Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tried it Tuesday

How long has it been since I've linked up with my dear friend Holly??  Too long!!

And not because I haven't tried anything, it's just a matter of getting it written in this little ol' blog!!  I need someone to help me with time management...for real...

Ok, so that's obviously not my tried it since I haven't been doing a good job at time management so we'll just move on...unless you have some tips...of how to plan, teach, grade, be a mom, blog...you get the idea.  Any advice is welcome!!  Bring it on!!  :O)

Ok, sorry for that tangent...

So, I'm sure you've heard of Donors Choose, right?

Me too. 

It terrified me.

I mean, what if no one wanted to donate?

What if they thought my project was not worthy?

I don't deal with rejection very well. 

Does anyone?

I don't think so.

So, I was chicken.

Bach Bach (yes, I'm making chicken sounds at myself because I can make fun of myself with the best of them!)  ;O)

But, then one of my colleagues got an iPad mini through Donors Choose.  Then, she got an iPad.  

Then, I was jealous.

Not really.  More so curious.

So I talked to her about it.  

And I got motivated to try it.

This is what sold me:

Did you know that Donors Choose matches donations dollar for dollar for the first 7 days.  Dollar for dollar.  There's a code.  It's INSPIRE.  If you didn't know about, it's very useful.

I've been dying to get some technology in our classroom.  Our county, for some reason, is way behind on this.  They are creating their very own tablet for our schools.  The guy in charge is anti-Apple.  

I'm not going to tell you how I feel about THAT.  Since I have an iPhone 5 that I absolutely love, I just can't speak of this.

So, I heard that this new tablet was built just for our system.  And so apps made for it would be very limited.  I was a little mad sad about this. 

BUT, if a tablet is bought and brought into the school, they are all for it.  It just can't be bought with school or county funds (as if I get enough funds for a tablet anyway).

So, here is what I did.

(I was very nervous about it.  But, my colleague had done it so I could at least try, right?)

I shared about Donors Choose to the parents of my students at our Curriculum Night- which is when they learn all about 4th grade.  I explained how I wanted to add some technology so we could use it during workshop time and for differentiation.  I talked about the teacher at my school who had done this and had gotten two tablets.

They were pretty open to it, even though a few thought I should try for a Galaxy instead.  But I don't know how to use those and I'd already gotten my project for the iPad Mini accepted.  So, it was too late for that.

I told them about the dollar for dollar matching and then they were motivated, too.

Our school is in a pretty nice area, but it is changing quickly.  So, I knew there would be a few parents who would like to donate and would be able to while many couldn't.  My thing was, it doesn't hurt to try, plus I'd have to tell them about it eventually anyway if it was funded, right?

And, some of them work for businesses and so I thought they could share that with their business if they were interested in getting involved in the community.

So, anyway, basically I had some parents that donated and used the code to have their dollars matched.  This helped a lot!  In the end, I paid for about half of the iPad Mini before the 7 days were up so I could get the dollars matched.  So, it was really half of half.  If that makes any sense?

I knew this could possibly happen so I had saved some money from our TpT store payout to put towards it.  So, technically, those of you who have bought anything from our TpT store, you helped fund this iPad Mini, too!  I'm sooooooooo grateful for your support!  If we didn't have that store, there's no way I could have gotten this!!  So, a huge THANK YOU to you!!

I know this is not an ideal situation for most, and I surely can not try to fund another one again like this, but since it was my plan B (to have to try to fund it myself), I was ready for it.  Although I will say that you can only get $100 matched from a donation.  Once you've donated that $100 and they've matched it, then they won't match any of the donations from you anymore from that email address.  So, my husband donated some too so I could get it fully funded.  Wasn't that nice?  ;O)

So, my project has been fully funded, and my iPad Mini is on it's way as we speak. 

I'm super excited!!

I also had a parent tell me that night that they had a first generation iPad that they don't use and she'd be glad for us to use it in class.  I know it can't do some of the fancy stuff the new iPads do, but I'll find a use for it, you can be sure!!

So, if you have any apps or advice for me, I'm glad to hear it! Then I can try it out and link up for another Tried it Tuesday!!  

So, if you are thinking of trying Donors Choose, don't forget about INSPIRE.  It's handy!

Have a great week!

PS- A kindergarten teacher also did the same thing that I did at Curriculum Night and she got hers fully funded except for $50 that she put in herself.  So, it's worth a try maybe?

