Getting Started with TeachersPayTeachers Summer Seminar

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Have you been wondering how to get started with designing curriculum and selling it through Teachers Pay Teachers but not exactly sure what's involved or the best way to do it? Carla from Comprehension Connection and I are offering a Saturday seminar this June to help you get started the right way. We will be sharing with you design tips for formatting, how to secure your files, how to create product descriptions that will highlight your hardwork, social media and blogging tips, how to collaborate with other TpTers, and answer any of your questions!

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? We hope the answer is an enthusiastic, "Yes!"

Saturday, June 18th
Hanover, Virginia
Randolph-Macon College
$65 per person

What you will need:
  • a laptop with PowerPoint installed
  • (Optional) Adobe Acrobat Pro which is used to secure your files

We will provide you with a link to our digital Seller's Guidebook for Creating, Securing, Promoting and Selling Teaching Curriculum. This is going to be a very interactive session using your laptop so you will learn how to create and post a product from start to finish!

Also, there will be...

Glitter Words

Here is a map of Randolph-Macon College (You can click on the corner where it says "Google Slides" and go to File>Print if you would like a print out)

If you are interested in attending, please click the link below to take you to the registration page: Digital Classroom Tool

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Hey everyone! I just posted my last blog post EVERπŸ˜‚ over at the Virginia is for Teachers collaborative blog (since I am moving to Michigan in a few weeks) and I didn't want YOU to miss out on this EASY to use digital tool that your students will absolutely love...

Adults love emojis. Teens love emojis. Kids LOVE emojis! Emojis are everywhere, not just in our text messages.

Commercials are emoji-ing....

Richmond's local news channel has an weather emojicast...

Not only are emojis are in the media, they are also a commercial draw for our kiddos:

Therefore, let's immerse our emoji pop culture into our classrooms!

I have one E-A-S-Y to use techie tool for you that you can use in your classroom in a variety of ways. 
Learn how to use the digital tool,, in your classroom for academic purposes.

This tool is called Basically, it is an emoji whiteboard. You can create ANYTHING with the emojis that pop up when you launch the website. Kids GASP with excitement when
Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.
pops up on the screen. I actually get giddy every time I show a child/adult this website. Yep, I finally feel C😎😎L.

To use, all you have to do it go to the website and click on any emoji. The screen will go white and this will be your work board. 

Move the toggle in the lower right hand corner to change the size of your emoji:

If you want to add a different emoji to your work board, simply press the space bar.

When you are finished with your creation, click the "Save Image" button in the lower left hand corner:

The "Save Image" button doesn't actually save your creation to your desktop. From here you either have to drag and drop your creation to your desktop (it will save as a png image!) or take a screenshot.

The website does work on tablets; however, I find it a little more difficult when you want to change emojis. It also doesn't save to the Camera Roll. You would need to take a screenshot.

Here are 12 ways you could use this web-tool ACADEMICALLY to hit those Standards of Learning:

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.
Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.
Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Check out these ACADEMIC ways you can use the digital tool,, in the classroom.

Can you think of any other ways we could use this in our classrooms? If so, leave your idea in the comments below!


Need MORE? Check out my emoji products on TpT:

Create Your Own Emoji Project in Google Slides: Emojis in the Classroom

Create Your Own Emoji Project: Emojis in the Classroom

Create pictographs in Google Slides: Emojis in the Classroom
This is also available in PowerPoint

Create line plots in Google Slides: Emojis in the Classroom
This is also available in PowerPoint

Erintegration also has some fabulous emoji products for iPads in her store. Click {HERE}.

Technology Activities for Author's Purpose

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Yesterday I had a blast hanging out with one of my 3rd grade teachers and her students. We used the iPads for an author's purpose lesson. The teacher and I collaborated with the school librarian who graciously hosted us in the library and helped pull persuasive books ahead of time.

Technology activities for teaching author's purpose

For our activity students scanned a QR code that took them to THIS pie template I created and dropped in Google Drive. They saved it to their camera roll and imported it as a background in PicCollage. Next, students added their name to the bottom right corner of their screen. If I were to do this lesson again, I would have them add their name to the bottom LEFT. The PicCollage watermark covered up their name once they saved. Then the fun and thinking began!


Students went on a picture hunt as they walked around to the different parts of the library to take pictures of different books/sources that were examples of persuading, informing and entertaining.

