Thursday, December 21, 2017

Making Makers - Christmas Cards

Every year I begin....  right after Halloween (sad to admit)..... searching through Christmas card designs to find "The Perfect One", "The one that will stand out from the rest".  I refuse to pay a fortune because let's be honest they end up in the garbage after the New Year. I want it to be unique, creative, and to share pictures of my family we take every year. (If we didn't get family pictures taken every year there wouldn't be pictures of me with the kids!)

The winning design? The kids create it! The past two years I have had the kids color pictures to add to the Christmas cards. I LOVE using Powerpoint to design my own cards and with the kids help we do it together. Here are the final projects from the last two years.

Here is 2016 Front and Back


Here is 2017 Front and Back. While I wish the colors the kids choose were different (this was a task I gave my husband to do with the kids) I had to leave my perfectionist quality (only when it comes to digital publishing) aside. 


I hope my kids remember these little things they created and continue to be makers themselves! 

PS We make all of our own Thank You cards and Birthday cards as well. I can't wait to share with you after winter break.



Friday, November 3, 2017

How Google Home, changed our home in 24hrs!



Welcome back, Friends!

I have been waiting to write this post for awhile but just haven't had the time, read... made the time, to do it. So here it is.

I finally bought into the voice-activated "toys". For the longest time I thought, why would I ever need that. Well, I found it on SUPER sale and had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket so I pulled the trigger.

Let me tell you.... I now have a Google Home and I am not quite sure why I waited so long! (A Google Mini is on my Christmas list for our bedroom!)

Here is a low down of the first 24 hours with our Google Home!

1. ?Hey Google, Set A Timer!" My 6-year-old was able to set his own 15-minute timer to let him know when he could stop reading.

2. "Hey Google, What time does True Value close?" I knocked the socks off my FIL when he asked me this question and I asked Google. No more fumbling to find my phone and type in the store name.

3. "Hey Google, Play Moana soundtrack." I have my Spotify synced with my Google Home so I am able to play any sound, playlist, album, singer, I want to. Crisis diverted when I need to make dinner the kids are supposed to be "playing nicely".

4. "Hey Google, Remind me #GAFE4Littles Twitter Chat starts at 7:00." Yes, I need constant reminders, and this helps me to not miss a beat!

5. "Hey Google, add cumin to my shopping list." Confession, I haven't found a great way, until now, to track what I need to get at the grocery store. I have a Google Keep note, but that requires me to get my phone out and add it to that list, I have a whiteboard by the door which I have had my son write things on the board when I need something and then I take a picture as I walk out the door to get groceries but none of those are working 100% until Google Home came along. Now I can tell it to add things to my shopping list and then I access the Google Home app at while I am shopping and everything is there!

These are the most popular questions or tasks I ask Google. However, there are so much more Google Home can do and I can't wait to learn more! I have started a new serious called #heyGoogle to share more about how I use Google Home in my home! Come join me! @digitalplaylearn on Instagram!



Friday, May 26, 2017

GAFE4Littles - Identifying Key Details and Graphing

This month I found #GAFE4Littles. I love seeing young students engage in G Suite apps. Many of the classrooms I work in have Chromebooks and sometimes struggle to see how young students can use G Suite apps. If you want to learn more about #GAFE4Littles check out Christina Pinto's website

Since following this hashtag I have created a few examples of how to students can create using G Suite apps while sharing their learning. 

This first example is how Kindergarten and 1st Grade students can share key details from their reading by inserting pictures (snapshots using the camera, Google Images, or emojis) to the table. The students can then insert text below to describe their picture. (I have also included the Kindergarten and 1st grade Common Core standards for each example.)