Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fun with robots! Great Ozobot party with teacher friends!

This past Thursday, I had a great opportunity to host an Ozobot party!  Courtesy of Tryazon, a product marketing company, I was given an Ozobot to keep and a starter set (of 2!) to give away!  I knew my teacher friends would love it, so I thought an after school party would be perfect.  It just so happened that my good friend, and tech coach at my school, Brian, also needed to host an Ozobot party!  We figured two heads were better than one and we decided to collaborate to make one awesome party.

I was in charge of the giveaway, and I knew I wanted to try and get more teachers on Twitter.  So, I added some social media bonus entries.  Between Brian and I, we had 2 starter packs to give away.  The lucky winners won because of those tweets! :)

We hosted the party in the school's library (thanks Eve!) and got things set up with markers, white paper, iPads loaded with the awesome Ozobot Apps! and the coding cheat sheets.

We had teachers from multiple grade levels, all eager to play with the Ozobots!  Everyone was excited to try out the markers and pre-made games.

The teachers also seemed to enjoy the many different ways you can program the Ozobots, too fun!

I made this to show how you could use the Ozobot for more than just coding lessons.  Do you see the big bad wolf ready to blow down the house?!  My Kindergarten class loved it.  :)

We used some little helpers to choose some lucky winners!

In the end, two teachers went home with a starter pack with plans to play with them over the holidays and then use them in their classrooms.  We also had 4 teachers join twitter - that is a big win in my book!!

Want to buy one for someone you love?? Or maybe buy one for your classroom??  Shop HERE :)

Contact Ozobot by following them on Twitter , or Facebook, or Instagram !

Want to learn more about hosting parties from Tryazon? Check out their website here, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Introducing New ClassDojo Features - ClassDojo Groups!

Have you heard about ClassDojo? It is a fantastic positive behavior management system that has all kinds of fantastic features!  If you are new to ClassDojo check out this video below!

For more information- check out their quick info sheet HERE

OK!  Now for the good stuff!  I am pleased to announce a new (and much anticipated) feature- Class Dojo Groups!

Do you like to give table or group incentives for positive behavior in the classroom? Maybe you give points for each table? Do you want to track and reward positive behavior during guided math/reading groups?  However you want to group your students ClassDojo Groups can help!

Encourage teamwork in any classroom

Teachers and students love creating classrooms that center on group work, such as table teams and reading groups. We're thrilled to make teamwork effortless in classrooms everwhere with ClassDojo Groups. Teachers can now create groups of students and give instant encouragement for behaviors and skills important to the classroom! We hope you and your students love using the new ClassDojo :)

- The ClassDojo team

It is really easy to use too.  Just name your groups (red table, reading group 1, etc.), select your students and voila!

You can add points to invidual students in a group, or to the group as a whole. 

For more information on ClassDojo Groups check out their website HERE.

To connect with ClassDojo you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

If you use ClassDojo - share your #classDojoLove in the comments below!  If not, feel free to ask any questions!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stitch Fix - a great fix for a sad teacher wardrobe!

Ok, teachers - real talk time. 
It is time to give up those decorated sweaters.  And the long jumper dresses.  We are not required to dress like our Kindergarten teachers did 20 years ago.  Now we want our colleagues, students, and (most importantly) their parents to see us as the professionals that we are. 

As my boss says, "If you want to be treated like a professional than you need to look like one."

Now, don't get me wrong - I know that kindergarten teachers need to be comfortable and wear clothes that are easy to move around in.  So you won't catch me in a business suit of any kind.  And you can pretty much forget heels. 

But even though I know how I should look, I still find myself wearing the same outfits over and over.  I'm envious of other teachers who look so put together and stylish.  So how do I change??

Well, I have discovered my new very favorite thing - Stitch Fix.

Stitch Fix is a personal styling and shopping service.  Every month (or whenever you choose) you pay $20 and your stylist picks out 5 great items for you to try on.  Shipping is free, returns are free.  If you buy any items they use the $20 styling fee towards the cost.  If you buy all 5 items you get 25% off! 

Stitch Fix makes shopping not just convenient, but effortless. Like other online retailers, Stitch Fix saves you a trip to the store by shipping items directly to you. But our personal stylists also save you the time and trouble of selecting clothing and accessories. Many of our clients enjoy the ease and convenience of automatically scheduled shipments that arrive at a frequency of their choosing.

