Thursday, August 22, 2013

Best K-3 apps

It's that time again..... school supplies are flying off the school shelves, the mornings are a little cooler and the drive inn starts at 9:45 (which means that sun has set pretty early in this northern town).   That little voice in the back of my head is telling me to start thinking about school but I have not let my foot step through my classroom door just yet.  How can I when we are finally getting the long awaited summer heat wave?!?!

I have let myself surf pinterest for some new ideas as well as all my favorite blogs.  I have stumbled upon some GREAT new finds!  I have ALWAYS loved Mrs. Malchow and I just have to share her fabulous post about her presentation of amazing K-3 apps.

Most of the apps are not new to me, but it is a great reminder of what I need to reinstall on my class ipads to prepare for my new batch of "firsties"!  That is going to be a huge job in itself since somehow this summer so many apps were deleted to make room for movies (to last the 8 hour vacation drive), candy crush (to support my addiction) and minecraft (to keep my kiddos quiet while they sat in the house during our 2 week cold spell).  

They are all there in my purchased folder - along with all my great new finds from Free App Fridays just waiting for this teacher to get back to work and get organizing.  This blog post was a start - the rest will happen on the next rainy day, or next week, whichever comes first!  


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bringing it all together!

So all year long we have kind of stuck with Doodlecast Pro as our go to app for creating class videos.  Mastering an app has paid off and we have created 4 wonderful videos as part of our social studies unit.

Our unit is about our community and the focus of this project was to identify buildings within our School neighbourhood.  We brainstormed a list of buildings and then set out with our Grade 7 computer buddies to take photos of the buildings.

Prior to heading out, we discussed how to take good pictures as well as taking more than 1 picture so we could later choose the best one.  Of course we also talked about traffic safety, sticking together as a group and turn taking.  When all the pictures were taken we headed back to school.

The next day we got into groups and used the Doodlecast app to create our videos.  We developed a list of criteria needed when we talked about each picture.  We said we needed to name the building and it's purpose as well as the community helper that worked there.  As a group with an adult supervisor, we talked about each picture and decided what we should say.  The adult wrote it down and then each student had a turn to read the description.  Students had the opportunity to insert the pictures and format them to fit the screen.  I am confident that most students could create their own Doodlecast if they had to!

The final step was to convert it to a youtube video - super easy and fast to do which is why I LOVE Doodlecast and then we embedded it on our class wiki!

I even learned something new with this project!!!  Voice CAN be deleted without losing the whole project!!! YAY!  That makes this app even better.  You need to click on the picture until to opens up and little box with the word trim in the bottom right corner, you can then pull the recording back to the previous picture and click trim.  It will delete just the voice for that picture.  It also deletes the picture but it is easy to reinsert!

Enjoy one of our 4 videos! I know we will enjoy viewing them tomorrow!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

What's Up in Grade One?

We are on the down hill slide..... once Spring Break hits, don't blink because you might just miss the rest of the school year!  I can not believe we have approximately 20 school days left! 

We have been faithfully using the ipads in our classroom on a daily basis, I have just not been so faithful when it comes to blogging about it!  So what have we been up to you ask? 

We we made a lovely Mother's Day video using DoodleCast Pro.  We played the video during our Mother's Day tea.  The video got a few laughs and had a few mom's nervous about what their kiddo might say!  We did encounter a few troubles creating the video.  We could not edit the voice recording without deleting what everyone had said - this becomes tricky when you are interviewing 20 first graders.  We also attempted to go back and add a picture on the first screen - on my ipad the picture showed up no problem.  As soon as I converted it to a Youtube file - the voice (our singing) was there but no picture!  Weird! Oh well, everyone loved the video!

We have discovered a few new apps as well.  

Learning Money With Leo:  This app is free at the itunes store

iPad Screenshot 3
I LOVE this activity.  I also LOVE that it is Canadian Money.  Thanks Royal Bank!

Patterns by EdNinja:  This app is currently FREE but has a regular price of 3.99 I believe.
iPad Screenshot 1
This app allows you to set up player profiles and track progress.  I love how the missing element is not always at the end of the pattern.

