About The Author

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Alabama, United States
Instructional Partner, National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy, Graduate School Student, Social Media Promoter for VocabularySpellingCity, Promethean ActivInstructor and Social Media Council member, Avid Twitterer @WhiteheadsClass, 1st Vice President for ALNBCT Network Board of Directors, Certified ALEX Trainer

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

VocabularySpellingCity App for Tablets: iPad, Kindle, and Android


If your kids received tablets from Santa, you will want to download the SpellingCity app. The app is available for iPads, Kindles, and Android devices. 

There are 5 new games for Premium Members, and lots of fun games for free! 


Visit http://www.spellingcity.com/app for download links.
~Cara
I have used VocabularySpellingCity with the students in my classroom for over five years. In fact, my entire school now has premium memberships for every teacher. I was so impressed with the site and how it affected student learning that I shared it through various social media platforms. I am now compensated to work with VocabularySpellingCity after school as a social media consultant.
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Alternatives to Round Robin Reading

Round Robin Reading, the method where each student takes turns reading orally, has been proven an ineffective learning strategy.  Students suffer embarrassment and boredom.  Time is wasted.  Students are not following along or listening.  The students do not have an established purpose for reading other than to finish. There has to be a better alternative!

I have devised a list of ten of my favorite reading strategies that take the place of Round Robin Reading.  These are Choral Reading, Whisper Reading, Echo Reading, Everyone Reads, Oral Cloze, Paired Reading, Reciprocal Reading, Jigsaw, Say Something, and Jump In.  For further explanations of each strategy, please visit my Teacher's Notebook or TeachersPayTeachers stores.


~Cara
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

We Have a Winner of the VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership Giveaway!


Congratulations, Lisa, for winning the Premium Membership to VocabularySpellingCity.  An email has been sent to you on how to claim your prize.




Thank you to everyone that entered!  If you haven't had an opportunity to use VocabularySpellingCity or Science4Us, please take a little time to check them out.  I know you won't be disappointed!


~Cara
I have used VocabularySpellingCity with the students in my classroom for over five years.  In fact, my entire school now has premium memberships for every teacher.  I was so impressed with the site and how it affected student learning that I shared it through various social media platforms.  I am now compensated to work with VocabularySpellingCity after school as a social media consultant.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Science4Us Review and VocabularySpellingCity GIVEAWAY


Science4Us is an interactive, standards-based science curriculum from the developers of VocabularySpellingCity.  Built on the 5E Model of Learning (engage, explore, explain, extend/elaborate, evaluate), kindergarten through 2nd grade students are provided with the foundational skills needed to be successful in science.  The online lessons are based on your state standards for science and integrate technology, engineering, math, literacy and the arts.  There is even embedded content training to increase teacher comfort in teaching science.




Researchers found the content and activities to be appropriate for K-2 students stating, “It provides a foundational understanding that is needed as students progress through their learning.” Not only did researchers find the content and activities engaging for K-2 students, they also measured student achievement. Students receiving Science4Us significantly outperformed those students engaged in science instruction as usual. Researchers also noted the inquiry opportunities included in Science4Us are supportive of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) approach to inquiry-based learning. (Read the full article {here}.)

I am holding a giveaway of a Premium Membership to VocabularySpellingCity.  You can enter in multiple ways.  The more entries, the more chances you have to win.  


~Cara

I have used VocabularySpellingCity with the students in my classroom for over five years.  In fact, my entire school now has premium memberships for every teacher.  I was so impressed with the site and how it affected student learning that I shared it through various social media platforms.  I am now compensated to work with VocabularySpellingCity after school as a social media consultant.
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thirty-One Gifts Online Party


You are invited to my Thirty-One Gifts Online Party!  With this party, you can shop from your own home and place all your orders online.  
My favorite product, the Super Organizing Tote, is actually the September special.  When you spend $35, you can get this tote for half off.  I use it to carry everything! I travel between schools, so it is the perfect bag for all my materials, laptop, snacks, etc.  It is big enough for everything you need but not too big to carry.  In fact, I love mine so much that I have another one on order.  

