From the Teacher’s Desk: Minecraft

Are your kids crazy about Minecraft?   I know my son LOVES this game and can play for hours and hours.  He even enjoys reading books on the open-ended game or watching you tube tutorials.  The possibilities are endless for those that love this game.

As a teacher, I love that Minecraft reinforce geometric concepts.  Even more so I love that it strengthens thinking and reasoning skills, creativity, and even collaboration.

Creativity

As a mom to boys that own nearly every Lego set imaginable, I love that this game does not cost me an arm and a leg.  I also don’t scream out in pure pain as I step on one of those sharp edged little plastic demons in the middle of the night!   Minecraft allows players the freedom to create just about anything they image from blocks.

 Thinking and Reasoning Skills

One very cool feature of Minecraft is the resources that are at the disposal of the players.   Just like in real life, their resources can run out if time and attention is not given how to effectively utilize what we have or need.  Players are genuinely learn real life skills through game playing.

 Collaboration

In this day and age, kids have to learn to work well with others.  While Minecraft can be played by one person, players also have the option to connect with others to create and work collaboratively.  Of course, as with any online game or activity, parental monitoring is necessary.

Interested?  Check out some of the resources that Educents offers below.

Minecraft Education Educents Blog

Nothing encourages fun learning more than connecting games to educational lessons. Here are a few opportunities for Minecraft kids to learn new skills using a game they already love:

Youth Digital Discounted on EducentsYouth Digital’s Server Design: Learn to Code with Minecraft – Don’t just play, create! Kids ages 8 to 14 will learn the basics of one of the most popular coding languages in the world as they modify real Java code to build their own Minecraft server. Youth Digital’s Mod Design: Learn to Code with Minecraft – This is a Java class for Minecraft kids ages 8 to 14. Youth Digital’s online tech courses provide a safe, engaging learning environment for kids to master new technology skills.

Learn to Mod Discounted on EducentsMinecraft Coding Camp – In 4 weeks of this online afterschool camp, students in 3rd to 9th grade will learn the basics of coding through their favorite game.

Learn to Mod Minecraft – LearnToMod is a browser-based software that teaches students how to mod the PC-version of Minecraft®. Great for kids ages 6 and up!! More text is going to go here here here here.

All of these programs are offered on Educents at a discount.
Click HERE to start shopping for your Minecraft kid.

AdoramaPix Custom Photo Books

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As I have seen throughout social media there are many reasons to celebrate life!  Perhaps you recently welcomed a new bundle of joy home or married your sweetheart!  Maybe you had a family reunion or took that once in a lifetime trip.  Is there any better way to share photos and hold on to the memories they represent than a photo book? Photobooks are a great way for you to document those special occasions in your life.

We recently created a summer vacation photo book and love the quality of the book.

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Our AdoramaPix photo book was seriously a high quality photo book.  I have had photo books form other well known publishers, but this book truly surpassed what I thought I was getting.  Beginning with the cover of this book, it was really well done and durable.  The picture was crisp and clear on the front.  On the spine I was able to have a title written acorss it in a fun font.  In addition, when opening up the book you can see the attention to detail that this company gives.  The inside and back covers are well seamed.

They use real photo paper for their pages that resulting in very nice pictures and really thick, sturdy pages.  Books are designed so that they lay flat so you do not have to worry over that curl in the middle of the book.  You can see above the lay flat appeal.

AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their custom photo books display your captured memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Thick, durable, professional grade photo paper resists fading and ensures that your photos will be just as colorful for future generations. The binding is lay-flat, so even panoramic images can splash across two pages without any separation. Your memories deserve to live in a stylish, archival home with AdoramaPix photo books.

What are you waiting for?  Create a keepsake that will last a lifetime!

You can also order additional items through AdoramaPix too!  I am looking into creating our Christmas cards this year through them.  I was honestly that impressed with them!