Math Kingdom:  My kiddos LOVE this one, they actually cheer for it! You practice addition or subtraction as a little "rodent" battling creatures in your kingdom!  There are 3 difficulty levels and the app encourages you to go as fast as you can!  Excellent mental math for mastering those facts!  It's 2.99, again I got it free in April, but I think this one is worth the money!  There is a Bugsy Kindergarten math app that looks very interesting to me as well.  I'll be on the look out for when it goes free!
iPhone Screenshot 3

Brain Nook Math:   I was fortunate enough to get this app free as well.  The regular price is 4.99.  It covers  many areas of the math curriculum and is excellent classroom practice.  
iPad Screenshot 1

Those are our new exciting apps, of course we continue to use some of the old favorites!

So what's in store for the next 20 days?

I have an interesting writing project in mind using the ipad camera, as well as a social studies story telling project.  Keep checking back, I promise to post about both - only 20 days to squeeze it all in!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Where Do You Find Your Free Apps?

If you wait long enough.... eventually most apps go "free" or at least on sale.  But often times there is a time limit, sometimes only an hour!  So when you see it's free, you have to get it!

So far I have found 2 places that recommend great free apps throughout the day.  One updates to my facebook account, the other comes as an email.  I have probably saved hundreds of dollars from these to sites alone!

What are they you ask?


H"appy" shopping!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Parental Control of Technology

Technology is changing so fast we can barely keep up.  Our kids know more about it than we do and as hard as we try to be educated it seems that our kids are always one step ahead.

What can we do as parents and teachers?  I think it comes down to teaching responsibility and ethics, beginning at an early age.  

We need to know what are children are up to on their devices.  We need to set restrictions and time limits and talk about the reasons why we are doing it.  We need to take the devices out of their rooms at bedtime.

My own children each have an ipod and access to my ipads.  They do not have their own itunes account, nor do they know my password.  The devices are set up to request a password for every purchase.  They both have restrictions set when it comes to music and videos.   They do not have any social media - nor do I think they need it.  Now they are only 6 and 9.  I am thinking ahead as to when is an appropriate age for such things, and I really don't have the answer to that.

As a grade one teacher I talk about responsibility and trust with our idevices all the time.  In the wake of  recent suicides across our country stemming from cyber bullying, I want to do more and I think as parents and educators we need to do more.

So I have begun with a little research into setting restrictions.  Here is what I have discovered:

And I discovered a new website dedicated to helping someone who has been cyber bullied:

I think the most important piece to talking with our kids about what is appropriate to look and post online.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cannot Connect To itunes Store

Tonight I experienced complete frustration.  Some great new apps were on "free" for today only and I needed to download them.  I could open the app store and browse through it.  As soon as I found an app I wanted to purchase I would get a little pop up screen telling me I could not connect to the itunes store.  I tried on both my ipads, neither worked.  I tried on my iphone and I could connect, but these apps were ipad only apps!  So of course I asked my good friend google.  Here is the help I came up with.  Click on the picture to get your help.


I tried powering down with no luck.  Then I tried changing the date with no luck.  Then I tried the DNS server code, no luck.  Then I reread the setting of the date and noticed you were supposed to switch it back to automatic.  After I tried this, it tried to download - only to discover I did not have enough room on my ipad.  After deleting some apps, it appears to be fixed.

Thank you for your support!!!!!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013


It's report card time!!!  

For me, I call it procrastination time!  If  there is a cupboard to clean, groceries to buy, a walk to be had, or chocolate Easter eggs to be eaten, I am on it!  It's not that I don't like report card time, it's just I have a hard time settling in and getting started.  Once I get my "game face on", I am a report card writing machine, whipping out meaningful detailed comments.  I LOVE thinking about my little firsties and smiling over just how much they have grown.  My report cards are due in about 72 hours....... so a little more procrastination with a blog post won't hurt.... right?

1.  March kicks off with a Dr. Seuss theme in my classroom.  How excited was I to see the Cat In the Hat cam app was free for a limited time only!  It is normally $1.99 but I see it is still free tonight.  Check out it out if you want to Seussify your friends!
iPhone Screenshot 3

2.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the Teach Me apps.  I was thrilled to see they have released a Teach Me 3rd Grade version just last week!  I am thinking about buying this one for the 3rd grader who lives in my house!  It's $1.99.

iPhone Screenshot 1

3.  I have been LOVING my dropbox app.  It is just what I needed and has simplified my life this past month!  Although the camera upload is certainly SLOW!

