Monday, August 18, 2014

Reflector - a terrific solution

Hi there!  I'm back - finally!  I took a blogging hiatus to enjoy summer and spend time with my babies.  We just got back Friday from a few days of this:

My parents, my kids, and myself spent a few days at the beach, lounging in the sun, eating crabs (I love seafood!), and swimming.  It was wonderful!  But now, I'm on day 19/21 of my short summer break - and I'm sad to go back to work on Wednesday:-(  But, all good things must come to an end!

Looking forward at the calendar, I'm trying to plan out my professional development for this next school year.  I have applied to present (for the third year in a row) at Powering Up With Technology (I'm awaiting to hear back if I have been selected), and I need to find a way to show my iPad on my computer (I have a new MacBook Air for the first time to use for presenting).  

About 2 years ago, my school started using Reflector to mirror the iPad to our computers,  and we've never looked back.  Reflector is a software program that you download to your computer (not to the iPad), and it runs in the background.  In order to use it, open the program (you won't physically see anything there, but it is working), then grab your iPad.  

Slide up the bottom bar of the iPad to find your AirPlay button.  

When you find your device, touch it. Then, slide over the Mirroring button.  Magically, your iPad screen will appear on your computer!

Not only is this a terrific way to present using apps to adults, but it would be great to introduce how to use an app to your students.  Everything you do on the iPad, will happen in real time on the computer (that is attached to a projector).  I have also used it in the classroom with my students.  When working out a math problem on the iPad using ShowMe, I asked students to open their AirPlay and display their work on the projector.  I've had up to 8 iPads on the screen simultaneously!  

Reflector was originally designed only for Apple products, but they have recently added PC and Android capabilities.  Right now, you can download it for $10.39, or you can have a 7 day free trial.

Have you ever used Reflector?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I Got (at the TPT sale)!

I'm linking up with Bloghopin' for their "Show Us What You Bought" Linky.

TPT has a site-wide sale 4 times every year, and I usually buy some clipart and backgrounds for my products, and this sale wasn't any different:)

The first thing I bought was this Kindergarden Ready Pack.

My son is going to be 5 in October, but since his birthday is so late, he won't be able to go to Kindergarden until next fall.  In the mean time, we are going to be working on all of those skills needed to be successful (letters, numbers, sounds, etc.) so when he gets to Kindergarden, he will be ready:)

I was looking for some new fonts and fell in love with Font Fun! by Cara Caroll.

I love all of the fun fonts and can't wait to use them on some products (and some labels around my house!).

I also love clipart, and I generally buy something from Lovin Lit every sale, so here is what I bought from her:

Seller's Toolkit  #3 has a great selection of papers, and frames (and I love the chalkboard theme!)  I bought Bundle #2 during the last sale and have used it tons!

Loopy Doodle Frames will be great for dressing up some products:)

Last, but not least, I bought some Rainbow Scrappy Kids and Scrappy iPad Kids from Graphics from the Pond.  I bought the Summer Scrappy Kids during the last sale and loved it!

By the way, I broke even at 11:00p.m.:)  I always try to make more money than I spend at these quarterly sales. I usually don't make much, but I do think it is harder to be successful at the middle school level than at the elementary/clipart level.

I can wait to see what everyone else bought!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My first SLANTbox!

I signed up for SLANTbox back in June for the very first time because I saw all the fun stuff everyone was sharing and I wanted to participate.  At first, I was a little leery, because I didn't really know how someone could be paired with a perfect stranger and get to know them well enough to put together a cool box that would be useful.  But, I was wrong!  I was paired with Meredith at Creativity to the Core and she was pretty awesome.  Not only is she very nice, extremely talented, and has an awesome TPT store, but she pretty much nailed it when sending my box of goodies:)

Here is a pic of what was in my box:

I love it!  So clever, cute, and creative!  Here's a closeup:

She gave me stiff plastic straws (which is perfect, because I have one of the re-usable cups, but broke the straw, and never got a new one), cute post-it magnetic notes, highlighters, and a border organizer. I am a bit of a border hoarder (I have been known to order border online when I can't find exactly what I'm looking for in our local teacher stores).

Here's another picture:

A cute 'S' for my desk, a great picture frame with this quote, " Technology is just a tool.  In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important" Bill Gates. I think this quote is great:)  There is also a really cute wallet (and I know the yellow color will make it that much easier to find in the bottom of my purse:)

Here's the last picture:

And the background in all of these pictures has been the cute placemats Meredith sent.  Yes, those are flair pens, and I love them.  In addition to hoarding borders, I also hoard pens.  I have about 50 at school, so I think these can stay at home:)  Those two things on the left, they are blank note cards that have a hook attached.  I think these will be perfect for putting the alphabet and numbers on for my four-year-old and I to practice while waiting (in line, at the doctor, in traffic, etc.).  He will be five in October, but because his b-day is so late, he has to wait another year before he can start Kindergarden.  It sucks (not only because he is totally ready for school, but because it is another year I have to pay for daycare.  And preschool around this area is way too much!).  But he is really smart (and I'm not just saying that because I am his mom), and he is learning so much everyday.  But we need to do more, and I'm starting with those cute little notecards.  

So, if you haven't signed up for SLANTbox, you should.  Because it is really cool and fun, and a great way to get to know two people you have never met before (I made a box for Michelle at Miss, Hey Miss too.)  

I'm off to finish up some TPT stuff, and then to clean.  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly my house gets dirty!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August Currently...

It's August 2nd...and I'm a day late to the party:(  Oh well, I'm linking up anyways:)

My baby girl is 7 months old now, and she babbles and crawls with the best of them!  It seems to be happening much faster than it did with her big brother.

We had a tiny week off at the end of June, but went to school the whole month of July.  Now that's its August, I can finally relax a bit, before gearing up to go back again!

My family is all from Kentucky, and I love when they get to come visit.  I've booked us a few days at the ocean.  I can't wait to take the kids and just relax for a while.

I love scrapbooking, but I can never seem to find time for it.  But the past two days I've scrapped a few pages, and I hope to keep up the momentum.  I'd like to get a whole book done for my daughter, and do several pages for my son's books.

I've also been updating and pumping out TPT stuff.  I've updated about 5 products, and created 2 products since Wednesday (its amazing how much you can get done in the early hours of the morning before the kids get up!).  I hope to finish up 2 more products before the big sale Monday and Tuesday.

Teachers go back August 20 for in-services and lunch, then kids will be there August 22.  I'm a little nervous what I'm going back to.  Construction started on our school Wednesday to build a new media center (library), and I'm afraid all of the books will be in shambles (and its my responsible to organize everything again!).  Hopefully everything was packed away carefully - but you never know.