December 21, 2014

Fourteen in '14 {Linky Party}
 I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten
for the ultimate 2014 year in review... 
welcome to fourteen in '14!

My goal this year is to be more PRESENT and on my phone less.
I multitask a LOT.
As a mommy it is a requirement.
Sometimes multitasking is good.
It means we get to go the the park or library.
But sometimes it makes me less present.
And my girls deserve a mommy that is extremely present.
This summer one of my long lived dreams came true.
I was able to attend I Teach K in Las Vegas.
{I Teach K is a NATIONAL convention for Kindergarten teachers.}
I was able to see my good friends present and I got to meet some of my digital friends IRL.

 And all the FL gals hosted a booth! It is a lot lot lot of work.
But man was it worth it.
I got to meet so many friends who never heard of me before...
and some that "pretended" to know me.
{Haha... I loved see and "photo boothing" with those who actually did know me!}
 I LOVE this picture of 13 of the 30 FL gals together.
We really are good friends and love each other.
To SEE each other in person was beyond AMAZING.

We have been working together for a few years, so this photo means a lot to me. 
I helped make an app this year.
I worked with the development for over a year to bring 
And I am very proud of it.
I don't make any money off this app, but it is a good one.
I hope you check it out. 
Because it is awesome.
And if it does well, maybe the developer will let me help him with more apps!

By far it was my What a TECHIE Teacher Wants post.
I found some cool tech stuff that I know teachers will love.
I personally bought and use everything on the list so you are getting my 100% true opinion.
My Favorite pin of the year was the Olaf one!
I found out about the Hide and Hug Olaf this summer and 
shared my idea to use it like the Elf on the Shelf. I got my Olaf in October 
and it isn't Christmas themed, so I used my Elf in December and I am using Olaf in January. 

This summer my hubs gave me this precious gift. 
It is a ring with our families birthstone in it.
My family is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life. 
I love seeing us all together like this is precious to me.

 My favorite NEW THING I tried is Stitch Fix.

 I love getting a box of clothes once a month to try on and test out.
Here are a few of the MANY pics I have posted this year...
Showing you the good, bad, and the UGLY.
And you never have to guess what I am actually thinking...

I am not a big eater.
I actually don't enjoy meals or food much.
Missing a meal doesn't bother me at all.

We love Chick Fil A around the south.
And Cathy Truett opened a NEW type of Chick Fil A called
Chick Fil A Luau.

 It is a little bit of a drive away, but on Friday and Saturday nights
 they have an Hawaiian themed buffet that is AMAZING. 
I am loving Scandal.
I don't actually like drama in my for real life, but I love to watch it!
Since True Blood is over,
Scandal it is! 

I also really like The Blacklist and The Following.
Crap! Which is my favorite? 
Don't make me choose. 
Don't make me choose!

I got nothing here...
I don't recall one movie that I watched and loved.

It is going to be 50 Shades of Grey next year... for sure...
I already know it.
I love this skirt I got this summer from StitchFix.
 Here I am wearing it to a conference in South Carolina.
 And I am wearing it again this fall layered up with time.

 Above my bed I have a collage of family pictures that I love.
Maria from Kinder-Craze made me this sign with one of my favorite quotes...
"I have found the one who my soul loves." 
It is from Song of Solomon.
If you know anything about the stories of the bible, 
Song of Solomon is about a bride and groom on their honeymoon. 
I love this quote because I remember the moment my soul found its love in David.
(He is often referred to as Hot Hubby as well.)

I love seeing this quote because I fall in love him over and over again all the time.
Sometimes we love our spouses because we can't help but to love them.
Sometimes we have to CHOOSE to love them that day because they are driving us insane.

I also ask myself if I am acting like the wife in this book of the bible.
Am I being loveable?
I am being easy or difficult to love on that day?
Sometimes I don't like the answer I give myself.

This quote is so powerful to me. 

How much fun was this?
Pretty awesome!
Thanks ladies for the awesome linky!

