Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!  Does my dog look a little panicked in this picture? ha ha. Yes, right in front of the fireplace...I think it was getting too hot for him!  Let me say it is a joy having both our kids home for Christmas. They are old enough now where they offer to help. Yay! Our daughter fixed breakfast for us. Mmmmm. Poppy thin bagels with sautéed spinach and mushrooms with an egg and pull apart bread. For dinner I am fixing rib roast. The butcher at Whole Foods picked it out for me and gave me the recipe also! woo hoo. It should be good. I am making Santa Pear Pouches for dessert: 



Our dogs had a blast playing with all the wrapping paper. I think they thought it was their present!



Wishing you a very merry Christmas! Remember - Jesus is the reason for the season! There's nothing better than knowing Him!




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Remember the Pin

Do you Pinterest?

If so, do you have this problem, like I do?  I pin lots of awesome things - and then...that's it. Yep. It's pinned. And I forget it! Every now and then I will go back to a board and look through all my pins. I will think..."That's a great idea!" or..."I want to make that!"  So many good ideas...and little time. I have spent time saving all these ideas - but how do I remember to actually DO any of them? :)

Here are some of my favorite Christmas ideas...

www.dandee-designs

Isn't that a cute idea for neighbors?


This site just has cute wrapping ideas!

http://amandaparkerandfamily.blogspot.com/2011/12/candy-christmas-dessert-table.html

Do people really decorate this much for Christmas parties? I want to go.

http://picky-palate.com/2011/12/22/perfect-christmas-plates-for-family-and-friends/
mmmmm




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Missing...

I feel as though I've been gone from blogging forever. I know it hasn't been that long - but long enough! I am just finishing up some M.Ed. courses and these last 2 classes have been very time consuming! This past week all I have done is homework from the time I get home until I go to bed. Yesterday alone (Saturday) I worked from 7:00 am until 10:45 pm. I thought I'd go crazy!

So, until I get this work done, I will be missing in action a little bit longer.  I hope to be back in the swing of things in two more week!
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Free Font Sunday!



Hi friends!

Today I decided to try out my first blog hop... free font Sunday. Every Sunday through November I will have a free font. If you know of a cute font - that is free - or you design your own, please link up! I created this font this morning for my first free font...PJ Jots. Just click the link and it's yours! If you have a font to add so that others can enjoy free fonts, please join the blog hop. 

Enjoy and happy Sunday!

Rules for linking up:
1.  Become a member of this site. Please follow me to the right - - ->
2.  Copy the free font Sunday image at top and link on your blog. Make sure it links back here.
3.  Add a free font to your post.
4.  Click where it says "you are next...click here to enter"!

Now, this is my first linky blog hop...so if you are skilled at this and I need to be doing something else, please share your wisdom! Thanks so much!





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Infogram to Magnets - Idea for Class?

I saw an idea on Nest of Posies blog site - turning an Instagram into a magnet.



I am sure teachers could find a zillion uses for this! My first thought was taking pictures of kids and creating magnets for parent Christmas gifts. Then my second thought was taking class photos/school pictures/logos/etc. and creating "look at my work" magnets as a prize for outstanding work or behavior.  How about using student pictures for the class birthday chart? Student of the week? The ideas could be endless!

What would you do with Instragram magnets in your classroom? 
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Where am I?


I am blogging...just because. I really have nothing of educational value to offer today. My brain is fried. Do you ever get that way?  I only teach 3 days a week. But last week was conferences, and over the weekend I cycled a century. Yes, that wiped me out. This week my next two courses for my M.Ed. started. Wow. Can I just say I have so much homework I don't even know what to do with myself? In one of the courses, I have to investigate an emerging technology trend. What do you see as the two biggest emerging trends in technology today?




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I've Been Boo'ed!


I've been boo-ed by a teacher all the way in SW Florida by 3rd grade teacher, Laura Jordan of TIPS (Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students). Please visit her darling blog!  Right now our leaves are beautiful! I love riding my bike down Deer Valley road each weekend. Right at the end of the road is an old fire station that has a very cute pumpkin patch! I am not a fan of Halloween, but I do love the fall season.

Yes, this is a coffee my son made for me! He worked at Peet's Coffee and Tea. Love it!

My other favorite part of fall? Foxy's Fall Century! Yes, I will be cycling my next century this coming Saturday! Yikes!  I am excited, though, and weather should be awesome! Best yet - my hubby is joining me this year!!



1. If you've been boo-ed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.

2. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!

3. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (maybe yours or someone else's) or freebies(s) that you love!

4. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers-make sure you check this link so that you don't repeat the "Boo"

5. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! While you are there check out the other great blogs!

My 5 fall ideas...

