Denim Column

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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, January 31, 2012

Tech Tuesday-Fluxtime

One technology objective that seems to be harder for some students to master is those involving animation programs. Fluxtime is a simple website to introduce your students to creating animations. I have written a {previous post} about Fluxtime, but I wanted to share with you how I incorporated it into a lesson plan. For some example of created Fluxtimes, click {here}.

Adelina's Whales
Our story this week is about a small town in Mexico where the whales come to visit every year. We will also spend some time discussing other sea creatures. So, this week, you will think about creatures of the sea. 

1-Research a sea creature. It must be an animal or plant that lives in the ocean. Save at least 3 pictures of your sea creature to your jump drive. 

2-Write a blog post about the sea creature you have chosen. Embed your 3 pictures into your blog post. 

3-Create a Fluxtime animation of an underwater world. 
(a)Open up Fluxtime, and click on "Click here to create a free animation." **THIS PROGRAM WORKS BETTER IN INTERNET EXPLORER THAN GOOGLE CHROME** 
(b)Choose your background, and click OK. Make sure you are choosing a background from Underwater World. 
(c)Click the shapes icon at the top to insert clipart from Underwater World. Once you have inserted your clipart, you will then click record and move the clipart around on the screen. Click stop when you are through recording. Choose play to see what you just did. You can continue adding clipart and animations. 
(d)Once you are finished, select the little envelope at the bottom of the screen. The only way for Fluxtime to save without paying is to email it. Beside "send to," enter my email address XXXXXXXX. Beside "from," you may enter your email address (if you have one) or reenter mine. I will then post your Fluxtime onto our class website.

Enjoy animating!
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Read the Bible Through Week 4

Job is not the easiest book in the Bible to read. It is full of devastation, loss, questioning, and suffering. However, God shares some great life lessons for us through the story of Job. Read my summaries of what God said to me through my readings.

Job 1-5: Put the roots of your faith deep into God, so you can withstand any storm that you face. When someone is in need, go to them but be sensitive of how you comfort them. Sometimes, your presence is enough.
Job 6-9: God is in control. He will take care of you. Express your feelings to God. Be patient with other's impatience.
Job 10-13: God wants only the very best for you. We can't hide from God. He sees and hears everything.
Job 14-17: No matter how bad things are in the present, God offers the hope of eternal life. All we must do is accept it. Depend on God for hope.
Job 18-21: "I know that my Redeemer lives." (19:23) To God, success is based on a person's heart. He is in control.
Job 22-24: If God has forgiven and accepted us, we are forgiven indeed. 

Next week's readings:
Monday, January 30: Job 25-28
Tuesday, January 31: Job 29-32
Wednesday, February 1: Job 33-36
Thursday, February 2: Job 37:1-40:5, Psalm 19
Friday, February 3: Job 40:6-42:17, Psalm 29
Saturday, February 4: Exodus 1-4
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Blue Snowflake: Homemade Personalized Jewelry

TEACHER GIFT Personalized Bottle cap Pendant  Keychain Necklace Mother grandmother TEACH love inspire Rhinestone Apple Teacher appreciation

Recently, I won a blog giveaway from Inspired Teacher. My prize was a personalized bottle cap bead necklace from the teacher collection of My Blue Snowflake.

I received my prize yesterday, and I must admit that I am more than pleased. The necklace is beautiful. The bottle cap (which isn't actually a bottle cap) and beads were far better quality than I expected. The creator, Jamila, was more than willing to accommodate my selection with colors, personalization, beads, etc. She wanted to make sure it was exactly what I wanted.

They have a huge selection of personalized charms. Aside from teacher charms, there are wedding designs, sports themes, and family choices. You can choose keyrings, badge reels, necklaces, and bracelets all at very, very reasonable prices. I urge you to take a look at My Blue Snowflake. You will certainly find some great gifts and something for yourself!
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Digital Learning Day Linky Party

Digital Learning Day is February 1, 2012! This is nationwide celebration that encourages student engagement and personalized education through the use of technology and digital media. It is a day to try something new and/or highlight successes. This linky party is to do just that! Share your favorite technology blog, blog post, or lesson plan. Let us know your Digital Learning Day plans. I'm looking forward to learning many new things!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tech Tuesday-Prezi

This project features the webtool, Prezi. When I was first introduced to Prezi, it was described as "PowerPoint on steroids."  Prezi is a presentation tool that will allow you to add various multimedia (i.e. pictures, video, sound files). It will allow the creator to add zoom to the text and multimedia. It was easy enough for my 4th graders to create with out a lot of explanation! Click {here} to view some of their presentations.

The following is the assignment I posted for my students onto Edmodo. I love the fact that I can copy and paste straight from Edmodo! The links stay clickable, but I am able to edit the text. 

The Great Kapok Tree
Our story this week is about saving the rainforest. You will complete a 3 step project on a rainforest animal of your choice. 
1-Research a rainforest animal. Collect at least 5 facts, and save at least 5 pictures of your animal onto your jump drive. 

2-Create a Prezi of your rainforest animal. 
a. Log into Prezi. Your username is and the password is XXXXX. 
b. Go to Learn, and view the 3 videos. 
c. Click on Your Prezis, and click on New Prezi. 
d. Be sure the title of your Prezi has your first name and your animal's name. Click New Prezi. 
e. Create your Prezi including your 5 facts and pictures. 
f. Once you finish or time runs out, click Exit. Your Prezi will be saved and allow you to edit it later. 

