Monday, November 19, 2012

App Page On My Blog

Hello Everyone!

Well, it has been a while since I have posted.  I will be adding to my App Page because that is where I am spending a lot of my time recently!

Please take some time to check it out!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


By I.C. Springman
Illustrated by Brian Lies

I could not wait till I got home today from school to rip open the box from Amazon.  I was tracking this box since yesterday and I placed the order well over a month ago!

You are probably wonderful how a picture book can bring so much excitement to an adult.  Well, I want to let you know all about it!

I have always been a huge fan of Brian Lies.  He is a wonderful author and an incredible illustrator.  Brian Lies wrote and illustrated books such as Bats in the Library, Bats at the BeachBats at the Ballgame,  along with many others.  

While in grad school I was taking a children's literature class and had to write and present about my favorite author.  Hands down I knew who I was going to write about and was actually looking forward to this assignment.  I thought it would be fun to write to Brian and ask him if I could interview him.  I did not expect to get an answer but within a day I heard back from Brian saying he would be happy to help me out!  (I admit, I screamed with excitement, glad no one was around).  At the time he was illustrating Bats at the Ballgame so it was easier to communicate through email. He was so kind and answered all my questions.  It was an incredible experience and to this day I give Brian Lies the credit for the A in that class. 

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that he was illustrating a new book.  More is a beautifully illustrated book and the words are simple but powerful.  The combination of the two truly makes an incredible book.  Immediately, I thought about how this book will be fabulous to use in the classroom.  The story teaches a lesson (you will have to read the book), plus I can see how the students and I can spend a lot of time talking about the pictures and what they see.

Another inspirational book to add to my library!  Thanks I.C Springman and Brian Lies for a fantastic book!

Check out Brian Lies website
You can get lesson ideas, learn more about Brian Lies, or see his sensational illustrations. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

While on Pinterest, I came across 30 Dr. Seuss Quotes to Live By.  When I went to the link, there was a link to embed this on your website or blog.  How could I not!  I thought it was great to put in a classroom as a reminder of how children's books can teach us throughout our lives!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Have you been to Berenstain Bear Country?

I was very sad today when I heard of the death of Jan Berenstain. Jan along with her husband Stan created an amazing set of books that will always teach children great lessons.  They wrote and illustrated over 300 books.  After Stan’s death in 2005, Mike, their son, helped Jan to continue creating wonderful books.  With Jan’s death today, I hope that Mike will continue the legacy that his parents started in the 1960s.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many books I “wore” out from reading them over and over again.  As a teacher, I absolutely LOVED reading these books to my students.  I always enjoyed telling my student how the Berenstain family were born, raised, and lived in Pennsylvania.  The students always thought that was amazing to think that the “Berenstain Bears lived in our state”.  These books were not only entertaining but they taught the students many lessons.

The Berenstain Bears has a fabulous site, check it out!

Please share your favorite Berenstain Bear book below…

Sunday, February 26, 2012

PETE&C Pre-Conference Day of Discovery!

Wow!  What a wonderful day of Discovery!  I look forward to Discovery Education offering a wonderful pre-conference day at Pete & C each year.  I have never attended Pete & C but after this year I decided I am not missing it next year!

The opening presentation was a collaboration demonstration by Hall Davison, Lance Rougeux, and Steve Dembo.  They talked about how we need to look at the 22nd Century because many schools are surpassing the 21st Century.   One great app they talked about was “Life of George” created by Legos.  It’s an amazing app and you will want to check out for your classroom!  I left their presentation excited about the rest of the day!

The first session I attended was the Collective Brain given by Lance Rougeux.  He showed us many fabulous websites that would be a wonderful resource in our classroom, such as  (Amazon’s Product Visualization) and, which asks a question a day.  Great ideas!

The second session was iThink iNeed iPads in my Classroom presented by Steve Dembo.  Steve showed us many amazing apps along with Apple TV.  He showed us how beneficial it was to have Apple TV in our classroom if you are using iPads.  It was amazing to show our favorite apps by displaying our iPad on the screen.

After lunch there was a DEN Star Showcase. I had the great privilege to share Web 2.0 Tools, which I love.  It was called Beyond the Classroom Walls.  I met so many wonderful people and had the opportunity to share all the wonderful things that are taking place in my school.

