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The "Ripple" Effect ~ DonorChoose.Org

Like thousands of other teachers, I was amazed, excited, and very grateful to a company I'd never heard of called Ripple.  Many already know that Ripple donated 29 million dollars to DonorsChoose.org and funded over 30,000 teachers!  What an amazing gift for students and teachers!  If you didn't hear about it, check out this broadcast!




I know that everyone just wants to know the amazing items I got for my classroom.  Well, it was 1 item really, with some accessories.  I asked and received a 3d printer (This is a FlashForge 3D printer.  You can check it out HERE)
and the filament for my classroom due to the generous donations of family and Ripple!  I can't even begin to explain the excitement when I told my students.  They have been researching and telling me about all the cool projects we could do with a 3d printer, and I already have several plans up my sleeve!  One includes making catapults for a measuring and data collection project.  I am soaking up any and all informati…
Recent posts

Digital Break-Out!

How many of you have tried digital break-outs, or any kind of break-out for that matter in your classroom?  If you haven't I promise you are missing out on a fun way to engage your students in their content while making those brains work on some serious critical thinking skills!  

  After spending $$ on my favorite website (TeachersPayTeachers of course) on digital breakouts I decided I really needed to learn how to do this myself.  Especially when I couldn't find the exact item I'm wanting.  Let's face it... it's hard living in a Common Core World when I work in a TEKS environment!  Common Core and Texas Essential Knowlege and Skills (TEKS) are pretty different and most of what I tend to find is catered to Common Core.  Time for me to "BREAKOUT!"  

  I would like to tell you that I spent a large amount of time researching and putting together my first break-out but let me be honest with you... I didn't have that time because I actually want to use th…

Bloxels with Fractions

By now all of you savvy educators are well aware of what Bloxels are, and I am super proud to be a Bloxels Ambassador.  In case you aren't familiar with Bloxels and how they can impact your classroom, let me introduce you to my favorite curriculum collaborator!  





Yes!  You are reading the logo right... a program that lets you build your own video games.  This educator values the fact that it is hands on and technology!  Most of the graphics on my page today come from the Bloxels webpage, but some are my own.  Creations by imagination.  
If you are not familiar with Bloxels or how it works I recommend visiting their website HERE.    
The amazing Bloxels website contains a huge amount of information such as the Bloxels blog, how it works, where to buy it, and even educator lesson plans.  Let me tell you how my Bloxels journey began:
One day I stumbled into a Barnes and Noble with my family and there was a Maker Faire going on.  I couldn't believe my luck!  If you've never been…

Maker Space! Near Pod! Class Flow! Tech OH MY!

It has been a busy busy time since my last post!  Summer was filled with lots of great PD, brainstorming for a more innovative year, and some continuing education.  I spent my summer working on my STEM Education Certification through Texas A & M University.  We dove right in with a course on student centered learning environments and project based learning.  This really catapulted what I was already doing within my district.  I am in my districts cohort for project based learning and flipped classroom, so taking this course helped me prepare for the cohort and my classroom as well.  I also went to CAMT (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching) this summer with my fellow teachers in San Antonio, TX and really focused on hands-on mathematics.


I also attended training for the newest Promethean boards and a great emerging software program called Class Flow.  I will post about Class Flow separately as there is so much to talk about!
     At the start of school, I fo…

STEM, STEAM, GRANTS... Oh My!

I got some great news today strolling through the faculty lounge.  I saw I had some items in my teacher box and found a letter from AEP the power company.  I'm sure the secretaries were wondering why I would get my power bill sent to school!  But.. I opened it to see an awesome letter notifying me that I had been chosen for a grant I applied for call the Teacher Vision Grant.  I'm sure for many teachers out there, it isn't that big of a deal, but for me WOO HOO!  Man I am thrilled!

My grant is for $500 for STEM/STEAM use.  What I am doing is going to be so much fun for the kids.  I used the grant to purchase an iPad mini, a protective case, an iPod touch, and a View Master virtual reality viewer.  My students are going to be making Aurasma's to turn our stagnant word wall into an augmented reality word wall.  Students will be making videos explaining the mathematical words and even solving problems for each word.  Students who are having trouble remembering a conce…

Chromebook Drama

First let me start out this post by saying, this is somewhat of a rant, and somewhat of a timeline that I've been through to find new things, cool things, and in some cases I may have bitten off more than I can chew!

   I've been blessed to work at schools with plenty of technology, but not all technology is created equal.  More recently my challenge is making the Chromebook compatible with all the STEM projects I want to do for my students.  Recently we embarked on a Zoo creation project.  Students have spent the last few weeks researching zoos, animals, and habitats.  My ultimate goal was have students create a habitat using SketchUp and put that 3D habitat into a playground using the software Playing Mondo.  It is a bit of an ambitious project, but the student will be able to do so much with the Playing Mondo (PM) software as time goes by that I knew I wanted to try everything I could.  Enter the dragon... or Chromebook in my case.



   First... most programs that are compa…

Teaching with Google

Teaching with a lot of tech is a huge goal I have for my Math/STEM classroom.  The importance isn't just to say I'm using technology, but to bring real 21st Century skills into the learning environment while I'm still ensuring growth in my content area by covering my state mandated standards.  It doesn't matter what your state standards are, technology in the classroom is a must.

Currently I am working on training with Google.  They have a really great program for teachers to get free professional development, and when you are done, you can be a certified Google for Education expert.  If you are on Twitter, you check out Google for Education's page and follow it.

A really cool thing I learned today:

Icognito Windows for Chrome - Who knew that you could make what you are doing private on a public computer!?  I sure did not.

Whether you consider yourself tech savvy or a beginner, these are really great tutorials to learn about Google tech in the classroom.  In additio…