Denim Column

About The Author

My photo
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

Friday, March 30, 2012

YAY! I'm a Winner!

I just received word that I won a Luna Interactive Projection Camera from Learning Resources through a giveaway from Sunny Days in Second Grade. I am so super excited! I incorporate technology throughout my day but was missing a document camera. It will be the perfect match for my Promethean ActivBoard. 

Sunny Days in Second

Not only did Denise of Sunny Days in Second Grade host a fantastic giveaway, she gave the prize rave reviews. Read her review {here}. If you haven't checked out Sunny Days in Second Grade, you are missing a great teaching blog. She offers great ideas while infusing her passion for education. 

Thank you, Denise! I can't wait to rave about my new projection camera, too!

National Pencil Day

March 30 is National Pencil Day! Could we really do without this yellow, wooden writing utensil? I have created a WallWisher, so we can collaborate with ways that we use pencils. This would be a great activity for your students to take part, too. Let's see how many different uses for pencils there are.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fun in Room 4B: 200+ Follower Giveaway!

Fun in Room 4B: 200+ Follower Giveaway!: So excited to have surpassed 200. To celebrate, I gathered a few bloggy friends to help me out: You could win ALL of these hu...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Promethean ActivTable

I recently had the opportunity to view the Promethean ActivTable in use. Not only did I get to see a group of children use it, but I got to use it, too. I must begin by saying it is SO COOL!

At first glance, the ActivTable looks like a giant iPad. However, it is so much more. The ActivTable is a collaboration tools where up to six users can interact at one time.  There are build in activities that cover math, science, writing, social studies, reading, etc. A teacher can also create tailor made activities just for her students. There are built in tools like keyboards, calculators, web browsers, etc. Each user can select what he needs.

In the above activity kindergartners and first graders were sorting animals by their size. You can see the number of hands on the board. It will hold up to 60 touches at one time. So, it easily allows for interactive learning.

One of my favorite activities was the sentence building activity. With the build in keyboard, the students could type words and sentences that automatically became word cards. The students could join the word cards, and the ActivTable would read it to them. You see five children and an adult working together to create a story. The cool part is that each child could work individually or collaboratively as a group. 

The screen on the ActivTable is 46" which is plenty of room for six students. Above, you see six 4th graders working together. The height of the ActivTable is made to support students in wheelchairs. The ActivTable is on casters for easy mobility.

The ActivTable will not be available for purchase until summer. It is definitely worth its price of $7999. You are receiving an interactive tool that promotes collaboration as well as individualized learning. If you price six stand alone computers that are interactive and collaborative, you can see how cost effective the ActivTable will be. I can't wait for the release. Maybe, I'll be one of the lucky ones that will get one of the first ActivTables!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Teaching in High Heels: Vocabulary SpellingCity Giveaway!

Teaching in High Heels: Vocabulary SpellingCity Giveaway!: I am pretty sure that most of you have heard of  Vocabulary SpellingCity ...if you haven' should definitely check it out...

Who Going to the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo?

The Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo is scheduled to launch on Saturday, April 11, 2012. You will be involved in great professional development activities from the comfort of your own home. The topics discussed in this Expo are Integrating Technology into Your Classroom, Modifying Math Instruction to Increase Student Understanding, Successful Strategies for English Language Learners, and Interactive Student Notebooks

It is time to announce the winners of my ticket giveaway. There are three winners! They are Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B, Andrea from Cheers to School, and Ms. D from 6th Grade Science Rocks. Congratulations, ladies! Be watching for an email from me for some information.



If you weren't a lucky winner, don't fret! You can preregister for this event for only $14.95. That is a great price for four sessions! {Click here}for information on registration. Also, if you are suffering financial hardships, you can apply for a scholarship to the event. Scholarships are subject to approval and should be directed to

I look forward to a great day of professional development!

Elapsed Time Video Story Problems

A video story problem is a great way for students and teachers to bring more of the "real world" into the classroom through the use of video. I was introduced to this concept by my friend, Tyler Hart. Recently, my students created video story problems on elapsed time.

Their task was to create a video that included an elapsed time word problem. The key is that they did not provide the answer to the problem. That is for the viewers to figure out.  I divided my students into five groups of four students each. The group was responsible for writing the script, bringing any needed props, and recording the video. To view there finished products, {click here}. While there, please comment with your answers. Better yet, let your students watch the creations and figure out the answers. 

This project took all of 30 minutes to complete from beginning to end. The educational value was amazing. The kids worked together. They can up with creative ideas and implemented those effectively. Most importantly, they know how to figure elapsed time. Rather than a worksheet, this activity made it real world.

