Thursday, March 20, 2014

#CUE14 Palm Springs

I'm heading off to CUE (Computer Using Educators) conference in Palm Springs this morning at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  I'm like a kid on Christmas morning giddy with anticipation of what I will have the opportunity to learn about today from the variety of sessions I've chosen.  My SCHED is overloaded with multiple sessions during the same time frame and I'm worried I'm going to miss something awesome.  

I'm so happy that I've recently began to reTweet and found amazing resources through #CAedchat.  The Collaborative Google Docs and CUE Daily Folders to add resources from the different sessions and the unofficial meet ups have me chomping at the bit to head out the door this morning.  

Feeling lucky to be a local and having this opportunity for Professional Development and Networking in my own backyard.  I'll be posting about my experience throughout the next 4 days, as I take the next 3 at CUE and the 4th at West Coast Google Summit.  #Edtech Happy Dance at #Cue14!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Big Universe Learning

I found this awesome website after spending countless hours (well maybe days) scouring the Internet for new ideas this summer. I was pleasantly surprised with what this company offers. After requesting a trial, I was contacted by Cathy Q to see how they cold meet my needs. Initially, I wanted to just test it out. however, it soon became clear that this program would be beneficial in my classroom. After several phone tag events and e-mails back and forth I was offered an opportunity to pilot this program with my kiddos this year.

 I will be blogging about this program and how it's working in my classroom. I'm also going to have guest blogs from my students, so they can share with you their TRUE feelings on how this program helps them succeed in their academics. Check back frequently to see how this program could benefit you , your school, and quite possibly your district. Happy Reading!🍎

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School Night!

Gotta love the excitement that comes with the first days of school! Spending the summer with my kiddos at home is always great, but by the end I'm ready to send them on their way. At that point I'm anticipating all of the NEW things I've spent the summer pinning on Pinterest. I've never really been good at creating things from scratch, so Pinterest has made my life easier. I appear creative with my teaching, but its more of a reinvention of others' FABULOUS ideas.

Back to School Night is filled with everything that I would want for my own kiddos in their classrooms. This year I'll be looping with my 3rd Graders, so I'll be transitioning this blog to 4th grade. Please be patient with me, as I'm not 100% sure how to do it yet.

The first week of school is in the books and with it my energy. I joined the PTO this year as the secretary, but it feels like soooo much more. Don't get me wrong. I love to help, but there's only so much time in the day. My family comes first and then my job, followed by the additional duties of PTO.
This week was filled with events that included 3 back to School Night Celebrations. 

Most of my students are from last year, but I do have a few new ones. With that said I was unsure if my same presentation would wow them and if the parents would show up. I was pleasantly surprised to see the majority of my parents attend. I could feel the love. 

By Friday at 2:20 The kids were out the door and I was happy to go home and put my feet up for a relaxing couple of days. my goal is to update my blog, twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, and instagram accounts. As well as a head start on lesson planning.

Hoping to be ready for what next week brings come Monday. I'll keep you all posted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!

This is my family's all time favorite dessert.  It is the dish that brings back all my childhood memories and was the first thing I incorporated into my family's traditions when I got married and had children. Once you try this, it will become a favorite for you too!   Yum!  My mouth is already watering.  I'm serving up some flapper pie for Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Happy turkey day to everyone!

2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter (real butter, no margarine)
1 tbsp brown sugar

2 large and 1 small package vanilla pudding (cooked – not instant)
Evaporated milk
Whipped Cream
graham cracker crumbs for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Melt the butter and mix together with the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Press down into a 9 X 13 baking dish an cook in the oven for about 10 minutes or until slightly browned and set aside.  Cook pudding mixes as per package except use a half and half mix of evaporated milk and regular milk.  Make sure you do not overcook the pudding and constantly stir the pudding while cooking until thickened. Pour cooked pudding over your previously cooked crust, cool completely in the refrigerator until set, cover with a good layer of cool whip and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.  Place back in the refrigerator until ready to slice and serve.

Secret Tip:  The evaporated milk and regular milk combination in the pudding make this pie delicious.  Real butter in the graham cracker crust make this a butter delight.  Make sure the pie is completely cooled and before adding the cool whip. 


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reading Kingdom Review

READING KINGDOM is a fully online individualized, adaptive reading and writing program for children.  It’s an online program that is kid friendly.

