Saturday, May 2, 2015


I can't believe its already May!  I'm so glad the harsh winter is behind us, and sunny days pool side are just ahead:)  But now, its time for my favorite first-of-the-month link with Farley for her Currently post.

Right now, my kids are playing and I (was) watching Extreme Couponing.  My son changed the channel to something on Disney Channel.

T-Ball is in full force!  Its exhausting, but I love it.  We have only had 3 games (due to rain), but the kids are really great and my son has a blast.  He is actually doing really well this year, super focused and trying really hard to do his best (which is great for a 5-year-old).

I FINALLY found my tiny scrapbook for my daughter's 1st year (that I thought I had lost), so I want to get that done.  I also want to paint something for our kitchen (I found a stand at Gabriel Brothers a couple of weeks ago, but it has been empty ever since).  My sister made me some letters with her Cameo Silhouette (it says Southern Hospitality), so I just want to paint a background on a canvas.

I want some more time off. I know I am very lucky to have a teacher's schedule, and on top of all of the days we get off for holidays, I get 10 personal days too.  However, I've burned through those (I had to take 5 days off in January when both of my kids got the flu!), and now I need to take some days off without pay, and that sucks:(  But I'm not missing my sister-in-law's high school graduation.

We are car shopping. My Ford Escape has been great, but it is now 10 years old, we are almost to 150,000 miles and I need something bigger.  I am hoping to test drive another GMC Acadia after the T-ball game today.  We'll see what happens:)

This summer, we are going to the Outer Banks for a week with my whole side of the family (dad, 3 sisters, their husbands & kids).  It will be so much fun!  I also am hoping to get pool passes to our community pool for the summer (but I hate the $400 price tag!), and am dreaming of a few day trips just to break it up.  

Now, I'm off to read what everyone else is Currently doing!

Friday, April 3, 2015

I Didn't Know That!

Calling all Mac lovers! Growing up, my mom was very tech-y.  I remember we had a computer in our dining room since I was in 3rd grade (we are talking 1990ish), and I would impress my teachers by typing and printing my papers (the printer had those circle things on the side that fed the paper into the printer that you had to rip off) to turn in. All of the computers we ever had were PC.
Fast forward to my first real job as a grown-up, when I started working in a school that was all Mac. I knew my way around a computer, but not a Mac. At first, I hated it. It was so hard figuring out everything that seemed so very different from my trusty ole PC. But then I used it more and more, and began liking some of the easy-use features (drag and drop, anyone?!?). 
Then I got an iPad - wow! Then I started creating products for TPT and realized a Mac would be perfect for creating products. So I saved and saved and saved (for 2 years!) and finally bought my first MacBook Air - love! And I finally broke down and got an iPhone for my birthday last year. I'm totally Mac - and I'm not going back.
But this post isn't about my love for Mac, it is about all of the cool things they can do! It amazes me every time I learn something new about any of my Mac products. So, I thought I would start sharing through a semi-regular (because I know me, I wouldn't be able to do a weekly post because I just can't commit to something like that right now) series of posts called I Didn't Know That! Thursday. (I even made a cute button for it!)

I'm linking up with Teaching Trio (I love them!) for their Technology Thursday.

Today, I'm going to share about something cool with the iPad. The newest operating system iOS 8 has a really cool feature!
You may or may not know about Guided Access, which is a way to 'lock' kids into an app so they can't get out. To turn on this feature, go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Guided Access. Turn it on and add a passcode (you have to remember what it is to turn it off, so make sure it is easy to remember!).
Now, open an app you want your students/children to use and triple click the Home button (circle). You will see a screen like this:

In the bottom right corner is a Time Limit button. Turn it to on and choose the time limit. 

When 29 seconds are left, a message appears at the top notifying you of the time remaining (I'm not sure why they picked 29 seconds, not 30!). When time is up, this message appears on the iPad.  There is nothing the students can do anymore when this happens.

When you triple click the home button again, this pops up. You need to the put in your passcode and it unlocks the iPad.

