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!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Scoop Time

Hey there!  I hope everyone made it through what it was (to most of us) a very snowy week!

I'm linking up again with The Teaching Trio for their weekly Sunday Scoop.  Here's what I'm up to!


Of course, laundry and sweeping and mopping are at the top of my list...I've been so lazy on my housework today.  I met a friend for breakfast this morning, and didn't get home until late (due to several stops in very snowy weather!!!).  So, all I did around my house was about 3 loads of laundry and cleaning the bathroom.  It is my goal every weekend to clean (dust, sweep, mop, change sheets, clean bathroom, etc) the house.  Luckily, our snow day on Tuesday meant many of these things got done already this week, but I still like my house being clean:)

I've worked out everyday except Thursday and Saturday this week.  But this Daily Burn program requires us to workout 6 days per week!  So I really need to workout today (maybe twice!)!

I am the world's worst at renting movies at Redbox, forgetting that I have them, and never returning them.  Unfortunately, when you do this at Redbox, you end up paying upwards of $30.00 for 'owning' the movie.  We now own If I Stay, and I need to watch it.  Tomorrow will be a perfect day to do so:)

About 7 years ago, I went to a Creative Memories party and bought too.much.stuff.  I do love to scrapbook, but it is so hard with 2 littles running around everywhere.  Anywho...I bought this cutest mini-scrapbook set that I found about 6 months ago, and thought "This will be the perfect mini-scrapbook to document my daughter's first year of life!  I just need to put it aside right now, and get it out in a few months."  Well, the time is now, and I can't find the scrapbook! Arg!!!

I know maybe I shouldn't say this, but I'm kinda done with snow.  Here in Maryland, we've not been hit too hard this winter, and for that, I should be thankful!  However, this week, we only got 1 whole day and 2 half days of school due to snow/ice/below freezing temps.  Today we got about 6" of new snow (on top of what is already there), rather than the forecasted 1-3, so I'm kinda done.  Plus the fact that I slid and skidded my whole way home today...geesh!  I hate driving in snowy weather!!!

I hope you can take a few minutes to relax and enjoy this beautiful Sunday morning!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Scoop

Its Sunday!!!  Plus, we have off tomorrow for President's Day!!! Woo hoo:)  Although I'm thankful this has been a relatively mild winter so far (and thinking about all that snow in Boston - sheesh!), we have only had 1 'ice' day so far this year, so this break is much needed.  Here's my Sunday Scoop, thanks to the Teaching Trio!

Laundry, of course.  Who doesn't have laundry to do?

Meal planning is very important in my house.  I simply don't have time to think about what is for dinner every.single.night.  Let alone stop at the grocery store everyday to pick up stuff to cook (and we certainly can't afford to eat out every night).  So I plan my meals for the week (including breakfast, lunch and dinner), figure out what we need, and grocery shop on Sunday afternoon.  It works pretty well for us.

I've been doing really well getting up and working out with my husband before work most mornings (about 5 days per week).  I've subscribed to the Daily Burn, which is a website that has many different workout programs to choose from.  We are working on TrueBeginner, which is perfect for us!  I'm hoping at the end of these 8 weeks (3 weeks down, 5 more to go!), I will begin to see and feel a major difference:)

I ordered some pictures of my daughter's 1st year of life from the Walgreens app (from Instagram, so the pictures will be 4X4, so I'm interested to see how they turn out:))  I have a mini-scrapbook that I purchased at a Creative Memories scrapbooking party about 7 years ago (long before I had kids) and have never used it.  I'm hoping to spend today or Monday to create this mini-scrapbook!

I also want to create some 8X10 mini-posters with techy quotes to hang in my office.  This has been on my to-do list for quite a long we will see what happens.

Monday is our day off for President's day.  So, I have tentative plans to take my kids to meet one of my friends (she has kids too) to Port Discovery in Baltimore.  If things don't work out, we will probably just go to a movie.  Either way, it will be fun!

Okay, I'm off to see what everyone else is up to this Sunday!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Getting Videos off your iPad

Have you ever taken a video on your iPad of your class/kids/pets and really wanted that video on your computer?  This week, this became a real problem for one of our teachers! A guest speaker came in to talk to the class about immigration, and the presentation was video recorded with the iPad to be shared with classes later (so the guest speaker could go on about his day).
The teacher wanted to share this video with the classes, but Reflector wasn't working that day, and when we attached the iPad to the computer via a dongle, the volume wasn't loud enough.  My first thought was Dropbox, but we couldn't get that to work that day (there is an issue with our network).  So at first I started to panic, but Google came to my rescue:-)

Step 1: Connect iPad to your Mac computer via the charging cord (with the 30 pin or lightning adapter on one end (depending on the model of your iPad) and a USB connection on the other.

Step 2: Open Image Capture on your computer.  Your iPad will prompt you to "Trust' or "Don't Trust" your computer (you will need to "Trust" to complete the rest of the steps.)  Click on the pictures and videos you want to import.  Choose where you want to save the pictures (Desktop, Documents, etc.)  Then click Import.

Step 3: Enjoy your newly imported pictures and videos!

This is a great way to import pictures and videos into your favorite editing software (Photoshop, iMovie) from the iPad, particularly if you don't want to sync your iCloud across everything (and use up all that precious space.  This also works great in a school setting, when network issues keeps you from doing many of the things you usually do on your personal computers.