I hope you take time to view the new products and patterns.  Don't feel obligated to order, but I did want to make you aware since it is not always easy to find a consultant or arrange a time for a party.  The link for the party is http://www.mythirtyone.com/shop/eventhome.aspx?eventId=E3701409&from=DIRECTLINK. Thank you!

~Cara Pin It

Monday, September 2, 2013

Equity Sticks


How can we keep all students engaged?  How can we assure that we are calling on each student in our classroom rather than the "selected few?"  How can we make each child responsible for his own learning?  One trick I have found is equity sticks.

Equity sticks can be Popsicle sticks, index cards, bookmarks, etc.  On each stick, you write the name of a student in your class.  When you ask a question, you simply choose a stick and that student will answer.  After turn and talk, choose a stick and let that child answer.  This way, you are assuring equity during discussions.  

There is also an iPad app that can be used.  Stick Pick is an equity stick app, but it has a twist.  When setting your class roster, you can choose to include questioning stems for each student based on Bloom's taxonomy or ESL.  Therefore, you can differentiate instruction while questioning your students.  Cool! Although it is a paid app ($2.99), it is well worth its price.  

~Cara
I was in no way compensated for the Stick Pick review.  It was simply an app I found that we could all find useful in our classrooms.
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Change Ahead


The 2012-2014 school year is here!  My professional days begin August 12, and students return on August 19.  However, this is a year of change for me.

For the past 16 years, I have been a classroom teacher in a rural school in Northeast Alabama.  This year, I have transferred to a much larger school within my district-new location, new commute, new people.  Also, I will have a whole new position.  I will be an instructional coach working with teachers instead of kids.  The position also requires that I visit the middle school one day a week.  Another huge change for me.

Although the year will be a year of many transitions, I am looking forward to many great experiences.  Throughout the year, I will share my successes, my questions, my excitements, my goals.  

What changes are you making professionally this year?
~Cara
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

On the 8th Day, God Created Teachers

I read the following story on Facebook and knew I had to share it with my readers.  It is a great reminder as we go back to school.  I wish I knew the author where I could give proper credit, but I found it at {here}.  



On the 6th day, God created men and women. On the 7th day, he rested. Not so much to recuperate, but rather to prepare himself for the work he was going to do on the next day. For it was on that day - the 8th day - that God created the FIRST TEACHER.

This TEACHER, though taken from among men and women, had several significant modifications. In general, God made the TEACHER more durable than other men and women. The TEACHER was made to arise at a very early hour and to go to bed no earlier than 11:30 PM with no rest in between.

The TEACHER had to be able to withstand being locked up in an air-tight classroom for six hours with thirty-five "monsters" on a rainy Monday. And the TEACHER had to be fit to correct 103 papers over Easter vacation. Yes, God made the TEACHER tough... but gentle, too. The TEACHER was equipped with soft hands to wipe away the tears of the neglected and lonely student... those of the sixteen-year old girl who was not asked to the prom.

And into the TEACHER God poured a generous amount of patience. Patience when a student asks to repeat the directions the TEACHER has just repeated for someone else. Patience when the kids forget their lunch money for the fourth day in a row. Patience when one-third of the class fails the test. Patience when the text books haven't arrived yet, and the semester starts tomorrow.

And God gave the TEACHER a heart slightly bigger than the average human heart. For the Teacher's heart had to be big enough to love the kid who screams, "I hate this class - it's boring!" and to love the kid who runs out of the classroom at the end of the period without so much as a "goodbye," let alone a "thank you."

And lastly, God gave the TEACHER an abundant supply of HOPE. For God knew that the TEACHER would always be hoping. Hoping that the kids would someday learn how to spell... hoping not to have lunchroom duty... hoping that Friday would come... hoping for a free day... hoping for deliverance.

