Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Facebook Notifications

If you want to join the linky, grab the Tech Tip Tuesday button.  Post about a technology tip.  Then link up below!

Click {here} to fill out my form if you are interested in helping me improve my tech tips.

Want to make sure you don't miss any of my posts on Facebook?  Want to ensure your readers know how to get notifications on Facebook so they don't miss any of your posts?

It is really simple to set up notifications.

1.  Visit the page you want to set up notifications for.
2.  If you haven't liked the page, click on like.  If you have liked, it click where it says liked.
3.  In the menu bar that opens, make sure you click on get notifications.  If there is a check there, like in my picture above, you will be notified every time something is posted on the page.

Now you won't miss anything - giveaways, sales, flash freebies, etc!

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy Last Sunday of September!

How is it the last Sunday of September?  Where has the month gone?  I've got a lot on my plate for today, so I don't have much time to blog.

But, I always have time for the Sunday Scoop!

Have an awesome Sunday!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Freebie Friday - Interactive Notebook Pages: Order of Operations

Wahooo!  Another Freebie Friday!  Mrs. Smith from Performing in Fifth has submitted this wonderful math activity.  Hope all you intermediate teachers can use this in your classroom!


What a fun way to practice order of operations!  First, students can practice the order of operations by thinking of it as hopscotch.  Then, they solve problems on pizza slices using their hopscotch board.  Very interactive!  Check it out!

What other tricks do you use to teach order of operations?

Are you interested in submitting your freebie to be featured on my blog and Facebook page?  Click {here} to fill out the form for consideration.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Weekly Tips for Teachers - Random

Today's tip is a little different.  Now that the school year is a few weeks old, I wanted to take a moment to remind you (and myself) of a few things.

So, here's my top 5 reminders for the school year.  I know I will be looking at this often throughout the year.

5.  It's pretty self-explanatory, but don't spend every evening and all weekend doing work.  Do things you like to enjoy.

4.  Write everything down to reference next year.  I need to get better at this.  I write down plans but usually not in enough detail to remember the next year.  Or I change things at the last minute and don't write those down.

3.  This goes along with number 4.  I reflect on lessons constantly but don't write things down that I changed or want to change.  I want to get better at that to make things easier the next year.

2.  I definitely let things pile up throughout the week and then I spend time on the weekends grading and planning.  If only I could do a little bit each day and then I wouldn't have to work so much on the weekends.

1.  The school year does not last forever!  Even though it may feel like it does.  Summer break will be here again.

What would you add to my list of reminders for the school year?

Now, head on over to Kelsea's page to see this week's tips for teachers!
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Create Secure PDFs using PC or Mac

If you want to join the linky, grab the Tech Tip Tuesday button.  Post about a technology tip.  Then link up below!

Click {here} to fill out my form if you are interested in helping me improve my tech tips.


Creating secure PDFs is very important as a seller on TpT.  It protects your products as well as any clip art you use in your products.

This is what I do to secure my files.  I create my file in PowerPoint as usual.  I make sure I save it as a PPT so I can go back later if I want to make changes.

PC Directions
(scroll down for Mac directions)

When I'm ready to save it as a secure pdf file, I click on print.  You can save pdfs by going to save as, but you can't secure your files that way.

There isn't a free way to secure your files using a PC like there is with a Mac.  I downloaded Adobe Acrobat when I switched to a PC.  I'm still using the trial version, but I will definitely be paying once my trial ends.

Here are directions for using Adobe Acrobat to secure your pdfs.

Click on file so you can see the options to save it as a pdf.  Then click on Save as Adobe PDF.

It will open a new window where you can choose your options for saving.  Type in the file name in the File name box.  Leave the type as pdf files.  Then make sure the protect pdf option is checked.

When you click on the box to check the protect pdf option, another window will open.  This is where you need to be careful about your settings.

Leave the box empty where it says require a password to open the document.  You want people to be able to open the document without a password.

Check the box directly under permissions that says, "Restrict editing and printing of the document...."

Then put your password in the change permissions password box.  You want to make sure people can print the document, so make sure you use either high resolution or low resolution.  Then make sure the changes allowed option says none.

You do not want a check in the box next to enable copying of text, images, and other contents.  This is exactly what you are preventing by securing your pdf so do not check this box!

