Friday, July 22, 2011

Smartboard Bootcamp

Monica, over at the Schroeder Page, has just started in-home Smartboard trainings via video web. To kick off the start-up of her new bootcamp she is giving away 1 free individualized smartboard training session. Check out her blog to see how to enter! GOOD LUCK :0)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Free Money!

In the current economy, with budget cuts hitting classrooms who couldn't use a little free money?

My search for this free money all started a few years ago when I found some really cool technology that I wanted in my classroom. I could not afford to buy it myself and I knew that my district was not going to be purchasing the equipment for us in the near future. So, I had to get creative.

Grants were still a new idea to me, and I was a little nervous to make my first attempt at such a large grant. But, two teachers from my school had won the grant the previous year and I was determined to be the third!

I set out by researching the grant requirements. This particular grant wanted a STEM based project that was student centered. Once I was familiar with the guidelines for the grant I began searching through our state standards and the web for the perfect idea for a project. I began bouncing ideas off of our technology integration specialist and she mentioned a NASA project that she had seen at seminar she had been to. With her guidance, I looked into the NASA program, requested information, and began to tweak the program ideas to fit my needs and my classroom.

Once, the curriculum and goals of the project were set I needed to find innovative ways to integrate the technology pieces that I wanted to purchase into the project. How would I use the technology to further the interest and education of the students? I had to have a detailed for how each piece of technology I was requesting would enhance my students' learning. This was a difficult task, since I had never used the equipment that I was requesting.

The final step in this journey was to write my proposal. I submitted my first proposal in the fall semester of the 2009-2010 school year. I had the teachers who had previously won this grant help me in my revisions, had all 30 of my students rub it for good luck, and then sent it off in the mail. January came, and the round one winners were announced and I was so bummed to learn that my proposal hadn't been selected.

The initial disappointment only lasted a day or two, but I did not let it discourage me. I had one month to refine my proposal and resubmit it for the second round. I used the same exact project, edited and revised a bit more and in March I received this...

Here is the news clip from my award. In it I discuss some of what I purchased.

I have not written a grant since, as I have been busy integrating the technology that I received from the Qwest AzTEA Grant, but plan to try for another grant this year. There are so many companies out there looking to give money to classrooms. It is so exciting to be able to receive such generous donations through grants just for doing what you already do.

Here are a few sites that have grant information on them. Good luck, and don't forget to google grants specific for your state!

OCDE Instructional Services
Real Classroom Ideas
Technology Grants
Engaging Technologies

These are just a few, there are hundreds out there. If you know of any and would like to share please leave a comment!

Fabulous Find!

I just ordered this Welcome Back banner for my classroom for $1 +shipping and had to share the wonderful link with all of you! At Shindigz you can order a custom 18" X 54" vinyl banner by entering the code SZRCEG at check out. With shipping the total is just over $7. I also ordered one for my daughters first birthday along with this
I can't wait to use the photobooth for Meet the Teacher pictures and then again for Kaylee's 1st birthday. In total, I spent $21 for 2 banners and the photo booth! (I had to place my orders from two seperate computers as they track the code use by IP address.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Social Committee

Over the past couple of years I have been looking for a way to be more involved with my school. The past few years I have had an abundance of things going on and decided to wait until the timing was better. Between having kids and completing my master's degree things were just way too chaotic. This year, however, the perfect opportunity arose... the chair of our Social Committee retired. I have since stepped up to co-chair the committee.

Our previous committee leader was FABULOUS, so there are some big shoes to fill. So far all we have done is begin to plan our back to school family party. In addition to planning this fun event we are also responsible for setting up annual dues, organizing the end of the year volunteer luncheon and staff Christmas party, as well as orchestrating group gifts for new babies, newly weds, retirements, etc. While we don't want to stir things up too much our first year, we would love to mix it up a bit and cut costs.

What are some of the things that your school does for staff parties, gifts, etc?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Love Books!

Thank you Runde's Room for hosting this linky party! I have so many favorite books that I don't know where to start.

Childhood Favorites
The first book I could read was Are You My Mother? I continue to love this book and enjoy reading it with my children. When in elementary school I loved to read the Boxcar Children, American Girl (I especially liked Molly and Kirsten), and The BFG.

Classroom Favorites
I love sharing the book Peabody's Apples. It is a great story about how easy rumors are to start and how impossible it is to clean up the mess once they have been started. I also enjoy sharing just about anything from Patricia Polacco. A favorite read-aloud is The Thirteenth Realty.

Just for Fun Reading
I loved The Shack, Five People You Meet in Heaven, just about anything Sophie Kinsella and Nicholas Sparks.

Born to Learn

Thank you kleinspiration for sharing this thought provoking video Born to Learn. The video goes along so well with the theme of the The Book Whisperer and Math Stations book studies going on. I couldn't help but share it.


(If anyone knows how to upload the video directly on to my blog I would love to post it so you don't have to leave my page. Help would be greatly appreciated :0) )

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

1st Day Back in the Class!

Summer school just ended last Friday, so we were finally aloud back into our rooms this week. I have been so inspired by all of the fabulous ideas I have come across this summer that I spent the morning re-organizing my cabinets. I am so excited to finish them up tomorrow!  With the organizing done I can begin my planning and creating for next year.  Can't wait to post pics of my organized, clutter free classroom and start sharing all of the fun projects I will be creating.

Give Away

Go Fourth with Mrs. Owens has reached 100 followers! To celebrate she is having a giving away. Visit her site for details!

Top 10 Things to Know About Me!

Go Fourth with Mrs. Owens is hosting a linky party "Top 10 Things to Know About Me!"

1) I am an Arizona Native and have lived in the same 15 mile radius my entire life.

2) I married the boy next door (well, actually across the street- but that didn't have the same ring to it).

3) I have 3 children; a 7 year old son, a 3 year old daughter, and a 10 month old daughter.

4) I still get a rush of excitement when I walk into the store and see the back to school items neatly displayed with the colorful Back-2-School signs hanging from the ceiling and stuck to the floors.

5) I was a recipient of a $10,000 classroom technology grant.

6) I am blessed with a large, close knit family. Each summer we spend a weekend camping with between 200-300 cousins, aunts, uncles, and close family friends. (My grandma had 11 brothers and 1 sister... makes for a fabulously large family.)

7) I love the beach and camping. One of my favorite family trips was one that we took a couple years ago with some of our friends... Camping on the beach in Carlsbad.

8) I love school, not just teaching, but going too. If I could find more time in the day and a college willing to let me attend for free I would be a student for life. 

9) I have been stuck in an elevator.

10) I absolutely LOVE my job and couldn't imagine doing anything other than teaching.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

International Blog Hopping Day

I am so excited to participate in this fabulous event! I am new to the classroom blogging world, as you can tell by my lack of posts, but look forward to joining in the blogging world. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you will return soon.