When God finished creating the TEACHER, he stepped back and admired the work of His hands. And God saw that the TEACHER was good. Very Good! And God smiled, for when he looked at the TEACHER, he saw into the future.

He knew that the future is in the hands of the TEACHERS. And because God loves TEACHERS so much... on the 9th day God created... SNOW DAYS!
~Cara
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Friday, August 9, 2013

ALEX: Alabama Learning Exchange


ALEX (Alabama Learning Exchange) is a FREE one-stop resource for educators.  Developed by the Alabama Department of Education, this site provides exceptional resources for educators all over the world.  Although the site was developed by the state of Alabama, please be aware that it is to be used by all teachers regardless of their location.

Recently, I had to opportunity to become a certified ALEX trainer.  During my training, I was reminded of the many facets of the site.  The site includes the following areas:

  1. Courses of Study-This section is state specific.  One will find the College and Career Ready Standards (Alabama added additional standards to the Common Core standards.) for language arts and math for all grade levels.  It also includes all the courses of study for each subject and grade level.  It is very easy to select and print the standards one needs.
  2. Learning Assets-In this section, one will find activities to use before, during, or after a lesson.  They are not complete lessons.  These have been developed by teachers and approved by the ALEX team.  It is easy to search for specific content areas, grade levels, etc.
  3. Lesson Plans-Here, one will find complete lessons developed by teachers.
  4. Search-This section will search the entire site for lesson plans, learning assets, and podcasts that meet a specific topic and grade level.  It also searches Thinkfinity lessons.
  5. Personal Workspace-Sign up for a free account to create your Personal Workspace.  This area of the site will allow one to bookmark lessons, submit resources and plans, and create teacher webpages.
  6. Professional Learning-Find links to grants and trainings and Alabama Department of Education programs.  There is a section devoted to technology tools where one will be provided step-by-step handouts created by teachers and schools of basic programs.  Also, find download links to needed plug ins.  
  7. Podcast Treasury-A wide variety of podcasts created by teachers and students to use in your classroom.  There also also free podcasts developed by content partners.
  8. Alexville-This section is divided into various ALEX communities.  It is a great place to connect with other educators.
As educators, we are all looking for FREE resources, lesson plans, and ideas to use to enhance our students' curriculum.  It is great to have everything needed in one place.  Please take time to browse ALEX, and let me know what you think.


~Cara
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Technology Tools for Teachers: Thank You!


Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my survey on your favorite technology tools to use as a teacher.  I was amazed at the number of responses and the variety of tools.  I did my best to include them all in my presentation. 

As a thank you to each of my blog followers, I am offering my handout, Technology Tools for Teachers, FREE on my Teachers Notebook shop.  Simply click {here} to download your copy.   Thank you again for helping me out with this presentation!
~Cara
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Technology Tools for Teachers

I am currently working on a professional development session and would love your input! Could you take just a minute and fill in the following form?  Thank you so much in advance!

~Cara
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

ISTE 2013: A Thought-Provoking Conference


The annual ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference was held in San Antonio, Texas.  This was my third ISTE conference.  Each year is more exciting than the one before.  It is an opportunity to learn new strategies and skills that will best help our students grow as members of a global society.  It is a chance to network with other educators across the country and world in order to flourish as quality teachers.  It is an occasion to highlight the great things happening within our classrooms and schools. 

ISTE13 gave many great memories.  I was given the opportunity to present a poster session with my friend, Farrah (Think*Share*Teach).  During this session, we talked with many teachers in casual conversations about the amazing things our students create.  We met many new friends and hopefully inspired each of those that attended.  


Each session I attended gave me new insights as an educator.  Whether the session specifically met my needs or not, I took the information and applied it to the type of teacher I want to be.  It is important to prepare the students in my school as 21st century learners.  However, that does not always mean that they are using some sort of technology tool.  As taken from Robin Hrivnatz, "Technology is part of the role but not the center of the role."  

