There Goes My Heart ....

There Goes My Heart ....

Today I watched my oldest son drive away.  I wasn't sure how I would react as he drove away.  Since graduation everyone around me would ask if I was OK or if I was ready for James to leave.  I thought I was ready.  I kept telling myself that we have prepared him the best we can and that he will be OK.  I am not upset that he is headed off to college.  I am so excited for him, so proud of him, and worried all at the same time.  I know deep in my heart he will be OK.  The song "There Goes My Life" by Kenny Chesney sums up my feelings.  My heart ... my life just drove off.  I sat on my the step to my front porch and just cried as I watch him drive away.

I will miss him showing up in my classroom just to say HI.  He started that little tradition when he was in kindergarten.  What most people know is that James and I started school together.  His 1st day of kindergarten was my 1st day of teaching.  We have been there for each other for the past 13 years.  It was a little hard today to start the school year knowing his 1st day is next week, and he would be leaving today.

I know things will change between us.  He is no longer my little guy that would sit with me just to be near me.  He will no longer pop his cute little head in my classroom and say "HI MOM, How's your day?".  I am going to miss everything about him and worry about him at the same time.  I am not worried that he will succeed. I know he will. He is a bright young man with a big future a head of him.  I also know he is smart and will make the best decisions he can.  He is following his passion and doing what he loves to do.  I just worry if he will be happy and safe.

When he drove away today it was like watching my heart walk away.  It will take time for me to adjust not having James around all the time.  I am looking forward to Labor Day weekend when he comes home for a visit!

Mapping your Town or Area via Pokemon Go for Education ....

Mapping your Town or Area via Pokémon Go for Education ....

There are many ways you can go about mapping out your town or area by using a variety of online tools.  One online tool you might want to try is Scribble Maps, this one is my favorite mapping tool.  Scribble Maps allows you to create your own legend, add custom markers, and even block/shade in an area of your map. What I love is you can over lay text on your Scribble Map as well as images.  ZeeMaps is another map creating tool that you can add personalize images, landmarks, points of interest and etc..

Wanting a map that goes beyond streets try Mapbox. Mapbox allows you to create not only street maps but also outdoor maps that add trails and paths to your map.  You can also see the terrain and landcover data for your area.

My Maps by Google is another customizing mapping tool you can use with your students.  With My Maps you can add customize layers to your map.  With My Maps you can add images, video clips, directions to a location, points of interests, and so much more.  What I really love about My Maps is you can measure distances on your map. This is a great tool if you are teaching distances via maps.

Are you wanting your students to create a story with their map, then you might want to try Mapme. Mapme allows you to create a story via a map.  You can add images and videos to your pins as well as a story for each pin.  This tool would be great in mapping out where students found their pocket monsters.

Another online map creating tool is Snazzy Maps.  Snazzy maps allows you to customize your map by adding points of interest.  Snazzy Maps would be a great tool to use with students that are learning code and website design.  Snazzy Maps will give you the code for your map after you have made your customization.

If your students do not have access to computers to create maps, no worries you can do this activity offline to. You can ask your city for copies of the city map, print one off of Google Maps, or have students draw out a map of their town or area. Once you have decided on which map creating tool you are going to use with your students then you are ready to start adding Pocket Monsters, PokéStops, and Gyms to your map.  Before students can add pocket monsters they will have to do a little research on the different pocket monsters.  For example students might not want to put a water pocket monster in the middle of a wooded area.  Students may also need to do some research on your local points of interest.  The points of interest are were you will want to put your PokéStops and gyms.

If you are creating a paper map you might want to add a plastic sheet over your map and mark the PokéStops, Pocket Monsters and Gyms on the plastic.  The extra pieces of lamination you cut off after laminating a project, poster, etc.. work well for this.  You then can lay the Pokémon objects over your paper map.  This would also be a great way to explain how augmented reality works. That something digital (the Pokémon elements) over lay on something physical (the map).

With your maps you can verify your Pokémon elements by using the Pokémon Go app.  Students can check to see if the locations they picked for PokéStops and Gyms were the same locations Pokémon Go picked.  With your maps you can students figure out distance between PokéStops, Gyms, the school, their house, and etc... They can also map out their path that will maximize their time in reaching as many PokéStops as possible in order to replace their PokéBalls.

To add a writing element to this activity you can have students write a background story for each pocket monster they placed on their map along with a backstory for the area they put the PokéStops and Gyms.  If creating digital maps via online tools have students write in a blog or webpage and embed their map into their story.  If using student interactive notebooks you can add the paper map or a QR Code of the digital map to the notebooks.

What to Put on Your Maps:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Parks
  • Main Streets
  • Local Attractions
  • Point of Interest
  • Landmarks
  • Churches
  • Ponds, Lakes, Rivers 


PledgeCents Preferred Partners ...

PledgeCents Preferred Partners ... 

PledgeCents understands that teachers truly do not have time to go find funding for needed programs, supplies, technology, tools, etc.. for their classrooms.  To help teachers out PledgeCents has teamed up with outstanding edTech companies to help bring much need edTech to classrooms.  With PledgeCents Preferred Partners program a teacher can have a cause created in just a few clicks. PledgeCents has done all the heavy lifting, figuring, research and writing up the causes.  All teachers have to do is select the tools they want to use in their classroom.  Enter the grade level and how many students will benefit from this cause.  Now to keep it real, just in case you do not meet your goal which may happen.  All the funds raised for your cause you still get to keep and use for your classroom.  So you will have to write a sentence or two on what you would use the funds for if your goal is not not met.