3-Write a blog about why you chose your animal. 

**Note: Those with iPads, there is a Prezi viewer app. It will not let you create your Prezi, but it will allow you to show it off!
Show Less

Happy creating!
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Drum Roll Please!

The winner of the Promethean Prize Pack from my 100 Followers Giveaway is #71 .

That is Mrs. Lazenby from Mrs. Lazenby's Animals .

I hope you enjoy your prizes. I'm looking forward to 200 followers and another giveaway!
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Comment Signature

Do you wonder how bloggers sign their comments with a clickable link like this Teaching...My Calling  instead of this It is super easy!

Simply, copy and paste the following code into your comment. You will need to change the text I have highlighted in orange to your URL and blog name.

<a href="">Teaching...My Calling</a>
I have not found a way for it to be automatically inserted into my comments, so I keep it on a document to copy and paste it each time. If you know a way, please share!

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Why the ActivExpression2?

I received an amazing gift in my classroom last week! I received a set of Promethean ActivExpression2. My students respond with, "Thank you, Mrs. Whitehead, for getting these for us." or "Thank you for letting us use these again." Their excitement in learning is refreshing.

What is an ActivEpression2? It is a student learner response system that gives every child in the classroom a voice. I can ask questions on the fly or prepared in a flipchart. Each child can answer in text entry, number entry, multiple choice, etc. I get immediate feedback. We use the for vocabulary practice, math lessons, science and social studies integration, and sometimes just for fun. My students feel comfortable stating if they don't understand something when answering with an ActivExpression2. As the teacher, I can control how the responses are viewed. They can be viewed in a bar as a class or as who answered what graph. 

What are some of the benefits of the ActivExpression2 over other clickers? The ActivExpression2 has a fully QWERTY keyboard. The first thing my students said when pulling them out of the case is, "These look like a Blackberry." They feel comfortable typing on the keyboard. My students also like that they are given a chance to review their answer before sending it. The kids are also fascinated that the "glow in the dark." The ActivExpression2 is backlit. A lot of times, the lights are off to make the ActivBoard easier to view. Students can easily see what they are texting with the backlight. The biggest benefit according to my students is that they "make learning fun."

In a time where many school systems are strapped for cash, I know that purchasing a set of ActivExpression2 may not be feasible. I can assure you that the benefits far outweigh the cost. If you are given an opinion in how money is spent, this would be my recommendation. The ActivExpression2 supports 3rd party whiteboards. In fact, they don't even require an interactive whiteboard to function!

Don't forget your chance to win a Promethean Prize Pack with a copy of The Response Revolution. This book will give you ideas on how to integrate ActivExpression2s into your classroom. The giveaway ends tonight, so enter quickly by clicking {here}

From time to time, I will be blogging about projects and assignments we complete with our ActivExpression2. Stay tuned for this exciting adventure!

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Read the Bible Through Week 3

This week's reading revolved around the story of Joseph. Joseph experienced great turmoils. However, God's plan was revealed. It may not have been Joseph's plan, but God was preparing him for great things. 

Here is what God revealed to me through each day's readings:

  • Genesis 30-33: God encouraged persistence through our spiritual lives, too. Strong character develops through tough situations. We can run, or we can pray.
  • Genesis 34-37: "I am God almighty." (35:11). Our talents and knowledge come from God. Be thankful for them. Don't brag about them. Jealousy leads to serious sin.
  • Genesis 38-40: Don't try to just avoid temptation. Turn and run! An effective witness relates God to others' experiences. When overlooked, trust God. More opportunities are waiting.
  • Genesis 41-43: Opportunities may come our way when we least expect them. Be ready to call on God by getting to know more about Him. Don't be silent when you should give credit and honor to God. Planning is a responsibility not an option.
  • Genesis 44-46: God is in control far beyond the immediate situation. God forgives us even though we sin against Him. All we have to do is ask.
  • Genesis 47-50: God will honor faithfulness. God can use me to carry out His plans even without all the complications. Everything good comes from God. Trust in God that gave you your gifts. Don't let your trust become misplaced. Utilize the potential God gave you.
The study I am using, Reader's Guide to the Bible by George H. Guthrie, is a chronological reading plan. For this reason, we skip to the book of Job.
  • Monday, January 23: Job 1-5
  • Tuesday, January 24: Job 6-9
  • Wednesday, January 25: Job 10-13
  • Thursday, January 26: Job 14-17
  • Friday, January 27: Job 18-21
  • Saturday, January 28: Job 22-24
I am looking forward to what God has to say this week. Feel free to share your comments, too.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Remove Shadows Around Blogger Pictures

Do you notice that gray shadow around images that you post on your blog? Do you find them as annoying as I do? I found a simple remedy for removing those shadows thanks to Southern Speakers.

1)Go to Dashboard>Template Designer>Advanced>Add CSS

2)Copy and paste the following code into the big, blank box. Be sure to click enter at the end of the code.

.post-body img, .post-body .tr-caption-container, .Profile img, .Image img,
.BlogList .item-thumbnail img {
  padding: none !important;
  border: none !important;
  background: none !important;
  -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;
  -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;
  box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;

3)Click Apply to Blog

You now have a nice, crisp blog with no shadows around your images.

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