While networking throughout the convention center, I met new friends.  Often, these were people I have followed and communicated through Facebook, Twitter, or this blog.  When you get to shake their hand, hug their neck, and thank them for the things you have learned from them, a definite bond is formed.  However, this aspect of ISTE causes a source of concern for me.  Often, those in attendance were simply networking.  They were not attending sessions to explore new teaching strategies.  They were not supporting those presenting in the sessions throughout the conference.  

My heart aches most for those in attendance that merely used this conference as a social outing.  Attendees were posting where they were "hanging out."  This often included late nights of drinking and partying.  Although I am not to judge, as educators, we are ranked to a higher standard.  Social media is a great tool to make connections, but we must remember that people do read and question the statuses that are posted.  The following words may be harsh, but it is a reminder that we should remember.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 
James 3:1

I spent a majority of my time with the following three people.  These ladies are strong, influential women in education.  We enjoyed our evenings celebrating our Christian fellowship. Together, we would enjoy long dinners, belly laughs, and intriguing conversations.  We attended sessions together and shared our thoughts from the things we heard.  Our hope was that others saw that we could have a great time in a way that was pleasing to God, our families, our students, and ourselves.  


Thank you, ISTE13, for a thought-provoking conference!
~Cara
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

ISTE 2013 Exhibit Hall Passes


VocabularySpellingCity has 20 free passes to the ISTE Exhibit Hall to give away. If you are traveling with friends or family members who are not planning to attend the conference, but may like to browse the Exhibit Hall, please contact nancy@spellingcity.com as soon as possible with your name and mailing address (along with the number of tickets you would like).  They will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis. 
~Cara
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Personalized Mother's Day Gift and Freebie


The best Mother's Day gifts are those that are created by kids for their moms.  I absolutely love this idea merging creativity, writing, and technology.  

By using VocabularySpellingCity, your students can create fun puzzles and word games as gifts for their moms! Students can enter word lists right from VocabularySpellingCity's homepage, then print a custom Mom-themed Word Search (Free) or Crossword Puzzle (Premium). 

Better yet, VocabularySpellingCity is running a promotion from May 1-12 in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week next week.  They are offering non-Premium Member teachers a free 30-day trial!  Check out the banner on their homepage. The offer code is "teachersrock".   This way, you can print their crosswords for free.  

Happy Mother's Day!
~Cara
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dropbox: Say Goodbye to Jump Drives

If you are like me, you have problems keeping up with your jump drive. My biggest fear was always, "What if I lose it forever?" My life stayed on my jump drive until I discovered Dropbox. I have used Dropbox for over two years. Since then, I have never used a jump drive again. 


Dropbox is an online storage program. Everything is stored online, so you will never lose anything! I store class files, personal pictures and videos, important documents, etc. into my Dropbox. Dropbox holds all file types. You can access Dropbox from multiple computers and your iPad. You can even share folders with friends and colleagues. Your students can upload files into a shared Dropbox folder. There is a paid version of Dropbox, but I have never upgraded. You start with 2GB of free space, and there are multiple ways to upgrade that space.To get started with Dropbox, simply {click here}
~Cara
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Insert an Excel Spreadsheet Into Word


While completing a grad school project, I was having a major headache! I was trying to insert an Excel spreadsheet with a lot of data into a word document. Every way I tried (thanks to Google), it came out wrong.  The margins were way off the page.  The spreadsheet only showed the first few rows.  It would insert as a picture and be so small that it couldn't be read.   It came to the point that I thought it was impossible! But, VIOLA!

I want to share with you what I did.  Maybe, it will be of use to you.  

