Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Liebster Award

Dear blogging friends,
         I apologize for my recent absence as a blogger. I could make a list of excuses for not blogging but I won't because you know them all and could write a list of your own:)! 
                                      Exhausted Teacher

All jokes aside, I was nominated by two lovely ladies (The Babbling Box and This Little Piggy) for the Liebster Blog Award which gave me a perfect opportunity to blog this evening.  A Liebster Blog Award is given by bloggers to new bloggers that have less than 200 followers.  It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs. I am honored to be recognized and love knowing that my blog is helping other teachers :)!

Here are the rules:
- You must post 11 random things about yourself.
- Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.- Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.- Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.- No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!

11 Random Things About Me

1. I love "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and can recite the entire thing.
2. I am allergic to life- no seriously! I have terrible environmental, seasonal and pet allergies and I cannot have gluten or dairy. I have spent a great portion of my adult life being "sick" all attributed to allergies. 
3. I have 2 hypo-allergenic puppies named Lilly and Gremmy. Lily is my favorite flower and the name of my parents bar which they sold to move to VA to be with me and Gremmy because she came second and her name had to end in the "e" sound and she looks like a gremlin.
4. PINK is my favorite color and I prefer to only write in pink BUT beware pink ink does not fax.
5. I cannot will not parallel park my car.
6. I am a princess. Period.
7. OBX is my favorite place in the world although I have traveled to many amazing destinations.
8. I am obsessed with QR Codes. So much so, that my husband tried to propose with a "Will you marry me?" QR Code. Tried because he put it in a small bottle which got washed away while I was watching dolphins at sunrise on the beach. OOOPS! 
9. I am OCD. I think that explains itself. 
10. My husband was my knight in shining armor and I didn't even want to take his number. Luckily he was persistent.
11. I can never stay awake during movies and my favorite movie EVER is Wedding Crashers.

Questions from The Babbling Box:

1. How long have you been blogging?
My first post was July 31st, 2012 so a little under 6 months.

2. Why did you start blogging?
A new teacher at my school told me about her blog and encouraged me to start my own.

3. If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?
I would make a great stay at home wife or full time blogger. BUT seriously I would LOVE to be a stay at home mommy.

4. How long have you been teaching?

This is my 6th year teaching. 5 years as a first grade teacher and 1 year as an instructional technology resource teacher.

5. Pepsi or Coke?
I don't drink pop but I do LOVE Sugar-Free Red Bull or RockStars when I am super sleepy.

6. What is your favorite recipe or thing to cook?
I love cooking Thai food which is something that my husband introduced me to.

7. What is your dream vacation?
I would love to travel to Austrlia or Thailand BUT really if you put me on a beach I am happy.

8. What are your favorite TV Shows?

Right now Sons of Anarchy and The Voice.

9. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I love driving around and looking at Christmas lights.

10. If you could have one superpower what would it be?
My superpower would be to ... hmmm I might be dangerous with a superpower. 

11. What is your most embarrassing moment teaching?


Questions from This Little Piggy:

1. Where is your favorite place you've ever visited? 
OBX is by far my favorite place in the world.

2. Can't live without teacher item? 

My SMART Board or iPad.

3. Favorite holiday tradition? 
Driving around to look at Christmas lights is a tradition I love.

4. Favorite book to read with your students?  
I love reading aloud ANY book to students and I have TOO many favorites. Junie B. always makes me pee my pants laughing. She is such a sassy pants.

5. Why do you blog?  
I hope to help other teachers and it is a great way to keep track of ideas and one day look back on all of my experiences. 

6. Favorite TV show.
I watch way too much TV and trashy TV at that. Bachelor/Bachelorette may be my "all time" favorites.

7. What lead you to decide you wanted to be an educator? 
I wanted to be a teacher since I was in Kindergarten. I was a kid who "did school" and I had an amazing Kindergarten teacher who fostered my love for learning and passion for teaching others. 

8. How did you come up with your blog name? 
I always see "Sent From My iPad" when I send emails and wondered, "Does anyone even notice OR care?" but thought that it would be a perfect name for a blog since I do spend so much time working from my iPad or MacBook Air. BTW I heart Apple products.

9. If you could time travel to any place or time, where would you go?

Thailand or Australia or any beach really :)! I love to travel.

10. You have the chance to appear on your favorite show, currently on air or past, what show would I see you on?

Actualllllly, I have or have never had desire to appear on Bachelor or Bachelorette I just enjoy the drama BUT my real actual life could be made into a TLC Real Life Movie LOL. No, seriously.

11. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I've always wanted to be a teacher or a mommy!