Here is how it works:

1) Sign up! HERE

2) Give your sizes, some of your preferences (long sleeves, high waisted pants, short lengths, colors,   fabrics, prices, etc.)

3) Link to your pinterest page/twitter/etc.  anything for your stylist to get to know you and your style better.  Here is mine.  I even add notes to my pins about what I like about certain items.

4) Pay your $20 styling fee (this fee will happen with every box you schedule - but you can use the $20 towards purchasing any of the items in the box)

5) Schedule your fix to arrive! You will get email updates as it processes and then ships, so exciting!

Your stylist will select 5 items for you to try.  They may push your boundaries a little, or put combinations together you never would have thought of.  I think that is awesome.  I also love that I don't have to drag myself (and my 5 year old) to the mall. 


So far I have received 3 "fixes".  Some things I loved, some didn't love me (you know?!).  But I loved getting each box.  This month I asked my stylist, GG, for color.  Looking at the stack of items she sent me, she delivered!!  Here is a breakdown of what I got:

1) Loveappella Yana 3/4 Sleeve Striped Dress - $64

I LOVE this dress.  It is a jersey material, so it is so comfy.  I could wear my cute brown booties with it in the spring,or tights and knee length boots in the winter.  I was a little worried that the stripes would accentuate my middle (darn that baby pooch!), but it doesn't!!  It may even make me look skinnier!

Decision:  KEEP

2) 41 Hawthorne Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse in coral - $58

I really like this shirt.  I have seen this shirt in many different colors, it is just unfortunate I got in coral.  I love coral.  Which is why I have almost the exact shirt already in my closet.   It is a great work staple.  I love the little poof on the sleeves.  Very cute!  Maybe I'll be able to get it in a different color next month. 
Decision:  Return

3) Mystree Abigail Colorblock Lace Trim Top - $58

I love this top!  It is a really soft silky material.  And I love that I can wear jeans and flats with it or tuck it in with a fancy skirt.  Very versatile! 
Decision: KEEP

4) Fate Kearny Crochet Detail Top - $58

This top just didn't WOW me.  It is nice.  I think it would look better tucked into a skirt, maybe?
Decision: RETURN
5) Pink Martini Fulton V-neck Short Sleeve Knit Shirt - $68

I really liked this top.  Very soft.  Very flattering.  Very pretty teal color.  But very expensive.  At $68 it is the most expensive item in the box.  I debated a lot about whether it was worth it.  But I really liked the way it looked on. 
Decision:  KEEP

So...3 out of 5 isn't bad! 

I asked for color and GG delivered.  I have learned that it is important to give specific feedback.  They are professionals and won't have their feelings hurt if something doesn't work for you.  If you want a specific item you need to ask for it.  But they don't have unlimited inventory, so don't be upset if you don't get it.
Next month I'm hoping for some fun prints and a new bag.  I also heard that they have some petite options, so that would be great! 

I hope you enjoyed my first Stitch Fix review.  If you are already getting fixes, comment below with your favorite item(s)! 

If not, sign up to get your own Stitch Fix box HERE!

ps.  I don't work for Stitch Fix.  They are not sponsoring this post.  I am just a big fan!  If you sign up from my links I will get a small credit, so thanks!

Friday, March 6, 2015

STEM and teamwork in Kindergarten with Sphero!

I had the BEST day in Kindergarten today!

A few months ago our fabulous SBTS (school based technology specialist), Mr. Lachance, and I decided to do monthly #STEM lessons with my Kindergarten class. Last month we did Kodable for the hour of code. 

This month we got to play with our set of Sphero balls! The Sphero is an App-controlled ball that can do all kinds of fun things.  I've even seen some teacher use them to paint! 


Mr. Lachance demonstrated how the IPad controlled the Sphero. The kids were amazed. 


I broke the kids into groups of 4-5, making a choice to try and spread out my leaders to help facilitate better cooperation within the groups. 

It was great!  They struggled to work as a team at first, each student starting to build their own maze. I cleared that up quickly! Once they got on the right track they made some amazing mazes. I saw tunnels, bridges, ramps and of course a dead end or two!

They were all so proud of their work!  While they were building Mr. Lachance and Mr. Edwards had one student from each team practice "driving" the Sphero.  Then they took turn navigating the Sphero balls through their mazes. 

They had such a blast!  Check out the great video Mr. Lachance made!

Want to learn more??

Follow our fabulous Technology Specialist, Brian Lachance on Twitter!
Learn about Sphero on their website, and on Twitter!