We showed them how to use the editing tool within PicCollage to cut out the extra space around the books. Once the image was edited, students simply pinched their pictures and added them to the correct piece of PIE.     Persuasive books are very challenging for students (it was hard for me too!) to pick out among the hundreds of books in the library. It helped tremendously that the librarian had pulled a few and set them out on a table.

The students found themselves walking to the nonfiction side of the library to take pictures of books that INFORM.    

Books that ENTERTAIN were all over the place! Once students had decorated their pie, they saved their work and submitted it to The Work Collector. Check out their PIE Posters:


At the end of the lesson the teacher mentioned that even the younger grade levels could do a similar activity but sort books by fiction vs. nonfiction. I LOVE this idea! Students could draw a T-Chart and label it in Doodle Buddy, save and pull it in as a background in PicCollage!
No problem! Check out a similar activity I have in my TpT store that you can use with Google Slides. Students use the Google search feature to find texts to decorate their PIE instead of going on a picture hunt.
Use Google Slides to make a digital PIE poster to practice author's purpose
Here is an author's purpose jeopardy game that I stumbled upon when searching the Internet. This would be fun to do as whole class review or set up as a center! You can choose how many teams play:
Author's purpose jeopardy game

Questions AND answers are all ready to go! Click either image to take you to this game.
Students would really enjoy this 15 question Fling the Teacher game:
Author's Purpose digital game

PowerPoint Maniac has a cute and FREE author's purpose PowerPoint game you can download from TpT:
Glitter in Third has digital graphic organizers that can be completed in Google Slides:
What sort of activities do YOU use in your classroom to reinforce author's purpose?

Probability iPad Activity

Monday, April 11, 2016

Are you teaching or getting ready to teach a unit on probability? Then THIS techie lesson will get your kiddos thinking about and working with the terms associated with probability.

Right before Spring Break I worked with some 3rd grade teachers at one of my elementary schools to introduce the basics of probability. We kicked off the lesson by giving every student an iPad to use with this Nearpod presentation I made below (you can use Nearpod with any device that has internet access):


After we launched the Nearpod presentation, the students opened the Nearpod app and entered the lesson code as well as their first name. Nearpod allows the teacher to control whatever the students see on their screen. It is truly a brilliant program! We used the FREE version of Nearpod for this lesson but Nearpod also comes with a paid subscription that has some pretty amazing features. Students viewed slides that we talked about and also interacted with the content by typing text, drawing, answering questions, etc.. It was a great introduction to probability terms such as likely, unlikely, certain, impossible, possible....

If you have a Nearpod account set up and are interested in using this presentation, sign into your account and then click on {THIS} link. The presentation will be sent directly to your library!

Next, we got the kids creating on their iPads using Comemories and the free app, Doodle Buddy.

Probability iPad Activity: Using Comemories and Doodle Buddy, students will create an image that matches a probability sentence.

Probability Templates QR Code
Students really put their knowledge of probability to the test! They scanned a QR code that took them to {THIS} Comemories site that was preloaded with different probability templates I had created. Students chose their favorite colored background and saved the template to the camera roll. Next, we launched the app, Doodle Buddy, and brought the template in as the background. Students read the sentence at the top of their template and had to make a picture representation to match the probability description using the stamps. This was a lot harder for them than it looked. Afterwards, students used the pencil tool to write their name at the top. Students submitted their work to my Work Collector and we were able to quickly project their creations on the board for everyone to read and decide if the sentence matched what was represented in the stamps they chose to use. We had some really good conversations about some of the pictures and students seemed to walk away with a better understanding of probability! Here are a few of their images that MATCH their probability description.

I hope you can use this lesson with your students!

Autism Awareness Mini Lesson

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Autism Awareness Month Mini Lesson
April is Autism Awareness month! I had the honor of observing Deanna Pollard, Mehfoud Elementary's OUTSTANDING librarian, who has been teaching all of the children at Mehfoud about autism. This subject can be very tricky to discuss with little ones but her mini lesson was absolutely fabulous. I loved how she approached the topic, shared movie clips, talked about tablets being an avenue for nonverbal children to communicate and wrapped up the lesson by having the students complete an exit TWEET. I learned that in 2015 Sesame Street introduced a new character who has autism, Julia. Where have IIII been the past year??? There are a ton of awesome videos that teach others about the challenges people with autism face on a daily basis. Deanna showed the kids two of those videos. 

Autism Awareness from Julie on Vimeo.

If you are interested in carrying out a similar lesson, here are the resources Deanna used.