I have nominated the following blogs; 

Wishful Teaching
The First Grade Princess
Young Daze in 5th Grade
Little Miss Organized
Hippo Hooray For Second Grade
Covered in Glitter and Glue
Fun in ECSE
Teach On
The Wild Rumpus
O"FISH"ally a First Grader

Questions for the nominees;

1. How long have you been blogging?
2. Why did you start a blog?
3. How did you come up with your blog name?
4. What is your guilty pleasure?
5. What is your "can't live without" teacher item?
6. Are your a morning person or night owl?
7. What is the funniest thing a kid has ever said in class or that you've overheard?
8. If you had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of ever what would it be?
9. What is your favorite iPad app? OR website? 
10. How long have you been teaching?
11. If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?

Thanks again to The Babbling Box and This LIttle Piggy for nominating my blog :)! 

And, "I am BACK! You Know it." Old School is my second favorite movie and I thought it was a perfect way to end a LONG blog post.

Friday, November 9, 2012


The more I work with middle schoolers the more I fall in love with them. OK, maybe I'm not completely in love with them but I am loving working with them and engaging them with technology!

Last week the 7th grade math teacher came to me with a question which is how every conversation we have begins., "Jones, I have a question." He wanted to visit the lab to use an interactive virtual manipulative site. He showed me the site and we scheduled two days. The whole day I kept thinking, "This site is really valuable but  REALLY? The whole class is going to come and do this at the same time? How will you differentiate? How will you make sure everyone is understanding? Why do I have to be here for this and how is this using my expertise with technology?"

The elementary teacher in me, the collaborator in me, the modeler in me couldn't be a second adult in the room while students used virtual manipulatives to solve equations SO I went to him with a question! I asked if he would be OK with doing "centers" rather than just one activity. He was willing to give it a shot and was open to ideas and that is exactly what we did! I suggested that he work with one group at the SMART Board teaching a new concept (solving an equation with a negative variable), one group work with the virtual manipulatives to reinforce what they had been learning and one group work with me to use the app Show Me (read more here and here) to assess what they had been learning (solving an equation with a variable)!

One thing I adore about elementary students is that they light up when they see you and are just happy to be at school! 7th graders, not so much! As I explained what they were going to do which took maybe 5 minutes tops they sat quietly, yawned and stared off into space. I sat in the hallway with these twelve 7th graders thinking, "It's going to be a L-O-N-G day." I allowed them to pick partners (because I bored them with directions) which I thought would be disastrous and turned them loose.

I have seen technology do this a million times so I should have known better but they blew me away. Each pair got their iPad, stylus and equation and quickly became engrossed in creating a Show Me. When it was time to switch groups they were asking to do another problem, listening to their Show Me, listening to another group's Show Me, trying to figure out how to share their Show Me with their parents, asking if they could download the app at home and they were not moving. Kids that normally "misbehave" I didn't have to speak to once.

Today kids came with their own equations and scripts and wanted to record an extra Show Me.
Several groups asked for "harder" problems. Here are just a few examples.

This child asked to do a second one on his own today. I love his commentary and pronunciation of neg-a-tive so I had to share it.

 Here are two girls who wanted to solve an "extra hard" problem.  

 Love their Show Me Credits haha!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Earlier this year I worked with a group of 4th graders using Google Docs and Kids Zone Create a Graph website to create bar, line and pie graphs on quiz data. I blogged about it over here if you want to read more about what we did! Anyways, on Wednesday the 4th grade team came to me and asked if there was a way for their students to create a podcast of how to make a graph since the whole class did not do this activity! They wanted the small group who originally worked with me to be the teachers for the rest of the class to be able to create their own graph from survey data that they collected! 

Screenr is an free web-based screen recorder! I stumbled on it over the summer but didn't really know how I would use it since I already have Jing for my MacBook that I use at home and SMART Recorder on my PC at school but I filed it away. Since I was looking for something quick and super easy to use screenr immediately came to mind and worked perfect! It required a 5 minute or less intro and students needed very little direction. They were able to create simple screencasts that were easy to save and embed into our website!

Here is one example! I love it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

50 Nifty United States

Happy Election Day!!! I hope you all got out and voted today! 
We stood in line for almost 2 hours to cast our ballot.

As our home is anxiously awaiting election results I saw this comic and couldn't help but crack up! It has been tense watching the results begin to pour and I love the humor and needed a break from the seriousness of this election :)! Besides watching the news we are also stalking 270towin and Election Results (both supposedly bipartisan)! Anyways, I thought this would be a perfect time to blog about learning the 50 states in school. Below are a few of my favorite YouTube videos. 

A first grader at our school sang this at our school talent show last year and I was so impressed!

Did you learn this song when you were growing up? 

5th graders in VA learn the states and capitals and I thought this song was a good hook.