Initially, I was very excited to try Reading Kingdom.  I’ve tried various other online programs and have had my children test them out to get their honest feedback.  I chose to review this program myself and found that the pace of the program is quite slow.  It didn’t keep my interest.  The program has incredible graphics and cute characters, it appears to be geared for a younger audience. 

This program has the capability of working with either touchscreen or a keyboard.  I used my laptop keyboard and I felt like this may have caused a disadvantage.  If geared for younger kiddos they would have difficulty with finding the appropriate keys to enter in the given time.

After the assessment was completed, I(as the user) began using some of the program lessons.  The lessons were quite redundant, but this would help those who are at a very beginning level of reading.  For kids that are learning the basics, this program is great. 

Skills Survey-Part 1 determines the appropriate level for the user to begin the program.  In Skills Survey –Part2 the program determines their reading and writing skills.  If the user needs help with visual sequencing and memory skills and/or letter and keyboarding skills the program will guide them through lessons that are geared at improving these skills.  Additionally, the program offers  lessons on reading, writing, and comprehension that begins with basic words and phrases and builds into more complex language.

The program has cute graphics, interactive capabilities, and is engaging for younger children.  Basic reading skills are incorporated into a game style format.  This program would make a great supplemental program for beginning readers, English Language Learners, or for struggling readers.  There’s an option to view reports that helps parents to know if their child’s making progress.  Reading Kingdom offers a free 30-day trial, so you can check it out before you buy.  There are discounts for multiple users.

The initial assessment for the program was lengthy and quite slow.  The lessons follow the same slow pace.  I'm not sure that this program would be a good fit for 8-10 year olds, with regards to matching interests.  This program is costly, at $199 a year or $19.99 per month.

Overall, I thought this program offers a great opportunity for struggling or beginning readers. I’m not sure that the graphics or rate of interaction within the games would keep the interest of children past the age of 6.  Completion of the programs components can take more than a year or as little as 3 months. I recommend beginning with the free trial, you will know if the program is beneficial to continue.

Disclaimer:  As a member of Groovyin3rd, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

September Currently Blog Hop

Where has the time gone?  Wow!  It seems like yesterday that I was learning how to do my 1st Currently in August.  I am excited to have completed my 1st week back to school and to be done with Back to School Night.  Planning for that has always been just as nerve wracking, as it is exciting.  I have a wonderful group of kiddos this year and I'm looking forward to all of the great adventure that are ahead.  Below is my September Currently hosted by Farely at Oh' Boy 4th Grade. Hop on over and link up.

My favorite way to start the day is not so healthy, but oh so delicious!!! Vanilla Flavor Coffee Mate in my Donut House Coffee made in my Keurig.  Love, love, LOVE!

I began my summer vacation with the goal of getting into the best shape of my life.  My 39th Birthday is fast approaching in October and I want to spend the last year in my thirties looking my best.  Hoping that will also be the kickstart to entering my 40's.  Beginning with the INSANITY routine for 63 days I felt very alive and progress to a healthy lifestyle is upon me.  After completion I decided to take a break from the high intensity workouts with Shawn T and hop on over to Tony Horton with P90x.  Hoping to switch it up and confuse my body for progress.  I'm loving it so far!  I plan on another round of Insanity starting in October.  Until then P90x is my friend at least 5 times a week.  

I love to plan dinners on my days off from school/work.  With 4 kids and my spouse who are picky(only like typical plain food options), it can be difficult to make something that satisfies their palate and meets mine.  A taco salad below makes taco Tuesday interesting.  Not sure what tonight brings, but the fridge is telling me that it has to be either ribs or something involving hamburger.  ???? I'd love see someone host a quick bites for working moms blog hop?  Maybe that's my calling :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back to School Next Week

Oh My!  Where did the Summer go?  I've been "planning" for the new year all summer and can't believe its here.  I tried to get in and set up my room, but the carpets haven't been cleaned yet.  Really?  I mean they've only had the entire summer.  So instead I put up a couple new Bulletin Boards and used some cool new packing tape to split up my white boards.  I'll post some pictures soon.  In the meantime,  I just wanted to make sure you all didn't think I'd started this blog only to disappear.  I'll be back :)  For those who are already in session good luck for this next school year.  I hope it runs smoothly and everyone has the best group of kiddos ever! 
I'll write again soon!