A video story problem can be easily adapted to any area of the curriculum. In reading, the students could ask comprehension questions. In science and history, the students could create video story problems of the specific topic of study. In math, you could practically do anything. Mr. Hart has some great video story problems that he created at the grocery story. {This site} contains lots of ideas of video story problems. Have your students created any video story problems? If so, please link them here for us all to see. I know we will find some new ideas!


Giveaway Ends Today

Today is your final day to win a ticket to the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo. The Expo will be a fun filled, educational day of professional development straight from your computer. {Click here} to enter. Your deadline to enter is at 7:00 PM CST. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to Repost a Blog Post

Glitter Words

It is the little things that get me excited! Have you ever wanted to repost a blog post to a more recent date. Rather than linking to the post, rewriting it, or copy and pasting, there is a very simple way. And, it doesn't even remove your comments.

As part of the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo, I am giving away three tickets. (Don't forget to enter!) I wanted that post to be front and center. If you use Blogger:
  1. Go to DESIGN (top right of your screen). 
  2. Select POSTING. 
  3. Choose EDIT POSTS.
  4. Click POST OPTIONS at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Change to AUTOMATIC and then PUBLISH POST.
This post should now be at the top of your feed. The previous comments are still there, too. 

Everything's Intermediate Giveaway

The Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo takes place on April, 21, 2012. Would you like to win a ticket? I will be giving 3 tickets away on my blog. 

You can enter by leaving a comment for each of the following. Each comment will count as one entry, so make sure you make separate posts. Please include your email address, so I can contact you if you win. The contest will end on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 7:00 PM CST. 
  1. Write a post promoting Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo on your blog. Please leave a link to your post.
  2. Follow my blog using the Join Me button on the left, or tell me you are a current follower.
  3. Like my blog on Facebook, or tell me that you already do. Please leave your Facebook name if it is different than your post name. 
  4. Follow my blog on Twitter, or tell me you already do. Please leave your Twitter handle in your comment. 
  5. Spread the word about this giveaway. Send a Tweet, write a Facebook post, create a pin on Pinterest, etc. Paste the link into your comment. 

During the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo, you will get creative ideas, effective strategies, and experienced-learned lessons that work best with your students. The presenters will talk to you about integrating technology into your classroom, modifying math instruction to increase student understanding, successful strategies for English language learners, and interactive student notebooks. I will be sharing with you tons of tips and tools to effectively integrate technology into your already busy school day.


I look forward to a fantastic day of learning! Don't forget to register to win a free ticket. I'll be giving away three of them.


Too Much on My Plate

Have you ever had a week that you have just way too much on your plate? Between Promethean training in Alpharetta, Georgia, finalizing some professional development opportunities, teaching school and preparing lessons, applying to graduate school, and trying to have some family time, my blog has been neglected. I greatly apologize to you.

But, the good news is that Spring Break is here! Although I have some plans for remodeling my bathroom and working in the yard, I plan to devote some special time to my blog. Is there anything you would like to see a special post about? I'm always open to ideas!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

PD In Your PJs? (And, a Giveaway)

Have you ever attended a professional development day in your pajamas? That can happen at the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo launching on Saturday, April 21, 2012. You will have the opportunity to attend four great sessions for one low price. If you preregister, ticket prices are only $14.95 for all four sessions.

You will hear from Janaye from Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes about "Modifying Math Instruction to Increase Student Understanding." Heidi from Raki's Rad Resources will educate us on "Successful Strategies for English Language Learners." Mor from A Teacher's Treasure  shares about "Interactive Student Notebooks." I will teach you ways for "Integrating Technology into Your Classroom."

You can win tickets to this great event from my blog. {Click here} for details. Also, each blog mentioned above will also be giving away tickets. Please take a minute to visit their great blogs for your chance to win.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Think Share Teach: Its Time for a Giveaway!

Think Share Teach: Its Time for a Giveaway!: Who's ready for a giveaway? For the next two days I will be attending meetings as part of the Promethean Social Media Council. Why is this g...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Linky Party for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Bloggers

Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies is hosting a Linky Party to connect 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade bloggers. {Click here} to join her Linky Party. Add your own blog while finding lots of great new blogs to follow. I can't wait to see all the new blogs I discover! 


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Creating Screenshots

Have you ever wondered how bloggers use only a small screenshot from a website in their posts? I have the answer for you. This is an easy to use, FREE option. I use Promethean's ActivInspire. You do not have to be a Promethean user to download and use their software. On a side note, the software will work on your Smart Board or any other interactive whiteboard that you use.  But, back to the purpose of this post.

