Saturday, August 19, 2017

It's going to be a JOLLY great year!

Wow! Where did summer go? I can't believe that a new school year is again just around the corner. It's been an amazing summer of travel and family time and although I'm sad to give up the flexibility that summer brings, I'm super excited to head back to school! 

My schedule has changed a bit this year and we have a lot of new staff in one of my buildings so I wanted to get my schedule out there with more than an email, so I once again found myself perusing the candy aisle looking for a small little treat to share with my colleagues. After much deliberation and several different candy purchases, I finally settled on Jolly Ranchers (the other little treats will be used throughout the year if I can keep them hidden away from my boys)
I bought 500 of these great little jewelry-sized bags last year. They perfectly hold 3 Jolly Ranchers in each little bag. Then I created a tag that has my schedule on it to attach to each one. I printed mine on cardstock, cut them out and stapled them to the bags. The cards are approx 2" x 3".  I'm planning to put them in each teacher's mailbox on the first day back and then follow up with my personal chit-chats. 

Here is the link to the cards if you're interested- Welcome Back Jolly Rancher link. You'll be prompted to make a copy and then you can customize to your liking. If you need bags, you can find a variety of different sized ones on Amazon, click here.
Have a great school year!!!!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Back to School with #EpicPals

I can hardly believe it's back to school time again! Summer always seems to go by so fast and I've only gotten through about half of this summer's to-do list. Hoping to find some time to get through a few more items while also getting in some more quality family time!

In the meantime, Bobbi and I are ready for another great year of EpicPals! We will again be offering you a monthly primary AND intermediate version so you can personalize to the needs of your students. Each month, we will tweet out the link as well as post it here on the blog.  Here is the link for September's EpicPals Google Doc with this month's books and QR codes/links to the Padlet boards.

New this year, we also have a special Global Read Aloud (#GRA17) edition of EpicPals as well. Stay tuned for details about what we have in store! If you're not familiar with Pernille Ripp's Global Read Aloud project, I highly encourage you to check it out; such a wonderful way to share quality literature with your students while also making global connections with your class.

If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow and @bhopteacher


New to EpicPals and need some additional information? If so, head on over the the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ScreenRecording from your iPad

Funny how you don't think of things that would be useful until you actually have a use for them. 


This week I have been getting ready to co-present with a Twitter colleague, Traci Piltz, who I've never met face to face.  It has been a fantastic experience in long distance collaboration. With just a mere 1,825 miles between us, we have planned and prepped an hour long presentation and gotten to know each other just a bit better through texts, emails, and the comment function on our slidedeck. I'll write more about this fantastic experience soon as our presentation is next week and we'll be meeting face to face for the first time on Monday- I am so excited!

So what does all of that have to do with screen-recording? Well, as we discussed our ideas, one of the things we talked about doing was creating a screen recording as an intro for how to use Seesaw for the gamified mission we created. I've used Screencastify and really love it, but the majority of our audience will be using iPads so I didn't want to provide a screencast of Seesaw's computer interface, but rather of the iOs interface. 

That led to a problem... how in the world do you screen-record your iPad? 

I've never done it and wasn't sure where to start, other than doing an internet search for *hopefully* an easy solution. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised when I found out it was easier than I had hoped. I simply had to use my lightning cable to connect my iPad to my MacBook and then used QuickTime to create the screencast. Oh my goodness, seriously? I am still pinching myself as I am thinking of how beneficial this new tool will be, especially as our elementary teachers will be switching to MacBook's this school year!

If you're interested in trying this out, check out this post, How to record your iPhone or iPads' Screen by Joseph Keller on the iMore site. It gives great directions and visuals.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Archiving your Seesaw class

So another year has gone by and you've had some time to unwind and hopefully enjoy the benefits of summer vacation....
maybe you found some time to do some personal or professional reading 

or taken some time to renew your exercise goals (I'm currently failing miserably in this department).

Hopefully though, you've found time to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your family....

but if you're like me, the middle of July usually brings with it the spinning wheels of all the things you still want to accomplish before school starts (that exercise goal is still going to happen!) in addition to starting all of your back to school projects and preparations.

One of things may simply be a loose end from last school year. Did you remember to archive your Seesaw class at the end of the year? This is something that you'll want to do so that connected parents are sent an email letting them know that they can download their child's entire year's worth of work. If you're not sure how to do this, watch my short video below for directions.