I see this being great for my son. I often ask him to use a particular program on the iPad (to practice letters or math, for example) for 5 or 10 minutes. He is constantly asking how much longer.  Using this, I can lock him into the app and he can't do anything but that app for a specific period of time.  It is also great if you give your kids (or students) 5 minutes of free time on the iPad. Then they won't be able to use it longer!

I love all of the cool new features Apple is adding to their products and I can't wait to share some of the other cool, new tricks I have learned!

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Hey there!  Its finally April!  I'm so excited because I love spring (almost as much as I love October - almost:))  Spring brings warmer weather, playing in the backyard with my kiddos, warmer weather, nighttime fires around the fire pit, did I mention warmer weather?!? It is also the beginning of t-ball season, so we will be spending a lot of time at the field for the next 3 months (my son plays and my hubby coaches!).

I spent the day yesterday at an Apple Education Seminar all about iTunes U.  It was amazing!  Being in a room with like-minded educators, working on a common goal (yesterday was a workshop type of situation where the Apple experts were there to explain, demonstrate and help you create your own course) is wonderful!  Everyone kept coming up with new ideas and sharing and asking questions you didn't even realize you wanted to know the answer to. I LOVED it!  And here's the best part - it was FREE! I don't know if these are new (I went to another one last month about going 1:1 in the private school setting), but they are great PD!  I highly recommend it:-) 

I spent the day working on developing a course for the new staff that start at our school. When new people being working at our school, they are required to take a computer competency course lead by myself and our other technology coordinator. I love teaching these classes (and I feel like most of the staff members get a lot out of it. Unfortunately, we always have one or two (or 5) new staff members begin in the middle of the year (after the classes have started/finished). The course I'm making will serve as a resource with videos and pictures and assignments to get staff familiarized with our technology.  I think it will also be great for returning staff members who may forget some of the programs we have/how to use certain things.  They can go to the course and watch a video or read some text about it to jog their memory. I'm excited about how it will turn out:)

Now, its time for some currently!

Right now, I'm washing dishes, laundry and listening to Uncle Grandpa (one of my son's favorite shows).

Spring Break begins today (technically yesterday, but I was at a training all day).

Since its Spring Break (and we aren't going anywhere), I want to do some fun stuff with the kiddos. It should be warm this afternoon (67ยบ), so that's the plan. I also want to do some spring shopping at Once Upon a Child and Homegoods, scrapbook a few pages, and maybe make a new TPT product.

My son woke up at 5:30 this morning!  Seriously, is somebody supposed to sleep in on Spring Break with kids getting up that early?  7:00 is early enough (when they usually wake up), but 5:30?!?

Teachers don't have a lot of time, but most of them are willing to learn something new - especially if it is quick.  I created this blog to give teachers ideas of how to use technology in a quick and dirty sort of way. That's why I named it Technology Timeout - take a quick timeout to learn something new about technology.

Now, I'm off to see what everyone else is up to!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Scoop and my First Give-Away!!!

Hi there!  I'm linking up again with Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop!  Here's what my week is looking like:

My sister-in-law turned 18 on March 1, and I have yet to send her a birthday card.  So...I need to get that done this week! (I'm the absolute worst at sending cards on time:( )

I've been getting up early with my husband and working out using Daily Burn's True Beginner program for the past 7 weeks.  This is our last week of the program, so I need to give it a solid final push.  I've been looking for a new program that is a little tougher, so I bought Shaun T's T25.  We will start that next week - wish me luck!

PARCC testing is in full force at my school.  On Monday and Tuesday we will have the Algebra 1 and Geometry tests going on.  Since the tests rely on using the computer/iPad's, I've been running around like crazy, troubleshooting problems and helping relieve anxiety/fear from teachers.

I've got 3 different products sitting on my desktop needing work for TPT.  I did all my laundry and grocery shopping yesterday, so I hope today to find a few hours to devote to working on them. 