December 15, 2014

What a Techie Teacher Wants

The gift giving time of year is upon us and my Christmas list
 usually consists of tech items I want for for myself and 
things I really want for my classroom.

Wait... "You ask for things for your classroom for Christmas?" 
 Every year.

I love getting card stock, lamination pouches, and colored ink for my printer.
And I always ask for technology items.

So, here is my top 5 tech items that a Techie Teacher Wants for 2014...
From a teacher who LOVES iPads and assumes you already have one... 
1. Osmo-
currently $79, but full price will be $99. {you can grab it here}
This system allows you to play "outside the screen" with an iPad or iPad mini. This system comes with a white stand and red  "reflector" piece that attached to your camera function on the iPad. You place your iPad in the stand, connect the reflector, and download the apps. {The apps are FREE to download so these are not an additional charge.}

You can not use your device in an Otterbox, 
but other than that one feature, I love it. 

There are three games for the Osmo so far;
and DaVince games. 

I have not played the DaVince game but the other two are amazing.
My own child LOVES to play with this and my class asks for it everyday.

Here is my Osmo set up in my classroom while two students play the Tangram game.
 They move the actual Tangram pieces to make the picture in the screen. 
When the piece on the table are in the correct spot,
 the camera function allows the iPad to "read" it
and it shows up as correct on the iPad.

Here is my own 5 year old testing it out at home.

Here is the Words game. 
You can play by yourself or verses a friend.
There are red and blue letter pieces to help you play against a friend.
Pretty fun!
The game features REAL pictures and plays a little like Wheel of Fortune
 with the number of letters in the word given. 
My students have to figure out what the image is and 
then how to spell it. This takes them a little bit of critical thinking.

{Here is my referral code for Osmo. It is also linked in the post.
It is cheaper to get it thru Osmo than Amazon by $50!!!} Store and Charge-
$161 now on Amazon {Full price starts at $199 for outlet version, $399 for USB Version}

This Belkin Store and Charge is AMAZING.
I have been looking for a charging system to help we with all my devices at home and my devices I charge at home and use for school.
{Confession- I sometimes wake up two times a night to rotate my devices out so they all get charged.}

This Store and Charge isn't device specific, so you can easily store and charge laptops, net books, iPads WITH THEIR CASES,
and so many more devices. 

Most charging ports for multiple devices upwards of $1000 or more! 
Ouch... I can't handle that!
I also LOVE that this charging system has it slots numbers! 

 There are two versions. This version has outlets on the back.
Since I have lots of iPads, I could have elected to get the USB version. 
I chose to get the outlet version instead because it is cheaper.
Plus, I like that I can use this for my laptop and such as well if I wanted to.

The outlet panel easily slips in the back
and allows you to connect your plus and cords into it.
 Sliding my cords down the inside was the hardest part, but you will only have to do this once.
They also provide this gray panel to keep all the extra cord parts concealed.
 The I put the cover back on and slipped my iPads in. 
Look how easy they plug in!
 The Belkin Store and Charge also tilts them slightly back 
so you don't have to worry about them slipping out. 
{Here is a link to grab this AWESOME SAUSE Techie Tool on Amazon.}

You can put all your home devices in one area each night to charge.
You can have your phone and iPad, your childs' devices, even your laptop all in one place!

I seriously want another one for school too!
But I know you can't use an Amazon link for Purchase Orders at school, 
so I talked a sweet friend Frank Roys from EN NET Services.
His company sells Belkin Materials and is offering anyone
 who orders this item from his company a discount if they mention 
His email address is

3. iTunes Gift Cards

I love getting these cards for myself and my students.
Many parents donate iTunes cards to my classroom each year so I can buy awesome educational apps to play in the classroom. 
And let's face it...
 the apps are getting better and better. 
But the prices are getting higher and higher.

And my school has ZERO money for apps for school devices. 
But iTunes gift cards are a HUGE BLESSING.
Now, I know what you are thinking... 
what about Google Play or other digital stores?
Whatever device your teacher uses in the classroom, 
THAT is the perfect gift card for them.