PHOTO BOOKS

PHOTO PRINTS

PHOTO COLLAGES

PHOTO MOUNTINGS

GREETING CARDS

CALENDARS

METAL PRINTS

CANVAS PRINTS

ACRYLIC PRINTS

FRAMED PHOTOS

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Social Media Connections

AdoramaPix Website

AdoramaPix Facebook

AdoramaPix Twitter

AdoramaPix Instagram

AdoramaPix Pinterest

AdoramaPix You Tube

AdoramaPix Google Plus

The Muppets on WSB

Oh what a joy it is to relive childhood memories!  When I was a little girl I loved watching television (still do)! Some of my favorites included The Addams Family, The Munsters, The Brady Bunch, The Monkeys….the list goes on and on!  One that is dear to my heart is The Muppets!  I loved watching this iconic show.  Checking out Miss Piggy’s glamorous wardrobe, jamming out to Animal’s crazy beats, trying to decide Beaker’s words, getting lost in space with the Pigs, etc.   these adorable characters and scenes are forever etched in my mind. 

  
Tonight I get to share those special childhood memories with my boys as The Muppets find their way back to prime time! 

  
I will be tweeting and sharing on Instagram tonight (Tuesday, September 22) from The Center of Puppetry Arts in Atlanta to celebrate The Muppets return!  

Please follow us as we take a trip down memory lane!
#MuppetsOn2

Guide to Fall Festivals & Halloween Fun Across the Country

Ready for some Fall Festival Deals!  I have put together a great list of Corn Maze Coupons and Fall Festival savings nationwide.  Download valuable coupons for Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Fall Family Activities.

 #FallFamily

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Arizona
Tolmachoff Farms – Glendale
Mortimer Farms – Dewey
Rocker 7 Farm Patch – Buckeye

California
Pirates Dinner Adventure – Vampirates – Buena vista
Gilroy Gardens – Gilroy
California’s Great America – Santa Clara
Big Horse Corn Maze Festival – Temecula

Colorado
ColoradoKids.com Annual Halloween Guide
http://www.coloradokids.com/seasonal/halloween.php

Anderson Farms – Erie
Fritzler Maze – La Salle
Mile High Farms – Bennett
Wishing Star Farm – Calhan
Harvest Farm – Wellington
Cottonwood Farms – Boulder
Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch – Longmont
Elitch Gardens Theme Park – Fright Fest – Denver
Denver Zoo – Boo at The Zoo – Denver
Children’s Museum of Denver – Trick or Treat Street – Denver

Connecticut
Scott’s Yankee Farmer – East Lyme

Florida
The Little Farm – Goulds
Lowry Park Zoo – ZOOBOO Kids! – Tampa

Georgia
Corn Dawgs – Loganville
Old Freeman Farms – Sylvania
LEGOLAND Discovery Center – Atlanta
Funopolis Family Fun Center – Fearopolis Haunts

Illinois
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm – Lockport

Indiana
Amazing Fall Fun – Waterloo
Shipshewana Corn Maze – Shipshewana

Maryland/DC
Great Country Farms – Bluemont

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – Batimore

Michigan
Bavarian Inn Lodge – Frankenmuth

Missouri/Kansas
Beggs Family Farm – Sikeston
Carolyn’s Country Cousins – Liberty Corn Maze
Legoland Discovery Center – Brick or Treat – Kansas City

Montana

Applestem, Inc. – Vaughn

New Jersey
iPlay America – Freehold

New Mexico
La Union Maze – La Union

New York
Wright Family Farm – Warwick
Pick A Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch – Esperance
Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park – Queensbury

Ohio
Blooms and Berries – Loveland
Beriswill Farms – Valley City

Oklahoma
Tulsa Corn Maze – Tulsa

Oregon
The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch– Portland

Rhode Island
Confreda Greenhouses & Farms – Hope (Western Cranston)

South Carolina
Hollywild Animal Park – Wellford

Tennessee
Oakes Farm – Corryton
Shuckle’s Corn Maze – Hendersonville

Texas
Devine Acres Farm – Devine
Fiesta Farm – San Antonio
Barton Hill Farms – Bastrop
Lone Star Family Farm – Stephenville
LEGOLAND Discovery Center – Brick or Treat – Grapevine

Utah
Hee Haw Farms – Pleasant Grove
This Is The Place Heritage Park – Salt Lake City

Vermont
Gaines Farm – Guilford

Virginia
Great Country Farms – Bluemont

Personalized Fall Placemats from AccentsForKids.com

For daily updates on these coupons and coupons for other family attractions please visit and bookmark: http://www.usfamilycoupons.com

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Your State Parks Day September 26

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My family LOVES the great outdoors and what better place to go to than your local state parks.  Georgia has many parks to choose from with a wide variety of activities available at each.  One of those upcoming activities is the Your State Parks Day! Georgia State Parks has another great opportunity for families September 26.  Get free admission to your local state park and get in the spirit of volunteering!  Throughout the day visitors can join volunteer projects at over 60 state parks.