My hubby and I broke down and bought a new bed (I puffy <3 LOVE it!!!), and it has inspired me to redecorate our bedroom a bit.  I want some new pillows, pictures for the wall and some little decor things for my nightstand and dresser.  I'm really bad at decorating - I find something on Pinterest that I love and try to recreate it, and it always fails.

Winter has been rough on everyone, and I'm loving all of the warmer weather and sunshine headed our way.  I hope to be able to get the kids out of the house and spend some time playing in the backyard on the swing set.

Also, I've teamed up with the Creative Classroom for the March Blogger Match-Up, but my team lost in the first round.  Since my loss is your gain, I'm giving away one of my best selling bundles:

This is normally $10 in my store, but to one lucky blog-reader, it will be free!  There are 3 ways to enter:)  I'm excited, because this will be my first give-away!  It will be open for a week, and I will choose a winner on Saturday!

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March Maddness

Hi all!  I joined up with The Creative Classroom for the March Blogger Matchup.  This is a fun way for bloggers to get interested in all of the March Maddness (although I don't really need any more reason to be interested since my UK Wildcats are in the tournament!  Go Cats!!!).

For Round 1, I was matched up with Harvard.  Unfortunately, they didn't make it past the first round. So that means I had to sent a goodie to my match, Carly, from Carly's Education Kingdom.

This also means that I'm getting a goodie ready for you!  Stay tuned tomorrow for my very first give-away!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


A staff member recently approached me about buying a class set of books (I'm also the media center specialist at my school in addition to technology coordinator - small school, lots of roles!).  I asked why she didn't just use her iPads, and she looked at me very confused!

I opened the iPad, opened the iBooks app and quickly searched for the title she requested (Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle). It was $5.99 to buy, but then we could sync it with her other iPads in the classroom.

I was demonstrating how you simply open the 'book' and 'flip' the pages with my finger.  I then demonstrated how  to set up the iPad so the story is read to the student as well.  To my surprise, she didn't know this was possible (and I always assume everyone knows everything I know...).

So, here's how to set up the iPad to read to you...(This works on all iPad 2's and above.  Depending on the operating system you have installed, it may look slightly different).

Go to Settings and tap on General, then Accessibility.

Tap on Speak Selection.

Slide Speak Selection to On, then adjust your settings.  You can choose from several different languages/dialects.  You can also adjust the speed of speaking.  Some sound really robotic, others sound much better.  Choose the one you like.  I also like turning on Highlight Words, which really helps students who are learning to read:)

Now, you're ready to open iBooks!  Select the book you want (there are some free, and some you have to pay for.)  Below is a sample book that was free to download.  Using your finger, highlight the paragraph you want read, then you have tons of options, one being Speak.  When you tap Speak, the paragraph is read to you!

I think using these features is a great way to introduce students to material that may be over their instructional level in reading.  Many of the students at my school are reading below grade level, but are interested in reading books that are on grade level.  These types of tools are making it possible for our students to access high interest materials that are on grade level!  I love what technology is capable of!

Monday, March 2, 2015


So today is March 2, and it is hard for me to believe how fast time is flying by!  I'm linking up with Farley for the famous Currently!

We are waking up to the aftermath of a icy/freezing rain/snow/sleet storm from yesterday.  What started as a two hour delay is now another day off of school.  I've been watching the news waiting to hear that school is closed.
We bought a new bed this weekend - after we tried out several.  We went for a hybrid memory foam/inner spring combo - it seemed to be the most comfortable.  I'm really thankful that my hubby and I are in agreement that a softer bed is best (I personally couldn't get comfy on those firm mattresses).
I've not thought about spring break until this morning, so now I'm wondering if we should make some plans?  We can't plan much because we have so much planned this spring/summer that will be really expensive.  Maybe I can find a Groupon for Gray Wolf Lodge?  We've never been, but it is really expensive (even with a coupon).  We might just stay home!
We have had a closing or delay every week (usually more than once a week) since mid-January.  I just want a regular week!!!
I don't need anything at the moment - I'm a very lucky girl!

I'm off to find out what everyone else is up to:) Happy Monday!