Have you ever struggled to work with videos on the iPad?  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Smart Notebook...on the iPad?

I love SMART Notebook!  I've been a fan ever since I got a SMART Board in my classroom (about 7 years, has it really been that long?)  The software is so powerful and has so much included from animations and the activity builder to interactive activities and the gallery...I could go on for days. 

So I got really excited when SMART released the Notebook app.

 And then I tried to use it... It didn't have nearly the functionality the computer version had, plus, I wasn't able to use any of the SMART Notebook files I had already created on it.  Big bummer, since I had spent so much time making Notebook files to use for my classes.

So imagine my delight when I can use Dropbox!

Yes, that's right.  Open your Notebook files on your computer and save them to Dropbox.  Then, open Dropbox on your iPad and choose your file.  Your iPad won't be able to open the file, but then you choose 'Open In' and select Notebook.

Now, obviously the iPad is much more limited than your computer when it comes to functionality.  It won't do the cool animations (like your titles sliding in or pictures flipping around) and it won't do the totally awesome interactive activities that require flash (like popping balloons or the soccer game where you guess the letters).  But the meat and potatoes of your lesson is all there.  The double bonus is that everyone with an iPad an interact and do stuff in real time on their own devices.  No waiting for turns at the SMARTBoard.  No kids losing interest because they don't have something to do.

Why would you ever want this? Do you ever have students who are absent?  Do they need to complete a lesson before working on an activity, but you don't want the SMARTBoard on, distracting students working on the activity?  Do you ever have students who just don't get it and need remediation on a topic before they are able to move on?  Do you have advanced students who are ready to go on to something new before everyone else (and can complete work independently)? 

I know what you're thinking - how do I know what they did?  Well, the kids can EMAIL you the assignment they complete on the iPad and you can see everything they did to the Notebook slides.  Or, they can save the file they were working on in Dropbox and you can look at it there.  Your choice.

I think it is so cool!  Really!  One of my biggest complaints from teachers is that only one student is really physically using the SMARTBoard at one time, so how do you keep everyone else engaged?  This way!

Has anyone else ever used Notebook on the iPad?  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Scoop - plus a giveaway!

Good Sunday evening to you all!  I hope you are resting, relaxing, and planning on sleeping in tomorrow (assuming your schools are closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. day:))

I'm linking up with the Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop!

I am presenting to the staff about using Animoto in class, so I need to get my examples together!  Has anyone used Animoto in class before?
My laundry is piling up faster than I can wash it.  I'm hoping  I can finish it up tomorrow!!!
I've been working on a problem solving project, and I just need to put the finishing touches on it, but every time I open it up, I find something else to add or tweak just a bit!

Since tomorrow is MLK day, I get to stay home with the kids.  I'm hopeful they will sleep in a bit - then we can go see Paddington Bear.  My 5-year-old asked me to take him, but I'm not sure how his 1-year-old sister will do.  We went to the movies several times when she was younger (and would sleep through the whole movie).  But I'd really like to try and see it- I think it would mean a lot to him.

My sisters (and our families) are planning on taking a much need whole family vacation (I have 3 sisters, two are married with 2 children each and the other is in a relationship, plus my dad - so we are talking about 15 people in one house).  I'm so looking forward to it (all of my family still lives in Kentucky, so being able to see them everyday for a week sounds great!), but need to find the perfect place!

Also, I am participating in a giveaway of Maryland sellers hosted by The Techie Turtle Teacher, OC Beach Teacher and First Grade Spies.

I donated to the Middle and High School Prize pack - its my Graphing Linear Equations Scavenger Hunt.  

Here is the rafflecopter to enter the give-away:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Scoop

Ack!  I can't believe it has been almost 2 months since I last blogged!  The holidays were a busy time in our household, and between working full time, being a mommy and wife, and preparing for Christmas, I totally slacked off in the everything-that-doesn't-absolutely-have-to-be-done department.  But I'm back, and I've got a few blog posts planned and I hope you learn something over the next few months:)

Today, I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio and The Sunday Scoop.

Things I HAVE to do:
I talk to my dad every weekend, and I've not talked to him yet today.  
I got much of the house clean yesterday, but I still need to sweep and mop.  The flu bug has hit our home hard this year - myself, my son, and my daughter all have had it within the past week and a half.  So I've been home all week (goodbye paid days off for the rest of the year...) and have been able to keep up with the laundry (woo-boo), and general cleaning (yeah!).  But sweeping and mopping have yet to be done.
I've been doing an App of the Month with my staff for the past two years, and it has really done well. I need to pick a new app to highlight and give a 30 minute PD for this month - any ideas?

Things I HOPE to do:
I've been working on a new product for TPT for a few weeks now (I've been working on it in my head for several months...), and I'd love to finish it up this week.  We're expecting ice in the morning, so I may get a snow day tomorrow to work on it?!?
My upstairs rarely gets used (my closet, bathroom, and a guest room are up there), so it ends up being a dumping ground for clothes and crafty stuff.  I've still not organized everything I got for Christmas and I honestly have not put away all of my summer clothes (please don't judge me:)).  I'd love to get this task completed:)

Thing I'm HAPPY to do:
I rented If I Stay, and I look forward to snuggling on the couch with my hubby and watching:)  Naptime can't come soon enough!

How is your week looking?