Monday, May 29, 2017

Go Noodle!

Okay. Okay. If you're anything like me, you've seen all of the GoNoodle videos all over social media. Of course I had no idea what GoNoodle was, and as a technology lover, I needed to know.

So I looked into it and immediately fell in love. I have used many of the GoNoodle videos throughout the 1st-4th grade levels that I teach once a week for many different reasons. The kids love them and we always have a good time while we are watching them.

I love that they offer both contemporary songs, as well as educational topics. My students love to learn how to dance using the tutorial videos, and they really come in handy during the rainy season for indoor recess.

If you have been wanting to check out GoNoodle, but haven't known where to start, then watch this video that highlights some of the reasons why you should try it out.

Do you use GoNoodle? Tell me about your experience in the comments.

Happy Dancing,
- Hilary

Monday, May 22, 2017

APA & MLA

So for those of you that don't know, I am in my 7th year of college. Yes! I am CRAZY, but I just love learning and I always want to learn more or try something new.

I completed my first degree (BS in Special Education & Elementary Education) in 4 years and got a job teaching 6th grade math. Two days after I walked across the stage at graduation, I began my Masters program (MA in Educational Technology). Two years later, I donned that lovely gown and crossed the stage once more (my dad is BIG on us walking at graduation). A masters still wasn't enough, so this past fall I began work on a Specialist degree in Educational Technology. So here I am in my 7th year of school. 

Anyways, one thing that I learned pretty quickly in college was how important it was to know not only how to write a paper, but how to format one. Of course your professors expect that you already know how to write in APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian (who decided how to name these crazy formats anyways?). Well if you are anything like me, one of your teachers touched on these formats in high school, and you never really practiced much past that. 

Now your grade depends on your ability to not only write a paper, but write a paper that if formatted and cited correctly. So I created cheat sheets for teaching about APA and MLA format that are easy to use and explain to students. I had something similar to this that a professor gave me in college and it saved so much time. 

I also discovered sites like EasyBib, Citation Machine , and Purdue OWL that helped me with citing my sources. 

Hopefully this equips you to teach this topic in a new light. Your students will thank you later {trust me!}. 
-Hilary 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Computer Keys & Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are so helpful and I know I use them all the time. They are one of the things that I love to cover with my students in the technology lab. Although they are not necessities, I think that they are helpful and fun to learn about.

SCOOT is such a fun game to play with task cards and this group of SCOOT cards is Keyboard Keys focused. This SCOOT covers keyboard key functions as well as keyboard shortcuts.

Another fun way to review keyboard key functions and shortcuts is with a game of I Have Who Has. This is a fast paced game that calls all students to pay attention as your review the content that is covered.

If you want a bonus activity, make sure you check out my Computer Study Webquest to have students learn all about computers, how they originated, and to brainstorm what the future holds for this technology.

If you take your kids to the computer lab, make sure to check out my Desktop Reminders Freebie.

Happy learning,
Hilary

Monday, May 15, 2017

Microsoft Word Resources

Hey teachers -
Do you teach your students how to use Microsoft Word? I know that many schools use tablets instead of full on computers, but if you still use computers, Word is such an important program to teach students how to use. Even if they grow up to use Google Docs (or whatever program has come out in 10+ years when our kids are in the workforce), they will still benefit from the skills they learned when operating Microsoft Word.

As a K-12 technology teacher, I have used many different Microsoft Word activities that I have found on TpT, online, and all around. I created a few to fill in the gaps where I couldn't find what I was looking for.

This Microsoft Word Game is a fabulous FREEBIE and is a fun way to start teaching your students about Microsoft Word, to use as a refresher, or to introduce Microsoft Word for the very first time.

This Microsoft Word Introduction is the next step after the game - it starts with the very basic skills and tells students how to navigate Word to learn the basics.

Definitely check these out before you conquer Microsoft Word with your students!

Happy teaching,
Hilary

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Counting Blocks Freebie

One of my favorite discoveries this year were the blocks in the Target dollar spot. There were so inexpensive and worked like a charm for the purpose of my classroom.

I was getting ready to tutor a student who needs extra help with number sense. He always tells me that he isn't very good at math because he gets distracted thinking about what he could build or create. With this in mind, I thought about how fun it would be to give him a way to incorporate math and building and let his creativity run wild. This is where my idea for counting block task cards came to be.