4.  Tonight as I was browsing the blogs I follow (another great way to procrastinate), I discovered the creator of one of my most favorite tech blogs created a website of all her Seasonal games.  How awesome it that.  Of course I added that short cut to the seasonal page of my class wiki!  This is TOTALLY worth checking out.  There are apps for each seasonal site too! I plan to check out the St. Pat's ones tonight!

5.  Today we held a fundraiser at our school "Ipod/Hat Day".  Students could pay $1 to wear a hat during school hours and $1 to listen to songs on their ipod (whatever device they own) during working time.  The fundraiser brings in a few hundred dollars, the kids LOVE it and my class has never been SO quiet, aside from a few "burst into song moments"  lol

So I suppose I have procrastinated long enough.  Happy weekend everyone!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

World Education Games

Literacy  Maths

Our school subscribes to Mathletics, an online math program.  March 5th is World Literacy Day and March 6th is World Math day.  This year there is even a World Science Day on March 7!  Students are encouraged to play as much as possible on these days to earn points.  

This year there are 3 apps available for the ipad to access these games.  Click here for the link to the apps.  Students can start practicing now with their Mathletics user id.  Since this is a WORLD event.... we actually get an extra day of play time because March 5th comes earlier in Australia!  

Download your free apps and get practicing.  Let's put our school at the top of the leader board!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Doodlecast Pro

Our school chose to celebrate 101 days of school this year instead of 100 Day.  We had a dalmation theme and the kids did all kinds of counting.  Now being the tech lover that I am, I named my pup techie, decorated my classroom door like a dog house and had the kids answer questions about 101 while I recorded their voice using Doodlecast Pro!

My original plan was to use Sonic Pics, but you could not add more photos once you started recording voice, so I quickly went in search of a new app!  Doodlecast Pro did the trick.  Now we certainly could have been MORE elaborate in our video, however, we were quickly rushing 30+ kids through the station with only 20 minutes available.  We sorted the kids by grade and then quickly snapped a photo of each of them... once they had been at the puppy ear station they looked adorable!  Next we opened up Doodlecast, inserted the picture and had them record their voice (I could eat 101 Smarties etc).  Once they were done speaking they went off to color a dalmation while the next person had a turn.  We inserted, recorded and moved on ALL AFTERNOON! 

Speaking is an essential part of the curriculum and it is difficult for so many kids to do.  This project certainly highlighted that, but also reinforced the need for technology and how kids can simply make their own creations.

Here's the grade one finished video...............

And here's the practice one I had done in my own classroom the day before.  We talked about our 100 Day posters.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Air Server

Last Friday I had another "ah ha" moment.  Why am I not using Air Server?  As I was sitting in the presentation about document cameras, we had the opportunity to share some of our favorite sites.  I'll be honest, I was a little unprepared for that part of the session.  I had focused all my energy on planning my own presentation for that day.  I thought surely there would be lots of others to share sites and I could get away without sharing.  No such luck.  We were a small group from a wide range of backgrounds and we did not have a lot of common teaching ground (music, home ec, junior high, grade one, resource etc).  When I realized this I began frantically searching my wiki for a favorite site or two that just might interest some of the crowd.  When it was my turn to share I offered to come up to the desk top and type in my sites.  It was then suggested "well just turn on the air server and share from your ipad."  Air server?  My ipad to your lcd?  Wirelessly?  Yup - it was true.  Our school purchased some licences for air server ( I am unclear on those details).  I do know our tech person had to install air server on the desk top hooked to the lcd.  From there, any device in that room could connect to the air server with nothing installed on the actual device.  How do you do it?  First you need air server installed on your computer, then..........
  • Double click your home button fairly quickly
  • When the bar of running apps appears at the bottom of the screen, swipe to the right with your finger to get it as far to the left as it will go.  You will see your volume controls, your music icon and and a little button that kind of looks like a pointing up arrow.
  • Tap the little button
  • This will open a screen of all the available computers with air server installed asking you which you want to connect to.  Our school has it set up by room number.  
  • I chose the room number and turned on the button that says allow mirroring
  • After about a 15 second delay my ipad took control of the desktop.  My home screen was mirrored on the desk top screen and on the lcd projector!  So cool!  
  • When I was done I clicked turn off mirroring and away it went!  My ipad was private again!  So COOL!  
So I tracked down the tech guy and had it installed in my room too!!!!!  And then I discovered I can mirror both my ipads at the exact same time if I want to.  Not sure why I would, but also a very cool feature!  I am sure as I learn and play I will discover so much more.  

