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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I am really interested in the whole phenomena of lapbooking. I'm sure it has something to do with my infatuation to Pinterest and the many, many wonderful teaching ideas I have found!

Today, I had my first experience with lapbooking. OK, not really. We did create a flap book of mean, median, mode, and range, but it is not in a notebook. With my current math program, Saxon Math, it is incredibly hard to fit in any "extras" outside of the program. However, I feel it is super important to give kids a concrete, hands-on approach to learning. They need a tool that they can easily use to refer to certain topics. I am definitely going to explore the area of lapbooking more. 

That is where I ask for your help. Can you offer me some tips and tools to use in being an effective lapbooker? I really like the ideas I am seeing of having one notebook to hold all of the lapbooks (if that is what you call them in this situation).

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

There is a Giveaway in Your Future!

This blog only needs 10 more followers to reach the 200 mark. When that milestone is reached, I will host a giveaway. Encourage your friends to join. We all love trying to win something, don't we?

Tech Tuesday-JogNog

I recently was introduced to a site called JogNog. After introducing it to my students, there were nothing but praises being herald. 

"This site is awesome."
"I can't wait to get home, so I can play JogNog some more." 
"This is so fun."

The premise behind JogNog is a competitive learning experience that encourages everyone to have success. Students can compete against themselves or a friend. There are a variety of question towers (sets) to choose. Each question tower is based on the Common Core Standards in math, language arts, science, and social studies. The question sets are in a multiple choice format similar to standardized test questions. Teachers have the ability to create their own question towers. As students answer questions, they build a virtual city. The more questions answered, the bigger the city. 

There is even a JogNog iPhone and iPad app.

I have only recently been exploring JogNog, so I still have a lot to learn about the site. However, I wanted you to know of this great find! Let me know what you think. I have in no way been endorsed to submit this review. I just love this site!

As of mid-March, I have been working with the JogNog team in promoting their fantastic site. Once you find a great site, there is no telling what will happen next!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Permission To Pin

Thanks to Laura Candler's Corkboard Connections, I learned some new information that concerns all of use who are Pinterest junkies. When reading Pinterest's fine print, you will find the following statement:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

Read more:

Basically, we claim we own the rights to the images we are pinning, and Pinterest can sell those images if they so choose.

So, saying that, I give you permission to Pin anything from my blog. However, I will no longer knowingly post from someone's blog unless I have been given permission to do so. How will I know I have permission? Follow these steps from Laura Candler's Corkboard Connection.

  1. Add this red Permission to Pin badge to your website or blog by copying and pasting the HTML code below into your blog post or sidebar. Placing it on the sidebar will serve as a permanent symbol that you are giving permission to pin. Link the image back to this exact blog post so others will know what is going on.
    <center><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" /></a></center>
  2. Create a blog post that briefly explains this issue and describes your permissions. Don't forget to include a link to your Pinterest page, too!
  3. Join the Link Up at the bottom of {this blog post} by adding your URL and the name of your blog or website to the link up area below. The URL you enter should go to your blog post giving visitors permission to pin, and the image should clearly identify your blog.


Read the Bible Through Week 8

As I trudged through Leviticus and into Numbers, I had to continually remind myself that "All scripture is God breathed." (2 Timothy 3:16) God offered a lot of advice in these chapters on being prepared for worship and being holy. Holy is being different, set apart, and unique. God commands us to be different than society. He asks that we "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27) I want to be holy!

  • Leviticus 11-14: "Therefore, be holy because I am holy." (11:45) We must prepare ourselves for worship by living for God all week not just on Sunday.
  • Leviticus 15-18: God is holy. We should prepare our hearts before we pray and worship.
  • Leviticus 19-22: The Bible is not a list of rules. Jesus said to love God with all our hearts. If we love God, we want to follow His commands.
  • Leviticus 23-25: God owns everything. We are only a manger. We are taking care of His property, so make it available to others.
  • Leviticus 26-27, Numbers 1-2: God takes promises seriously. If we promise something to Him, we must fulfill that no matter the circumstances. 
  • Numbers 3-5: We can all enter the presence of God without fear. Look for ways to make wrongs right.

Next week's plan:
  • Monday, February 27: Numbers 6-9
  • Tuesday, February 28: Numbers 10-13
  • Wednesday, February 29: Numbers 14-16, Psalm 95
  • Thursday, March 1: Numbers 17-20
  • Friday, March 2: Numbers 21-24
  • Saturday, March 3: Numbers 25-28


Social Media in the Classroom

I am preparing a presentation on social media in the classroom. Would you take a minute to answer a couple of questions? The information received will be valuable to all teachers. I will publish the results at a later date. Thanks in advance!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tech Tuesday-Teacher's Assistant Pro

If you were to ask me my #1 iPad app, it would have to be Teacher's Assistant Pro. This app is by far the best organizational tool for classroom management. You can quickly and easily keep track of your students' behavior. I inputted my students, color-coded their actions based on my classroom rules, and added my own infractions. You can filter the results by the week, grading period, etc. Another cool feature is that you can email parents straight from the app. When you get that note wanting to know why Johnny's conduct grade is low, they are quickly notified. You can also export your data into a Google Doc as a backup. 

