DENovator Faire – Hug Boxes

Filed Under (Conference, Suggestions) by Jeannine on 18-07-2015

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There will be more sharing to come after just wrapping up #DENSI2015. But I need a little more time to organize and decompress first. But Lindsay Foster asked for directions to make a hug box or a template. So I figured I would share this out first.

Once again during DENSI, Kristy Vincent organized an amazing Making Faire for us. You can find information on the DENSI website under Resources. Here is the text from Kristy’s site:

“What is being a DENovator?

It’s really whatever you want it to be! Have a craft you just can’t wait to share and teach others? Bring it and give a lesson. Been experimenting with Makey Makey’s with your students and want to show what it can do? Bring it and teach your DEN family? Designed an awesome new app or tool? Bring it!
Being a DENovator basically involves sharing your passion with others. Whether you bring and share a craft, invention, or DIY is entirely up to you!”
So I thought and I thought about what to make for the DENovator Faire. I found a cute image on Pinterest of a jar or Hershey’s Kisses decorated as a Hug Jar. That sparked the idea. I thought hmmm what about decorated boxes to “keep our hugs in”. I googled for ideas. I came across this great arts and crafts project:  I modified the poem a bit to put a DENtwist on it. And came up with:
“This is a very special gift
That you can never see
The reason it’s so special is
DEN friends made it together in D.C.
Whenever you are lonely
Or are ever feeling blue
You only have to hold this gift
And know we’re hugging you.
You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold the box close to your heart
It’s lled with #DENhugs inside”.
I made cards to go with the boxes as a little momento.  I provided favor boxes to be wrapped/decorated (They are the kind one would put almonds in for a party. Mine were from Party City SKU: 265395. But any box will do) I knew people would be traveling and wouldn’t want a large craft that they would have to pack. I provided striped blue and white wrapping paper, blue and white ribbons, jewel stickers, markers, and crayons. I explained that we were making boxes to hold our hugs and take our friends with us. My table display also had a box I found –

Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they're always there...

Good friends are like stars

Then I sat back and watched as my incredibly creative DENFriends came and decorated Hug Boxes. Some decorated quickly. Others took their time. Some were meticulous. Others less deliberate. Some put the card inside. Some used the card to decorate the box.

Making Hug Boxes


Making Memories


Craft Full of Love

Thank you to all those that found their way to my table. As the box said, just because you don’t see me doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you.  I hope you know how many hugs from me are inside your individual containers. Even if you weren’t with us in DC. You too can make a hug box. Just let us know that you now have one and we will help fill it with virtual hugs.

Much love,


Digital Learning Day Dawns on the Horizon

Filed Under (Collaboration, Suggestions) by Jeannine on 31-01-2012

Grateful to my friends that comprise my PLN. One of those kind souls several weeks ago posted information about Digital Learning Day.

Digital Learning Day logo

What is Digital Learning Day? According to their website, http:///, “Digital Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized educational experience. On Digital Learning Day, a majority of states, hundreds of school districts, thousands of teachers, and nearly 2 million students will encourage the innovative use of technology by trying something new, showcasing success, kicking off project-based learning, or focusing on how digital tools can help improve student outcomes.”


I am so thrilled to work in the school that I do. Several teachers integrate technology in their teaching every day. Several use technology every day. Is there a difference? Most definitely. Some teachers merely find time to allow students to explore technology independently in a free form method. This is great. We learn from safe exploration. But some teachers go further. Some in my building understand that technology is not a separate subject area. They see that technology is a tool for teaching. One teacher presents daily notes for students to copy. One teacher shows videos from brainpop that coincide with her instruction. Another teacher has students participate in an online simulation of what they are discussing in class.


Yesterday, I had the privilege of working with a class that will be piloting individualized Discovery Education accounts. I can’t wait to have this up and running. The teacher and I are working together with a strategic plan. As with all good pilots it involves some trial and error before publicizing to our students. Yesterday, students were introduced to their accounts so that they have necessary skills to access their customized learning plans of video instruction.


Tomorrow is Digital Learning Day. I look forward to seeing what projects teachers will be involved in with their students tomorrow. I spent this evening gathering some healthy breakfast selections for staff for tomorrow. They deserve a thank you for all they do. They make my job a wonderful experience. How can you celebrate Digital Learning Day if you haven’t powered up with a good breakfast?! So I have a few healthy choices for us to power up! Thank you, fit42 friends for changing my eating habits!


This week I put together a starter list of tools from A to Z that teachers might use in their classroom. It’s funny how some tools because we use them every day aren’t thought of as Digital Learning. But yes,,, are digital learning tools. If you would like to see my resource please click here, DigitalLearningToolsAtoZShields.


Tomorrow will mark the launch of our building’s Technology Advisory Board. In previous years, our building had a technology committee. This was a great group of teachers that came together to discuss the use of technology in our building, weigh the pros and cons of new technologies, and share information with our colleagues regarding technology use. After a recent workshop, I am ready to revisit this concept. Thankfully my principal is behind this idea. We reached out to our grade level chairs to see if anyone was interested in volunteering. Luckily someone was interested from every grade level. I believe we have compiled a nice team of tech enthusiasts if not tech leaders. Some have expressed trepedation about participating. But yet they also express an interest in learning. Nothing better than celebrating Digital Learning Day with these staff members. We will be using an online communication platform that I have been beta testing. *Fingers crossed* it should provide 24/7 access to resources. Additionally teachers will have the ability to share ideas whenever they choose versus waiting for committee meetings. It is wonderful to dwell on how technology has changed since our last building technology committee met. I look forward to working with this advisory board during the remainder of the school year.