To create a screenshot (or portion of a screen shot), open ActivInspire. On the toolbar, select the DESKTOP TOOLS icon. It looks like a little blue square with tools on it. 

You will see a little blue circle with the same icon on your webpage. Be sure you have the webpage open where you will make the screenshot. When you hover over the middle of the circle, you will see a ring of icons. Hover over the camera icon, and you will see the several camera options. I always use the AREA SNAPSHOT.  The other options are also available, but they require a still hand to use because you are actually drawing the boarder.

The screen will go gray, and you will see a white box. Stretch that white box around the image you want to capture. Once you have selected the area you are going to capture, choose MY RESOURCES. I always change the location to a place easy for me to find-My Desktop, My Documents, etc. The image will be saved to that location. It does take a couple of minutes depending on the size of your picture.

Now, simply insert your image into your blog posts.

You can take it a step further by adding arrows. To do this you will need to save the image to CURRENT PAGE.  Add your arrows using the SHAPE icon in ActivInspire. Then, you will take another screenshot of that image by using the camera in the menu bar. On the menu bar at the top of ActivInspire, select TOOLS>CAMERA>AREA SNAPSHOT. Again, select MY RESOURCES.

ActivInspire also offers a free screen recorder. We will explore that in a future post. To download  a free version of ActivInspire, please {visit Promethean Planet}. 

The Winner of the My Blue Snowflake Giveaway Is...

TEACHER GIFT Personalized Name Bottle cap Pendant  Keychain Necklace THANK You Gift  Rhinestone Apple Teacher appreciation
I can always count on my bloggie friends to show me the greatest support. You did that again through this giveaway. Thanks!

I used to find the winner. 

The winner is #20, Heather Temske! Congratulations, Heather. Be watching your email for instructions on how to claim your prize.

Again, I would like to thank My Blue Snowflake for their participation in this giveaway. Take a few minutes to look at their great selection. I'm sure you'll find something you love!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Are You Willing To Donate an Item?

Everything's Intermediate

The Virtual Teaching Everything's Intermediate Expo is soon! Are you willing to donate an item from your online store for the goodie bag? PDF products over $5 will be accepted. If you are willing to donate, please {click here} for details.

Tomorrow's the Day!

TEACHER GIFT Green Apple personalized Bottle cap Pendant Keychain Necklace,pta , Learning, Teachers Gift, Graduation Present

The giveaway for the My Blue Snowflake Teacher/School Personalized Charm Gift ends tomorrow night at 10:00 CST. {Visit here} for your final chance to enter.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Standardized Testing Linky Party

It is that time of year that our minds turn to standardized testing. Let us share some of the best resources we use to help prepare our students to be successful on their tests. Include links, teaching ideas, and resources. We will even take great stress relievers for you and your students. 


Don't Forget This Giveaway!

TEACHER GIFT Personalized Hot Pink Black Bottle cap Glass Dome Keychain Necklace Mother grandmother  Believe  apple Teacher appreciation
Don't forget that I am holding a giveaway for a personalized handmade charm gift from My Blue Snowflake. It is super easy to enter, and I would love for you to win. {Click here} for details on how to enter. The deadline for entry is this Friday.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Adding a Personal Signature to Blogger

Glitter Words

Recently, I was asked how to add a personal signature to each blog post. It is actually a very easy process

1)Create your signature. You can get as simple or as complex as you would like. I wanted my signature fairly simple, so I used My Live Signature. Another site that is easy to use but makes fancier signatures is Glitterfy. Those who are more advanced can create their own signatures through Paint, Photoshop, etc., but I'll leave that for another day. There is no need to install anything or register on either site

2)Glitterfy is pretty self explanatory. Enter your text. Change the color, glitter, and size. Click GLITTERFY TEXT.

3)If you choose My Live Signature, the easiest route is to click PROCEED on the home page. Then, select USING THE SIGNATURE CREATION WIZARD. Follow the onscreen directions. Once you have created your signature, select WANT TO USE THIS SIGNATURE? This will generate you HTML code that you will need in a later step.
4)Once you have created your signature, you will need the HTML code.

 My Live Signature

5)Copy your HTML code.

6)Now, in your Blogger account, go to DESIGN>SETTINGS>FORMATTING>scroll down to POST TEMPLATE. Paste your HTML code there. I entered this line of code first. <font face="Arial">...</font> I found it gives me a space to start my blog post without having to change my normal blog font. Change the highlighted part to the font you normally use. Then, just delete the dots when you begin writing.

