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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Skype in the Classroom

One question that was asked repeatedly as part of my Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo presentation, Integrating Technology Into Your Classroom, was concerning Skype. Teachers wanted to know how to find classes and experts to connect with through Skype.

Skype is an online service that allows users to make video and voice calls for free. Skype has great potential for use in the classroom.  It provides an avenue to invite guests from all over the world to speak to our students.  Using Skype to connect with experts, authors, researchers, other students, professionals, etc. allows our students the opportunity to meet and communicate with others using 21st century learning tools. Once you set up a free account and connect a webcam, you are ready to go.

Where do you find other users to connect with? Below you will find a list of ways of gathering connections.
  1. Skype in the Classroom-Explore collaboration projects submitted by other teachers. Find one that interests you, and respond to the project. Also, you can create your own project. You will be amazed at the number of replies you can receive.
  2. Skype in Schools-This wiki allows you to search by state, grade level, or project. 
  3. Authors Who Skype-This site offers a list of authors who will Skype with your classroom for free or a small charge.
  4. Simply Ask-If you are interested in Skyping with other classrooms, put a call out on your blog, Facebook, Edmodo, etc. Email teacher friends from other communities or states. You are sure to connect with another group. If you are looking for an expert to speak to your class, email them. I have had a meteorologist that visited Antarctica and a park ranger from Yosemite National Park talk to my students through Skype. I sent them an email, and they gladly responded. The students love the experience of meeting others outside their school walls.
{Here} is a great article I found on using Skype in the Classroom. It outlines 50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom. If you are interested with Skyping with my 4th graders, please comment below. We have learned so much through Skype and would love to help you get started.


The Virtual Teaching Expo on Teacher's Notebook

Each presentation from the Virtual Teaching Expo is now available on Teacher's Notebook. You will hear from classroom teachers on a variety of topics to enhance your classroom. The presentations can be purchased individually for $4.95.

 I had the honor of presenting on "Integrating Technology Into Your Classroom." Although, it was part of the Everything's Intermediate Expo, I can guarantee there is something for every grade level in the presentation. {Click here} to add my presentation to your cart. 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

300 and Still Rolling

YAY! My blog has reached 300, and it is still rolling along! Thank you to each and every follower for making my blogging experience so special. Stay tuned for more tech tips and teaching ideas as I continue to grow. Thank you!

Super Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to all who entered the Super Thankful Super Giveaway. I especially want to thank the authors of Fun in Room 4B, Down the Learning Road, The Hands On Teacher, and First Class Teacher donating their prizes.

Now, for the part that everyone is waiting. The winner of the giveaway is Amanda H. Congratulations, Amanda. Be watching your email!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Virtual Teaching Expo Question and Answer

Thank you so much for participating in the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo. I hope you learned as much as I did. I thank Teaching Blog Addict, Teacher's Notebook, and Virtual Teaching Expo for the special opportunity to present to you. It is not too late to participate in the Virtual Teaching Expo. You can always purchase a ticket to attend at your own convenience. {Click here} for details.

If it wasn't obvious, technology is my passion. There is a place in every classroom for technology integration. Students are engaged while learning 21st skills. You will reach students who are otherwise unmotivated through the use of technology. Throughout the presentation, I referred to a blog post I had written previously called "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day." You can read it by {clicking here}.

I can't wait to hear about technology integration in your classroom!

  1. How do you integrate technology with your students? 
  2. What are your favorite websites and webtools to use? 
  3. Which webtool did you discover in the presentation that you can't wait to try with your students?
To access a handout that correlates with this presentation, {click here}. You will find all the sites from the presentation plus many more.

I would love for you to share your creations with us. Feel free to leave a link in your comment to show off your students' projects. Some of mine are posted {here}. Don't hesitate to ask me any questions about what you heard today or any other area of technology integration. Thank you again for attending the Virtual Teaching Expo. It has been a blast!


Super Giveaway Because I'm Super Thankful

There are so many things in which I have to be thankful. I have a family that I love and that loves me. I have a career that means so much more to me than a job. My blog is very near to 300 followers. The Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo is ready to launch. I have accepted a position in social media promotions for JogNog, an amazing education website. The list can go on and on.

I am thankful for my bloggy friends! Recently, I put out a call for those who would like to donate something for a giveaway. Four great bloggers answered the call, therefore you are going to be excited about this giveaway! One winner will win all of the prizes in this giveaway. Here is what you will win. 

First Class Teacher
Pamela from First Class Teacher is allowing the winner to choose any item from her Teachers Pay Teachers store. She has some quality reading and science products.


Fun in Room 4B
Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B has graciously donated her Poetry and Figurative Language Lapbook in honor of National Poetry Month.

Linda, a new blogger, from Down the Learning Road is giving a Thirty-One Lunch Tote.

Marie from The Hands On Teacher is offering your choice from her Teachers Pay Teachers store.

This is my first time to use Rafflecopter, so I hope all goes well! The giveaway will end on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. The winner will be announced on Thursday, April 26, 2012. Good luck!

Thank a Teacher Sponsored by Promethean

Do you know a teacher making a difference? Maybe it is a coworker, your child's teacher, or a bloggy friend (hint, hint). All you have to do is submit a 100 word or less essay describing why the teacher should be honored. Email it along with the teacher's photo and contact information to by April 26, 2012.

The winner of the contest will win a two-day, all expenses paid trip to the Ron Clark Academy Educator Training Program. Now, do you see why I want to win?