Friends of the Ga State Parks and Historic Sites is sponsoring this fun event in conjunction with National Public Lands Day. Many Georgia State Parks will be creating Monarch Butterfly gardens as part of the nationwide effort to increase pollinator habitat. Sponsored by Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, the statewide celebration of National Public Lands Day showcases how parks enrich communities and the importance of local volunteerism. Volunteer opportunities are available statewide at more than 60 State Parks & Historic Sites across Georgia. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org or call 770-383-8900.

Grab your work gloves and your gardening shovels and help us plant pollinator gardens across the state!

Fall Fun Y’all 2015

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I just LOVE the Fall.  There are so many options that are available for family fun.

Here is a list of some ideas for Fall Fun Y’all!

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Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Atlanta, GA

Scarecrows in the Garden October 8-31

Every October the Garden is stuffed with nearly 100 scarecrows handcrafted by businesses, individuals, schools and organizations. Come enjoy another season of fall family fun.  My family and I had the chance to check this out last year!  Very cool!

Fest-of-Ale October 8-29

Celebrate the harvest season with a selection of seasonal brews and live music. Bring a flashlight to explore Scarecrows in the Garden.  On Thursday, October 29 come and cheer on the slicing and dicing as contestants carve the most impressive gourd. Local chefs and designers square off and put their pumpkin-carving prowess to the test during Fest-of-Ale. The participants have 25 minutes to carve an award-winning masterpiece out of a giant pumpkin and audience applause declares the winner. May the most ghoulish gourd win!

Goblins in the Garden October 25

Bring young goblins dressed in their Halloween best to show off on the Goblin Runway, participate in fall-themed crafts, listen to stories, ride a pony or hop on board the Ride-on-Train!

Battina the Friendly Witch will tell stories at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Day Hall. Show off your costume on the runway at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.

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Buford Corn Maze

Buford, GA

Sept. 1 to Nov. 15

Corn Maze and Haunted Forest

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Burt’s Farm

Dawsonville, GA

Sept. 1 to Nov. 10

Hayrides, Pumpkins, Country Store, and more

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Cagle’s Family Farm

Canton, GA

Sept. 4 to Nov. 15

Corn Maze, Bonfires, Hayrides, and more

They also offer a Haunted Barn experience…if you dare

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Rock Ranch

The Rock, GA

Fall Family Fun Days with select themes on given weekends.

SEPTEMBER 26
Hats Off to Heroes
Featuring first responder vehicles like firetrucks, police cars, and helicopters. Plus, local heroes!

OCTOBER 3
Lumberjack Day
Featuring collegiate timbersports demonstrations

OCTOBER 10
Georgia’s Official Day of The Cowboy
Featuring cowboy stunt performers, quick-draw demonstrations, roping, and more!

OCTOBER 17
Hot Air Balloon Rally
Competition flights, and a BEAUTIFUL Ferrell Gas “balloon glow” will begin after dark (wind and weather permitting)

OCTOBER 24
Great Outdoor Adventure
Meet members of the animal kingdom up close and personal, enjoy canoe racing, archery and reptile shows!

OCTOBER 31
Not So Spooky” Halloween Festival 

NOVEMBER 7
National Pumpkin Destruction Day
Don’t just toss your pumpkins after Halloween. Bring them back to The Rock Ranch for National Pumpkin Destruction Day ! Bash it – smash it – chunk it – drop it off a 50 ft. fork lift! We’ve even got monster trucks, airplanes and cannons to help demolish pumpkins! Don’t miss this signature pumpkin event at The Rock Ranch!

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Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival

Stone Mountain Park, GA

Pumpkin Festival Sept. 25 to Oct. 25

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Southern Belle Farm

McDonough, GA

Sept. 10 to Nov. 1

Corn Maze, Pumpkins, Hayrides, Petting Zoo, and more

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Uncle Bob’s Pumpkin Patch

Newnan, GA

Sept. 20 to Nov. 8

Corn Maze, Hayrides, Petting Zoo, and more

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Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze

Dawsonville, GA

Sept. 12 to Nov. 22

Corn Maze, Bonfires, Hayrides, Pumpkin Patch and more

They even offer a Haunted Maze…. if you dare