Let it Be Friday, 05

8 Dec

Here’s your official 2017 The Giving Tree Gift Guide!


(Just some things that have caught my eye, nobody told me to endorse these things – you’re welcome)

For the reader in your life

100 Books Scratch Off Poster

Image result for sweater slippers tomsSweater Knit Slippers – ladies…don’t you want to cozy up with a good book while wearing these?

No automatic alt text available. Awesome bookmarks – There are never enough bookmarks for a real book nerd!

The Little PrinceLitographs – your favorite text on a t-shirt, tote scarf, or poster!

For the one who has everything in your life

Books with Style I Adulted!I Adulted Sticker Book – because everyone needs a little recognition

What Do You Meme? I mean…a game about memes? Sign me up!

 How about a gift that gives back? Trades of Hope provides a sustainable business for women all over the globe. These women have struggled through abuse, poverty and heartache; many of them do not realize their worth. Now through their fair trade work, they are learning how to weave a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Next week I’ll share my recommendations for tech lovers and the kids in your life!


Let it Be Friday, 04

17 Nov

  • It’s here! Who is planning to see Wonder this weekend?
  • Thinking about buying some gifts soon? The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books have put out their Gift Giving Guide. (Thanks, Corrie!)
  • Instructional technology is not my only passion. One of my top stress relievers is BAKING! And I have found a pie crust game changer from one of my favorite baking companies, King Arthur Flour. They’re reviving a strategy called Pie Crumbs and it’s just about brilliant.
  • Finally, as you prepare for this holiday season, consider providing opportunities to support those with less than. I’m hosting a Black Friday Trades of Hope sale next week. Consider joining this event and helping women all over the world stop the cycle of poverty and abuse.

Short, but sweet Friday update…see you in TWO Fridays!


Let it Be Friday, 03

10 Nov

  • I guess DEVOLSON is a thing. Be sure to comment with your experience of DEVOLSON, you know, to prove it’s a thing.
  •  My early 1980’s friends, can you relate to this?
  • Google exec Eric Schmidt, has some email rules…9 of them.
  • Eric Curts is my new go-to blogger – controlaltachieve.com
  • Did you know you could be a member of ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) for free?! If you’re an educator in Illinois, you don’t want to miss being a part of this organization

Have a great weekend everyone!


Let It Be Friday, 02

3 Nov

Ah, the joys of a Friday. Today was Twin Day…make that Quadruplet Day


  • Four good questions KIDS can ask:
    • Is it possible….?
    • What if….?
    • How can we do this differently?
    • Why?
  • Pretty sure this kid is going places
  • Make Today…. (click the image to make your own copy!)
  • It’s not too late to have your students write a novel with NaNoWriMo!
  • Not so ordinary Writing Prompts (some for adults and some for your students, too!)
  • Finally, don’t forget….

Happy Friday friends!

Let It Be Friday, 01

27 Oct

Hi everyone, Happy Friday! Here’s a quick round up of some things from that place called the Internet. I hope you find something new and interesting:

  • Halloween is just around the corner. Hope your costume is ready to go. Need some inspiration?
Amelia Badelia costumes from Amazing Literary Halloween Costumes | Bookriot.com

Amelia Bedelia!


Have a great weekend!


Community and Baseball

7 Nov

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged – because, life. And I’m steering away from my typical tech posts to share an amazing experience I had over the weekend.
If you’re friends with me on FB you know I LOVE The Skimm. Every morning I look forward to getting my news for the day from The Skimm. When you share The Skimm enough, you get invited to be a part of a private FB community of Skimm’bassadors. This is where the goodness of Skimming happens. We’re 8,000 strong and use each other for advice, recommendations, celebrations, post things that we don’t want to post on our personal accounts, etc. It’s like having 8,000 best friends you’ve never met in person.

So, I was perusing my feed and this post popped up:


This wall. I’d seen the pictures. Names, written in chalk, of loved ones who loved their Cubbies, but missed the chance to see them shine. Names overlap covering every inch of every brick. People sharing chalk, taking pictures, touching the name they wrote, remembering their grandma, grandpa, uncle, son cheering on their beloved Cubbies, telling stories, staring at the bricks or at the sky. If you haven’t been there yet, go.

The post came through the night before the big parade. The rest of my family were already down there, but had just left to come home. We had plans to watch the parade and I knew we’d be in Wrigleyville on Saturday, too.  So, the thing about a post like this is that it catches on. What started as one name of a passed Cubs fan turned into 12 amazing stories of hope and love and loss.

12 names. 12 stories. 12 legacies.

I couldn’t let my Skimmies down. What brought together a community of 8,000 from across the world? A wall….in Chicago….at Wrigley Field….for a baseball team….a World Series Championship baseball team.

It still gives my chills. Not just the win, but the impact that win has had on people in my family and beyond.

I made it down on Saturday. We first walked around the whole stadium, watching people write names, post pictures and think about the whirlwind of the previous 4 days. My husband, Jay, had to write the majority of the names (I make him do the craziest things sometimes).

img_9948 img_9953


All 12 names we wrote are on this section of the wall on Sheffield

All 12 names we wrote are on this section of the wall on Sheffield

This was more than just a good deed for my Skimm’bassador friends. I’m still amazed by the posts – “this would make their family’s day,” “it would mean so much to the whole family,” “this would mean the world to her,” “I’m in tears right now! You have no idea how much this means to me.”

But I think I am starting to know how much this means to them.




#d303GoogleMadness Here is Your Champion!

21 Apr

Wow…what a ride! We started with 64 Google Apps/Tools/Add-ons/Extensions/Features and whittled it down to ONE…ONE Amazing Google Tool that we certainly couldn’t live without.

Here were some highlights from the last few weeks…

  • The biggest 1st Round upset came between the Docs and Search match-up — students, especially, were crushed that Search didn’t advance
  • Editing mode defeating Research Tool blew me away in Round 2
  • Let’s talk Round 3….right Jeff (and the rest of the North SS department)? There may have been literal tears shed when Classroom didn’t advance and a formal complaint has been filed

Alright, so here we are at the final round:

Google Madness Champion

It’s a tough call.

You have YouTube – literally millions of videos that can enhance your classroom. It has playlists to curate videos you want students to have quick access to. You can upload and edit your own videos. Students can upload and edit their own videos. It can help you flip or blend you classroom……

Then there’s Auto Save – you NEVER have to click Save – it does it for you, automatically. If I had a nickel for every time I reminded my students to “click File and Save”….can’t even do that math in my head. AND I used to set myself a timer to remind them to do that! No more people – you don’t have to wonder as you’re logging off your computer, “did I save that file?!”.

Which one do you vote for????

Is the anticipation killing you yet (I know Jenni and Dana have something to say about it)

Google Background (1)

Which also means….we have a new leader:

Google Background (1)

I really hope everyone had a fun time. I hope to blog a little more about some of these tools and give some new ideas for using them!