1.  Coffee cup filter leaves...we have a tree in the window, students create the leaves, and add to the tree. I don't have a photo of our tree today, so I am putting a picture from The Chocolate Muffin:


2.  Paint a pumpkin!  This cute pumpkin is hand-painted on Etsy by Sarah Hall Designs.  Could your class do something like this?  

Check it out on the Etsy link above. How about trying polka dots?

3.  Read the Pumpkin Patch Parable:


4.  Pirate Voice Day - My co-teacher awarded the class one day by allowing them to speak with an accent. How about a pirate voice day? Here is a freebie pirate voice control chart to enjoy!



5.  Let's Doodle pumpkin picture - beautiful for coloring!


The five bloggers I am boo-ing:


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A Favorite App

I will be starting a new position at our school - technology consultant. I'm very excited to be able to share with our awesome staff...and hopefully glean from them as well!  My friends know that I love technology and I love teaching. So to put them both together is awesome! So many teachers are fearful to step out of the box and try something new. But, once they see the benefits, they enjoy the fact that they did!

One thing I will be supporting the teachers with is instructional technology in the classroom. A few teachers will be using iPads to help support learning so I hope to give them ideas on how to best use them. There are a gazillion awesome apps. One of my favorite is Penultimate:


Penultimate is a handwriting app. You can create notebooks and organize the material. I like it because I can use my stylus and write with my own handwriting to take notes. (During boring meetings, yes, I like to doodle and use colors!) Because you can easily change pen colors, teachers can make quick annotations on student work. Students can keep their work in "notebooks" and teachers can add their thoughts quite easily. It has a feature where the page or notebook can be sent via email which I like. Last year I used the tool often as principal. I was able to jot down notes to teachers and quickly send the note in an email through just a tap.

Penultimate is a part of Evernote, so it can be saved and viewed on any computer - Awesome! I also like the fact that you can add photos, then write thoughts down by the pictures. Students could use this for a journal entry! :) love!

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Water Cycle and Toontastic!

We are studying the water cycle right now. I am excited to try something new with my class tomorrow. I am going to have students in groups and have them produce a Toontastic cartoon about the water cycle to teach others.  Students will write their scripts, and  when they are ready they will produce their Toontastic. I only have 1 iPad - so, our 5 groups will take turns recording. I hope to choose the best one to share. Should be fun!  I'll let you know how it goes. Do your kids use Toontastic?


Thursday:  We have started our videos so I am adding to my original blog! Here is our first attempt at a toontastic video with our first student group... :) smile.



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Fall Blog Hop...Break Out the Soup!


Teaching My 3

It's fall!  Well, I must say it doesn't feel like fall at our house. It was still in the 90's today. But, I know that it will soon be cooling off and I can break out those sweaters!  I have one activity that is fun once the weather begins to cool...Andy Warhol soup cans. I let the kids draw a large Campbell's soup can in pencil. They design their own soup...banana soup, marshmallow soup, turtle soup, peanut butter and jelly soup...whatever they want! Once they get the can perfected, they outline it with a sharpie. Then, I photo copy the can 4 times for them, reducing it to 50% size.  Next, they color the cans four different colors and mount them on black paper. They always turn out darling!



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Fun Friday - Oreo 2012



Oreo Project 2012!

     I have participated in the Oreo Internet Project for quite a few years, but it had been a while. This year I decided to give it a try again. I mean, who doesn't love an Oreo? :)

     One word:  SUGAR. This is how our day started...bake sale, waiting for the space shuttle Endeavour to fly overhead, Jordyn's birthday with oreo cupcakes, oreo brownies, and THEN the oreo project! Wow. Yes, you can probably imagine it. Nineteen boys and eight girls on sugar sugar sugar. The teacher part of me started to wonder, "Now, why did I pick to do this?"  But once the fun started, I remembered why!

     We did oreo math by calculating calories and carboydrate intake, oreo persuasive writing, oreo stacks as part of the Internet research, and oreo sculptures. I looked around the room, and saw the MEGA excitement as kids stacked cookies. Who knew stacking up oreos one-on-top-of-another could be SO exciting?  "Mrs. Jimison! I got 19!!  Mrs. Jimison! I got 24!! Mrs. Jimison! I got 31!!"  They just couldn't contain their excitement of how many oreos they could stack. But really, the looks on their faces were priceless!  And, they were just as happy to create oreo sculptures. Although some kids really wanted to create the world's largest oreo pyramid, when they ran out of oreos, they were still happy to show how large it was.  We finalized our day by coming up with our class average to turn in for our school - 22 per child.

     I went home "one tired cookie" but I will forever remember the happy faces etched in my mind.





very careful detail work


igloo

motorcycle

elephant


frosty - oops, should I say creamy?

Parents - please visit our shutterfly account for more student pictures.




