Monday, February 15, 2016

Companies Who Love Teachers

In a few weeks, I will be traveling to Indiana to attend the 2016 Spring Teacher/Blogger Retreat. I went last year and had an AMAZING time connecting with other educators, sharing my passion for our profession, and leading round table sessions on the power of using Twitter and Instagram in the classroom. 

For me, this weekend is all about connecting with other educators from all over the United States and talking about all things teaching. It is an experience that fuels the soul and sparks creativity.

This retreat is also a way for us to give back to teachers who deserve to be spoiled and BOY do we have some amazing gifts to give away at the retreat thanks to our sponsors. However, teacher retreat or not, these companies LOVE teachers and support us in so many ways so if you are looking for companies who are STELLAR teacher supporters then take a moment to check out these amazing folks!

Here are some of our 



 Look for goodies from these companies as well:
The Pencil Grip, Scentsy, Origami Owl, Younique, Silly McGilly, Stella and Dot, DoTerra Oils, Coker Mugs, Doodle Bugs Paper, Twinkle Twinkle Little Jar, Udderly Smooth and more!

Check back in March to see photos from the retreat and a inside look at the products donated by our fabulous sponsors!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why Teachers Should Periscope

I am constantly amazed at all of the wonderful opportunities social media can bring to teachers and students when used efficiently and correctly.  When others ask me why I am so involved in the educational world of social media, I tell them that it is my way of connecting with classrooms and educators from around the globe. Social Media--Periscope and Twitter specifically-offers educators the opportunity to create their own "personalized" professional development. 

Are you interested in learning about Genius Hour or maybe altering the way you are incorporating it in the classroom?

Maybe you are getting ready to start a unit on the Great Depression and you are looking for lesson ideas.

Perhaps you have iPads in the classroom but are not using them to their fullest potential and are wanting help! 

Periscope(and Twitter) can help you answer all of those questions and much, much more.

Here is a quick video that my district helped me put together to talk about how teachers can use Periscope. Click the video or here.  
(Excuse the mess in the back! My shelf collapsed a few days before and I haven't had a chance to re-stack it! :) 

Periscope is pretty easy to use, but it does take a little getting use to. Basically, Periscope is a live broadcasted video where others can tune in and watch your video as well as interact with you through comments in the comments box. Miss a live video? No worries--you can catch it on replay later. Periscope will hold your video for 24 hours and then it disappears from the site. However, you can save your videos to other websites such as so that way your views are always able to catch your scope replays. Here is a great website that breaks down the basics of Periscope. 

Before you flip the camera and start doing videos with yourself....ease into the app by tuning in to others' scopes. Here are some of my favorite Periscopers that I love to watch each week. 

I cannot say enough amazing things about Jen Jones. She is fabulous and does a great job of bring literacy tips to teachers through Periscope. If my phone sends me a notification that Jen is on the air, I stop everything I am doing and tune in because I know it is going to be phenomenal. 

Kami Butterfield is a technology GENUIS! The way that she uses iPads, apps, and everyday resources in her classroom is THE BEST! She inspires me to do a better job of using resources and technology with my students. She is a must watch. 

Tony Vincent is another technology guru. He is also very present on Twitter (which is secretly my favorite social media platform). You do NOT want to miss his scopes or Twitter posts! 

Angie Olson is a teaching gem. She is a second grade teacher whose scopes are THE BEST! Angie is a blogger over at Lucky Little Learners, and I promise you that the tidbits she shares on her scopes are GOLD! 

The  ITeachTVNetwork is another must watch channel. This periscope channel is the home of 24 teachers who hop on the Periscope to share with you teaching tips from all grade levels, content areas, teaching journeys, etc. This scope channel is KIND OF A BIG DEAL! :) **You can catch me and my show, Make Learning Fun, on the ITeachTVNetwork every Sunday at 7PM PST 

Are you on Periscope? My handle is @rockytopteacher and I hope to see you on there soon! As always, feel free to email,,  me if you have questions about Periscope, Twitter, or anything in between. I am here to help you!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Flocabulary in the Classroom

I cannot believe that I had never heard of this website until the company reached out to me and asked me to check them out. I am a huge advocate for promoting tools and resources in the classroom that are authentic, rigorous, and meaningful to my students and to me so when I decided to give Flocabulary a try, I can promise you that I was NOT disappointed. There is so much about the website and the resources that you can find on it that are top notch and my favorite part is that Flocabulary offers what our students are interested in---music, lyrics, and visuals on content that they are learning about in the classroom. 

BOOM! That is gold!

I have partnered up with Flocabulary to bring you something special---a free extended trial to their website! You are going to want to sign up for this....whether you teach 2nd grade or 11th grade....there is something for everyone on this site. Here are my 3 reasons why I LOVE Flocabulary

Because I teach ELA and Social Studies, those are the two areas that we are using the most. However, now that we are getting the hang of the website and the students are falling in love with the videos, we have been using a lot of the other resources on the site. Here are a few of the categories we use and how--

Social Studies Videos---We start our units then introduce the AMAZING videos after a few days inout our unit. We watch the video then we print out the fill-in-the-blank lyrics. The students work in small groups to re-watch the video on iPads and fill in the lyrics. We watch the video one more time and discuss what the lyrics mean and then the lyrics are stored in their interactive notebooks. It has been so impressive to watch the students really grasp and retain information on historical events just by incorporating the Flocabulary raps into our classroom curriculum. 

ELA Videos---We have been working on crafting our five paragraph essays. Flocabulary has a fabulous rap on how to write an essay. The examples, sports references, and overall "flow" of the video has been a game changer for my kiddos. 

Vocabulary--- There is a lot of research out there about the importance of growing and nurturing vocabulary in our learners. Flocabulary has some phenomenal, higher order videos that help expose students to vocab and meanings. We are using these in our RTI blocks, and the kiddos ask for them each week. I always have a proud teacher moment when I hear a student using the vocabulary from the videos in daily conversations or writing. 

Over 700 videos...that speaks for itself. 

Soooooo do you want to experience Flocabuary in your classroom? Check out this offer!!!

When you sign up for a free trial, you are receiving school-wide access for all teachers and staff . Once an educator registers, they’ll be prompted to share the trial with their colleagues! Please make sure that you do this so that everyone at your school, regardless of the grade level or content area, can experience Flocabulary as well! Usually, the free trial is 60 days but you can get a 75 day trial by using the link below---! This offer expires on Feb. 29th. 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up, jump in and be amazed!!

**I am partnering with Flocabulary for this post and the free trial, but all ideas on this post are my own. I really believe in this company! :) 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The POWER of Positive Communication

I believe in the power of positive communication. Here is a scope about the importance of establishing positive communication with your families. It is never to late to start!