Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Techie Tuesday: Setting up a printer for a Chromebook

Our school is going to pilot the 1:1 use of chromebooks next school year and teachers are currently doing a test drive with the devices. One question that I have been asked is "can I set up my chromebook to print at home?" The answer is yes! It actually is not very complicated, but you cannot just plug your printer into the chromebook and go. You must set up the printing option "cloud printing" on another computer. The computer you already use in your home to print. Also- your printer needs to have wireless capabilities.

Here are step-by-step directions.

1. Make sure Google Chrome is installed on your computer.
2. Turn your printer on.
3. Log in to your user account on your PC or Mac computer.
4. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar in Chrome (top left).
5. Select Settings.
5. Scroll down and click Show advanced settings.
6. Scroll down to the "Google Cloud Print" section. Click Add printers.
7. If prompted, sign in with your Google Account.
You are all set to print!

Click here to watch my video tutorial.

Happy printing!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Scoop March 22nd

Don't you just love weekends? Definitely a rhetorical question if I have ever heard one. There is nothing like the feeling you have on Friday night...that wonderful feeling anticipating a night's sleep without having to set an alarm. I love sleep. I really do. I may attribute some of this love developing from having mono twice in my life. But today, college memories of consistent weekday naps are but distant flashbacks. Now, waking up at 7:50 on a Saturday actually feels like sleeping in. It's glorious!

Now that it is Sunday, there are a few things on my Sunday Scoop before returning to the week. For me, this week is the last week before Spring Break. Relaxation is just around the corner... And my family is coming to visit from Georgia before my brother Josh gets married and we celebrate. There is a lot to be thankful for and much to look forward to. One week to go... Here's what's on the agenda for today.

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Click here to download this verse {FREEBIE}.

Make sure to follow my TOU. This is for personal or classroom single copy use only.

Friday, March 20, 2015

FREEBIE FRIDAY: Clean Desk Awards

When teaching second graders it was an absolute necessity to have occasional desk cleaning days. And I mean DEEP cleaning. It was always amazing to me what we would find….a treasure hunt of disgusting. Socks, old gummies, and chewed on toys of all kids would appear-I have no idea, but the sticky mess was sure interesting. Cleaning and maintaining organization at this age is essential. Meet today's freebie…Clean Desk Pack. This contains slips or desk coupons that you can slip in clean desks along with a little treat to encourage organization. I also always gave out a monthly clean desk award to a student who was always responsible and took pride in their organization. This pack can help motivate those who seem to be taking on the form of Pigpen from Charlie Brown. :)

Clean the button to download your freebie. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Teaching with Humor

As I was doing my daily blog hopping, I came across a great book study that has been happening and bringing many great blogging minds together. Make sure to check out One Extra Degree and follow the rest of the book study schedule. Click the book study link to the left to visit her blog.

This chapter's topic: HUMOR

I tend to think I am pretty funny. I may have a sarcastic sense of humor (lost on my students when teaching 2nd grade), but I love to make kids laugh! I get this from my dad… A man who was known for letting off stink bombs while telling stories to me and my cousins, or crafting tales of a booger man named Wesley. He always found a way to make us laugh. In turn, I strive to make others laugh around me because I think that if we bring joy to others…it's contagious. As teachers, we have an opportunity to spread joy and share our sense of humor. We have a daily audience…and there is no better audience than a group of children. Here are some ways to add a little extra hint of delight and humor into your classroom.

1. Read in accents. Kids LOVE funny voices. As a librarian, it is my joy to read aloud to students and make the characters and their stories come to life. I love to transform into a squeaky squirrel, a British rabbit, or a dastardly pirate. Changing voices and accents when reading is my opportunity to be on stage.  It sends K-5th graders giggling, but they sit there enthralled as they enjoy hearing their teacher become different characters. One of my second graders was giving a book recommendation about "Tops and Bottoms" by Janet Stevens and said, "What I liked most about this book was the voices. Especially the rabbit. He sounded so funny." Should I spoil the secret? That bunny was actually-me?!? The students are so into the story, they forget that we are the ones creating these voices. :)

2. Use old magazines and have students write funny captions or thoughts. They will crack themselves up… The otter might be saying: "Girl, this water is COLD!" Or the monkey thinking, "Mom-you really need some new shampoo." Can you think of something the hippo might say?

3. Be an announcer: As the oldest of four kids (3 younger brothers), we were always playing together. However, we always wanted dad to come watch and announce our games. He had an uncanny talent for bringing out games of basketball to life and fill the game with commentary like we were on TV complete with a play by play and announcer voice. I have put this "announcing" into practice in the classroom and kids love to have you announce their successes. I am no "Jeff Probst", but kids do love the attention and it adds a little bit of fun to the daily routine.

4. Spontaneous Movement breaks: Yoga, impromptu dance party, balance challenges…get kids up and moving and the laughter will follow. Teach them some moves from "Hitch"…I love showing them the sprinkler or my signature shopping cart. They think it is hilarious to see their teacher dance. It also helps break up the day and add a little sparkle.

Take a page from the Mary Poppins playbook…"in every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP…the job's a game." Teachers-help find the fun. Share your humor. Remember bring joy to the classroom. It's contagious.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Techie Tuesday: Flattening Images and Securing PDF Files

Welcome to the first edition of "Techie Tuesday" where I will be posting a technology related tidbit. I am so excited about sharing some interesting topics with you each week, but I am starting with a little tip for all those TpT sellers out there.