7)Follow {these steps} to delete the gray shadow around your signature once it is published.


Have you Entered Yet?

TEACHER GIFT Personalized Bottle cap Pendant  Keychain Necklace, Back to School TEACH love inspire, Learning, Teachers Gift Present

Have you entered my giveaway yet? You could win a personalized handmade gift from My Blue Snowflake's Teacher/School section. {Click here} for details on how to enter.

Are You a Teaching Blog Addict?

Teaching Blog Addict was one of the main reasons I got into blogging. While searching Facebook, I found their blog page. I was amazed at all the wonderful resources that where being shared by classroom teachers. We know that our best ideas come from other teachers because we know they are tried and true. Surely, I had ideas I could share, too. So, I began blogging. 

Then, I had the amazing honor of becoming an author for Teaching Blog Addict! I simply share what I use in my classroom with their massive following. My ideas may not always be flamboyant or cute. However, I hope you get practical technology tips to use in your classroom.

Even better, Teaching Blog Addict now has a Pinterest profile. So, you Pinterest addicts can get all the greatest tips in your favorite spot!

Follow Me on Pinterest

If you haven't checked out Teaching Blog Addict, be sure to do that now! You won't be sorry!

Read the Bible Through Week 9

As the Israelites were ending their 40 year wandering in the wilderness, they began to get very uneasy and impatient with the situation. God had great things in store for them, but they just couldn't seem to wait. How often do I do that? God has a plan for me. He has promised me many things. I must remember that He knows what is best for me and when the best time will be. I need to keep my hands out of His plan!

God spoke to me in the following ways during each day's readings.

  • Numbers 6-9: Don't make compromises with God. Pray for a workable situation. Instead of praying "Why do you want me to do next?," pray "What do you want me to do right here?" Discover God's purpose for your life by discovering what He wants now.
  • Numbers 10-23; Psalm 90: Stability isn't a lack of change but moving with God in every circumstance. Take your complaints to God and not each other. He can solve any problem. Don't let negatives cause you to lose sight of God's promises.
  • Numbers 14-16; Psalm 95: Don't stop trusting God just as you are ready to reach your goal. He brought you this far and won't let you down. Don't regret advice you don't like. It may be God's method of telling you his message. We must not only do what is right, but it must be at the right time.
  • Numbers 17-20: Troubles are often a result of our disobedience and lack of faith. God is not to blame.
  • Numbers 21-24: Complaining comes from a thoughtless attitude. Deal with the cause of the complaint, so it won't take hold of your life. We must look at the long term benefits of following God instead of the fame and fortune.
  • Numbers 25-28: God works in quiet ways to bring about his long range purpose.
I still urge you take this challenge of reading the Bible through in one year. This is a challenge I am going to undertake each year from now on. If you are just now getting started, start with this week's scripture. Don't try to catch up. You can read that next year.
  • Monday, March 5: Numbers 29-32
  • Tuesday, March 6: Numbers 33-36
  • Wednesday, March 7: Deuteronomy 1-3
  • Thursday, March 8: Deuteronomy 4-7
  • Friday, March 9: Deuteronomy 8-11
  • Saturday, March 10: Deuteronomy 12-15


Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Time for a Giveaway!

TEACHER GIFT Elegant Pink Polka Dot, Personalized Bottle cap Keychain Rhinestone Apple, Mother grandmother TEACH love inspire, Learning

I was waiting to reach 200 followers to have a giveaway, but I think 197 is close enough! You are going to love this prize.

The winner of this giveaway will win any one item from the My Blue Snowflake Teacher/School section. My Blue Snowflake specializes in handmade, personalized jewelry and gifts. I won a necklace from them in another giveaway, and I absolutely love it! I get so many compliments on it. You can read my blog post about my necklace {here}.

You can enter by leaving a comment for each of the following. Each comment will count as one entry, so make sure you make separate posts. Please include your email address, so I can contact you if you win. The contest will end on Friday, March 9, 2012, at 10:00 PM CST. I will announce the winner on Saturday, March 10, 2012.
  1. Follow my blog (or tell me you are a current follower) using the Join This Site button on the left.
  2. Like my blog on Facebook, or tell me that you already do. Please leave your Facebook name if it is different than your post name.
  3. Follow my blog on Twitter, or tell me you already do. Please leave your Twitter handle in your comment.
  4. Spread the word about this giveaway. You can create a post on your blog, send a Tweet, write a Facebook post, create a pin on Pinterest, etc. Paste the link into your comment.
  5. Add My Blue Snowflake to your circles on Etsy.
Good luck!