Finally, Laura at Love to Teach is having an awesome fall giveaway!  She has 3 days of giveaways and you won't want to miss out. Plus, her blog is darling. Make sure you visit her at:  http://lovetoteach123.blogspot.com .
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Appitic!


Wow! Just when I feel like I have found the best site, another one comes along! Appitic was that for me today.  It has a great collection of educational apps. The best part is how they have categorized everything.  You can search apps by theme, multiple intelligence, categories, Bloom's Taxonomy, NETS, teachers, and more. Amazing.  

What is your favorite app for your classroom?
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StudyBlue!


I found an awesome new site... StudyBlue!  This is a great resource for teachers and students. You can make online flashcards and notes for students to study anytime, anywhere. We have an upcoming science test, so I decided to create some flashcards for the kids. Easy!  Just type in the information, and the site creates flip flashcards, a quiz (automatically!), and a study sheet. Wow!  I am so excited for my students to test it out.

StudyBlue has an app as well. :) Awesome.  Hope you love it as much as I do!

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Currently September!


This is CURRENTLY September...and right now I am listening to the sound of my dog snoring. My lovely puppy, Raleigh, is curled beside me sleeping and sleeping. 

I am loving our beautiful weather! I love being able to cycle when it is nice out - not too hot and not too cold. Just right! I just booked a Napa Valley cycling trip for my hubby and me - so excited! We will get to ride with a CLIF cyclist and as a CLIF bar ambassador, I am thrilled about this!

I am thinking about my M.Ed. work. That's it - work! If I'm not working on school stuff, or blogging, then I am working on my coursework. I will be done in March and I can't wait for it all to be complete! I hope it opens up new doors.

Right now I am wanting an iced americano and when I post this, I'm heading out the door!  I do feel like I need a vacation. Actually, I need to learn how to take a vacation. I am constantly busy with something and I know God says to relax!  Even HE rested on the 7th day...I need to remember to rest.

My favorite things are chocolate, ice coffee, cycling, and healthy eating. I recently tried the Paleo plan - couldn't stick with it long though because of my love of chocolate. I do believe that we need to eat good, healthy food...real food without all the disgusting preservatives. Ick. When I think about it, it makes me want to go grab a nice yummy kale chip!

So, there you have it...my currently. What are you currently doing? 

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Tonya's Treats for Teachers

This giveaway is huge and any teacher would love to win! :) 


Tonya is celebrating 500 followers. Well, when I was there she was up to 568 so I think her giveaway is helping! Her first prize is a $50 gift card. Plus, as you can see from the picture, she has a ton of goodies from her TPT friends. Thanks, Tonya, for the chance!
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Giveaway!

Rock & Teach is celebrating 100 followers with a great giveaway! :) She is giving away a $5 Starbucks card, $5 Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate, and $15 Target gift card. Oh - those would all be great prizes!  Head on over here and get in on the giveaway!

I am half way there - but when I get to 100 followers, I promise a fun giveaway! So, please tell your friends to come visit PJ Jots and follow!

On a totally random subject, I need to ask about class awards! Over the years, I have given classroom bucks and kids use them for an auction. This year I am team teaching and we are using "tickets" with an auction as well. Yes, the kids love the auctions. But do I? Not really! I find that it is very hard to get class donations, and I go broke trying to buy enough "fun stuff" for monthly auctions.  Yes, I do have some awards that are no cost...such as my new award this year of letting one student "buy" to create a new font using my iPad and iFontmaker. I also have "shoes off" and similar awards. It's not only the cost...it's the auction itself. Kids seem to go crazy during auction time. I've thought of a silent auction, but don't know how well that would go over.

So...do you have a classroom auction? What do you do?  Any other ideas for tickets/class money? 
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Literature Circles

I am going to try a new system with my literature circles and I am so excited to test out. I created title task cards for the student small groups...discussion director, power player (find challenging words), literacy luminary (find interesting passages), summarizer, key pointer (point out main points), and quiz questioner. After students read, they reflect on their reflection form and create a parallel. Next they form their collaboration groups and share the task they received. The discussion director leads the discussion time.

What have you used for literature circles? Do you have a favorite activity?



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Educational Leadership and Too Much Technology?



For my normal followers, just to give you an advance heads up - this blog post is for my M.Ed. course. So, feel free to read if you wish...but it will not be my usual post!