  1. Save your Excel spreadsheet as a PDF.  Go to FILE>SAVE AS>under SAVE AS TYPE change to PDF.  Be sure to specify the name and location where you want to save it.
  2. Open PDF TO WORD ONLINE CONVERTER.  (I am in no way being compensated for sharing this site.  I simply found it in my struggle, and it is free!)
  3. Select CHOOSE FILE.  Find where you saved your PDF, and click to open it.
  4. Click CONVERT.  That's it! You will have to wait a few minutes depending on the size of your file, but it will open the file into a new word document.  You margins are perfect.  All the information is there.
  5. You can keep it as its own document, or choose to copy and paste it into another document.  This is what I did.  To do this:
    1. Highlight all the text in your newly converted document.  Press CTRL-C on your keyboard at the same time.  You don't have to hold them down.
    2. Open the document you want to insert the table into, and press CTRL-V to paste it into this document.  
There you go! Simple and headache free!
~Cara
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to Read a Tweet


Twitter is a fantastic way to connect with others across the world.  As an educator, you will learn so much through your PLN (professional learning network).  The main reason many shy away from Twitter is that they just don't understand how to read a Tweet.  I am going to try to simplify that for you now.


The maximum limit for a Tweet is only 140 characters.  This includes all characters and spaces.  It is acceptable to use slang and abbreviations in your Tweets.
Followers are those who follow you and read your Tweets.  The only ones who see your Tweets are your followers unless you have been retweeted or searched.
Those following you will see all of your Tweets in their Twitter stream (the list showing all the Tweets).
# means hashtag. The hashtag is the subject of your Tweet.  You can include a hashtag to make your Tweets easier to search by others.  Here is a great list of educational hashtags by Cybraryman.
@ means a specific person. If you are talking to that person, the @ is at the beginning. If you are talking about that person, the @ is located in the Tweet.
RT means retweet. You are simply repeating what someone says.
MT means modified Tweet. If you want to use only part of a person’s Tweets, you included MT.

My Twitter handle (username) is @WhiteheadsClass. I would love to have you as a follower. 

~Cara
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Alabama National Board Certified Teachers Network Hill Day

 
AL NBCTs, mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 17, 2013. We are holding a Hill Day to meet with our state's legislatures to inform them on what it means to be an NBCT and how it affects Alabama's students. We also want to thank them for our stipends. If you are interested in meeting with us in Montgomery on that day, please email alnbctnetwork@gmail.com.  More information will be provided as the time nears.
~Cara
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Prepare Your Students for Standardized Testing With VocabularySpellingCity

    SpellingCity.com
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SpellingCity.com
Get Students Ready for Test Day!February 2013
Standardized testing season is nearly upon us. Use VocabularySpellingCity to prepare students for writing mechanics, vocabulary, and word study!
WRITING PRACTICE
Premium Members have access to writing practice activities. State writing assessments often require students to write a particular type of paragraph. Instructions can be customized to help students practice these skills. You can include instructional videos on descriptive paragraphs, narrative paragraphs, topic sentences, supporting details and more. In many states, spelling counts on writing tests, so be sure to have your students practice using our free spelling games!
VOCABULARY PRACTICE
Premium Members can enter vocabulary lists for their students to practice while playing engaging word games. Word-O-Rama alternates definitions, fill-in-the-blank context-rich sentences, synonyms and antonyms. Vocabulary tests taken by logged-in students on SpellingCity.com are automatically recorded for their teachers.
Non-Premium members can have their students practice academic vocabulary including Math Vocabulary and Science Vocabulary. These word lists, available in Teaching Resources, can be used to play all 25 games and activities.
WORD STUDY
With conventions like spelling and grammar gaining importance in standardized tests, word study is critical to success. Teaching Resources contains lessons, games and specialized word lists on various topics that help students prepare. Create a word list and customize sentences similar to those in our Analogies games to help students practice this skill. Other Teaching Resources pages that help students prepare for standardized tests include Synonyms, Antonyms, Multiple Meaning Words and Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs.
John, Mayor of VocabularySpellingCity
info@spellingcity.com
SpellingCity.com, Inc.
6300 N.E. 1st Ave., Suite 203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334
info@spellingcity.com
~Cara
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Top Elementary Teacher on Twitter


teacher certification degrees
WOW! What an honor to be selected as a Top Elementary Teacher on Twitter.  I am #32 among some great teachers.  