At $7.99, this app is a little pricey, but I can guarantee that is is money well spent. Anything that will make your day just a little easier is worth a few extra dollars. The free version only allows for five students, so you may want to sample it. The pro version allows unlimited students that you can arrange by classes.

I have in no way been compensated for my review. When I find a great product, I want to share it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Everything's Intermediate

Everything's Intermediate

I am so excited! On March 24, 2012, I will be presenting for the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo. You will have the chance to be involved in four professional development sessions for one low price. The sessions will be presented by teachers across the country. You won't have to leave your house, and you can attend in your pajamas! As soon as ticket sales start, I'll let you know. Go ahead, and mark your calendar. I don't want you to miss out on this great event.

I'm going to present "Integrating Technology Into Your Classroom." I will show you how easy it is to create a technology filled classroom even if you have very limited tools. You will also be introduced to FREE webtools to use with your students while I provide student examples and suggested lesson plans.

Until Everything's Intermediate, you may want to attend Everything's Primary on February 25, 2012. You can also participate in archived events {here}.

Happy learning!

Facebook and Twitter

Do you follow my blog on Twitter and/or Facebook yet? I often post website links and tips that I have not blogged about.  You can easily follow by click the "Follow Me" buttons on the left. I just don't want you to miss out on some cool tools!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Teaching Blog Addict: Humongous Dr. Seuss Giveaway!

Teaching Blog Addict: Humongous Dr. Seuss Giveaway!: We are kicking off Dr. Seuss week with a humongous giveaway! With units and activities ranging from Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade - it...

Sunday School-Read the Bible Through Week 7

God gave Moses specific orders of how to build the tabernacle, perform sacrifices, and prepare for worship. Aaron and his sons did "everything the Lord commanded." Do we do everything the Lord commands of us? Since God sent his son, Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice, it is no longer necessary for us to perform these rituals. However, God still commands us to do things-spread the Gospel, love one another, repent our sins, give to those in need, etc. God wants use to follow Him completely.

Here is a summary of last week's readings:
  • Exodus 29-32: We worship the creator and sustainor of the universe. Don't rush into worship and treat it as casual. God cannot work in us when we elevate things above Him.
  • Exodus 33-36: No matter what your talent is, use it for God's glory.
  • Exodus 37-40: God is concerned about the big and little details. Talk to Him about all your concerns no matter how unimportant they seem. If God tells you to do something, do it right and completely.
  • Leviticus 1-4: Although Jesus' death was the final sacrifice, we must sill confess our sins before God. They will be forgiven.
  • Leviticus 5-7: When we are aware that God lives in us, we can be confident that He will forgive and restore us.
  • Leviticus 8-10: Spiritual cleansing comes only from God. Serve God in your daily routines. Follow His instructions thoroughly. 
Next week's plan is:
  • Monday, February 20: Leviticus 11-14
  • Tuesday, February 21: Leviticus 15-18
  • Wednesday, February 22: Leviticus 19-22
  • Thursday, February 23: Leviticus 23-25
  • Friday, February 24: Leviticus 24-25, Numbers 1-2
  • Saturday, February 25: Numbers 3-5
I encourage you to read the Bible through in a year. If you have not started the plan yet, that is OK. Pick up with this week's readings. Do not try to catch up. You will find more information about the reading plan {here}.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

WiiMote Interactive Whiteboard

Does someone ever mention something to you, and your curiosity level rises? That is what happened when Carrie posted on my Facebook page asking for help in using a WiiMote as an interactive whiteboard. 

I have never heard of using a WiiMote as an interactive whiteboard option. Who would think such things were even possible? For under $100 (minus the projector), you can have everything you need to create an interactive whiteboard. In my Google search, I found this {post}. The author, Johnny Chung Lee, gives step-by-step directions, the software download, and a Youtube video that shows the WiiMote in use. He also gives you money saving tips on creating the tools you will need. He even shows you how to make an interactive table using the program!

I am super excited about this find. Do any of you use the WiiMote as an interactive whiteboard? I would love to hear from you!

Read Across America Skypes

Throughout the week of February 27, my students are going to Skype with classrooms across the United States in honor of Read Across America. We are going to share a Dr. Seuss story with their class, and they are going to share one with us. My schedule is full, but there are several who would love to connect with other classrooms across the country. For this reason, I have created a Google Doc where you can enter your contact information. You can then contact those from your grade level to form connections. The Doc can be found {here}. Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

65 Free Interactive Whiteboard Resources

You have to take a look at this article from Teach Hub They have developed a list of the best FREE interactive whiteboard resources. Some of the sites I already use: SpellingCity, Promethean Planet, FunBrain. However, there are so many that are brand new to me. I can't wait to use them with my students! The list was just too good not to share.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaching with TLC Blog: The 7 Week Challenge launches today- The Fruit of ...