Your students will need to reset it after they complete each task, but they typically enjoy destorying their creations as much as they enjoy building them (or at least my boys do as they "hulk smash" everything).

Grab this freebie here and let me know how it works for your class!

Happy building,
Hilary

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Newsletter

Happy May!

How many of you are done with school this month? I have two hands up high. I can't even believe my third year of teaching is almost over! I wanted to reach out and share some of my May resources that I thought you might be interested in!

This fabulous freebie is fun for all those Star Wars lovers in your class as you discuss Star Wars Day or "May the Fourth be with you"!



Snatch up this resource for only $1 to discuss Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) with your students. 

Do your students ever wonder why we celebrate Mother's Day? Obviously our mother's are worth celebrating, but where did this holiday come from? Teach them about it with this webquest! 


Still in school for Memorial Day? This is a great resource to use to discuss Memorial Day, with bonus webquests for Veteran's Day & Armed Forces Day all for only $2! 

If you like to use web quests to teach about holidays, then grab my bundle with resources for almost every holiday. It has over 100 pages of webquests with some fun bonus ones added! 

I also just added a Seasons Webquest Bundle to teach students about seasons and how each is celebrated. Each webquest also includes some writing prompts to get students thinking and discussing the season. How fun to start of each season with facts about it, right? 


Also, be on the lookout for my Careers Webquest Bundle & an American Symbols Webquest that will be added to my store this month! 

Finish Strong & Happy May,
Hilary @ Mrs. Tech

Don't forget to follow me on social media to see my products in action and see what's coming in my store.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Scheduling Social Media without an Assistant

Do you ever feel like you are only one person and can only do so much? One day I sat down and wrote everything I needed and wanted to get done in a week and was completely overwhelmed by the amount of work that I needed to do. (I don't recommend doing this - it only leads to more stress). I am typically one of those "take it one day at a time" kind of girls, but I got a wild hair, tried something new, and ended up stressed out.

Anyways, back to what I was saying. There are many facets to running a small business and one of the ones that seems most time consuming to me is social media. I try my best not to let social media consume my time, because I feel that face to face time is better than virtual time with those that I love.

BUT social media is a necessary way to communicate and share your business in today's society. I am fully aware of this, and decided that I needed a plan on how to balance social media and my sanity/family time, while still being effective at getting my name out there.

In an effort to accomplish this goal, I dedicated a few hours every weekend to prepping and planning out all of my posts for the week. I am going to share with you what I do, and hopefully it can help you create margin in your life too.

Facebook - If you have a Facebook for business page, you can schedule your posts out for any date and any time. I plan out one post per day (roughly) talking about new products, sharing memes that I have found, or videos that I thought were cool. I can also share other items to my Facebook page as I found them, but at least I know that there is something being published each day.

Pinterest - I take the easy way out here and use tailwind to schedule out all of my pins for the week. I schedule 12-15 pins each day and use the tribes to pick content that is relative to my followers. I will still participate in a pinning party here and there and spend a little time on Pinterest, but for the most part, this takes care of my weekly pinning. Here is my referral link if you want to try out Tailwind.

Instagram - Instagram is one of the most difficult ones to prep due to the fact that unless you use a scheduler, you are still responsible to post at the time you want it to post. What I have found works for me is to create all of my posts over the weekend and save them all as drafts. I can add all my tags (and #hashtags), captions and edits. Then when I open up Instagram, the very first thing I see when I go to upload a new picture are the posts that I have saved in drafts. Yes, I still have to post it - but at least all of thinking is already done - I just have to click post!

Blogger - Obviously blogging is the most time consuming when it comes to content, but it is the easiest to schedule. Honestly, I write most of my blog posts once a month. I typically post every Monday & Thursday, but sometimes it's a little less than that. As I come up with ideas, I write them down and jot down any thoughts I have. Once a month I will sit down with the post ideas and any holidays, new products, or ideas that I have for the month and compose all 8-10 posts for that week. It might seem a little overwhelming to you, but the thought of having to keep up with blogging multiple times a week is more overwhelming to me.

Again, this might not work for everyone, but this has worked for me. I have also found that if I turn my phone off or leave it in the other room (except when scheduling Instagram) and tell my husband what I'm doing, that I can just work quickly and quietly and get ahead for the week.

Here's to finding margin,
Hilary