Twitter is a fantastic way to communicate and collaborate with teachers across the country.  So many of the things that I have learned, shared, and incorporated are because of my networking on Twitter.  If you are not a Twitterer, I suggest you give it a try.  My Twitter handle is @WhiteheadsClass.  Feel free to follow.
~Cara
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Don't Be a Knot on a Log

...

My friend, Julie D. Ramsay from eduflections, recently presented a post titled "It's Time to Let Go."  As I wrote my comment to this post, I felt it was important to share with my blog friends.  What are your thought? 

I often tell my students not to be “knots on a log.”  We discuss the fact that a knot on a log serves no purpose.  It never grows.  It does nothing.  Students should be responsible for their own learning.  I am simply a facilitator in their learning.  Many of my students have to adjust to this type of learning.  I am not discounting their great teachers from previous years.  I just tend to have a different teaching style.  When someone peeks in the door of my classroom, they will see organized chaos.  To them, it is probably disorganization.

However, within the walls of my classroom, my students are learning.  They are choosing topics to research to use in online creations.  They are reading and responding.  They are writing.  They are managing their own behavior as they move through activities.  They are free to ask questions and seek the answers.  Much of the day, my students are moving about the classroom, spread out in the floor, sitting around computers, or working in small groups.  The standard rule “Stay in your seat and raise your hand” just doesn’t work in our classroom.

Why do I choose to let go?  Children are expected to make wise choices.  However, we often limit their choices in the school setting.  Students should be allowed to grow-to become a flowering tree-rather than be a knot on a log.


~Cara
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Adding Tabs to Blogger

Have you noticed how some blogs have each topic of their blog organized neatly under tabs at the top of their pages? Would you like to know how to do that?  It is super easy!




1)Go to DESIGN at the top of your blog.
2)Select PAGES in the left column.
3)Choose NEW PAGE at the top of the screen.
4)Select BLANK PAGE.
5)Name your page, and add your information.
6)Click PUBLISH.
7)Change SHOW PAGES AS to the location where you want the tabs to show. I chose TOP TABS.
8)Click SAVE ARRANGEMENT on the right of your screen.

Viola! That's it! 
~Cara
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Social Media Manners


Your mom always taught you to mind your manners.  Do you think about your manners when you are involved in social media?  As I was preparing a presentation on "Extending Your Reach Using Social Media," I was researching etiquette in using social media.  Through my web searches, I have derived a list of the top 10 rules of social media etiquette that I think are most important.  What would you add?


1)Acknowledge when someone follows, comments, or retweets. A thank you goes a long way!
2)Keep your posts positive. 
3)Be careful clicking on links.  If it looks suspicious, it probably is.
4)Don’t be afraid to interact with businesses. I have had some really great opportunities and received some really great products for free by simply responding to a Tweet or blog post.
5)Give credit where credit is due.  We all have great things to share.  Be sure you acknowledge the source.
6)Complete your profiles and add a picture.  We like knowing there is a real person on the other end.
7)Don't put anything on the Internet that you wouldn't want your boss to read.  They do check!
8)Spellcheck everything before you send.
9)Post regularly but not too often.  We want to read what you share, but if it becomes too frequent, we often skip over your posts.
10)Don't follow someone just for the sake of building your number of followers.  You will find yourself overwhelmed if you are trying to follow to many people.  Follow those who share what is important to you.