{Thank you for the kind words that were left for me yesterday!  It is definitely an honor to be our school's Teacher of the Year...but I will admit that I have a hard time with recognition like that.  Only because I know everyone works so hard every day so it makes me a little uncomfortable.  But, I don't take it lightly and it really is an honor!!  And thank you Stacia for the sweet post!}


  1. I'm excited that you have an ipad for your room. The older model will still work for many apps (and definitely for QR codes.) My kids love anything that has a QR code attached.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

  2. Congratulations on getting fully funded! I did two a few years ago and had both funded through big companies and my dad. It was a great accomplishment! I am getting ready to write another one if I can ever find the time to sit down and just do it!

    Have fun with that iPad mini!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  3. Congratulations on getting your iPad funded. You and your students will love it. I try to blog about apps I use in my class. I would love for you to stop by and take a look.

    I just signed up for Donors Choose, but don't know much about it. I just hear/read about so many like you that have gotten things funded. I'm wanting my students to Skype with an author, but I am not sure if this is something that could be funded by Donors Choose. I'll have to do a bit more research. Thanks for sharing your success. I am even more motivated.

    Congratulations on your teacher of the year award!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! As a reading specialist, I thought an iPad would be great for traveling, but was afraid just asking for an iPad wasn't creative enough or something. (Or maybe I was just afraid of rejection...) No more of that! I am signing up today!

    Eclectic Educating

  5. That is SO exciting!! What a great idea to share about it at your curriculum night to get the dollar for dollar match! That is great about using your TPT store profits too. I find I am spending so much more on my classroom because of TPT! It is a win-win!! Thanks for linking up, friend and if you get any tips on time management, pass them on to me!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  6. Yeah for your iPad mini that's on the way! I've never tried Donor's Choice, but I've heard good things. I thought you couldn't ask for a "biggie" something right off the bat. Is that true? I'd love to try for an iPad in my room. Thanks for the post to encourage us to try!

  7. YAY! My ipad mini from Donors Choose came in the mail on Friday!! One of my colleagues has gotten a Macbook Air, an ipad mini, and a Dyson vacuum all funded through Donors Choose. I put mine on FB and some of my current and past parents helped fund it. I really felt like it didn't hurt to ask. I wouldn't mind trying for a Macbook Air too, but my county has asked that we do not write any more technology projects for the time being.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  8. Congratulations on your new ipad mini. Last school year I got two Samsung Galaxy Tab 2's through Donor's Choose. It took a couple months, but my project was fully funded and we got our Tablets last December. I like them and plan to use them even more this year since I've gotten so many more ideas from my new pal Christina over at Sugar and Spice. I can't wait to use some of them with my kiddos!...after the first couple weeks of school...:-)
    Mrs. Ross's Science Class

  9. Congratulations. I am so excited for you and all the things you will be able to try this year. That is amazing that you donated your own money and your husband too! What a smart idea to share it on Curriculum Night!
    Congrats again :)

  10. That's awesome that your project got funded! I had never thought about sharing project info with parents, but I think I might do the same thing! Thanks for the inspiration!

    -Amanda @
    Teacher at the Wheel

  11. I'm so excited for you and your students!!! Even one iPad will be so great! I think ShowMe is a great app to start with-- you can use it for a number of reasons, one being students can record themselves and explain how they did something. Of course I could go on and on with other apps too...:)
    Learning to the Core

  12. That's awesome that you got your request funded. I hadn't thought about asking the parents. I might have to run it by our admin first. I am currently in the 'INSPIRE' mode of my donorschoose contract. I'm trying to get some digital cameras for our school to start a photography club. Wish me luck!

  13. Wow!! Congrats on getting your ipad funded. Our school purchased some "special" tablets last year and they aren't exactly what I'd hoped for, so I've been toying with the idea of a DC project for an ipad. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  14. Oh my gosh!!! That is so amazing! I wish I could count on that same type of thing happening in my classroom- I've got two projects- one for class sets of extended texts, and one for a document camera like you have! Of course, both are past the 7 days now. But maybe I should ask the parents anyway??
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  15. Yay!!! I'm so excited for you!!! I've heard of Donors Choose, but I wasn't really sure how it worked! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  16. Enjoy your iPad. I have one in my classroom, and I love it.


  17. Congrats on getting your iPad Mini fully funded! I thought the same thing with my first Donors Choose request, but it got funded. I was sure my next one wouldn't get funded since I wasn't even sharing with anyone I knew, but it got funded too! Enjoy your new iPad!



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