And don't forget to check out this app I helped create called
 {And I don't make any money off this app at all!} Belkin Portable iPad Stand
$88 now on Amazon, Original Price is $99

Check out this amazing stand for an iPad... 
and I am assuming most any other tablet.

I think it is fantastic.
I saw it a month ago and I was blow away by several things
It is:
-VERY sturdy
-Portable, it folds down
-Flexable for taking movies or such
-Affordable- other cases start at $100 and aren't as well made
-Supports the iPad with its cover

I have another iPad stand that doesn't withstand back and forth transporting very well.
After loaning it to a few friends at school, using it in the classroom, 
and taking it to local trainings and presentations, it is DONE. 

Of course, you are most likely NOT going to use a stand for all these reasons, 
but don't want a stand that can do all these things easily??

This Belkin Portable iPad Stand is stronger,
easier to store when not in use,
and it is easier for students to use.
For example, it is easy for my students to use when 
they are making movies or do digital storytelling.

Here is this stand "flat."
It is pretty compact and I like that it is one piece.
{Think... where I can I put it when it is not being used?}

To get a good size perspective... 
I put a post it next to it.

This thing isn't HUGE at all!
To get it ready for use... 
you turn it up easily after pressing the green button on the base.

Then you flip up the stand part.
The stand part tilts to hold the iPad at different angles.
And isn't a delicate hold either. 
I mean, it really supports the iPad in its place.

You can use the stand like this to "present" or teach with it.
Thing about reading a recipe in the kitchen cooking or 
leading a Nearpod activity in the classroom.

I also checked to see where the camera should show on the back.
This is vital for digital storytelling.

It is in a pretty good position so my students can create movies using an iPad.
{My little ones are awful at holding an iPad still enough 
to see what is going on if they hold any device while having the video camera feature on. 
A stand is almost required when they are doing digital storytelling}

 The biggest reason I use a stand is to turn my 
iPad into a document camera.
I can take a text book or activity, 
the icon is to the right, and it looks like this...

You can see the orange marker I wrote on the screen with but not on the paper with. 

I use this almost daily in my classroom to demonstrate things for the class...
and I allow my kinders to do the same. 
For my last item, I really pondered what things I really LOVE in my classroom. thought about these items... 
You can get these on Amazon for less than $6 now!
{I paid $12 for mine 3 years ago... 
and they STILL WORK.}
And they have cool colors now too.

 I use these to turn any CD player, iPad, or whatever into a multiple listening station.

 I also adore my  Kidz Gear Colored Headsets.
I have them in every color they make!
The are just over $20 but I have had the same ones for a year now and they are still in great shape.

{It drives me CRAZY that they don't make a red or yellow.
I ask them to again and again...
so maybe they will add those colors to their line.
PEEPS red and yellow are PRIMARY colors!}

My students use these everyday and they def withstand the test of time. Most headsets don't fit little heads but these do.

They can also easily plug into devices with cases.

The splitter and headsets are great items.
At great prices!
But I felt like you prob already knew about them.

Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 Right Wireless VM4RW
So my last item is a "new to me" item that has helped me so much.
{This is for a computer NOT an iPad.}

Anyone who is on their computer for a while knows
 how bad it is for your wrist and arm

I have a pinched nerve in my right arm for over a year now and it hurts...   still.
The only way to "heal" it is to rest it. 
Well, at the time it happened I had a 2 month old 
and that wasn't an option.
My doctor laughed and said, "I have to tell you to rest your arm for an extended amount of time to heal the nerve. But we both know you can't do that."

I bought this this fall and WOW! 
I was blown away with how quickly I got use to it. 
{I still can't use a Mac computer peeps... the struggle is real! 
But I can use this mouse.}  
This mouse helps me to work digitally and live pain free.
I know many other computer peeps that swear by it as well.
I wish I had know about it last year!

This mouse isn't for everyone, but if you have a spouse or 
family member who is on their computer a lot,
 this might be an awesome gift for them to use. 

I hope you take a look at these Techie Teacher gifts.
I know I would be thrilled to see any of them under my tree!