Friday, November 27, 2015


Hi Friends!
It's Amber from A Smiling Teacher!
Did you notice my name change and blog overhaul?! 

I decided at the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference this past summer that I wanted to make a change and everything is finally complete! I am so in LOVE with my design from Alexis at
Laugh, Eat, Learn. She is seriously the best! 
In other news...Happy Black Friday
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to spend some quality time with your loved ones.  Are you a Black Friday shopper or do prefer to shop online from the comfort of your home? I didn't go out yet but am thinking about heading out later today. To be honest...I've already done quite a bit of online shopping and the only thing I really want is the laminator from Walmart. Yes, yes, I know I already have one BUT wouldn't it be nice to keep one at school?! I bring mine to school sometimes so that I can have classroom volunteers laminate for me and it's just kind of a pain to transport back and forth. I think it's settled. I MUST have it. 
On another note, this is the time of year that we have to spend a lot of $$ outside of the classroom right?! So, how about winning a bundle of AMAZING classroom resources, so that you have more $$ to spend on your family... or yourself this holiday season??! 
Today is the last day to enter The Primary Pack's Black Friday Giveaway.
We hope YOU are the lucky winner!!

What other items are on your classroom wishlist for this holiday season?! Let me tell you about one of my favorite classroom items that I seriously can't get enough of. Honestly, you probably...well DEFINITELY need it too!

I absolutely LOVE my IPEVO document camera!

I've had mine for 3 years and it still works great! One of the best selling features of the IPEVO is the price! These little guys are very affordable compared to other classroom technologies. I bought mine 3 years ago for $85 but they currently have another model for $69 on their website. There are seriously a million and one ways that you can effectively use this tool in the classroom. Today, I'm going to share a few ways that I've used my document camera in my kindergarten classroom. 

1. Read Aloud
The IPEVO is a great tool to enhance your interactive read aloud with your kiddos. By simply placing the book under the camera, students can see the pictures and text in a larger version on your interactive white board. I don't use the IPEVO every time I do a read aloud, but it's a great tool to change it up a bit. We also use the IPEVO for students to read in front of the whole class! This picture is actually a first grader who came down to show off his improved reading skills and read to my kinders! 

2. Writing Workshop
The IPEVO is probably my favorite tool to use during Writing Workshop! I love being able to display student work and using it to discuss strengths, areas for growth, or as an example for my mini-lesson. 

(This little friend only knew a few letters at the beginning of the year....check him out now!! "I was going to McDonald's"). 

3. Interactive Lessons
A document camera makes any lesson that uses a worksheet, MORE interactive and fun! I like to use my IPEVO when we are doing a whole group lesson. Recently we've been learning all about maps. Students have been exploring different types of map and creating their own maps of the classroom, their bedroom and their home. 

We created this map together and then students created their own versions of a classroom map. Students were able to reference the collaborative map
and  follow along much easier because they could actually SEE it!!

Okay, now on to my FAVORITE...

4. Video Calls
My favorite thing about the IPEVO is that you can use it like a regular webcam and make video calls. Want to go on a field trip but can't leave school?! Contact someone and see if they can Skype with your class instead!
Two years ago, I had a student who temporarily moved to China. We were so sad to see her go, but wanted to learn all about her new home. We set up several "Skype dates" and were able to talk with her live.  Of course it was 9 P.M. in China and 9 A.M. for us :) The kids brainstormed questions for her  about the culture and she of course had plenty to share with us.

Do you have a document camera?! If not, add it to your list! If so, comment on how you are using it in your classroom!
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend friends!


  1. Never thought about using it as a webcam...great idea!

  2. Love my ipevo!! I got tired of always being beaten to the elmo sign out at our school, so I bought an ipevo after reading about it on someone's blog - maybe it was yours! Best investment ever!!

  3. I put a document camera on the wishlist request form that our Parent Club just sent out! Fingers are crossed that I will receive one and be able to use it in all of the great ways you've suggested! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I put a document camera on the wishlist request form that our Parent Club just sent out! Fingers are crossed that I will receive one and be able to use it in all of the great ways you've suggested! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love this post! Can't believe how affordable it is! A document camera is one thing I never had in my classroom, but always wanted. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. Nice post. People who are really concerned about their trip may take help from the detailed road maps and travel videos. If you are planning to visit the place like Spain then you may take help from the detailed Spain Road Map so as to make it more impressive and memorable. It can also help you in planning and reaching the destinations in a well planned manners.