Teaching with TLC Blog: The 7 Week Challenge launches today- The Fruit of ...: Happy Valentine's Day! I can't believe that the Teaching with the Fruit of the Spirit study begins today with Love . That was totally God'...

Tech Tuesday-Promethean Planet

Promethean Planet is not just for Promethean users. It is a site for all teachers. One will find resources like lesson  plans, PDFs, weblinks, images, and flipcharts that will enhance you curriculum. Many of the tools don't even require an interactive whiteboard. There are blog posts that cover a wide range of subjects. Teaching ideas abound in the forums section. Registration is completely free. .

I have created a user group on Promethean Planet for Language Arts integration. {Click here} to join this group. This will be a place to share ideas, take part in discussions, and house resources that relate to language arts.  You will definitely find something you can use!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Read the Bible Through Week 6

As I continue my commitment of reading the Bible through this year, I am thrilled that God speaks to me each day. God knows my thoughts, needs, and concerns and answers those in his Word. This week, God spoke to me about the plan he has for my life. Although, I may not be aware of that plan, He assures me that the plan is in place.
  • Exodus 5-9: Sometimes a clear message from God is followed by a time when no change is apparent. Focus on God rather than the goal.
  • Exodus 10-13: God doesn't always lead us on the shortest route to our goal. Don't complain. Just follow Him. He already knows the destination. He is guiding us on the safest, best route. Preparing for the goal shows our faith.
  • Exodus 14-18: Sometimes, we see ourselves in a problem with no way out. God will open up a way. When pressure comes, resist the pressure to escape. God will help you deal with the cause of your stress. Pray when you feel like complaining.
  • Exodus 19-21: Keeping God at the center of life keeps things from turning into gods.
  • Exodus 22-24: Make your wrongs right. As Christians, our lifestyle should show faith. We should obey God instead of doing what is accepted by society. Work for six days, and rest on the seventh.
  • Exodus 25-28: So much planning was put into the tabernacle. God planned my life the same way! Talents are given to glorify God. How can you use them for His glory?

Next week's reading plan:
  • Monday, February 13: Exodus 29-32
  • Tuesday, February 14: Exodus 33-36
  • Wednesday, February 15: Exodus 37-40
  • Thursday, February 16: Leviticus 1-4
  • Friday, February 17: Leviticus 5-7
  • Saturday, February 18: Leviticus 8-10

Again, I challenge you to make this commitment with me. If you are just now getting started or have gotten behind, pick up here. Don't try to catch up. You will be able to do that next year!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teaching With the Fruit of the Spirit: Transform Your Teaching in 7 Weeks

My blog friends, Annie from The Moffatt Girls and Tamara from Teaching With TLC, are kicking off a 7 week online Bible Study entitled "Teaching with the Fruit of the Spirit." I encourage you to take part in this study based on Galatians 5:22.  Click {here} for more information.

Add Pinterest Pin It Button to Posts

Up to this point (and you will see on past posts), I have had a Pin It button on my blog. I used the button provided by Pinterest. The downside was that it would only pin my blog button. I wanted to be able to select the picture I would pin, so I went Googling.

I found {this post} that gave me directions for exactly what I wanted. I will summarize the directions, so you can add the Pin It button quickly and easily to your blog, too!

  1. Once you are logged into your blog, click DESIGN at the top of the screen. 
  2. Click EDIT HTML.
  3. Check EXPAND WIDGET TEMPLATES. Be sure to back up your template before making any changes.
  4. Click CTRL+F.
  5. Copy and paste this code into the search box at the top right. <data:post.body/>
  6. Once you have located that code, copy and paste this code directly beneath it. <a href="javascript:void((function()%7Bvar%20e=document.createElement('script');e.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');e.setAttribute('charset','UTF-8');e.setAttribute('src',''+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e)%7D)());"><img style="margin: 0 0 -5px 0;" onclick="doPinIt();" src="" alt="Pin It" /></a>
  7. Click PREVIEW to make sure there is no problem with the code.
  8. If everything is OK, select SAVE TEMPLATE.

Now, you will have a Pinterest Pin It button that will allow the pinner to select any picture on the page.

Happy Pinning! 
P.S. To follow my Pinterest boards, click {here}.

Tech Tuesday-Domo Goanimate

My students really enjoyed creating animations using Domo Goanimate. This site is a super easy way to create animations for free. There is a wide variety of characters and props to simply drag and drop into a background. The possibilities are endless!