So I have told you how much I heart Chrome and Google Apps but haven't really elaborated on any so I thought tonight I could show you Simple States which is a great app for learning and quizzing the states. It isn't super colorful and it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but it is definitely worth checking out...

I have tons of apps on the iPad to help students learn the states. Here are just a few!

Stack the States- I adore this app and my kids LOVE it too!

iLearn United States- very interactive the kids get really into this app.

US Map Games- You cannot do much without upgrading so this app isn't the best but you can play the puzzle level 1 for free.

This website has TONS of awesome links and all different levels of learning. Here is another fun US Map Quiz.

There are tons of interactive games, apps and websites! I have only highlighted a few. 
There are literally millions! 
What do YOU use in your classroom?

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Happy November blogging friends! Every year I play 30 days of thankfulness on Facebook but my November 1st status didn't post from my phone and I didn't realize until the next day. Yes I am that OCD that I couldn't begin on November 2nd so I was beyond thrilled when I saw Storie's link up Top 10 Things I am Thankful For. I am so thankful every day for my many blessings but these are the top ten things I am thankful for today!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Every teacher LOVES a good freebie or giveaway and I have TWO amazing giveaways to share with you!

Miss V's Busy Bees is having a 500 follower giveaway! It may be the longest giveaway blogpost in the history of giveaways because it is actually 5 giveaways in one and there are some really awesome prizes! I am in desperate need of a blog makeover so I am really hoping to win #4. You should definitely head over to her blog and enter to win!!!

Pencils Books and Dirty Looks is having a 300 follower giveaway! Aimee is giving away a few of her favorite things! What are your favorite things? This girl loves Thai food, pumpkin anything, my MacBook Air and my iPad! Head over to Aimee's blog and enter to win! I know she would love you to become follower 301 :)!

Friday, November 2, 2012

2012 Mock Election and Google Forms

I am in L<3VE with Google Drive and particularly Google Forms which are created from within the drive! The possibilities are endless and I have used Google Forms for so many different things! Google Forms are SUPER easy to create and they collect and analyze all of the data for you which is amazing!

Since the 8th graders have been studying the political parties and election process we thought it would be a great real life application for them to hold a mock election. We created a Google Form and embedded it in within the computer lab Fusion pages for students to vote. Hurricane Sandy and a few missed days of school ruined our original plans but we were still able to hold the election by having teachers allow their students to vote! Scholastic Election 2012 had some great resources which we didn't get to use but thought would be worth sharing.

It is amazing that even at a young age there is VOTER FRAUD! Middle schoolers were especially dishonest and have at least 10 votes more in each grade than there are students! Each grade level has about 90 students. In 6th grade 147 votes were cast, 7th grade cast 104 votes and 8th grade cast 119 votes. Our school population went from 650 to almost 800! The timestamp on Google Forms is an easy way to see when someone is voting repetitively (each vote is cast within seconds of the next). It is also funny to see that they were trying to be slick by putting a different grade level for each however, the votes are seconds apart and go in order 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, etc. Kind of makes me giggle but also annoys me at the same time.

Anyways, Obama won with 67% of the votes. Romney received 30% and 3% voted "other." Let the countdown until the election begin and America will decide who lives in the White House for the next four years!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Currently and Google Form Election


Happy November blogging friends! 
I am linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for November's Currently! 
Head over to her blog and link up and join in the fun!

1. Lilly and Gremmy are my two precious babies! They make me smile everyday and I don't know what I would do without them! Here they are on Halloween. Gremmy was a ladybug and Lilly was a bumble bee. How cute are they? Our pantry was so unorganized and became a huge mess with only two shelves so my husband, being the handy man that he is decided to remodel the whole thing! I cannot wait for him to finish as my pantry is our kitchen table right now!

2. - If you are looking to connect your class globally with other students this is an awesome site! You can find a classroom anywhere in the world to exchange emails, skype or to complete different projects with! Right now I am in the process of finding epals for our 8th grade class to exchange emails which are secure through the site (you can see all incoming and outgoing which are filtered for inappropriate content or language). What a great way to learn about different cultures and build connections across the oceans blue! 

3. So for all of my elementary teachers reading this please don't hate me I know that this is evil but it was one of the selling points for me to take the technology position! Report cards on average took me between 16 and 18 HOURS. I am so thankful that I did not have to spend my entire weekend diligently writing report card comments! What a perk to my new gig!

4. I have been searching for jazzy boots for some time now but I cannot seem to find any that fit right! I can't even find a picture of boots I like but I want them!

5. FETC is right around the corner and we haven't started on our presentation yet! My poor blog seems to take the back seat to life even though I've tried to make it a priority! "Eventually things will slow down," said NO teacher ever! I mean sure June will eventually come!

6. Knee Deep is one of my favorite songs and I am feeling a beach vacation is needed :)! 

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