The other two options are up to you.  I just leave the default options checked.

When you're done, click OK and it will save your document as a secured pdf.  You will then be ready to upload it to TpT!

Mac Directions

When your document is ready to be saved as a pdf on a Mac computer, go to the file menu and click on print.  You cannot just use the shortcut to print.  It will not open the dialogue boxes that you need.

After you click on print, the dialogue box will open.  It does not matter which printer is selected because you aren't actually printing anything.  Look for the button that says PDF.  When you click on it, a dropdown menu will appear.  You want to click on the first option in the menu - save as PDF.

 A new box will appear that gives you the option of where to save your document and what to name it.  Once you have what you want, click on the security options button at the bottom.  This will provide you with the necessary options to protect your document.

If you read through the PC directions above, this is where it's different (and less confusing in my opinion).  Leave the top part alone - you want people to be able to open the document without needing a password.

At the bottom, click on the box next to the first option - require password to copy text, images and other content.  You don't want people to be able to do this, so the password restricts it.  Since you want people to print the document, leave that box alone.  Then type in your password and then again to verify it.  You will click OK and it will be saved as a secure PDF.

In both versions, you can check to make sure your pdfs are secure by opening the document.  At the top you will see the word SECURE next to the title of your document.  Try to copy some of your document and paste it somewhere.  It won't work!  That's how you know it is secure.  Now people cannot copy your graphics or text without permission.  Very important to protect your documents!

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy Sunday - The Sunday Scoop

Happy Sunday everyone!  I hope you're enjoying your weekend.  I know I am!  I worked really hard last week to make sure I was planned for next week before leaving school on Friday.  Definitely makes for an enjoyable weekend.

My fiance and I went to see these sunflowers yesterday morning.  Such a wonderful sight and I love it even more since I'm using sunflowers in my wedding.

Here's today's edition of my Sunday Scoop...

Progress reports go home soon.  I can't believe it!  Didn't we just start school?  How am I supposed to have grades already?  I need to spend some time grading a few papers before I can work on progress reports.  And, as always, I've gotta wash my clothes!

We're meeting with a DJ this week.  Hopefully we like him enough to sign a contract with him for our wedding.  I'm so ready to check that off the list.

Schools are closed on Thursday for Rosh Hashanah.  I'm hoping I can make that a productive day off.  We'll see!

And today - I'm headed back to Camden Yards for the last regular season home game of the year.  My fiance splurged and bought us club level seats.  So fun!!

How was your weekend?

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Back to School Night

We had our Back to School Night this week.  While I definitely enjoy meeting the parents and sharing important information with them, this year was tiring because of all the new information we had to give them.

It was also a rough night for me because I wanted to be in Baltimore to watch the Orioles clinch the AL East, but I was stuck at school.  Even though I watched the end of the game and the celebration from the comfort of my bed, I wanted to be there.  Cannot wait until playoffs!

And now back to the point of this post.  Back to School Night.

Our back to school night starts with a meeting with all the parents in the cafeteria.  The teachers are introduced, we go back to our classrooms and wait while the administration presents important whole school information.  The parents come back to the classrooms for about 10-15 minutes to see their child's desk, briefly talk to us, etc.  Then we move all the grade level parents to a centralized location in the building to give them grade level information.

When the parents are in the classrooms, we like to leave information out on the student desks for the parents to read.  This year, our students completed my Second Grade Rocks activity.  Parents were asked to read the writing and respond on the inside telling their child what 2nd grade was like for them.  My students loved coming in the next day to see what their parents wrote.

If you don't teach 2nd grade, you're in luck!  I've made this product for Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Just click on the cover below to find the appropriate grade for you.

What do you do for Back to School Night?

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Freebie Friday - Color the Short Vowel Sounds

Who loves Fridays as much as I do?  So many things to be excited about!  Do you teach short vowels?  If so, you want to check out this freebie from Alyson Hennessy


There are 4 pages that students can color based on the short vowel.  Students will practice their reading skills to read each word.  Then they color the part of the picture based on key.  Great practice for your students!

What are your favorite activities for teaching short vowels?

Are you interested in submitting your freebie to be featured on my blog and Facebook page?  Click {here} to fill out the form for consideration.
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