First video that was shown about Julia:

Second video that was shown about Thomas:

The book that was displayed next to the questions can:

 HERE is the resource Deanna used that contain the ribbon practice pages. The coloring page appears broken up on two different pages. Deanna had to print, tape together and then shrink to fit on a 8.5x11 sheet of paper. The math puzzle pieces sheet is normal size :)

 You can grab these FREE Tweet Exit Cards from Wind Up Teacher's TpT Store by clicking the image below:

  Exit Tweet: An alternative to exit cards! FREE

How do you approach Autism Awareness month?

Shoulder Buddies in the Classroom: GIVEAWAY

Monday, April 4, 2016

Is Spring Break O-V-E-R for you? It is for me! Back to teaching those kiddos and keeping them engaged. It is that time of year where you are down to the wire teaching all of the concepts you haven't gotten to (thank you snow, lack of time, remediation, assemblies, and the list goes on....) AND trying to review all that you can before those state tests come along. EVERY MINUTE COUNTS.

Therefore, we don't have time to stop and deal with misbehaviors. However, when you have a room full of 20+ bodies all under the age of 10, something is bound to come up each and every day. To help alleviate those behavior blues, take control and invest in a SHOULDER BUDDY.

Use Shoulder Buddies for positive reinforcement in your classroom!

Kids LOVE shoulder buddies. I remember the first time I saw one in a Hallmark shop about 5 years ago. I was giddy and instantly purchased one for my classroom. My new purchase became a magical element to my classroom management. I would start the day with our shoulder buddy on my shoulder and he would "look" for an outstanding citizen he wanted to sit on. I would quickly make the announcement and then place our Shoulder Buddy on that student's shoulder. The STUDENT would now be responsible to look for another student who was doing an outstanding job. The kids would get SO into it. You do have to establish ground rules for your classroom Shoulder Buddy (just like Elf on the Shelf). For instance:
  • Shoulder Buddy doesn't sit longer than an hour  or two but also doesn't hop around every 10 minutes
  • Shoulder Buddy doesn't leave the classroom (so he doesn't fall into the toilet, someone's lunch, become abandoned on the playground, get tromped on at PE, etc.)
  • Shoulder Buddy doesn't always go to "our best friend"
  • Shoulder Buddy likes to change up where he sits (not just on BOYS shoulders)
  • No one touches Shoulder Buddy when he is sitting on someone's shoulder
Since our shoulder buddy didn't like to "sit" for more than an hour, he would "whisper" into the ear of whoever he was sitting on the name of the person he wanted to visit and the reason why he wanted to visit them. It.was.magic. This made the children aware of when others were being good citizens and EVERYONE wanted to "spread the love". What happened was it eliminated the overwhelming "authority" of me, the teacher, and helped the students become more accountable. Those students who once acted out to get any kind of attention (negative or positive) were now overly "good" because they were seeking the attention of their classmates to "send" them our shoulder buddy. Yes, it did become obnoxious when someone would yell "thank you sweet friend" from the top of their lungs so shoulder buddy across the room would hear them during reading centers, but that was a lot better than some things they would yell before Should Buddy was in the picture...

When I introduced Shoulder Buddy I would always hold a writing competition. My students would have to write a persuasive paragraph about what our Shoulder Buddy's name should be and WHY. The class would read through each paragraph and vote on their favorite. If I had a class of my own today, I would use Dotstorming to create a digital collaborative board for students to type their ideas. Dotstorming allows users to VOTE on their favorite ideas. This would be a quick and easy way to decide on a name!

Use Dotstorming for students to submit and vote on their favorite ideas!
Example of a Dotstorming Board and votes

A few months ago I stumbled upon a TECHIE shoulder buddy so I started bringing Mr. T around with me as I visited classrooms. Everyone wants Mr. T to sit on their shoulder. All Most eyes are on me at all times and all most ears are always listening. It's a beautiful thing.

Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post to WIN "Digit" a MATH themed Shoulder Buddy!

You can buy your very own by clicking one of the links below. There are many different kinds of shoulder buddies. If the novelty starts to wear off after a few months, buy a new one. Period. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 MUST Have Math Apps for Every K-5 Classroom

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

5 Must Have Math Apps for every K-5 Classroom

Hey everyone! Today I blogged over at Classroom Tested Resources about 5 MUST have MATH apps that every K-5 classroom needs. Check it out {HERE}.