Today's topic is "flattening and securing images and PDF files".  Did you know that saving something as a PDF does not automatically protect your images and secure your files? When creating digital products and posting for sale…many factors need to be considered, especially copyright and terms of use for images you use in your files. There are so many adorable clipart sets out there that are available for commercial use, but most clipart creators ask for files to be "protected and flattened" or saved as jpegs, so that outside parties cannot just copy and paste. Saving as a PDF is not enough. In fact, it does not really secure the clipart at all. As a Mac user, it is very simple to protect your files before posting and it's time for today's tip.

Here is the step by step process on how to flatten images and secure PDF files:

1. When you have a finished product, click File and Print. Don't worry-we are not ACTUALLY printing anything. :)

2. Select PDF at the bottom left and choose "Save as PDF".

3. Select how you would like to protect the document. I generally choose "Require password to copy text, images, and other content" to secure my files.

4. Create a password and press OK.

6. You have successfully protected and secured your file. This will help you comply with clipart and graphic creators you may use when making your files. Make sure to follow Terms of Use for each clipart designer.

If you want to check for success…open your saved PDF (steps you just completed) and it should say Locked to the right of your document name. Congratulations!

If you are a PC user, there is a great blog post on this topics found by The 3am Teacher. Click here to read.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Scoop {March 15}

I am excited to link up with Teaching Trio and participate in their "The Sunday Scoop". I mean how adorable is this news addition icon?!? Plus it gives me time to reflect on the day ahead and post a little shout out for my family down in Georgia to read what's going on up here in Illinois (Hi mom and dad-I love you guys). They may be my only real followers out there…

But hey you've got to start somewhere.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Freebie Friday: Spelling on a Roll

It's time for FREEBIE FRIDAY and I love sharing this March activity.
Let's face it…practicing spelling is not always the favorite activity of our students. Are you in a spelling rut? Well…break out the dice and let's get rolling….literally. Introducing "Spelling on a Roll" and "Roll SUM Words". Students can liven up their spelling practice with these freebies for March.

1. Spelling on a Roll: Students roll the die and write the word listed under the number rolled.

2. Roll SUM Words: Add some math skills into spelling with Roll SUM words. Students roll two die and add the values to get the sum before writing the word listed below each sum. 2s and 12s are bonus rolls and students have to write a challenge word.

Both templates also include a blank template so that you can customize with your own spelling words. Listen to the dice roll as your students improve their spelling. Enjoy! Click here to download your freebie! Click here to download this freebie from my store.

For a full monthly Spelling on a Roll visit my store and click on this link to view Spelling on a Roll Full Product…. with templates from August-May to use with your students.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

OPAC searching the library

Do you know what OPAC stands for?

Online Public Access Catalog…I admit before working in the library, I was not very familiar with the official term OPAC. Now I absolutely love teaching how to our OPAC to my students. 2nd-5th graders receive formal OPAC lessons in the library in order to better become independent at finding their own books.

I help students navigate through the LMC through OPAC Scavenger Hunts and an official OPAC License test. Students practice hunting our OPAC and then take a test where they find a book in our LMC by author, series, or subject and earn their official OPAC license. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

FREEBIE Friday: Writing with a Substitute

Friday is finally here….and you know what that means----FREEBIE! I am excited to share something that will help make your sub plans take a little less time to write in a pinch. These two writing activities can be used at any time and helps get kids writing and reading. First, "Where is my teacher?"- Students creatively craft a story about the adventures their teacher could be having when not at school. I must admit, these can be hilarious to read! The second writing activity is "Extra! Extra! Read All About It!" Students will independently read during class for 20-30 minutes and then work on a response about their reading that day. These can help add an hour + to your sub plans (perfect for those days you are truly sick and have to put together plans on the spot!)

Enjoy! Let me know what you think. If you get any fun responses about where you were when you are gone, please share. :) Click the button below to download from my store.

Also try my creative writing with a substitute pack. Click to view in my TpT store. This is filled with 5 + template pages with options to print with primary or intermediate lined paper. There is also a template to draw your own shapes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Techie Bookworm: Favorite Things LInky {MARCH}

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… these are a few of my favorite things!

I am excited to say this is my very first LINKY and it's featuring a few of my favorite things when it comes to organization and classroom management. Teaching Trio hosts this link the first Wednesday of every month. Check out all of the favorite things out there in blogging land and pick up some great ideas to use today or in the future. My favorites this month are focusing on organization and management.

1. My Erin Condren Teacher Planner: I promise this has been life changing! I am sure many of you have tried different lesson plan templates, and if you are anything like me maybe nothing ever quite worked perfectly. Well-I finally found my favorite. This planner may be pricey… but it is perfect. It includes planning pages, checklists, notes, calendar, folders…you name it. AND you can fully customize to your own liking. Click on the image below to check out her store. 
2.  Playing "Possum" a classroom management strategy. I have already written a little blog on this recently, but can't resist sharing a secret to getting attention of your entire class quickly and quietly. Read below for more information or click the image below to view in my store.

3. Class Dojo: Need a new way to revitalize your classroom management system? Kids will love creating their own avatar monster characters to track their behaviors in your classroom. This tool is free and easy to use. Check out their website and create your class free today at classdojo.com

What are a few of YOUR favorite things to help you manage your classroom and stay organized?