at the chance to learn about other cultures...what they eat, the languages they speak, what their schools are like...and I love to see the excitement in their faces as they learn.

Doing a Mystery Skype with Govinda from Nepal
My third graders are studying cultures and comparing and contrasting them to our American culture. I'm a hands on kind of teacher, so, of course, we couldn't simply learn about cultures through books and the, we had to talk to someone from that culture first hand! This week I am connecting each of my third grade classes with teachers from around the globe using Skype and Google Hangouts!

These are staples in my classroom! Skype and Google Hangout are tools that we use constantly to learn and share! How are you using them in your classroom?

Friday, May 2, 2014

My New Favorite Site!!!

Ok, so y'all know I am always looking for new, fun websites and tools to get my kiddos interested in learning! Well, I have found my new favorite thanks to Shannon Miller, an AMAZING educator who I found on Instagram! (If you haven't heard of her, make sure you go check out the wonderful things that she is doing in education!) Shannon introduced me to PebbleGo, an emergent reader and research site. I have one word...."WOW!" I mean this site is what I have been looking for! It is filled with nonfiction articles on anything you could imagine! The articles include read aloud capabilities, as well as sounds, videos, corresponding printouts, and games! It works wonders for my researchers who have a little bit of trouble reading those more difficult sites. I introduced this site to my K-3 teachers and students and they instantly fell in love! There is also a mobile-ready PebbleGo in the works, which would be great for the 1:1 classrooms! Now, you know how I am about my tech tools....I like FREE. However, when it comes to a site that my kids and teachers LOVE and get a lot out of, I am willing to pay. This tool is one that you will have to pay for, but it really isn't too expensive and I think that it is totally worth it! Make sure you go check it out today and get yourself a free trial! You'll get hooked!