Denim Column

About The Author

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Alabama, United States
Educator and Lifelong Learner, Asst Principal at @cmslions, #NBCT, #EdD from @ucumberlands, @Google Educator Lvl 1 & 2, Google for Education Certified Trainer

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tech Tuesday-Fluxtime

Are you looking for a simple animation program for your students to use? Then, you've come to the right place! Fluxtime is an free online animation program. It is so simple that my 4th graders can easily create their animations on their own.

Fluxtime's library offers backgrounds and clipart for underwater life, space travel, and beach scenes. You can easily adapt the scenes to your curriculum. The free version of Fluxtime will only allow you to email your animation as an e-card. Click here for an example created by one of my students. There is a paid version to this site, but the prices are in pounds. I'm not sure if it is even available for US customers.

My students love Fluxtime! I'm sure your class will love it, too!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Make It Monday-Christmas Tree at the Wall

I can't wait to do this with my students! We spent the entire week of Veteran's Day discussing the different branches of the Armed Forces. This will be a fabulous culminating activity.

Your students can create cards or ornaments to be displayed on the Christmas Tree at the Vietnam Memorial. The ornaments are to honor our nation's veterans (past or present) and their families. The cards need to be received by Thursday, December 15, so I'm going to have my students start now.

While searching for crafty ideas of my class' ornaments, I have found searching for 4th of July decorations.  has provided better outcomes than Christmas ornaments. Some of my favorite, easy crafts can be found at

More information about the project and the mailing address can be found on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund website.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm an Author for The Crafty Community

Recently, I was invited to be a part of The Crafty Community as an author. I look forward to seeing you as a follower. This blog will be dedicated to crafts you can create with your kids at home or in your classroom. I'm looking forward to being a part of this crafty team. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tech Tuesday-Monthly Holiday Lists

Kids love celebrating holidays. VocabularySpellingCity helps your students celebrate while they are learning. They have taken the most important holidays and events for each month and created lists to help aid in your celebrations. They lists can be imported into your free account to let your students find them easier.  Your students can use the lists to play free, online games such as Hangmouse, Unscramble, and Match-It. You can create free handwriting printables using the words.

There are two Thanksgiving lists available through VocabularySpellingCity's Monthly Holiday Lists: Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Feast. Have fun celebrating Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Why I'm Thankful for My Job

Thanksgiving! I am thankful for so many things related to my career. Here is a brief list:
  1. I'm thankful for a job I love!
  2. I'm thankful for the 20 students that I teach!
  3. I'm thankful for parents who want their children to excel!
  4. I'm thankful for my family and friends that support me!
  5. I'm thankful to be in a school where we support each other as family!
  6. I'm thankful for supportive administration at the school and district level!
  7. I'm thankful that I'm a National Board Certified Teacher!
  8. I'm thankful that I'm allowed to expand my horizons and learn new things!
  9. I'm thankful that I'm involved in social media to enhance my professional learning!
  10. I'm thankful for the wonderful resources available through the Internet!
I could go on and on, but I'd love to hear why you are thankful that you are a teacher.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

National Board Certfied Teacher

Congratulations to all the new National Board Certified Teachers! I was certified in Literacy:Reading/Language Arts in 2009. Easily, I remember the nervousness and anticipation of the arrival of scores. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs when I read "Congratulations!" I remember the many phone calls I made and received. I remember mourning with a close friend who did not certify by only a few points. That day ranks as one of the most profound memories of my life.

Becoming an NBCT is by far the best professional development I have ever partaken. One learns to reflect on their own teaching in relation to student engagement. Throughout the year of creating my portfolio, I grew tremendously as a teacher. By going through the process, I am continuing to grow. This life-changing process is totally worth all the blood, sweat, and tears that it requires


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

RIP, Snoopy

Roll Tide "Snoopy" Whitehead
May 21, 2002-November 14, 2011

My family and I have had a heartbreaking couple of days. Our beloved Snoopy had to be put to sleep yesterday due to complications from spinal arthritis. He was so much more than a family pet. He was a member of our family. Snoopy was loyal, loving, happy, funny, quirky, handsome, and spoiled. I could go on for days about how great he was! 

My family, friends, and most importantly, my God, has helped me cope through this time. It is harder than I ever imagined! I do not regret the decision I had to make, but I sure do miss my boy.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday-Giveaway of the Day

You know I'm an Edmodo lover! One of the main reasons is because I find great tips, resources, ideas, and link that are recommend by teachers. One of these that I discovered through Edmodo is Giveaway of the Day.

Giveaway of the Day

Giveaway of the Day

This site offers a free software download everyday. Many of the software downloads have to be download on the day it is offered. It is worth checking out everyday. There have been downloads software such as for screen recorders, collage creators, PDF converters, and paint programs. 