I think of PledgeCents as my dream list.  For example create a cause of the one thing you truly would love to have for your classroom but afford it.  If the cause is completely funded then it would be like Christmas, you got the gift you thought you might not.  Now in reality we don't always get what we wish for so have a plan B.  What could you do with a little extra money for your classroom?  Now who couldn't use a little extra money to help with a project for their classroom or get school supplies.

EdTech is not cheap to create and to maintain. The companies do have to charge something to keep the programs we love running.  With funding the way it is for schools makes it hard to bring these amazing programs into the classroom.  PledgeCents believes that the lack of funding should never be the reason students do not have access, so they partnered up with these companies.
“The Preferred Partner Program stems from our belief that a lack of funding should never be the reason why students don’t have access to quality software. We are beyond excited to have partnered with award-winning edtech companies that share our vision in ensuring that resources and opportunities are made available to all students. This collaboration marks the first of its kind by creating a streamlined way for teachers to source and fund technology for their classrooms."
- Kevon O'Rear, Director of Partnerships, PledgeCents
Coding is a huge deal in the world of STEM and Computer Science classes, so that will be my focus. My goal is to bring more coding opportunities to my students.  I have chosen to run the Code Monkey cause for my students. Since coding is new for my students I didn't think they were ready for VidCode.  Both coding programs are apart of PledgeCents preferred partners program.  Along with Nearpod, Pear Deck, ScootPad, and many more.  I am sure they have a cause for your needs if not you can always create one for anything for your classroom.  Check out their partner list and choose your cause today.

PledgeCents will help you with your cause.  They will give you pointers in running your cause, support, and suggestions if needed. When you share out your cause via social media remember to tag them so they to can help spread the word about your cause. Feel free to tag me to. (Twitter - @katieann_76) I would love to share your cause.

We learn and grow together.  

Hurry so you can get the FACEBOOK Matching to! 

Create a cause for one their preferred partners.
They'll instantly generate a customized cause to pay for the one you want.
Once the cause is live, you will receive our popular Facebook Matching Campaign.
Access your favorite edtech tool for FREE by sharing on Facebook!


Quiver Education and Ambassador Program ...

Quiver Education and Ambassador Program ... 

Quiver is launching an Ambassador program plus a new Education Portal.  The plan for the educational portal is for it to become a resource for teachers who wants to use AR (augmented reality) in the classroom. This will include everything from lesson plans, webinars, research, introductions to edTech mentors, discounts on tech and loads more. It all is going to start with getting an awesome group of ambassadors who use AR already.  So are you AR ready?  Are you currently using augmented content in your classroom and would love to share how you use it with your students?  If so you will be perfect for Quiver's ambassador program.  Fill out the form and together we can grow a powerful learning community!  (

This is a brand new program that's not just going to focus on augmented reality but engage, innovative, interactive lessons and activities.  What I love about the new community is that educators can help guide Quiver by letting them know what they are needing. The community is not only going to connect educators with mentors but it also gives teachers a voice.

If you want to be one of those mentors and help shape the community, as well as some future professional learning days apply to be an ambassador.  (

How Was Your Summer Break? - Augmented Activity ....

How Was Your Summer Break? - Augmented Activity ....

Summertime Island
It is that time of year when it feels like Christmas for teachers, Back to School time.  Before school even starts teacher design some fun activities to break the ice so to speak and get kids back into the swing of things.  To get kids engaged and excited about school again why not use augmented activities.  It has been proven that coloring helps reduce stress and calms the mind.  The 1st day of school can have some kids on edge, nervous, and stressed.  Why not use one of Quivers Summer Time coloring pages to help reduce that stress, call the nerves, and engage students all at the same time.

What did you do this summer? Activity:

You can do this as a bell ringer type activity as kids are filling up the room, a center, or even a whole class activity. 

Have a copy of the Summer Time (FREE) coloring page for each student as well as crayons, coloring pencils, highlighters, markers, and etc.. ready for your students.  I would print two of the coloring pages on a sheet of paper, one to save paper and two so that the coloring page will fit better in their journals.  I would have all of these at one table with a pup-tent saying "Have fun Coloring" on one side and "What did you do this summer?" on the other side.  Allowing students to mingle and talk about their summer.  When I am ready to start class or to bring everyone together I would have them sit down on the rug, in a chair, and etc... with their coloring page.  I would talk to them about how we where going to use one of their spiral notebooks as their writing journal.  I would give them time later to decorate their covers for their journal. I have an example of a writing journal ready for students that need to see it to understand.  I would demonstrate that we were going to glue their coloring sheet to one side of the page and write on the facing page.  I would then set them free to write about what they did during the summer.  Reminding them that police their writing and don't forget to use capital letters and punctuation.

After students had finished their writing assignment explain to them that their coloring page comes to life.  Have an iPad or so ready for students to use.  You may want to explain to the students to look for the same icon that is on the coloring page to help them find the correct app to use.  Allow time for them to interact with their creation.   

If I was a Dolphin Trainer Activity:

You will need a copy of the Summertime Island (Cost) coloring page from Quiver per student. I would print two of the coloring pages on a sheet of paper, one to save paper and two so that the coloring page will fit better in their journals.  Have them attach their coloring page into their writing journals.

Have them interact with the coloring page via the Quiver app to help them get inspiration on being a dolphin trainer.  After they have had time interacting with the page then give them the writing prompt "If I was a dolphin trainer ...."  You may want to allow some research time as well for students to find facts about dolphins and dolphin trainers.   Students can also take pictures and video of the dolphin via the tools in the Quiver app.  You may want students to add their pictures to their journal and or a QR code that redirects them to their video clip.

Join us on Thursdays at 8 pm central time on Twitter for #AR4Learning chat as we discuss more ways to use augmented reality in education.