Bonus:  Learn to use hashtags.  Hashtags are keywords or phrases that users search to find topics of interest.  They always begin with #.  {Click here} for an extensive list of educational hashtags.
~Cara
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Feeding Your Blog into Facebook and Twitter


My blog feeds directly into Facebook and Twitter. When I write a blog post, it automatically shows up in my Facebook and Twitter feeds. How did I do this? Follow these simple instructions.

 *This post was updated on January 20, 2013 with new directions.

Facebook:
1)Create a Facebook page. 
  • While logged out of Facebook, scroll to the very bottom of the page. You will see CREATE A PAGE. Click that.
  • I chose COMPANY, ORGANIZATION, OR INSTITUTION.
  • Under category, select EDUCATION for educational blogs.
  • The company name will be the name of your blog.
  • Agree to the terms, and click GET STARTED.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. If you have a personal Facebook account, you will use that. Otherwise, you will need to create a personal account.
  • Continue following the onscreen instructions for setting up your page.
2)Make sure you are logged into Facebook, and enter this into the address bar. http://apps.facebook.com/rssgraffiti/?ref=ts Be sure to authorize the app.


3)Once the app is authorized, you should see this screen. 



4)Click ADD A NEW PUBLISHING PLAN.  Enter the name of your Facebook page, and click CREATE PUBLISHING PLAN.



5)Beside SOURCES, click ADD NEW.  Enter the URL of your blog, and click ADD SOURCE.  You will see the following edit screen.  Choose the options for your posting.  Click SAVE.

6)Beside TARGET, click ADD NEW.

7)Under CHOOSE TARGET, select the Facebook page you created.  Click SAVE CHANGES.

8)Be sure to slide the arrow to ON.

9)You can now begin promoting your Facebook page on your blog. By adding this code, you will be able to create a FIND US ON FACEBOOK gadget like you see on the left side of my page. Be sure to change the highlighted section to the URL of your Facebook page.
<div id="fb-root"></div>
<script>(function(d, s, id) {
  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
  if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1";
  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>

<div class="fb-like-box" data-href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Teaching-My-Calling/260520777320839" data-width="292" data-show-faces="true" data-stream="false" data-header="true"></div>

Twitter:
1)Sign up for a Twitter account. You will put in your blog name later, so use your real name here. If you already have a Twitter account, you will have to use a different email address. Click SIGN UP.
2)Change your username to your blog name. You are limited to 15 characters, so you may have to get creative. Click CREATE MY ACCOUNT. You will need to confirm your account before making any changes.
3)Go to the website http://twitterfeed.com/.
4)Sign up for an account.
5)Fill in the FEED NAME (blog name) and Blog URL. You do not have to change anything else on that screen.
6)Under step 2, click TWITTER. Make sure you are logged into your Twitter account.
7)Click the AUTHENTICATE TWITTER button. You will see your Twitter handle once it is authenticated.
8)Click ALL DONE. If everything is right, you will see CONGRATULATIONS. Your blog posts will now automatically feed into your Twitter.
9)You can now begin promoting your Twitter profile on your blog. By adding this code as a gadget, you can create a FIND US ON TWITTER button. Be sure to change the highlighted section to your Twitter URL and Twitter name.
<a href="http://www.twitter.com/TeachingCalling"><img src="http://twitter-badges.s3.amazonaws.com/follow_me-a.png" alt="Follow TeachingCalling on Twitter"/></a>


I hope this helps! Be sure to leave your Facebook page and Twitter profiles as a comment, so I can follow you. I would appreciate you following me, too!
~Cara
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Rome Wasn't Built in a Day: Tips on Integrating Technology into Your Classroom

"Rome wasn't built in a day" and neither is your technology integrated classroom!




My classroom is a technology infused space for my 4th graders to grow and learn. Here are a few tips that will help you integrate technology into your classroom.


1)Embrace the technology movement. We live in a society that revolves around technology. This is obvious from the Christmas gifts bought and received this year. I purchased a Kindle, Wii, iPod, USB turntable, DVD player, etc. My students received iPads, Kindle Fires, Kindles, iPod Touches, and cell phones. (I know this from our interaction on Edmodo.) Since we are all surrounded with cool pieces of technology, embrace them and use them.