Tip:  When it is mirrored on my screen if I click the view button and choose full screen it will make my ipad as large as my desk top screen (16:9). 

I found a you tube tutorial video in case you are interested.  There is also a 7 day free trial available!

And are you a tiny bit curious about the sites I shared?  Well I went for some art sites.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Drop Box

Dropbox - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.
Do you Drop Box?  I personally don't know why I waited so long!  

I've wondered about it since September, but finally took the time to figure it all out on Friday!  Oh how it makes my life easier!  Gone is the memory stick I used to lug back and forth between home and school!  Gone is the carting of my laptop between home and school (this is only possible because we got new - fast desktops in our rooms!)  Gone is my ridiculous looking walk around the school as I search for a printer signal from my iphone to the printopia app on our secretaries computer!  

Now I can work where I want, save it to drop box and PRINT when I get to work where I have a printer!  Yay!!!  

What is it?  Well it's an app you can install on your ipad or iphone for free.  You also download the program onto any computers you want to use it with.  You do need to set up an account, which is basically your email and a password.  This gets you 2.5 GB of free space in your drop box.  You can then save "drop" your photos, pdf files, word documents and even mimio lesson files into the dropbox folder.  Once it's in the folder you can access anything in the folder from any device you have linked to your drop box!  You can also log in online and access your stuff from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access!  

Drop box also has some cool features like share folders where you can collaborate and share files with others that you have invited into the drop box.  
I am excited to use it more and learn all of what it has to offer.  So far it has me impressed! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Ipad Presentation

I have been using and Ipad in my classroom for almost 2 years now.  I was asked to present to staff how I have incorporated ipads into my grade one classroom.  I wanted my session to focus on the projects that my first graders have done, it is not just about the apps.  The apps are a tool to achieve an outcome!  When I sat down to plan my presentation I wanted to make sure some basic ipad skills were taught as well.  And of course what would an ipad presentation be without sharing of apps!

What were my projects?

What skills did I teach?
  • Locking an app (guided access) - very cool if you have kids that like to wander off task
  • Moving apps in and out of folders
  • Renaming folders
  • Taking a screen shot
  • Opening pictures from camera roll within another app
  • Printing from the Ipad
  • Photo Streaming
  • Adding short cuts to the home screen
  • Searching for apps you know you have... but where?
  • Deleting apps and finding them in your purchased part of the app store to add them back later
What are my favorite apps?
  • All the ones I blog about of course!
Of course I asked them all to follow me here!  So welcome if you joined!  And I shared the site I follow to find amazing new apps!

And what is a presentation without getting a little personal?????  I shared my ihealth blood pressure monitor   and my Weigh Watchers app My Score Plus.  

So in a nutshell, that was it and it was fun.  I know a few left inspired, a few left itching to buy their own ipad and others left with the notion that "hey, maybe I can do that!"


Document Camera

Today was tech pd in our division.  This morning I was one of the presenters talking about ipads (I will share my presentation in another post).  This afternoon I learned about document cameras.  I happen to have one on "loan" in my classroom for the time being.  Many teachers in our school have them in their classrooms and our library has 5 (I believe) to borrow.

What inspired me to try a document camera?

Initially I wanted to scan some photos of my dad that were beautifully scrapbooked so that I could include them in my Shutterfly books I am creating for my children.  The first week I had it, I tried the scan option with no luck - my photos seemed to be of very poor quality once scanned.  Then it sat for a week or 2.  One day I got inspired to use it in a lesson.  I was literally "winging it" as it was a very last minute decision.  The lesson went well, but then when I wanted to capture my creation I realized I was in the wrong mode and could not take a picture of it.  I put it away again!  Finally today I learned the tricks and I think I am hooked!  

Our session went through all the bells and whistles of a document camera and basically explained all the features.    If you are familiar with a mimio board and its tool bar, then the document camera is very similar.  It was cool to see the record mode.  You can create videos of kids demonstrating a skill or of you teaching something, very cool.  The organization using folders is much like windows, so it's easy to use.  The scan option allows to to photograph items under the camera..... this is what I wanted to learn!!!!!  When I had the basics I went off to my room to "play"!