For official details, please {click here}. Thank you to all my teacher/bloggy friends!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Amy Clipston Books: Win A Season of Love & Reckless Heart!

Amy Clipston Books: Win A Season of Love & Reckless Heart!: Hi Friends! Are you ready for a new contest? This week I'm giving away my first advanced copy of A Season of Love and also an advanc...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teaching Blog Addict: Do you have your tickets?

Teaching Blog Addict: Do you have your tickets?: Join hundreds of intermediate grade levels teachers from around the world in less than a week and treat yourself to a makeover by attending...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Help Wanted!

I am very close to reaching 300 followers. So, that means time for a giveaway! Would you be willing to donate a product for the giveaway? Of course, I would give credit where credit is due. In order to enter, readers would have to follow your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You could have the choice. If you are interested in donating a product, please email me at Thank you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo Launches This Saturday

Have you signed up for the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo? It is going to be a fun-filled day of professional development from the comfort of your own home. The launch date is set for Saturday, April 21, 2012. You will hear from four teachers on a variety of topics to use in your classroom.

Those who preregister will have access to a special virtual goodie bag full of resources and printables. 

You don't want to miss this special event! {Click here} for more information.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

JogNog Bunny Hop Freebie

You signed up for JogNog as a part of the Bunny Hop Freebie. (If you didn't, it is not too late. {Visit here} for instructions.) Now, how do I play on the site? The creators of JogNog have created a great video that provides an excellent overview to get you started. {Click here} to view this video. My students discovered how to customize their Nog by viewing this video and have been super creative. OK, I have had fun with it, too! By the way, I'm always up for a JogNog challenge. My username is cjwteach. Have fun!

Edutopia Featured Teacher

Today, I received an unexpected surprise. I was recognized as an Edutopia Featured Teacher. {Click here} to view my spotlight. Although it is only a small spot, I see it as a huge honor! 

If you have not visited Edutopia before, you will find that it is a great place to connect with other educators on ideas such as technology integration, professional development, project learning, and assessment. You are sure to find something to integrate into your classroom.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Standardized Testing

Tomorrow starts the ARMT+, Alabama's state standardized testing. How do you stress the importance of the test without your students being a nervous wreck? There are so many rules and regulations that must be followed-only #2 pencils, no leaving the classroom, no books at your desk, no electronic devices in the room, etc. Our students are fully aware of the consequences of filing an irregularity report. Sure, I want my students to do their very best and follow all the rules, but I want them to be relaxed. Have we pushed our students too far where they can't relax during the test? Are they scared of  "The State Department?" Just say a prayer calm nerves and clear minds. I know my students are the best! I know I have done the very best I can!

My Standardized Testing Linky Party is still running. {Click here} for fun test preparation links. Be sure to add any links you use, too.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bunny Hop Freebie

You have reached your final destination on the Bunny Hop. Hasn't it been fun? I have gathered so many great tools to use with my students. Thanks to all my fellow bloggers!

I have one final freebie to offer you. JogNog has so graciously donated free quiz towers and tokens for our Bunny Hop. Your students and you are going to LOVE this freebie! JogNog is a test prep website that provides competitive learning games that motivate players to learn more, faster, better. As students master material, they create virtual cities. They can play alone or challenge their friends. Material is based on the core curriculum-language arts, math, science, and social studies. However, you will find so much more, and you can even create your own question sets. 

JogNog has donated five question towers that cover various subjects and grades.These will expire in June.  You and your students will need the tokens after the first level of play. The first level of any tower is free. Don't worry, there are plenty of tokens to go around, so feel free to use them as you wish. The questions towers bought with the tokens will never expire. Additional question sets can are priced as free, $0.99, or $4.99. Monthly specials are held with some towers are on promotion as free or $0.99. 

To get started, register for a free account at In the search box at the top right of the screen, enter the secret code QZ37FYH. Feel free to share the code with your students, coworkers, blog followers, and friends. JogNog is also available through the iTunes Apps Store and Android Market, so the code will work in the search on your mobile devices, too. 

Your students are sure to thank you for discovering JogNog. My students love the site! If you have any questions or comments about JogNog, feel free to share them with me. This is a great freebie! To thank JogNog for this special freebie, please take a second to like them on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons below.


If you have missed out on any of the Bunny Hop freebies, don't fret. Simply, click on the TBA Bunny Hop image below, and get started on the trail. Happy Easter!


Making It As A Middle School Teacher: 50,000 Page Views Eggs-travaganza!!!

Making It As A Middle School Teacher: 50,000 Page Views Eggs-travaganza!!!: 50,000 page views!  That's quite a lot in a somewhat short period of time! To celebrate, I'm having a 50,000 Page Views Eggs-tavaganza!...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Have You Registered for the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo Yet?

Every Things Intermediate Flyer


VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership Special

There are so many benefits to a VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership. Your students get access to premium games such as Word-O-Rama, Letterfall, and Speedy Speller. Students also get individual logins which gives you the ability to create differentiated assignments. My favorite features has to be the record keeping. My students take their weekly spelling and vocabulary tests online, and their scores are saved. 

Throughout the month of April, your students can access the Premium Crossword free. Also, the month of April brings you a special premium membership value. You can subscribe to the site for $49.99 for a class of 25, and your one year subscription will be extended until June 30, 2013. Simply enter the coupon code SPRING12 in the address 2 line of the subscription form. You won't regret your decision to upgrading to a Premium Membership.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012