Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Websites I Love

The Blogger Bonanza was a huge success!  Teachers from both Wisconsin and Minnesota actually showed up!  Even better?  They were an amazing group of teachers!  It was a lot of fun and everyone walked away with a prize or something they could use in their classrooms.  A HUGE thank you to our sponsors and to the bloggers who donated prizes.  I presented with Amber and LuAnn from Kindergarten Rocks and Anna from Gluesticks 'N Giggles.  These three ladies are top notch!  Check out their blogs if you don't already follow them.  We decided to do it again sometime in 2015 and hope to make it even bigger and better.

One part of my presentation was on websites I use and love.  Here are a few of my faves that are totally free! (who doesn't love that?!?)...

Remind    (formerly Remind101.com)
This is an easy way to connect with parents WITHOUT having to share your personal phone number.  It is a snap to sign up (click the link above).  There is a PDF you can download that tells parents how to sign up.  You don't have to do anything else.  Parents can sign up three ways.
1.  download the app and get "push" notifications
2.  Get text alerts
3.  Get e-mail alerts

When you have something you want to tell parents (ex.  Library day is tomorrow!) simple type it in the box and push send.  Or, you can schedule it for later.  They also allow you to add an attachment.  Perfect for sending pictures of the class from a field trip!

The best thing is that parents can quickly be notified of something quickly and easily.

I love playing YouTube videos on my SMARTboard.  I DON'T love when I have to wait for ads.  Don't even get me started on what some of these ads are for!  I have raced to my computer to turn off an inappropriate ad/video more than once though.    Now I don't have to deal with that because I use Safeshare.TV for all my videos.  All I do is find the video I want to show and copy the URL into the box on the safeshare site.  They give you a safe URL that doesn't have ads or anything else distracting.  I've saved these safe links to SMART Notebook files to I can easily find them for my SMART board.   

During Daily Five I want my students to have access to several different sites for stories BUT my kinders are not great at finding these sites on their own.  I've tried using bookmarks but now I have an even easier solution with Tizmos.com

You sign up for free and simply enter the sites you want your students to use.  Here is what mine looks like.

When a student sits down at the computer they can pick where they want to go from these seven sites.  Super easy to use for both the teacher and the student.  

Do you use any of these?  Share how you use them!  If you don't use them, give them a try and tell me what you think!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Currently-August 2014 Edition

I have missed the last couple of Currentlys because my computer crashed.  I just couldn't fill one out with the fonts that were available on the loaner computer.  I'm a font snob.  True story. 
Now that my computer is fixed AND I won Khrys Boxland's font collection I am back!

Thanks to Farley for hosting once again.

Listening:  My girls are the ones watching but I do laugh at Dez sometimes.

Loving:  I have wanted a minivan for a couple of years now and finally got one!  I'm loving the sliding doors and that my girls can invite friends to go with us to places.  It came with Sirius radio and I've been playing the 80s and 90s station non-stop.  C&C Music Factory anyone? 

Thinking:  Because my computer crashed I spent the first half of the summer doing NOTHING for school.  It was pretty awesome to just read for fun but now I'm feeling the pressure to get stuff done!  I did get one thing updated yesterday.  My Daily Calendar Pages needed a major facelift.
Click above to check it out on TPT.  It's on sale this weekend and of course for the big TPT sale starting Monday!

Wanting:  More time!

Needing:  A new printer!  I'm considering buying the Hewlett Packard LaserJet Pro 200.
I saw it on Growing Firsties and I know Greg has one.  Anyone else have one and love it?

Teachers report on August 25 for four days of workshop.  The kids come in on either September 2 or 3 with their family for a half hour session with me.  Then they get their picture taken and get DIBEL tested.  It's nice to get to know families individually and they can get all their questions answered.  The first REAL day is September 4.

Have you filled up your cart yet?  I have some stuff picked out and can't wait for the big sale!