What did I discover...... I had been doing it right all those weeks ago! LOL! Scanning photos is a bit finicky!  If the lighting is not quite right, even excellent quality photos do not scan well.  That was my problem!  I had googled it weeks ago and it was recommended to scan under high florescent lighting with the document camera light off, but even that was not perfect.  Today I played just a little bit more and the trick to a good scan is moving the top of the camera lower so it is much closer to the picture.  The picture also needs to be perfectly flat.  (A little sticky tack helped!)  Even a slight bend catches and reflects that florescent lighting and puts glares on the photos.   I also discovered glossy prints do not scan nearly as well as matte.

Here is what it looked like when I was scanning.......

And here is what the camera normally looks like when it is not being used to scan photos.
In 30 minutes or less I scanned about 25 photos out of my albums or photos I had loose and even had them uploaded to my Shutterfly account.

I must admit I am a little worried about the resolution, they uploaded really quick which leads me to believe they might be a very small file size.  I'll let you know how that works out when I find time to make the books!

For now I am eager to plan some lessons using the document camera..... I am thinking some estimating might be a great start!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sonic Pics - I did it!!!!

January is bucket filling month in my grade one classroom.  All month long we have been talking about how to treat other people and how to make others feel good.  We have been recognizing and acknowledging the things people do or say to make us feel good each day.  We are bucket fillers!  If you've never heard of this idea before, check out the link.  It's a perfect way to explain our feelings to young kids!

To conclude our unit, I wanted to interview the kids with some very specific questions to see what they learned about bucket filling.  I shared this idea with our school counsellor and she asked if she could use the video for a school wide anti-bullying assembly.  The pressure was on, so I had to prompt for some more specific answers to get the details we needed.  In the end I think my informal interview turned out well.

I used the sonic pics app.  It was very easy to use.  I was able to add photos quickly from all my idevices using the icloud photo stream.  We also took a few photos and screen shots of the books and our favorite videos.  Lots of ipad learning of skills going on there!!!!

Once we had the photos in place, I called the kids 2 at a time to be interviewed.  They rehearsed their answers with me before speaking into the record button.  *****  This was important because the biggest flaw in the app is a mistake in the recording causes you to have to start the recording over!

We were able to easily add photos to our project.  We were also able to rearrange the photos with ease.  We finished the product in about 30 minutes!!!!!  It was very easy to share.  There were options to share to any computer on the same network, share to you tube, or share to the photo stream on the ipad.  The option to email was also there, but our file was too large.  

I definitely have a few more things I want to find out about the app, like saving and working on it again later. But for now, I am impressed.  I have a few more ideas of how I am going to use this app in the coming weeks.  It is definitely easy enough for kids to do on their own with a little training!

Here is our finished product!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

I LOVE Mo Willems!

I have to say the pigeon is one of my most favorite characters to read about in grade one.  It just so happens that my own children have that pigeon passion as well.  These wonderful books teach so much expression and voice when reading.  It does not take long and these books have become memorized.  Emerging readers see themselves as "readers of REAL books",  and then I bump it up a notch and turn them into authors of their very own Pigeon book!

So when I stumbled across the pigeon app for $6.99, I only hesitated for a moment and then clicked buy!  I have to admit I have never spent $7 on an app before but I don't regret it for a second!

The app has a few features....
1.  Mo Willems teaches a step by step lesson of how to draw the pigeon.   I have his paper instructions and have always done a good job of teaching it myself, but there is nothing like hearing right from the illustrators mouth!  The downfall of this is once you are done you can take a picture of your pigeon but the app only saves 1 picture.  So with multiple kids it just does not cut it.
2.  There are 3 story modes where the bus driver walks you through creating your own pigeon story.  SOOOOOOOOO cool!  My kids have created numerous books.  Some of the stories even allow for your own voice recording which is super simple for young children to do independently.  The downfall here is I can not seem to figure out the saving procedure.  Sometimes the bus driver comes on and just saves it for you, other times the bus driver pops on and reads you your story once then when the book closes, your story is gone.
I am hoping these kinks will be worked out in some upgrades but my recommendation is if you love the pigeon, you will love this app!

Valentine's Day Apps

I like to find a few apps that are thematic for the kids to use just for fun.