2)Start small. You have someone in your school who is a tech guru. Don't try to be that person overnight. Take small steps, and it will all fall into place. Begin by using a favorite website (i.e. VocabuarlySpellingCity) with your students during literacy centers. Browse Pete's PowerPoint Station for presentations that correlate with your lessons. Download interactive whiteboard lessons from Promethean Planet or Smart Exchange. Allow your students to create some sort of web based projects (i.e. ToonDoo, Voki, Glogster, etc.) over the course of several weeks. You will find ideas on my Livebinder, Integrating Technology into the Language Arts Classroom, that can be used in any curriculum area. 


3)Don't be afraid to ask. If you see a colleague doing something you would like to try in their classroom, ask questions. No one has ever refused to answer my questions. Email those people that are doing things you would like to try. Tweet your questions. 


4)Get involved in a PLN (Personal Learning Network). Create a Twitter account, and get involved in educational discussions. You will find more tools than you will ever use from teachers who have used them effectively in their classroom. Find those "Twitter Stars," follow them, and follow the ones they follow. My Twitter handle is @WhiteheadsClass. Create a Diigo account to bookmark your favorite sites. Join Edmodo. Not only is it great for classroom use, but it is a fantastic professional tool. You will network with teachers across the world where you can ask and answer questions, find new tools, and share ideas.


5)Use what you have. The biggest complaint that I hear about integrating technology into the classroom is that they don't have the tools or the time. Let me tell you, my classroom is severely lacking in tools, but I make do with what I have. I am lucky enough to have a Promethean ActivBoard mounted in my classroom, but other than that, I have 2 desktop computers-one is a 2005 model with 256 MB of RAM, and the other is a donated computer that is probably about that old (I'm not real sure about its specifics). I have a couple of Flip Cameras, a digital camera, a USB mic, and a webcam. That constitutes our tools. We don't have a scheduled time to go to the lab and work as a class. 10 minutes a week in the lab is max! But, we take advantage of every minute we have. Step foot into my classroom, and you will see students on the computers creating, researching, and learning. Every student in my classroom is given an opportunity to use the computers everyday. They may have to partner up, but they get their chance.  I scheduled 15 minute intervals during our literacy centers for the students to work of the students choose to work on their projects at home because they want to do it. (I don't require them to work at home because several of my students don't have Internet access at home.) Don't make excuses. Make a schedule


6)Share your students' creations. Everyone wants to be complimented on the hard work they do. Take time to email your students projects to their parents. Post them on your class website. Tweet them. Share them on Facebook


Thank you for taking time to read this post. I hope you have found something that has motivated your to integrate technology into your classroom. Please feel free to share your tips with my readers. We are all in this together!


~Cara
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pampered Chef Online Party



I am hosing an ONLINE Pampered Chef party, so you don't have to actually GO to a party! It's all done online :)

All orders can be placed online and shipped directly to you! The website is SAFE and SECURE and your card will not be charged until we finalize the show and submit all orders together on January 25th.

Here is how to order:
1- Visit www.kjcooks.com
2- Click Shop Online and enter Cara (no last name is needed) as your host
3- Shop away!

Don't forget those upcoming birthdays, bridal showers, anniversaries, housewarming parties, etc! There is something for everyone in every price range and within your budget!

Spend $75 and receive a Mix n Scraper FREE!

Do you want to earn FREE Pampered Chef products? Host your own Pampered Chef Facebook show! Want free products AND a paycheck? Ask my sponsor, Kristi,  how! Feel free to contact her at kj@kjcooks.com or 205-242-2250 with any questions.
~Cara
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My New Year's Resolution


The following Bible verses sum up my resolution for 2013.  I want to live every moment for God! 


Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:4-9 (The Message)

~Cara
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