I have placed the above ticker at the left side of my blog. You can keep up with all the great deals with me.

I'm always looking for a deal! What could be better for a tech nerd than free software!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Must Have-VocabularySpellingCity Math Vocabulary

I love teaching math! I especially love finding new tools that aid in my math instruction. Even better, is finding a tool that my students love, too. This is exactly what happened when I VocabularySpellingCity introduced their new math vocabulary section. 

The word lists which have been created from Common Core and NCTM standards are arranged by grade level and content standard. If you have a free account, you can simply import them into your account. Once you have imported them, you can edit the lists to suit your students' needs. You can add or remove words and customize definitions and sentences. I tend to use them just the way they are!

Vocabulary is a very important part in understanding math. It is the basis for all math principles. Also, it is important they have a basis of math terms to use in standardized testing. Every two weeks, my students are presented a new list that I print from VocabularySpellingCity using the Flashcards button. The kids play the various games daily on our Promethean ActivBoard during math centers time. Finally, the are tested on the words using the Vocabulary Test Me feature. 

You can easily see why VocabularySpellingCity Math Vocabulary is a must have!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Thoughts-Fairness, Caring, and Integrity

As I was browsing Facebook early this morning, I saw the above picture. I couldn't get the saying out of my mind. As we met for our weekly before school prayer and devotion, the subject was much the same. We discussed how for some of our students, we may be the only Christian that they see. As my mother always says, "With God, there are no coincidences."

Do you remember your teachers from elementary school? Of course! You remember some as being positive and upbeat. You remember others as crabby and mean. Some were kind and loving. Others were there simply for the paycheck. What do you want your students to remember about you?

Hopefully, my students find my fair, caring, and full of integrity. Although, I don't force religion upon my students, I don't hide my beliefs, either. I can talk all I want, but it is how my actions are presented to my kids that make all the difference. My prayer is that I live in a way that my former students will remember me as the kind of person Christ requires me to be. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday Wow-Alabama Leads the Nation in Reading Gains

The following article was posted on the Office of the Governor, Robert Bentley Website. I thought it was most fitting to simply copy and paste the article.

Office of the Governor

Alabama Great Seal
Press Office

November 1, 2011

Alabama Leads the Nation in Reading Gains, Meets National Average for the First Time

MONTGOMERY—Governor Robert Bentley today announced that Alabama leads the nation in reading gains and meets the national average in reading for the first time, according to data released from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). The report indicates that, since the last national assessment in 2009, Alabama is one of only four states in the nation to show significant gains in 4th grade reading scores. 
NAEP also measures math achievement in grades 4 and 8. Alabama is one of only nine states in the country to show significant improvement since 2009 in 4th grade math. Of the nine states, Alabama shows the second highest gain behind Arizona.
In Governor Bentley’s first proposed education budget to the Legislature, he protected education programs like the Alabama Reading Initiative and the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative that help students succeed in reading and math. He has also committed to prioritize these outstanding programs in the FY 2013 education budget to ensure that tremendous gains in education will continue.
“Alabama has many exceptional teachers and principals who hold the key to whether or not our children get the quality education they deserve.  We have made great strides when it comes to education in Alabama and today’s report proves that,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “We owe it to our children to give them every opportunity to succeed in education and lay the groundwork for success in life.”
Alabama’s 8th grade reading scores have shown significant improvement over time as well.  Alabama is number six in the nation in reading score increases from 2003-2011.
Larry Craven, interim State Superintendent, said this is phenomenal news and further indication that education in Alabama is on the right track. He said programs such as the in the Alabama Reading Initiative and funding for reading coaches is showing a return on its investment.
"Reading is the cornerstone to all other forms of learning; this is the premise behind our Alabama Reading Initiative. The progress shown by this national assessment illustrates the climb our students, teachers, administrators and parents are making to position ourselves to be, not only competitive, but a leader in education," Craven said. "While we are excited about the gains made in reading, it's no time to rest on our laurels. Meeting the national average is a significant milestone, but just one milestone on our way to giving our students what they deserve... the best possible education in the country. It is not going to be easy, and it is going to take time, but it can be done. It must.  We have plenty of work to do, but we are working hard, building momentum, and heading in the right direction.”


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tech Tuesday-Voki

My 4th graders loved Voki! Voki is a speaking avatar. Their site claims that it "motivates students to participate, improves message comprehension, and introduces technology in a fun way." It is all of this and more. Voki is just fun!

To create a Voki, you simply create your avatar by editing their avatar and then give it a voice either through recording are typing text that is converted to voice. One of my students logged into Voki and an avatar of Jesus appeared. It wouldn't allow them to edit the avatar. The only explanation I could give was that Jesus is perfect, so we can't change him!

Enjoy this Voki my student created about A.J. McCarron, the quarterback of the University of Alabama. Roll Tide!