Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Technology and Blooms Taxonomy - Animoto

Hey all... I know I haven't posted here in over a year... it's been one busy year.  I moved from NC to Maine.  Now that I have my first year of teaching in Maine under my belt I feel like I can get back into a few things and be more organized!

Currently, this week I am teaching teachers at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Maine.  I am an alumni of the school and wanted to be a part of the wonderful educators camp the school has set up.  I am teaching a course about technology and Blooms Taxonomy and wanted to share some of that here for the blogging world and as a resources for my "campers." 

On the first day we did introductions with Animoto.  For those of you who are not familiar with this site it is a place where you can make 30 second videos for free.  You can also check out the paid version as well.  I think it would be worth it to sign up and make some neat, longer videos. 

We did our introductions this way.  Everyone signed in to create a account.  Click on "Sign up" in the right hand corner and follow the prompts.  Once you have an account it will ask help you through making your first video.  It will ask you to choose a template... when you click on the template it may say you have to pay, however if you look right under the spot it says you have to pay, it says or create a 30 second video.  Click here and you can get started creating!

A couple things you need to know to navigate through Animoto
1. You will see a box with a plus sign - this is how you had slides.  If you click on the plus sign you will get to icons.  The one on the left is to add videos and pictures and the one on the right is to add text.  When you click on these it will give you many options for upload pictures, or you can even add generic pictures.

2. Right above the box with the plus sign is a music note.  If you click on the music note you also have an array of options to choose from to add different music.

3. You can preview your video at any time by clicking the button on the left that says "Preview Video."

4. If you are ready to "produce" your video you are also going to click "Preview video," then type in a name for it in the new screen and hit "skip and produce."

Our intro's came out so good!  I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of family members and pets in our classroom.  Here is my intro video that I showed our class.

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

Once you've had a chance to practice making your own videos checkout how many great things you could do in the classroom with Animoto.

Hope this was helpful to all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Narrative Writing Diamond Freebie

I have been teaching my students to write narratives. Wow! They have some great imaginations. It just takes a little bit to shape their great ideas into stories. So far we've worked on Entertaining Beginnings and Elaborative Details.

I have two resources that I'm currently using to help me with this process:

1. The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever, By Barbara Mariconda. This book goes step by step through the writing diamond and has helped me to get great products out of my students.

2. Empowering Writers Website is an awesome resource too. Here they have a whole narrative writing program you can buy... it is pricey for just one teacher - if you're school is willing to purchase it, it might be worth looking into. However, there are many great resources at the website that you can use that you do not have to pay for.

Here is a link to my TpT store for a freebie. I have typed up the writing diamond so you can put it together on a poster board. Check out mine below:

Good luck putting yours together!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finally less overwhelmed!!

Okay so I was post like mad all these great ideas before school started.  I was very excited about the new school year.  What I wasn't telling you was that I had also applied for several jobs from my original home in Maine, that is 1,000 miles from Maine.  School started in North Carolina on the 17th for teachers workshop days.  I found out on the 16th that I got a position in Maine.  So, anyways... I packed up all of my things on the 17th, we pack our apartment that weekend and left on Monday to get there on Wednesday... Thursday the 23rd I had teacher meeting for South Portland, Maine all day.  So, needless to say it has been one heck of an adventure.  And to make it even more crazier I signed up for a certificate program (literacy). 

So, after the first few weeks of tears everyday, I am finally settling in.  I am glad to be so much closer to my families, although it is SO cold here! 

I am still teaching fifth grade, just in Maine.  There are somethings the same... but so much is different.  My classroom is smaller and I only have 15 student which is exciting!  Here are my before and after pictures of my classroom.
 boxes and all....
 beautiful windows and a great smart board!
 And here are the after pictures... don't mind the chairs up.
 Daily 5 boards and math board... everything has to be smaller because I have no wall space.

 Here are those R.E.A.D. pillows that I made for my other classroom.  The kids like to arrange the stuffed animals around them.
 And here is the part that is a mess... this is my "desk area."
Talk to you soon!  I hope all of your lives are a little less crazy than mine!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

1,000 dollars for my Classroom

Okay friends I need your help!
PLEASE go on the website below and vote for my student from Dyer Elementary (Mrs. Karod) to win the poster contest. If she wins, our classroom gets $1,000. This would be really neat! Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Check out these pillows I made! (Ignore my paint job- I have to do some touch up - before school starts!)
I recently (April) got a new cricut and haven't had the opportunity to use it!  I decided that I'd try it out and was inspired by these two pins on pinterest:
READ pillows. Disney Family Fun READ pillows Apartment Therapy

So... I used my cricut to cut out my letters and then appliqued them onto the fabric.  Then I turned those squares into pillows.  I'm not going to give you a step by step tutorial but I do have few tips.

1. If you are like me, and you have seen applique and kinda know how to do it (but not really) look it up on You Tube!  Search applique and watch a few videos this will give you exactly what you need - even if you're not an expert!

2. Try out your zig-zag stitch with a few different sizes first.  This way you'll know exactly what you want before you start.

3. Stabilize! I can always remember my mom sewing with adding tape under her projects - I always wondered why? Now I know!  If you put paper under the project it will hold the stitches so they don't pull your fabric and it will look so much better.  Not to mention it's also easier to sew it.  The needle will poke so many holes in the paper you'll be able to pull the paper away afterward.  (For some reason I felt the need to keep with my color theme and use a sheet of green paper)

 4. Have fun!  I love the way these came out and I hope my kids will too!

Here is a sneak peek of my room so far.  As you can see I don't even have anything on my bulletin boards and nothing on my shelves... but I still have two weeks!  Thank goodness!  I am also working on some common core goodies for fifth grade that I will put in TpT store!
Hope everyone is enjoying those last minutes of summer!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Colorful 3D Bulletin Border

Here is coat #4 and finally it is looking like it should.  I also spray painted my baskets, which were many different colors.  This was a much cheaper way to get a new color scheme.  These are the eight that I have done.  I can't wait to start putting my books in them and put my shelf back where it belongs. 

Now onto the fun stuff! Over at Peace Love And First Grade I found the beautiful "scrunchy" border. Here is what Laura's looks like:

She used long strips of paper - you can find directions at the link above.
Our paper supply at school is out (not sure if they'll be replacing it) and I still wanted to do this. So I got crepe paper.  I started out using a single roll - but this didn't work out so well.  So I did two rolls side by side and it seemed to work out well! Here are my results:

This is the first side - you can see how I have the two rolls side by side.

This is the corner - the hardest part!

Then, here is my final result. Yea, I'm so proud.  Thanks Laura for the great idea!!!

Here is another great idea I found from pinterest that helped me with my bulletin boards.
I used green colored staples with the green crate paper and blue staples on the paper.  They are hidden so well, and so easy to make.  All you have to do is color them with a permanent marker.

What kind of fun, out of the box, borders or bulletin board have you created?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Two awards! Yeah!

Jen at teaching, life, and everything in between has awarded me two awards...

Thanks Jen!  These are my very first woo hoo!!

Here are the rules for the 'One Lovely Blog Award':
1. Follow the person who gave you the award.
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
3. Share the love! Pass the award onto 15 new bloggers!

Rules for "The Versatile Blogger" Award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

7 Random Facts about myself:
1.  My middle name is Wynter (yes with a y).
2. I love to dance when no one is looking!
3. I am originally from Maine.
4. I like to fold laundry.
5. My favorite color is blue - when I was a teen I even dyed my hair blue.
6. I have a pug named Milo.
7. I am right handed.

Here's the 15 blogs I'm nominating for both awards...