I created a class email address using Gmail. This address is used to register for sites we use in class. My students log in with this email address. I do this for two reasons. First, I can monitor my students work since everything is under the same account. Secondly, using one email address allows my students access to a free account. Most of these types of websites have education accounts (a teacher account with separate student accounts) for a fee. I need free! Therefore, creating under a common account keeps the site free.

Here is the assignment I gave my students for using Domo Animate. Remember, since I copied straight from Edmodo, the links are clickable.

This week's story is a play about a king who is trying to cook soup, but it becomes something else. You are going to complete a 2 step project this week. The catch is that I will not assign part 2 until Wednesday. This will ensure that you get the first step done.

1-Write a play. It can be about anything you would like to write about. Be sure to include a list of characters and scene directions. Your play must contain at least 3 characters that say at least 4 lines each. Follow the format of this week's story when setting up your play. You will publish your play on Kidblog. **This play will be entered in the school creative writing contest.**

2-Once you have published your play on Kidblog, you may work on step 2. You are going to animate your play using Domo Animate.
(a)Log into Domo Animate with our email address and password.
(b)Click Create in the red bar at the top.
(c)Click the Create cloud on the right side.
(d)Animate EVERY scene of your play.
(e)When time runs out and you are not finished, click Save at the top. Give it a title (include your first name) and a tag (a word telling the main idea of your play). Make sure you choose Draft. (You can't edit it once you click Publish.)
(f)If you are finished, click save, published, private, save and share. Add background music. Click the green envelope, and email it to
(g)To edit your Domo Animate, click on 4mrswhitehead at the top of the screen.
(h)Find yours in the list. Select the paper with the pencil on it (edit). It will open your animation to continue.

Have fun, and be creative!
To view are completed animations, please click {here}. You can read our plays, as well as our other blogs {here}.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Read the Bible Through Week 5

Job suffered. He suffered for reasons unknown to him. Through it all, he never lost sight of his love for God. Job's trust in God never wavered. This week's readings taught me a lot about trusting God through the good and bad times. I also reflected on the fact that God has a plan for my life. He will reveal His plan in His time. Therefore, I am not to worry about His timing but learn through it. Here is how God spoke to me this week:

  • Job 25-28: We can't claim sinless lives, but we can claim forgiven lives. Delight in God, and call upon Him in the bad times. "The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding." Job 28:28
  • Job 29-32: It is OK to cry out to God. He already knows our thoughts, prayers, and needs, but He wants to hear them from us.
  • Job 33-36: We should trust God's goodness, even though we don't know why our lives are going a certain way.
  • Job 37:1-40:5; Psalm 19: God always speaks at the right time. His plan may come over the course of your life and not at the moment you desire.
  • Job 40:6-42:17; Psalm 29: Those who persist in trusting God will be rewarded. It may not be today but in this lifetime. God will give you strength as you wait.
  • Exodus 1-4: God acts at the best time. We can't see His time schedule. Trust your future to God because He already knows the plan. If we are weak, God will provide our strength.

The following is next week's plan. If you would like to go through this journey with me, don't feel like you have to catch up. Start now with these passages. You will truly be blessed!

  • Monday, February 6: Exodus 5-9
  • Tuesday, February 7: Exodus 10-13
  • Wednesday, February 8: Exodus 14-18
  • Thursday, February 9: Exodus 19-21
  • Friday, February 10: Exodus 22-24
  • Saturday, February 11: Exodus 25-28

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Another VocabularySpellingCity Giveaway!

Sunny Days in Second

Here is another chance for you to win a Premium Membership to VocabularySpellingCity. Denise from Sunny Days is Second Grade is hosting a giveaway. She also shares some great ideas for using the site in your classroom. The contest ends on February 5, so you need to get your entry in quickly. Good luck!

While there, take time to browse Denise's blog. She offers some exceptional ideas to be used in your classroom. 
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Great Compliment!

We did many things to celebrate National Digital Learning Day in my classroom. During our Morning Meeting, I introduced what Digital Learning Day is and its purpose-to encourage using technology in the classroom. My students piped up stating, "This won't be any different than any other day!" What a great compliment!

Here is a brief schedule of what we did for National Digital Learning Day:

  1. The students created Tweets on their ActivExpressions2 using the stem "I like technology because __________."
  2. During literacy centers, the students animated plays they wrote on Kidblog using Domo Animate. Also, they played games from VocabularySpellingCity using their weekly spelling words.
  3. Our math lesson today was on symmetry. We took photos on our iPad using the Photobooth Mirror setting. You can view those {here}.
  4. Throughout the day, students read on their Nooks, iPod Touches, etc.
  5. To end our day, we Skyped with Mrs. Kilgo's 4th grade class (ThinkShareTeach) and shared why we love technology.
We had a fun day incorporating technology into our lessons. I wonder what we will do tomorrow?

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