My final session of the day was learning about Scratch. Scratch is a great downloadable package to teach programing.   I remember programming years ago and it seem like you wrote a hundred lines to have Hello come up on your screen.  I am so excited that teachers are still teaching it because I think it is important that students understand have programs work.

Once again, it was a fun-filled and educational day.  Reed Timmer, Discovery Education Meteorologist, made a guest appearance today! WOW!  That was awesome!

Overall it was a great day of learning! Can’t wait for the next one!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Can You Help Me?

As ITCs (Instructional Technology Coaches), we wear many hats such as: IT person, Coach, Co-Teacher, etc.  However, the other day, I had to admit I was unsuccessful at my job, or so I thought.  Then, I realized after reflecting on the day, it was success undercover.

A student came into our office during my IT time and asked me if I could help her.  Feeling more confident in my job then I did in September, I knew I could help her.  She told me that her USB flash drive was not working anymore and wanted to know if I could get her files off her flash drive and place it on a new one.  THEN…she handed it to me.

As you can see from the picture, it was not a good situation. Well, as promised, I did try to retrieve the files from the flash drive but I was unsuccessful.  I tried many machines, but not one machine even picked up the fact that I put a USB in the computer. 

But on the other hand, I thought about how impressed I was that the student had that much faith in us that we can fix anything!  So overall it was a success!  If we take time to think about our “unsuccessful moments”, we can find success!  Success is not always completing a task; success can come from the process or from the person who asked you to complete the task!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Students Being Teachers

I was thinking about my blog Thursday and had it planned out in my head….UNTIL…I had such a great co-teaching moment Friday! Our Spanish teacher came to me earlier in the week and told me that the third grade was learning about animals in Spanish and she wanted them to “create” something on the computer. We really didn’t have time to talk about ideas but knew that it would not be a problem.

On Friday, we had both third grades at the same time. Our computer lab does not have enough computers for two classes, however, one class brought their netbooks and they sat at tables in the back of the room.

We decided that using PowerPoint would be the easiest way to create the project. The student had to find a piece of clipart of their animal, write their animal in Spanish, write three sentences about their animals in Spanish, and then they would print their project.

The amazing moment came when the students were showing each other ways to design their PowerPoint by adding a background, changing font, or playing with the picture. It was so much fun to watch the students teach each other. It truly was a moment where the students became the teachers and the teachers were the facilitators. What a wonderful lesson!

Here are some examples of their work:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Amazing Moment

Many times during your teaching experience you have an amazing moment.  A moment that you want to share with everyone and one that you tuck away and recall when the day is not going your way.  Well, last week I had one of those moments.

I was in our Kindergarten where I have a fantastic opportunity to assist the teacher in helping her students develop their computer skills.  Our goal is that the students will be able to turn on the computer, find the correct short-cut which will lead them to a website (ex. Starfall), navigate the site, and then shut down the computer.

Two students came over to the netbook center and sat down very excited to show me how good they were with computers.  They immediately showed me how they could turn on the computer and then log on using the username and password.  Then the both asked me “what site would you like to see?”  I admit, I giggled a little, they were so proud of themselves.  I told them that I would love to see Starfall.  They both clicked on Starfall and they could not wait to tell me all about the site, I was amazed.  After they finished, I asked them if they could turn off the computers since our time was over.  Both of them immediately shut down the computer the correct way and closed them, leaving the area as neat as when they arrived.

I took a picture of each of them and we are going to make a bulletin board in their classroom.  As each student in the class accomplishes this task I will add their picture to the bulletin board.  

I cannot wait to see all of their pictures hanging on the board! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions 2012

Now that we have officially welcomed 2012, it is time to look at my New Year’s Resolutions.

First, I plan on blogging once a week.  Since I starting blogging last year I was not consistent with it, but I will now ( I promise)!

Second, I would like to tweet more regularly.  I love reading and learning from everyone’s tweets but now I would like to contribute as well.

The third and final resolution this year is to increase my professional reading.  During this break I finally started reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this book along with other books on my blog!

Happy New Year Everyone!