I created the infogr.am up top to summarize the reading from Don Hall's The Technology Director's Guide to Leadership. Before I go on, the clip art was created using infogr.am and if you have not tried infogr.am yet, give it a try! It is easy to use and students will love the info graphics.  We read about three types of leaders: the sage, sensei, and oracle (Hall, 2008). I thought about my own leadership style and tried to decide which type of leader I am. This was difficult because I could see myself in each area. I know which one I probably am, and I know which one I wish I was!  I am probably mostly a sage, even though I would rather not admit it. I am decisive and I like to get things done. I can also tell others what to do. However, I didn't like the "ego driven" trait. As a Christian, I would hope that I would see others as more important than myself.  I can also see myself in the sensei category. This is also the category I wish I was. I am engaging, a facilitator, and coach/mentor. I know that I am trying to grow in my coaching/mentoring skills and still have a ways to go!  The leadership type of the oracle is my lowest. While I see relationships as vitally important, I am probably not philosophical or disconnected. While changing culture is good, I prefer to change hearts.

Our second reading came from Picciano's Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology (2011).  This was an interesting read and I hope some fellow bloggers will chime in on their thoughts. The questions asked were: Is more technology better? Can technology replace teachers? Is it more cost-effective? (Picciano, 2011).  The answers...no. Technology is a wonderful tool for teachers to use, but technology will not replace teachers. The human element is extremely important. Teachers do need to learn how to integrate the tool into the curriculum.

The final section I would like to comment on is the section on digital divide. Honestly, I get very frustrated with this at times. Picciano (2011) states that urban inner-city schools and schools in poor rural districts have less equipment per student than other schools. Although I do not doubt this, as a private school teacher I have other views. I have worked for a large private Christian School, and a very small private Christian school in a rural area. The large private Christian school had wonderful technology. The small private Christian school in the rural area had almost no technology including no teacher computers. YET, the poor rural public school down the road had an abundance of technology, overflowing at the seams, from public funds. In fact, they had so much stored at the school, I really wanted them to share what was not being used! One classroom I visited had 2 document cameras, 2 smartboards on each side of the room, 2 ceiling mounted projectors, and 30 iPads. Yes, it was decked out! Why? Because it was a rural public school and received public funds. I was told by administrators that they qualified for many grants simply because of the location and the fact that it was a in a poor rural area. Most Christian schools do not receive public funds and have to purchase everything. The small Christian school could not run alone on tuition but had to have massive fundraisers just to keep the school going. Technology purchases were not an option. Most opportunities for grants, such as Donor's Choose, are also not an option for private schools.

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on any of these items! Please share your experiences!

References:

Hall, D. (2008). What Kind of Leader Am I?. In The Technology Director's Guide to Leadership. (pp. 11-38). 
     Eugene, OR: ISTE.
Picciano, A. (2011). Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology. (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New
     Jersey: Pearson.



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Friday Freebie!

Well, I must say I am a bit negligent. I did not get to post for Wednesday, Thursday, and I am late for the Friday Freebie! Once I got back into the classroom, it was a crazy busy week! I think I took more home to work on Thursday night than I ever have in my 23 years of teaching. 

But, today I will try to make it up with my Friday freebie. I am offering my "Directing My Actions" again. It has been a popular tool by many. It allows for reflection time for students that need to think about their actions. I hope you all enjoy it!  



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Monday Must Haves and Tuesday Technology!

Thanks to The Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher I found a new blog hop.

It's teacher week - and a busy week at that! For my Monday must-haves, I have several items I really love...



Yes, I love cycling - so my bike is a must. I don't generally ride to school - I'd be too sweaty not to mention I have to leave at 6 to ride 24 miles to work. But, every now and then I will!


My devotional time in the morning is a must to start the day off right. My Bible and Jesus Calling first thing with a good cup of coffee! 



My computer! I must have that one. Love my mac.


My Erin Condren life planner is great. I love using it - and it is pretty, too!

If you don't have a home Scotch laminator, it is a great purchase! It is about $30 and so worth it. It laminates nice and firm. I use mine all the time!


My dear friend Jerrine sent me this in the mail. I am so excited to use neon dry erase markers! ha ha. Who knew dry erase markers could be so exciting? :) (Thanks, Jerrine!)


Finally, at work I love my Ladybug document camera. I use it all day long.  Thanks, Lumens!

TECHNOLOGY TIP TUESDAY

My technology tip?  One new thing I love using this year is my iPad and TeacherKit. TeacherKit is a personal organizer for the teacher. I can organize classes, seating charts, and students. I can easily track behavior and send quick emails by tapping the student's picture. The other day I took a picture of a boy giving the spelling test, tapped his picture, attached the new photo to the email, and sent it along with an encouraging note to his parents. 


Finally, if you are new to technology, try Storybird in your classroom. It is easy to use and students enjoy it. Kids can create ebooks and parents can even purchase them if they love the book!










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Monster Steps to Division - Monday Made It!

Well, I made some things today...and realized it was Monday...just in time for Monday Made It! Today I made these cute division signs, and the flower subject cards in the next post. Yay!

Are your kids going to learn the steps to long division this year? If so, you'll love these bright simple signs illustrating the steps!



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