Biscuit is an absolute hit with my kiddos so the Valentine Story was a must have on my list.  It's $2.99.  It has all the same options as the other Biscuit Apps:  Read to Self, Read To Me, Auto Play.  It also has a coloring book, sticker collection, memory game and puzzles.

iPhone Screenshot 1

Valentine Memory App - free

It's your classic memory game.
iPhone Screenshot 3

Cooper's Big Bear Hug App - free  An interactive online story with puzzles and games.
iPhone Screenshot 1

I have a few others as well that I have not yet checked out.  I just simply searched Valentine's Day in the app store and chose apps that were free.  Here is what my organized folder looks like:

Lots of time to get these organized before Valentine's Day.  If you have any favorites, feel free to share.

Snow Apps

I absolutely love this blog.  Our class theme this month is snow so guess how excited I was when I read today's post??????  She created a website linking to everything SNOW!!!!!!  How perfect!

I quickly went to the site and pasted it to my wiki, that saved me hours of work!  Then I went back to explore the site.  She has a link of just snow apps!  Even more exciting!  I just might need to add to those January apps.  Here is the link to the apps just for you!


Monday, January 7, 2013

January Apps!

January will be a month of trials and tribulations with the ipads... we are learning to live without the pod! What will this mean in our grade one class??????   I am not sure just yet!

I talked with the class and we decided that it means ipads can not be part of our guided reading time any more.  We still want to use them, but we need to figure out a way to schedule them in to the day so we can all have access.

I do know I will be using the ipads to modify the learning for some of my students on adapted programs. We are working at scheduling that in too.

Since we are down to 2 ipads, I was not going to worry a whole lot about what apps were going into my folder this month.

BUT... today I discovered a 1/3 of the class got an apple device for Christmas, so I might as well push the academic apps for them to try at home:)

We once again kept some old favorites:

Teach Me Grade One
Teach Me Kindergarten
Spelling City
Monkey Word
Kindergarten Arithmetic Invaders
Max Doodle
Hungry Guppy

And the new educational ones are:

AB Math Lite (free)- the full version is 99 cents
iPhone Screenshot 2

Math Bingo - 99 cents - totally worth the money!
iPhone Screenshot 1

Kissing Hand book - this app is STILL currently free.  Get it now!
iPhone Screenshot 3

And then since the ipad will be used for some free time, I threw a few just for fun apps in this month:

Lego Fire Hose Frenzy - it's free search for it in the app store (I am having trouble linking this app)

Lego - Creationary - free
iPhone Screenshot 2

I'll keep you posted on how the ipad schedule goes or we might go borrow the resource room's pod:)  I have not shared that bit of inside information with the class yet! shhhhh......


Sunday, January 6, 2013

SonicPics App

As I was enjoying my coffee this morning, thinking about all the prep work I have for back to work tomorrow, I stumbled across a blog entry that really caught my eye.  I am resisting my urge to stop everything right now, download the app and give it a whirl myself - only because my to do list for the day is longer than anything I will ever complete!

However, this app will be at the top of my check it out app list!

If you check it out - let me know!  It looks like it might be worth getting excited about!  The full version is $2.99!

Link to app review


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Are your kids lego crazy?

I have a lego crazy boy at my house!  It was a Christmas full of lego kits!

Well lego has it's own Creationary app and it's free!  The newest version has a 2,3 or even 4 player mode and you can play connected to apple tv!  How cool is that?  There are 4 different modes to play in.  My son even likes to take screen shots of the lego creations and build them himself with his own lego!

iPhone Screenshot 2
Lego also has about 5 other apps that are all free for your "lego crazy" kids!  I have never used any of them but they are all linked from the itunes page for Creationary!  Enjoy!

idress WINTER Scene.............. finally!

We love to use the idress app in our classroom.  I have blogged about it a few times!

It was always my pet peeve that unless snow was falling from the sky, the picture was a lovely green scene.  Not so friendly for us northerners where we don't have green for 6 months of the year!  Well in the latest update there is a winter scene!  Now the ground is still not snow covered and clothes are still hanging on the line BUT the trees are bare winter trees!

To turn on the winter trees hit the i button in the bottom left corner, click the tree season and switch it to winter.

If you have not already done so this is a good time to adjust your temperature levels as well.  I have mine custom set to match what we northerners think is Really Cold and what we think is Hot.

Looks like today is a little Cold but feels balmy after the week of -30!  I guess we will have to do something outside since we are still not back to school!  Happy New Year everyone!