Denim Column

About The Author

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Alabama, United States
Technology Coordinator for @BoazSchools, EdD in Educational Leadership, National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy, Avid Twitterer @WhiteheadsClass, Certified ALEX Trainer, Certified Google for Education Trainer, Google Levels 1 and 2 Educator

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Canva

One of my favorite websites is Canva.  Canva is an online graphic design program that uses a drag and drop feature to create stunning, professional fliers, social media posts, announcements, etc.  

I am by no means creative.  Using Canva, I have been able to create designs such as the following to promote activities within our school system.  Although some parts of Canva are paid, the following were all free.






Take a look at Canva, and see what you think.  I know you'll love it!

~Cara

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

ISTE 2018


I have the elite honor of speaking at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference in Chicago July 2018.  While there, I will be presenting two sessions.

  • Are We Advocating or Educating? Social Media Guidelines for Students —As we implemented 1:1 in our schools, it was necessary to establish social media guidelines for our students. Follow our creation from beginning to end of our board-approved social media guidelines to educate our students on acceptable use. This presentation is scheduled for Monday, June 25, 2:00–4:00 pm CDT.
  • Teachers' Perceptions of Their Administrators' Influence on Technology Use in the Classroom —Based on the 2009 ISTE Standards for Administrators, this study determined the technological leadership qualities that teachers perceived as most critical, most important, and most influential on their daily integration of technology into instruction. The presenter will give the results of the study and ways to improve those leadership competencies. This session is based on my dissertation research.  This presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 10:15–11:15 am CDT.

For more information regarding ISTE 2018, please visit https://conference.iste.org/2018/.

~Cara

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Google Certified Trainer

In November 2017, I received word that I had become a Google for Education Certified Trainer.  A Google for Education Certified Trainer "supports educators as they redefine learning with technology."

Visit my Google for Education Certified Trainer profile at https://edudirectory.withgoogle.com/en/profile/ccfa3ac6ba8281caf32537153b3b2b68.  Feel free to contact me through the form on the right of that screen.

Below is my Google for Education Certified Trainer application video.  In this video, I showed users how to create a Venn Diagram in Google Drawings and how to embed pictures and text.


I look forward to sharing my Google journey with you!

~Cara

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Favorite Website: Science4Us



What is Science4Us?

Science4Us is an exciting and interactive online science curriculum for grades K-2. Science4Us is standards-based and inclusive of the Common Core State standards in Math and Language Arts. It also inclusive of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Teachers and students are guided through animated lessons, songs, games and cross-curricular activities in a sequence developed using the 5E Instructional Model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. Embedded professional development provides teachers with the opportunity to review content, common student misconceptions, math and literature integration, and best practices as needed. Implementation is easy; there are no materials to order or software to download. All of the lessons, games, hands-on activities and teacher support materials are accessed digitally. Delivery of Science4Us is flexible. The curriculum can be delivered as a whole class using a single computer and projector, in small groups at centers, or individually with students logging in at school or home. The Science4Us curriculum covers traditional physical, life, Earth and space science content in a way that is designed to keep today’s digital natives engaged.  

For more information, visit http://www.science4us.com/.

~Cara
I have used VocabularySpellingCity with the students in my classroom for over six years. In fact, my entire school now has premium memberships for every teacher. Students take their weekly spelling tests online after practicing their words by playing the games at home and at school. They love the iPad app. Each child has his/her own username and password, so he/she has direct access to the site from any Internet-enabled device. I was so impressed with the site and how it affected student learning that I shared it through various social media platforms. I am now compensated to work with VocabularySpellingCity after school as a social media consultant.  Science4Us is a sister site to VocabularySpellingCity.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Edit a PowerPoint in Google Drive


Can a PowerPoint be edited on a Chromebook and opened on a desktop computer.  The answer is YES! 

1.  Download the PowerPoint needed.  

2.  Open drive.google.com, and log in with your Google account.

3.  Click the red box labeled NEW at the top left of the screen.

4.  Choose GOOGLE SLIDES.

5.  Select CANCEL on the CHOOSE A THEME screen.

6.  Select FILE.  Then, choose IMPORT SLIDES.

7.  On the screen that pops up, select UPLOAD at the top.  Click the blue box labeled SELECT A FILE FROM YOUR COMPUTER.  

8.  Select the PowerPoint you downloaded.

9.  Once it finishes uploading, next to SELECT SLIDES on the top right, choose ALL and then IMPORT SLIDES.

10.  You can now click the slides on the left that you do not want and delete with the delete button on your computer.  It automatically saves your changes.  

11.  Where it says UNTITLED PRESENTATION at the top, click on it and rename it to the PowerPoint name.

12.  When you get ready to use the presentation, log back into drive.google.com on your desktop computer.  You will see the presentation in the list of files.  Click the PRESENT button at the top right to make it full screen.  

~Cara

Monday, August 17, 2015

Make It Monday: Pecan Pie Bark

I love to bake for others.  I want people to know that I appreciate them.  By making something homemade, they usually feel the extra effort in order to make them feel special.  However, I don't always have time to bake.  The following recipe is one of my favorite quick fixes.  It is easy to make, easy to travel, and easy to store.  There is no refrigeration required.



Pecan Pie Bark

Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (Chop into large pieces.)
  • 2-3 sleeves of honey graham crackers (I prefer dollar store brand because they are often thinner and crisper.)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Place graham crackers tightly onto cookie sheet.  You may need to trim some of the crackers to fit.  Do not break the larger pieces apart.  Leave them whole.
  4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and sugar to a boil over medium heat.  Stir continuously for approximately 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in chopped pecans.
  6. Carefully pour the mixture over the graham crackers.  Spread it as evenly as you can.
  7. Place the pan in the oven.  Bake for approximately 8 minutes.  Watch them carefully not to burn.
  8. Cool completely, and then, break into pieces.
  9. Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

~Cara

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Favorite Websites: VocabularySpellingCity



We all look for great websites to use with the students in our classrooms.  As the instructional partner for an elementary school, I get the joy of visiting all classrooms on a regular basis.  This allows me to see and hear from teachers, students, and parents what their favorites resources are.  Overwhelmingly, one of the favorites at my school is VocabularySpellingCity.

VocabularySpellingCity is an award-winning, game-based learning program for vocabulary, spelling, phonics, writing, and language arts that gives you the ability to use any word list with more than 35 learning activities, assessments, and games.  Districts, schools, and families use K12 educational service worldwide with more than 5 million active students.  The site correlates with educational standards, including Common Core, state, and international.  There are also apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices available.  Be sure to visit http://www.spellingcity.com/teacher-resources.html featuring premade word lists and lessons.  My favorite part is the precreated lists for our new reading series.  My teachers simply have to import the lists into their accounts.  No need for them to spend time entering the words. 



For Back to School, VocabularySpellingCity is offering a free trial of their Premium Membership.  Visit http://www.spellingcity.com/teachers-overview.html for more information.  Give it a try, and let me know what you think.



~Cara
I have used VocabularySpellingCity with the students in my classroom for over six years. In fact, my entire school now has premium memberships for every teacher. Students take their weekly spelling tests online after practicing their words by playing the games at home and at school. They love the iPad app. Each child has his/her own username and password, so he/she has direct access to the site from any internet-enabled device. I was so impressed with the site and how it affected student learning that I shared it through various social media platforms. I am now compensated to work with VocabularySpellingCity after school as a social media consultant.